2018 Infiniti QX80

Infiniti QX80 Walkaround

When it comes to doing it big, few full-size luxury SUVs come close to the Infiniti QX80. With its imposing size and distinctive styling, the Infiniti certainly makes its presence apparent. Of course, whether or not these register as positives for you is a matter of personal opinion. This is a highly specialized vehicle, for which the list of people who actually need its full potential is rather limited.

 

To wit, if you have call for moderate offroad capabilities in an extremely large and luxurious three-row automobile—or you’re in need of something capable of towing up to 8,500 pounds to ultra-posh destinations—you might well find the Infiniti QX80’s attributes precisely in alignment with your requirements. For anyone else, this Infiniti is likely overkill. With that said, if you’re seriously shopping this category, the QX80’s closest competitors are Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator (though they won’t match the Infiniti in offroad capability), the Lexus LX 570, and the Mercedes-Benz GLS.

An exceptionally well-appointed SUV, the Infiniti QX80 has one of the nicest interiors I’ve ever experienced. The vibe is one of serious cash spent. My tester was laced with semi-aniline quilted leather upholstery, a faux-suede headliner, matte-finished Ash wood trim, and climate controlled seats for the driver and front passenger. Prominent members of the QX80's standard equipment roster are automatic LED headlights, power-folding exterior rearview mirrors, automatic tri-zone climate control, and a 360-degree parking camera system. Proximity sensors front and rear, an eight-inch touchscreen, and a 13-speaker Bose audio system are also included in the base price. All of these features do necessitate an abundance of buttons, switches, and dials, but they’re tastefully arranged and their appearance is thoroughly in keeping with the upscale character of the big Infiniti’s passenger cabin.

Thankfully, a running board is also included among the standard features, as you must literally climb to get into the QX80. Once you're in though, comfort in the first two rows is outstanding. Legroom in the third row is a bit cramped, so it’s best reserved for younger children. The good news is the rearmost seats split-fold 60/40 at the touch of a button so you can increase cargo capacity on an as-needed basis. With the third row deployed, you get 16.6 cubic feet of cargo capacity—folded you get 49.6. Fold both the second and third rows; you’ll see 95 cubic feet of capacity. Be apprised though, the liftover height is quite high, so loading in and out can be a bit challenging.

Power comes from Nissan’s 5.6-liter V8 with 400 horsepower and 413 ft-lbs of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission feeds engine output to the rear wheels in the standard configuration. Four-wheel drive with low range gearing is offered as an option, as is a self-leveling rear suspension system. Fuel economy is rated at 16 mpg overall for the rear-drive powertrain, and 15 with four-wheel drive.

On the road the QX80 feels surprisingly lithe. Handling is confident and easy, and there is a surprising lack of body roll in turns—given the QX80’s size and height. Of course, this is likely attributable to Infiniti’s optional Hydraulic Body Motion Control System, which was fitted to my test vehicle. Ride quality is smooth, the interior is quiet (with dual-pane windows for the driver and front passenger), and grip is commendable. Steering is light, but direct and precise. Further, the brakes do a highly admirable job of arresting the Infiniti QX80’s 5,888 pounds.

 

I’ve come to anticipate an abundance of safety tech in vehicles in this price range, and the QX80 meets expectations, albeit through the optional Driver Assistance package. Elements include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and intervention, frontal collision warning and mitigation, and a back-up collision mitigation system. The standard telematics system delivers automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle notification, remote door access and locking, geo-fencing and max speed notifications.

All in all, this is a formidable offering with very sound over the road dynamics. The QX80 is also highly luxurious, bristling with comfort and safety features, and suitably commodious. This may well be your horse trailer’s newest best friend.

 

Pricing for the 2018 Infiniti QX80 4WD starts at $67,850.

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