Longer, wider, and lower, the 2011 QX56 somehow seems less roomy than before—but it’s an optical trick. The older, taller QX wore its big-box dimensions in every line and in every awkward step up into its cabin, while this version swallows people and cargo just as easily.
The QX is noticeably shorter—by 3 inches, according to their rules—but it doesn’t affect the
leather-lined passenger spaces in meaningful ways. In front, big and plush power-operated chairs only seem a bit tight where your knees meet a softly padded center console. The doorsills seem just as high as before, the foot room is ample, and between the glovebox and the center console bins, you could smuggle plenty of anything across state lines (we drove the QX in Kentucky, so we chose Moon Pies). We love ventilated front seats, and you can have them here for a surcharge.
Even in the second row, adults should find themselves paired to fit, without paring themselves to fit. Three across is probably not going to happen, unless the driver ordered the available bench seat and the riders are medium-sized. Even so, we’d recommend the second-row buckets with their handsome, useful console if you’re toting parents more than tots—and you may as well opt for the second-row seat heating. Small is certainly the keyword in the way-back third-row seat, which will only fit three elementary-school types, but their complaints don’t really count.
Behind the third-row seat, there’s as much cargo room as you’d find in the trunk of a Ford Fusion. With the power-folding third-row seat down, Infiniti counts 95.1 cubic feet of storage space. Loading is simple enough, since the QX56 sits at least 2 inches lower than last year’s model, and the power tailgate relieves lightweights and shorties from having to jump and hang on for closure.