Looking for a SUV that literally has everything? We recently road tested the 2011 Infiniti’s QX56 down to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware — and boy, were we impressed! We traveled with 4 adults (my husband and I and my inlaws) and my 3 kids (ages almost 6, 3 1/2 and almost 1). We took 3 car seats (one convertible/booster seat, a convertible seat and a infant seat) with the intention of using all 3 of them side by side at some point. Going down we put the car seats for my older kids in the middle seats (so they could see the DVD player — which comes with two wireless headphones). We also had tons of luggage and gear. The Infiniti QX56 was a dream to drive — so smooth and smart, it hugged the road.Since we were traveling with 7 people, we didn’t have enough storage room as a family of 5 would have. We installed the convertible and convertible/booster car seat in the second row seats (bucket seats) with the tethers. The Infant Seat was installed with the seat belts. LATCH was probably available, but since I use the seat belt installation at home and use tethers if we install a car seat in someone else’s car, I stuck with what I knew.
Having the kids in the middle row wasn’t an ideal situation, every time we stopped, we had to detach the tethers to let my husband and my mother-in-law out (plus the baby, who was in the middle of them). But if you have a family of 7, next spring Infiniti is releasing a new vehicle, the 2013 Infiniti JX Concept, which is a 7-passenger/3-row luxury crossover that will let you leave a child seat latched to the 2nd row while getting in or out of the 3rd row.
When we got down to Rehoboth Beach, we installed all three seats in the 3rd row and didn’t turn on the DVD again until we drove home. This way, we had more room. To get to the kids in the back row, we had to fold down the middle seats. We did this from either side, we just flipped the little handle up and the seat automatically folded out of the way).
This is a high vehicle, so if you are 5′ 4″ like me, you’ll need to grab the handle inside the vehicle to pull yourself up.
New vehicles like the QX56 have a start button, rather than a place where you insert and turn the key. To turn the car on, once you’re belted in, put your foot on the brake, hold up the remote NEAR the start key and then press the start button. I’m guessing it’s done this way so kids can’t accidentally turn on the car by pressing the start key.
The version we tested came with great features. This is taken from Infiniti’s website, since I’m not as up on terms like torque.
- 5.6-liter V8 engine with 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque
- Electronically controlled 7-speed automatic transmission
- Tri-Zone Automatic Temperature Control System
- Around View™ Monitor with Front and Rear Sonar System
- Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System with XM NavTraffic® and XM NavWeather™
What the kids and parents will like:
- Super comfortable seats
- The vehicle is seriously powerful
- The DVD behind the driver and front passenger seats (and the best part — you can listen to XM or use the GPS, while your kids or passengers watch a movie (use the two wireless headphones).
- XM Radio
- GPS, Map of where you are and Bluetooth built in