Full 2013 Infiniti QX Review
What's New for 2013
For 2013, the Infiniti QX receives an updated around-view monitor, a faster-folding third-row seat and improvements to the optional Theater package.
When it comes to large SUVs, choices are slim. The selection narrows if you prefer some luxury thrown in. The good news is that large luxury SUV candidates are strong performers in their own right and will likely fulfill your specific needs.
The 2013 Infiniti QX succeeds on several fronts, making it one of the more well-rounded choices. Passengers are treated to truly luxurious accommodations inside, with top-notch leather and wood surfaces and seats comfortable enough for all-day trips. The big QX also offers abundant cutting-edge electronics that should make any early adopter smile. Under the hood, there's a potent V8 engine that gets the large Infiniti up to speed with ease and offers enough power for serious towing.
Fortunately, the QX's downsides are few. As is common to SUVs of this kind, third-row seating is tight and best suited to children. Some drivers and passengers may find the ride harsh, particularly with the larger 22-inch wheels, while others may find the bloated exterior styling a tough hurdle to overcome.
Even considering these faults, the 2013 Infiniti QX remains a strong pick among large luxury SUVs. Of the few that still exist, the new 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is worth consideration, as it bests the Infiniti on several scores except price. If total space is a priority, the even pricier 2013 Cadillac Escalade ESV is the champion, but its large proportions will challenge some drivers. The Infiniti QX manages to split the difference, meriting serious consideration among the giants.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
Classified as a full-size luxury SUV, the 2013 Infiniti QX seats seven or eight passengers and comes 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 a 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 help prevent a crash or protect the occupants in the event of one.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2013 Infiniti QX uses a 5.6-liter V8 that produces 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard. Rear-wheel drive is also 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 accelerated from a standstill to 60 mph in a quick 6.8 seconds. Not surprisingly, the 5,500-pound QX's fuel economy is less impressive. EPA estimates for either rear- or four-wheel-drive models are 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined, a figure that's better than average for this class of vehicle.
The 2013 Infiniti QX comes with 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 occupants can be enhanced with additional features included 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 stopped from 60 mph in only 123 feet, a figure we're accustomed to seeing from lighter passenger cars. For an SUV of this size, it's nothing less than outstanding.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2013 Infiniti QX's cabin is just as luxurious as any high-end sedan, with a dizzying array of standard and available high-tech features. Despite the complexity of these systems, operation is surprisingly simple, thanks to thoughtful design and well-placed controls. 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. New for this year is a function that detects moving objects.
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 2013 Infiniti QX unleashes sufficient acceleration to satisfy even the most lead-footed driver. Though there's a limit to how well a vehicle this size can handle, the sophisticated Hydraulic Body Motion Control system -- 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. These rims may pump up the QX's street cred, but over rough pavement they give the big truck a harsh ride unbecoming of a luxury model. On better surfaces, however, the ride smoothes out enough to leave occupants unruffled.