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2013 Infiniti QX56 Premium 4×4 Review & Test Drive

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2013 Infiniti QX56 Beauty Right Done Small

Now in its third year of the current generation design, the 2013 Infiniti QX56 continues to offer an unmatched combination of power, strength and luxury style-capable of transporting up to eight adults and their cargo with spacious elegance.  Its drivetrain is rugged enough to handle tasks such as towing boats or trailers with a towing capacity up to 8,500 pounds when properly equipped, while being equally at home transporting friends and family for a night on the town.

While there is no change to the exterior styling, powertrain, suspension or interior, Infiniti adds new optional safety systems to make you and your passengers as safe as possible on the road.   These include auto-dimming rearview mirrors and the Moving Object Detection system added to the standard Around View Monitor.  Optional Lane Departure Warning & Prevention and Blind Spot Detection systems are also optional now.  Additionally, an upgraded remote control and interface has been added to the optional Theater Package with dual seven inch monitors behind the front headrests.  My test QX56 came loaded with the optional Theater Package, Technology Package and Deluxe Touring Package with all of these options included plus a cargo mat, cargo net and first aid kit.  The Tire & Wheel Package included the 22X8 inch 9-spoke forged alloy wheels wrapped with giant 275/50R22 inch Bridgestone Dueler all-season tires.

2013 Infiniti QX56 Beauty Side Done Small

This new 2013 QX56 Premium 4X4 luxury sport utility is one of the biggest on the market.  With such a large footprint and ultra-luxurious interior it looks to me like a ‘land yacht’-big and comfortable-an extension of your living room but on wheels to take you wherever you want.

The unique styling makes anyone taking a second look of its power and strength.  The bold front chrome grille is flanked by automatic on/off bi-functional xenon headlamps with windshield wiper interlock and integrated front foglamps.  Adaptive Front Lighting with auto-leveling headlamps and headlamp washer is optional and part of my test QX56.  Other exterior features include LED taillights, heated/power-folding sideview mirrors with integrated turn signals, courtesy light and reverse tilt-down feature, gill slits on each fender, a full-perimeter chrome strip around the greenhouse, body color running boards make it easier to enter and exit the vehicle, body color integrated front and rear splashguards built into the wheel arches, roof rails to expand the cargo-carrying ability, power sliding tinted glass moonroof and a power liftgate.  A front underbody spoiler, functional rear liftgate spoiler and redesigned side mirrors help provide aerodynamics of 0.36 Cd and zero lift.  The 22X8 inch wheel and tire combination is the largest in the segment giving the QX56 a one-of-a-kind look.

2013 Infiniti QX56 Beauty Rear Done Small

The QX56 features a high-stiffness frame structure with large sill rail section width, connecting structures between each crossmember and side rails, an integrated rear hitch member, and a special rear body ring structure around the tailgate-all designed to help provide a quieter, more comfortable ride.

The advanced engine and transmission designs make for a combination of power, efficiency and refinement worthy of the Infiniti name.  The 5.6 liter 32-valve DOHC aluminum alloy V8 features Infiniti’s advanced VVEL (variable valve event & lift) technology and Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) system.  The VVEL system combines hydraulic-controlled variable valve timing and electronically controlled variable valve lift on the intake side to help improve performance and response.  Throttle response is enhanced by directly controlling the intake valve, rather than using the traditional method of controlling intake with the throttle valve.  The VVEL system also offers improved emissions and fuel efficiency by reducing the intake resistance that occurs when the engine’s throttle valve opening is narrowed and output is low.  The DIG system improved combustion stability, reduces engine knock and offers more precise injection control.  This potent, high-tech engine pumps out 400 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 413 lb.ft. of torque at just 4,000 rpm.  That is enough power and torque to propel the QX56 out to 60mph from a standstill in just 6sec.  That’s not bad for a 5,865 pound full-size luxury sport utility vehicle.

2013 Infiniti QX56 Engine Done Small

Helping to move quickly is the standard 7-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control and manual shift mode with Downshift Rev Matching.  The QX56 comes standard with RWD but my loaded model came with the All-Mode 4WD system with Auto, 4H, 4L modes.  The system is designed to distribute toque to all four wheels when road conditions warrant (up to 50% can go to the front wheels on demand), helping to enhance traction.  All QX models also include Hill Start Assist that works by keeping the brakes engaged for a few second when you take your foot off the brake pedal when on a slope with no roll back.  This enables you to more easily switch from the brake pedal to the throttle on steep inclines.

Putting all of the power and torque to the ground is the QX56’s incredible fully independent suspension system.  It is a double-wishbone design front and rear with Dual-Flow Path twin-tube shock absorbers and an automatic rear leveling system that seeks to maintain uniform round clearance and departure angle when towing or carrying heavy cargo by automatically adjusting the air pressure in the system’s air bladders.  It also is great when transiting from pavement to dirt roads.  Additionally, an advanced Hydraulic Body Motion Control system comes standard with the Deluxe Touring Package that I had.  The system helps to reduce body lean in turns resulting in an improved ride comfort for passengers in all three rows.  Suspension travel is automatically controlled by hydraulic chambers integrated into each shock absorber.  The chambers are cross-linked with piping, allowing for the transfer of hydraulic fluid managed seamlessly by nitrogen-charged accumulators from one side of the vehicle to the other.  This enables the system to vary suspension travel independently on either side of the vehicle, thereby counteracting body lean making for a luxurious flat ride with pinpoint control.  That pinpoint control is provided by the engine speed sensitive power-assisted rack & pinion steering system.  It gives great feedback from the road with excellent on-center feel.

