2012 Infiniti QX SUV - FROM $60,000
The 2012 Infiniti QX is a solid choice for a large luxury SUV.
What's New for 2012
After its complete redesign last year, the 2012 Infiniti QX is pretty much unchanged. A new Blind Spot Intervention system debuts as part of the Technology package.
"Nothing succeeds like excess," Oscar Wilde said, and he could have been describing the 2012 Infiniti QX. That's because Infiniti's full-size SUV flagship is the quintessential cup-runneth-over by just about every measure you'd care to name.
Last year's complete redesign saw the QX move to its own unique platform (previous models were built on the platform of the Nissan Armada pickup), a move that improved its handling and overall refinement and put it on a more level playing field with the competition. Powertrain upgrades included a significant bump in horsepower, a seven-speed automatic transmission and a new full-time four-wheel-drive system.
The QX's seven- or eight-passenger interior is downright posh, with high-quality materials and a mind-boggling array of available technology, notably a Blind Spot Intervention system that not only sounds an alert if the QX begins to drift out of its lane, but also gently guides it back between the lines if the driver fails to take corrective action.
While all those improvements have created an impressive luxury SUV, the QX still has a couple of shortcomings, including controversial exterior styling and a third-row seat that's a tight fit for anyone over the age of 12. For some buyers, the Cadillac Escalade ESV might be a better match for its extra space. And if you're looking for serious four-wheel-drive capability, you'll want to check out the Lexus LX 570 and Range Rover. But overall the 2012 Infiniti QX56 remains a solid choice for buyers looking for an upscale full-size sport-ute.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2012 Infiniti QX is a full-size luxury SUV with seating for seven or eight passengers. It is available in one well-equipped trim level with a choice of either rear- or four-wheel drive.
Standard features include 20-inch alloy wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlights, foglights, heated power-folding mirrors, a sunroof, running boards, rear privacy glass, a power liftgate and front and rear parking sensors. Inside you'll find keyless entry/ignition, automatic tri-zone climate control, leather upholstery, a heated 10-way-adjustable driver seat with memory (eight-way for the front passenger), second-row captain's chairs, a power-folding 60/40-split third-row seat, a 360-degree parking camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a power tilt-and-telescoping heated steering wheel. Electronic features include Bluetooth phone connectivity with streaming audio, a voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic and a 13-speaker Bose sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.
Options are arranged in a succession of packages, most of which require you to buy the preceding option package. The Theater package adds a rear seat dual-screen video entertainment system, a 120-volt household-type power outlet and heated second-row seats with a power tip-up feature for easier third-row access. From there you can add the Split Bench Seat package, which replaces the second-row captain's chairs and center console with a 60/40 split-folding bench that increases seating capacity from seven to eight.
The Deluxe Touring package adds 22-inch wheels (available separately) as well as Infiniti's Hydraulic Body Motion Control suspension, headlight washers, an upgraded climate control system with air purification/filtration, heated and ventilated front seats, upgraded leather upholstery and special wood trim and a 15-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system. Finally, the Technology package adds adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning and prevention system and a host of high-tech safety features designed to either prevent a crash or protect the occupants in the event of one.
Powertrains and Performance
Motivating the 2012 Infiniti QX is a 5.6-liter V8 that produces 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic is the only transmission offered and features manual shift control with rev-matched downshifts. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with four-wheel drive (with low-range gearing) available as an option. Properly equipped, the QX is capable of towing up to 8,500 pounds and features a tow/haul mode for the transmission as well as an automatic-leveling rear suspension.
In Edmunds testing, the QX hustled from zero to 60 mph in a quick 6.8 seconds. Not surprisingly, the QX is less impressive when it comes to fuel economy. The EPA estimates fuel consumption at 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined whether the QX has rear or four-wheel drive, a figure that's better than average for this class of vehicle.
The 2012 Infiniti QX comes with a full complement of safety features including stability and traction control, antilock brakes, front-seat side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front active head restraints.
The QX's ability to protect its occupants can be enhanced with the bevy of additional features in the Technology package. These include a lane-departure warning and prevention system, collision alert, brake assist (which applies the brakes to reduce damage if the driver does not slow the vehicle) and a blind-spot warning system.
In Edmunds testing, the QX came to a halt from 60 mph in only 123 feet, which is a figure we're more accustomed to seeing from a much lighter passenger car. For an SUV of this size, it's nothing less than outstanding.
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside its cabin, the 2012 Infiniti QX is every bit as luxurious as any high-end sedan. The collection of standard and available technology here is enough to make your head spin, though bright gauges, a huge 8.0-inch dash-mounted touchscreen and thoughtfully laid-out control placement makes everything more user-friendly than you might imagine. Particularly useful is the 360-degree parking camera system that stitches together images from four separate cameras to create a top-down view of the vehicle -- something that can be a huge help when negotiating tight spaces in this very large vehicle.
While the first- and second-row captain's chairs are the epitome of cushy comfort, the third row's lack of legroom limits its usefulness to younger kids. Behind the power-folding 60/40-split bench are 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space that expands to 95 cubic feet with both rows of rear seats folded down.
With 400 hp on tap, the 2012 Infiniti QX has sufficient acceleration to satisfy even the most lead-footed drivers. Though there's a limit to how well a vehicle this size can handle, the sophisticated Hydraulic Body Motion Control system that comes as part of the Deluxe Touring option package does a good job of limiting body roll in corners, making the QX feel more confident than you might expect.
Unfortunately this upgraded suspension can only be had with the optional 22-inch alloy wheels and low-profile tires. While these rims may pump up the QX's street cred, over rough pavement they give the big truck a harsh ride that's unbecoming of a luxury model. On better surfaces, however, the ride smoothes out enough to leave occupants unruffled.