2012 INFINITI QX56 Comfort & Quality

9.0
Comfort & Quality

The QX56 is a completely different vehicle from the one Infiniti built prior to the 2011 model year, and the differences in interior space and comfort are noticeable. It's a bit shorter and lower than before, and the refinement's a magnitude better than the prior version, too.

The latest version is about three inches shorter than the one that was built in Nissan's plant in Tennessee, but it's hard to tell a dramatic difference inside between that QX and this one, which hails from Japan. The new SUV has the same caliber of front-seat room; the seats are big and plush and power-driven, and the only place you'll feel impinged upon is at the knees, where you'll make contact with a softly padded center console. There's no reason to steer around the optional ventilated seats--they add months of comfort for Southern drivers.

The QX56 does a fine job toting up to seven passengers, as long as you're up front with adults.

Second-row seating is almost as ample, but three adults across won't be as comfortable in the standard configuration as they will if the owner opted for the no-charge bench seat. The buckets are nicer, though, and get a center console almost as useful as the deep bin between the front seats. The second-row seats also offer heating, and a new tip-forward setup is meant to make clambering into the third-row seat a little easier. In the end, that third-row seat just isn't useful for adults, but three children will be able to jump into it and find plenty of room for themselves and their backpacks.

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 the previous model, and the power tailgate relieves lightweights and shorties from having to jump and hang on for closure.

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