You’ll have to take our hunch for what it’s worth, but we’ve given the 2011 QX56 a score of 9 for safety, even before any crash tests have been performed. We’ll re-evaluate the numbers when test scores roll in.
To date, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance
Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has tested the QX for front-, side-, and rollover impact protection.
That said, the QX56 is fitted with as much safety gear as possible. It starts with dual front, side, and curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control; active headrests; and tire pressure monitors. There’s also a panoramic camera that sniffs out 180 degrees’ worth of parking-lot trouble on the big 7-inch LCD screen.
Above and beyond those usual systems, Infiniti offers adaptive cruise control with Distance Control Assist for intervention when obstacles are detected ahead of the car. A blind-spot warning system and a lane departure warning system are available, as is a lane-departure prevention system that gently nudges the QX back into a lane when sensors think you’re wandering off the mark. We're not fans of most of these; there's just too much audible and haptic interference for semi-skilled drivers.
Visibility gets a little dicey at the rear quarters, especially if you’re carrying a full complement of people, but the QX56’s big mirrors and drop-away fenders help in parking and cruising with confidence.