Infiniti QX80 Review: Large, but not in charge

Sitting inside the massive, full-size Infiniti QX80, I am eye-level with bus drivers. I am used to small, nimble vehicles that may dart by way of visitors and mark nearly anyplace — vehicles like my daily-driver Mazda MX-5 Miata. What am I purported to do with this beast in downtown San Francisco?

Thankfully, its measurement is solely deceiving. With simple driving dynamics, to not point out a strong suite of lively driver’s aids, the QX80 proves a quiet, luxurious steed for metropolis and freeway driving alike. Unfortunately, regardless of receiving a giant replace for 2018, its age actually exhibits in quite a few key areas.

Purely beauty updates

In the previous, the QX80 has been rightly accused of getting a face solely a mom might love. The 2018 redesign is a welcome replace, and whereas it is nonetheless not fairly, it is rather more engaging than earlier than.

The entrance fascia has a extra streamlined look with LED operating lights and headlights. The rear finish additionally will get a nip/tuck, with redesigned taillamps and switch indicators which might be positioned low on the bumper.

Aside from these modifications, there is not a lot completely different concerning the QX80. It nonetheless comes with an outdated however easy 5.6-liter V8, placing out the identical 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque as earlier than, mated to the identical seven-speed automated transmission, coupled with both rear- or all-wheel drive.

2018 Infiniti QX80

See these lights on the bumper? Those are the flip indicators.


The QX80 can tow as much as Eight,500 kilos, which is similar to each the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator. In phrases of hauling, the QX80 has 16.6 cubic toes of area behind the third row, 49.6 behind the second row and 95.1 with all seats folded. The Lincoln Navigator bests the Infiniti barely, and whereas the Cadillac Escalade and Mercedes-Benz GLS have extra room behind the second row, the QX80 bests them on all-seats-flat area.

The EPA charges the QX80 at simply 13 mpg metropolis, 19 mpg freeway and 15 mpg mixed, and the all-wheel drive blue beast returned a median of 14.6 mpg throughout my week. Opt for rear-wheel drive and the EPA says you would possibly see 1-mpg enhancements in every class.

Because the 2018 QX80 makes use of the identical powertrain as earlier than, its driving dynamics are primarily unchanged. The journey high quality is usually comfy, with mild steering and sufficient energy to shortly merge onto the freeway with ease.

Helpful driving aids

My tester has the elective Hydraulic Body Motion Control that is packed into the $5,700 Deluxe Technology Package. Considering the 6,000-pound curb weight and sheer measurement of the QX80, I like this feature in concept, however in follow, physique roll continues to be largely current. The expertise mitigates this a little bit bit, I assume, however you’ll be able to nonetheless actually really feel the heft of the massive Infiniti whereas cornering.

The QX80 has a terrific set of driver’s aids. Blind-spot and lane-departure warnings are readily available, with each lively and passive interventions. I can set the techniques to solely give me an audio or visible warning if I begin to drift off-track, or I can ask the QX80 to intervene and produce me again in line.

2018 Infiniti QX80

Distance Control Assist is simply one of many driver’s aids that makes the QX80 stand out.


Adaptive cruise management can also be obtainable, and it will speed up and brake by itself, retaining a set distance behind the automotive in entrance. That’s nothing new, however the QX80 additionally will get Distance Control Assist, which is like adaptive cruise management, however solely focuses on slowing you down if it senses you are too near a lead automotive. This primarily permits for one-pedal driving, however finest utilized in stop-and-go visitors.

Infiniti does add a little bit of comfort tech for 2018, by means of a digital rear-view mirror. It makes use of a rear-facing digicam to point out what is going on on behind the SUV’s large rear finish, with a large scope. Distance depth is tough to decipher, nevertheless — a automotive that appears prefer it’s about to the touch the rear bumper is definitely a number of toes away.

InContact is out of contact

Infiniti’s InContact infotainment system is housed in an Eight-inch touchscreen that will also be managed by way of dashboard-mounted dial. I used to be actually hoping for a revamp of this tech within the QX80’s 2018 mannequin 12 months refresh, however alas, it is nonetheless the identical, outdated system as earlier than.

First, there’s the irritating course of of getting to pair telephones by way of Bluetooth as soon as to make calls, and a second time to take heed to music. If I wish to take heed to podcasts, it is a Bluetooth-only affair. And whereas it would be simple to work round that by utilizing Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, neither can be found. Great.

2018 Infiniti QX80

The inside of the QX80 is all leather-based, on a regular basis. 


The navigation system is usually nice, albeit with growing older graphics. One obvious downside is you can’t seek for locations by class, so when looking for “food” as a result of it is time for dinner, InContact solely returns locations with “food” within the title. Guess I am not attending to Souplantation tonight.

Wireless smartphone charging is not obtainable, however first and second rows get two USB ports every, and the QX80 has Wi-Fi connectivity.

How I might spec it

The 2018 QX80 begins at $64,750 for a rear-wheel drive mannequin, however my totally loaded tester with all-wheel drive is a full $20,000 costlier.

For my cash, I might spend the $three,100 to get all-wheel drive. I might nix the $2,400 rear-seat theater package deal (a pair of iPads will do the identical factor for much less cash), and would save $2,800 by eschewing the 22-inch wheels in favor of the usual 20s. The Driver Assistance Package provides all of the helpful security tech, and feels nicely definitely worth the $2,900. A harder choice is whether or not or to not get the Deluxe Technology Package, with the sensible rear-view mirror and Hydraulic Body Motion Control. It’s expensive, at $7,500, although additionally features a 15-speaker Bose audio system and adaptive entrance lighting. Infiniti even presents a enjoyable 10×10 tent that attaches to the hatch, and since I prefer to camp, I might most likely spring the $350 on that accent.

Tough competitors

The swanky new Lincoln Navigator might be had with niceties like an adaptive suspension and panoramic sunroof. The Cadillac Escalade is a bit outdated, however with Magnetic Ride Control, it is nonetheless nicer to drive. Both of those rivals supply Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and rather more trendy expertise total. The Mercedes-Benz GLS is arguably the very best to drive of the entire set, and comes with that shiny Three-Pointed Star on its nostril for added cachet.

As it stands, the massive QX80 is simple to drive and many comfy, however falls behind the competitors. The engine is nothing to jot down residence about, and its InContact infotainment system is basically unhealthy. It could also be fresh-faced for 2018, however till it will get a full redo, it’s going to at all times be a step behind different full-size luxurious SUVs.


Publish Date: 2018-05-07 11:10:04

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