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2012 Infiniti QX56 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2012 Infiniti QX56 was new.


Performance: 8.1

Test drivers are impressed by how well the 2012 Infiniti QX56 drives, saying it has more than enough power for most drivers and that it’s pretty easy to maneuver, considering how big it is.

  • "The Infiniti QX56 has a great powertrain. Off-the-line throttle response is satisfying, and freeway speeds are reached effortlessly.” -- Automobile Magazine
  • "For all its bulk and heft, the QX56 is remarkably easy to drive, maneuvering on congested Southern California roads and freeways with a lightness that is totally unexpected.” -- Motor Trend
  • "As long as a tank of fuel costs something less than a bucket of caviar, America is going to buy big trucks. And, driving the QX56, you remember why. It is more than you need most of the time - more power, more towing ability, more ground clearance, more sheer size - but when you have occasion to call on its abilities, it’s supremely satisfying.” -- The New York Times

Acceleration and Power

The 2012 Infiniti QX56 is powered by a 400-horsepower, 5.6-liter V8 engine that’s paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Reviewers note that the transmission is especially smooth, and they love all the power that the V8 provides. By contrast, the Lincoln Navigator’s V8 only has 310 horsepower.

The Infiniti QX56 gets 14/20 mpg city/highway with both two- and four-wheel drive, according to the EPA. Its optional four-wheel drive system comes with a two-speed transfer case.

  • "The V-8 provides plenty of power.” -- Car and Driver
  • "QX56 has ample power for brisk getaways and worry-free expressway merging. The new 7-speed automatic transmission is alert and shifts smoothly.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "The 7-speed automatic transmission is seamless and adds even more refinement to the driving experience.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Gasoline is not inexpensive (especially the premium fuel our V-8-powered behemoth devours a gallon of every 15 miles) and it gets a man to thinking whether he really needs a nearly three-ton, 400-horsepower SUV for the daily commute. Of course, once foot is firmly planted on accelerator and the floodgates open on that 5.6-liter engine, the answer is unwaveringly ‘yes, he does.’” -- Motor Trend

Handling and Braking

Test drivers are impressed with the way the 2012 Infiniti QX56 handles, saying it drives like a midsize crossover rather than a hulking full-size SUV. A few mention that the steering feels oddly light, but say that it’s more of a strange feeling than a true problem.

  • "Smooth and quiet, the big Q rides like a luxury sedan despite its truck roots.” -- Car and Driver
  • "Though big, QX56 feels relatively nimble for its size, at least on the highway and suburban streets. Straight line stability is good, and the steering offers reasonable feel for such a large SUV. Braking control is fine.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "Our QX has to be one of the most maneuverable full-size SUVs around. It truly drives like a midsize SUV. The steering is very light (an odd feeling for such a hefty machine), yet is highly responsive and makes for a surprisingly fun drive.” -- Motor Trend
  • "Steering on the 2012 QX56 could be a bit heavier, but we don't believe this will be much of an issue around town.” -- Kelley Blue Book

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