2013 Infiniti QX56 AWD Controller Done Small

Excellent braking is provided by power-assisted steel disc brakes at all four corners.  Each corner features a 13.78 inch vent disc with dual calipers up front and large single piston calipers in the rear.  Your control during hard braking on slick or wet surfaces is assured with standard ABS, BA and EBD that works in harmony with the standard Vehicle Dynamic Control, 4-Wheel Active Limited Slip and Traction Control systems.  With 400hp, a 7-speed automatic sequential 4X4 transmission, double-wishbone suspension and big brakes riding on 22X8 inch wheels and tires-who can surpass this unique combination?

2013 Infiniti QX56 Dashboard Done Small

The superb gear mentioned above is followed by a world-class interior with room for up to 8-peassengers with the available 60/40-split folding second row bench seat.  You see leather, Mocha Burl trim on the dashboard, doors, center console and center stack.  There is also plenty of aluminum trim and chrome trim pieces.  The driver’s seat is 10-way power adjustable and the front passenger seat is 8-way power adjustable, with each side featuring power lumbar support.  My test QX56 came with heated/cooled front seats and heated 2nd. row seats with a center console and dual cupholders.  My QX56 also came with a remote release for the 2nd row seats to activate the tip-up function through a switch on the center stack.  The 3rd. row is a 60/40-split folding design with power up/down switches in the rear and at each 3rd row seat.  Also standard is a heated/Mocha Burl/leather-wrapped steering wheel with power tilt/telescoping and buttons for the audio system and radar sensing cruise control.  When the 3rd. row seats are folded, the flat load floor offers a wide, versatile space for carrying cargo such as home furnishings or recreational gear.

The QX56’s long list of standard comfort and convenience features include nine cupholders, four door-pocket bottle holders, Tri-Zone automatic temperature control, Infiniti Intelligent Key with push button start/stop, Fine Vision electroluminescent gauges eight grab handles, dual map lights up front and rearing lamps for the second row seats and dual lighted vanity mirrors.  The Touring Package also includes an Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS) with Plasmacluster air purifier, Grape Polyphenol filter and auto recirculation.  Also inside is an 8-inch WVGA color touch-screen display, Infiniti Controller for use with vehicle information systems and comfort and convenience features, and the Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System with NavTraffic with Real-Time Traffic Information, NavWeather with Real-Time Weather and 3-day forecast and Zagat Survey, and a Bluetooth hands-free phone system.

2013 Infiniti QX56 Second Row Seats Done Small

For 2013, the convenience of the standard Around View Monitor with front/rear sonar system is enhanced with the addition of the Moving Object Detection (MOD).  Around View Monitor utilizes four small superwide-angle cameras-mounted on the front, side and rear of the truck-to provide a virtual 360-degree view of objects around the vehicle, helping to maneuver it in tight spots.  The system uses advanced image processing to combine the images from the four cameras and provide a unique ‘Bird’s-Eye View of the vehicle’s surroundings.  The new MOD function helps enhance your situational awareness by providing visual and audible warnings (front or back range object detection) if the system detects moving objects with the displayed image in situations such as when pulling out of a parking space.  The system detects moving objects within the ‘top view’ (when the vehicle in is Park).  When starting off or backing up, it detects moving objects such as another vehicle, crossing within the front or rear views.

More standard equipment not mentioned above with the Technology Package/Deluxe Touring Package and Theater Package includes all express windows, power door locks, sequential welcome lighting, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rain-sensing wipers-washers, rear wiper/washer, map pockets behind the front seatbacks, four chrome tie-downs in the rear, Infiniti Voice recognition, USB connection port for iPod interface, 120-volt outlet, auxiliary audio/video input jacks, intelligent cruise control, distance control assist, forward collision warning, front pre-crash seat belts, and a 15-speaker Bose Cabin Surround Sound system with digital 5.1 decoding system.  The Theater Package includes dual 7-inch color monitors, two wireless headphones and wireless remote control.

2013 Infiniti QX56 Cargo Hold Done Small

Standard safety features not mentioned above includes Infiniti Advance airbag system with front airbags and seat-mounted side airbags, roof-mounted curtain airbags for all three rows, 3-point height-adjustable seatbelts for all outboard rows, front-seat active headrests, LATCH system for child seats, child safety rear door locks, tire pressure monitor system, front/rear crumple zones and steel beams in each door.

WOW!  The new 2013 Infiniti QX56 4X4 has it all to keep any luxury full-size sport utility vehicle owner happy with plenty of power, performance, luxury, convenience and the latest in innovative safety systems.  Like any full-size luxury sport utility vehicle the price is steep-my QX56 4X4 with all of options cost $78,140.00 including destination.  On drawback is the low mpg specs-14mpg/city and 20mpg/highway, but after spending over $75,000.00 for the vehicle I don’t think that filling up the tank each week will dent the wallet.



  • Price: Base QX56 2wd $61,350 /  As-Tested QX56 Premium 4×4 $78,140.00 including destination
  • Engine: 5.6-liter DOHC V8 400 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm / 413 lb. ft. torque @ 4,000 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 121.1 inches
  • Total length: 203.3 inches
  • Total width: 79.9 inch
  • Total height with roof rack: 75.8 inches
  • Track: f/r-67.5/67.9 inches
  • Approach angle: 20.9
  • Departure angle: 22.3
  • Ramp angle: 20.7
  • Ground clearance: 9.2 inches
  • Step-in-height: 22.4/first row/22.8 inches/second row
  • Headroom: f/m/r-39.9/40/36.8 inches
  • Legroom: f/m/r-39.6/41/28.8 inches
  • 0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
  • Fuel tank: 26 gallons

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