Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2012 Infiniti QX56 VS 2012 Cadillac Escalade Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2012 Infiniti QX56

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2012 Cadillac Escalade

Safety Comparison

The QX56’s optional front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Escalade doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The QX56 has standard Active Head Restraints (AHR), which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the AHR system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Escalade doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The QX56 offers optional crash mitigation brakes, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Escalade doesn't offer crash mitigation brakes.

The QX56’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Escalade doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The QX56 has a standard Around View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Escalade only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the QX56 and the Escalade have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

The QX56 comes with a full 4 year/60,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Escalade’s 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty expires 10,000 miles sooner.

Infiniti’s powertrain warranty covers the QX56 1 year longer than Cadillac covers the Escalade. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Escalade ends after only 5 years.

The QX56’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Escalade’s (7 vs. 6 years).

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the QX56 has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Escalade.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Infiniti vehicles are better in initial quality than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 9th.

Engine Comparison

The QX56’s 5.6 DOHC V8 produces 68 more horsepower (400 vs. 332) and 46 lbs.-ft. more torque (413 vs. 367) than the Escalade Hybrid’s standard 6.0 V8 hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the Infiniti QX56 is faster than the Cadillac Escalade:


Escalade Hybrid

Escalade V8

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

8.4 sec

6.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.7 sec

8.8 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

16.5 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

86 MPH

93 MPH

Top Speed

133 MPH

99 MPH

107 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the QX56 gets better fuel mileage than the Escalade:





14 city/20 hwy

14 city/18 hwy



14 city/20 hwy

13 city/18 hwy

The QX56 has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Escalade Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (26 vs. 25 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the QX56’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Escalade:



Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13.5 inches

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The QX56 has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Escalade doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The QX56 stops much shorter than the Escalade:



70 to 0 MPH

185 feet

194 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

139 feet

158 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

155 feet

181 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the QX56 has larger tires than the Escalade (275/60R20 vs. 265/65R18).

The QX56’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Escalade’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the QX56 has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Escalade.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Infiniti QX56 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Cadillac Escalade has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The QX56 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Escalade’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The rear suspension of the QX56 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Escalade, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The QX56 has vehicle speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Escalade doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the QX56’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the Escalade (121.1 inches vs. 116 inches).

The QX56 AWD handles at .74 G’s, while the Escalade 4x4 pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the QX56 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Escalade (9.2 vs. 9 inches), allowing the QX56 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space Comparison

The QX56 has .8 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear legroom and 3.2 inches more third row legroom than the Escalade.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the QX56’s middle and third row seats recline. The Escalade’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The QX56 has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly, without having to lift, carry or store heavy seats, like in the Escalade.

Both the QX56 and the Escalade offer second row power folding seats. The QX56’s third row seats also fold up or down at the touch of a button. The Escalade doesn’t offer power folding third row seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

The QX56’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Escalade does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The QX56’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Escalade’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the QX56 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Escalade can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Infiniti Intelligent Key standard on the QX56 allows the driver to unlock the doors, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the car in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Cadillac Escalade doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The QX56 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Escalade doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The QX56’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Escalade’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Consumer Reports rated the QX56’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Escalade’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The QX56 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Escalade doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the QX56 offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Escalade doesn’t offer cornering lights.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the QX56’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Escalade doesn’t offer a filtration system.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the QX56 offers an optional Intelligent Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Escalade doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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