2012 Infiniti QX56 4WD review: Big is good

2012 Infiniti QX56

2012 Infiniti QX56

Pictures don’t really show the size of the Infiniti QX56. We should have used a prop for comparison purposes. Perhaps an elephant. Or maybe a house.

The first reaction, almost to a person, to the QX56 was simply how big it is.  The numbers are impressive. While the overall length is a long-but-not-that-long 208 inches, the wheelbase is a pickup-like 120 inches. It’s set off, however, by a parking spot-filling width of a smidge under 80 inches and it simply towers at 75.8 inches high. It will fit most parking garages but it’s best to remember that number and check as you enter.

What perhaps is most striking, however, is the height of its hood. It’s shoulder high on an average-sized man, emphasized by a large chromed grille and fenders that rise high above the relatively small-looking headlamp cluster. Twenty-inch wheels are standard, 22-inchers an option. One wouldn’t call it handsome. But one would call it impressive. Even imposing.

2012 Infiniti QX56 driver view

The 2012 Infiniti QX56 has real wood trim standard. Semi-aniline leather is an option. (Click to enlarge image)

The front seats take full advantage of the vehicle’s width. They’re large and comfy as big Victorian club chair in Aunt Edna’s living room, the one you sat sideways in as a child. The Infiniti QX65 is a true eight-seater as well—although with the middle-row captain’s chairs replaced by a bench—and even if diminishing in comfort front to rear.

It’s still an Infiniti inside, however, with everything that means. Although without the extravagant swoops and curves, the interior design still has curves accented by real Tuscan Burl wood, even around the entire outer rim of the power tilt and telescope steering wheel, standard. The driver’s seat is ten ways adjustable, the passenger’s seat adjustable in only eight directions.

Nissan/Infiniti “Around View” system, that gives a birds-eye view of the close-in quarters, is displayed on the center monitor. It’s nifty for docking the QX56 and has the safety aspect of seeing things—and particularly small-scale young ‘uns— in close proximity to the vehicle and otherwise invisible.

Thirteen-speaker Bose audio is standard, as is navigation with traffic and weather and Zagat restaurant guide.

2012 Infiniti QX56 4WD

The 2012 Infiniti QX56 4WD equipped with optional 22-inch alloy wheels. (Click to enlarge image).

The Infiniti QX56 is practical, as well, with flip-down second and—remotely—third row seats, with remote second and power third row-lowered seats, though the latter is so slow it’s like waiting for a drawbridge to finally close. The seatbacks, once lowered, do form a flat load floor, even if slanted slightly upwards. With the standard second-row captain’s chair’s however, the big cushy armrest bulges from the floor. So much for loading that Really Really Big Box.

The 2012 Infiniti QX56 comes in only one trim level but with the choice of rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. Extensive availables are offered, however, and in our test QX56, options drove the price from a base $61,800 to a final bottom line of $75,340.

[], [], []