Infiniti’s big, handsome, and upscale QX80 SUV offers room for the whole family but isn’t quite as luxurious or as well rounded as its more premium rivals. A V-8 engine is standard, which sets the QX80 apart from competitors such as the BMW X7 and the Mercedes-Benz GLS-class, and buyers can choose from rear- or all-wheel drive. The QX80’s roomy cabin can be outfitted with seven or eight seats, all of which offer a good amount of cushioning and genuine leather upholstery. Plus, Infiniti provides many driver-assistance features for no additional charge. But the value proposition suffers a bit when you consider that the Nissan Armada, from which the QX80 derives, can be spec’d with nearly as many luxuries as the Infiniti. The QX80 boasts attractive styling and luxury-brand cachet, but there are more compelling offerings out there.
What’s New for 2021?
Infiniti has reconfigured the QX80 lineup to include a new mid-range Premium Select trim and a high-end Sensory model for 2021. It also added standard driver-assistance features such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. The QX80 Premium Select wears unique styling elements, including dark-chrome exterior trim, 22-inch wheels, and matte-brown interior embellishments with either a Sahara Stone or Truffle Brown color scheme. The Sensory model is the most luxurious and comes with chrome bits on the outside, quilted semi-aniline leather upholstery and burlwood trim on the inside, a hydraulically controlled suspension, and a large rear-view mirror that doubles as a digital display for a rear-facing camera.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
- Luxe: $70,445
- Premium Select: $74,745
- Sensory: $81,595
Given the Sensory model’s price brushes elbows with that of the new GLS-class and a well-optioned X7, we’d stick with the Luxe model. It offers plenty of luxury features to keep occupants happy, such as genuine leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel with heat, second-row captain’s chairs, a 13-speaker Bose stereo system, in-dash navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio, and adaptive cruise control.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
In our testing, the 400-hp 5.6-liter V-8 and seven-speed automatic transmission launched the three-ton Infiniti to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. While that’s speedy given this SUV’s size, every other competitor we tested was even quicker. Still, we loved the engine’s smooth power delivery and snappy throttle response. Too bad it was hard to hustle on the highway, with a transmission that hesitated to downshift. But around town, this Infiniti galloped with grace, its exhaust note growling after heavy-footed accelerator applications. A comfortable ride couldn’t make up for the fact that the QX80 felt less athletic than the GLS450. So if you’re looking for a mega-luxury SUV with sharp driving dynamics, you should look elsewhere; the Infiniti’s serene character will satisfy buyers who want to be coddled.
Towing and Payload Capacity
The QX80 can tow 8500 pounds in either the rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive configuration, which beats the Mercedes’s rating by 1000 pounds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Simply put, the QX80 has awful fuel economy. Its rivals have substantially better ratings. What’s more, the version we tested underachieved on our highway test circuit, earning 17 mpg in the real world versus its EPA-estimated rating of 19 mpg.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
While the Infiniti’s interior is comfortable and quiet, the design has barely changed since the ute debuted in 2011 as the QX56. Likewise, features that we’ve come to expect on luxury vehicles (such as a panoramic sunroof, massaging seats, and a head-up display) aren’t available. Still, the spacious cabin is well built and includes a standard third row. While the QX80 can accommodate adults back there, several competitors offer roomier setups. The Infiniti has standard second-row captain’s chairs that can be swapped for a three-seat bench. Those who can’t find enough space to store their property inside the QX80 should appear on an episode of Hoarders. The Infiniti has ample interior cubby space, and it held the most luggage behind the third row among similar-size rivals.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The QX80’s touchscreen infotainment system—called InTouch—is easy to use but unremarkable. While the screens are responsive and a mobile hotspot is available without spending a fortune, every luxury competitor has a better interface and features. The QX80 comes with 12-volt outlets and four USB ports. The optional Theater package adds another USB port and a 120-volt outlet. It also includes the rear-seat entertainment system, consisting of two 8.0-inch screens fitted to the back of the front-seat headrests.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The QX80 earned a four-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) but has not been evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Every model also has standard driver-assistance technology such as forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking. More advanced driver-assistance technology is optional. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The QX80 has a competitive warranty that’s highlighted by the longest limited coverage and corrosion protection in its class. Unfortunately, Infiniti doesn’t offer the complimentary scheduled maintenance that most competitors do.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 60,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers six years or 70,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
More Features and Specs