$29,658 - $31,160

2013 Infiniti QX56 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Infiniti QX56 was new.


Performance: 8.1

Test drivers write that a powerful V8 engine and good maneuverability are among the 2013 Infiniti QX56’s attributes. Additionally, one reviewer praises the QX56 for its strong towing capacity.

  • "Like most SUVs, even luxury models, the QX suffers audible road rumble and wind noise at most any speed, but neither reaches intrusive levels. The big V8 is nearly silent at cruise and sounds a muted but satisfying baritone note at full throttle." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The 2013 Infiniti QX56 is a smooth, luxurious ride befitting the expectations that you would have of a high-end SUV." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Under the hood, there's a potent V8 engine that gets the large Infiniti up to speed with ease and offers enough power for serious towing." -- Edmunds
  • "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 (2011)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Infiniti QX56 is powered by a 5.6-liter V8 engine that produces 400 horsepower. A seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, while four-wheel drive is optional. The EPA reports that rear- and four-wheel drive models both get 14/20 mpg city/highway. That rating is about average for the class, though competitors like the Lexus GX and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class use less fuel. The QX56 can tow up to 8,500 pounds, which is quite good for the class.

Although it’s a big, heavy SUV, auto critics say that the QX56 feels like it has plenty of power, and that its V8 engine is smooth and refined. The seven-speed automatic transmission also earns praise for its quick shifts and polished demeanor.

  • "Infiniti makes no performance claims, but we estimate that any QX56 runs 0-60 mph in well under 7 seconds, this despite considerable bulk and circa 3 tons of road-crushing weight. The smooth, responsive V8 packs ample power for brisk getaways and worry-free expressway merging. The 7-speed automatic transmission is equally alert and silky." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "With 400 hp on tap, the 2013 Infiniti QX unleashes sufficient acceleration to satisfy even the most lead-footed driver." -- Edmunds 
  • "The 7-speed automatic transmission is seamless and adds even more refinement to the driving experience." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Infiniti QX56 has a great powertrain. Off-the-line throttle response is satisfying, and freeway speeds are reached effortlessly.” -- Automobile Magazine (2011)

Handling and Braking

Auto writers say that the 2013 QX56 handles quite well for its large size. One reviewer says that the QX56 is just as maneuverable as a midsize SUV, and that light yet communicative steering makes it fun to drive. Most test drivers also appreciate the QX56’s comfortable ride, though one says that models equipped with larger 22-inch wheels may ride too harshly for some shoppers.

  • "The QX56 is relatively nimble for its size, at least on the highway and suburban streets. Closer confines demand a bit more driver attention, due to the exterior bulk. Straight line stability is good, and steering feel is reasonable for such a large SUV. Stopping power and control are fine." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Some drivers and passengers may find the ride harsh, particularly with the larger 22-inch wheels, while others may find the bloated exterior styling a tough hurdle to overcome." -- Edmunds
  • "Likewise, you'll hardly notice imperfections in the road itself, thanks to the QX56's fully-independent suspension." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2011)

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