The QX80 is a more luxurious version of the tough-as-nails Nissan Patrol, used by the United Nations, and seen in videos from some of the harshest environments on Earth. It plays the same role in Infiniti’s lineup as the LX570 does in Lexus’: flagship SUV that can also survive the Apocalypse. It looks modern and muscular since a redesign in 2018, and for this year Infiniti updates its electronics suite to work with Android and Apple phones, meaning the company’s somewhat complex interfaces no longer need put people off. The QX80 cockpit is beautifully built of uniformly high quality materials in a way that the Ford Expedition—even in its top models—isn’t, yet is priced tens of thousands lower than luxury competition like the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator. Its third row is somewhat cramped compared to the newest offerings; however, meaning that those who routinely carry six or seven need to pack carefully.
Infiniti celebrates three decades as a company with various Edition 30 models, including one for the QX80. Included are unique, 22-inch forged wheels, blacked out trim and a graphite headliner for the interior. The test vehicle also had the company’s latest suite of driver aids, dubbed Proassist and comprising adaptive cruise, lane assist and autonomous emergency braking. The first two worked very well; thankfully the latter wasn’t ever called upon. The long-serving, 5.6-liter V8 still pulls hard and sounds great; its 400hp/413lb-ft of grunt are seamlessly deployed by a 7-speed auto and AWD system that still also offer low range for touch rock crawling or pulling a boat out of the water. The QX80’s suspension has been updated over the years, and it rides better than many other machines on such large wheels, and has better body control than the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Lexus and the Lincoln. But change is happening in this class, brought on by the likes of the BMW X7 and Mercedes GLS series 7-seaters, whose more contemporary platforms can make rigs like the Infiniti feel slow-witted dynamically. They’re unlikely to give the kind of reliability the Infiniti has proven itself with over the years, though, and don’t seem to have quite the value of the QX80, which can be bought, well equipped, for below $80,000.
EPA Ratings: 13/19/15mpg
0-60mph: 5.9sec (indep test)
Price as tested: $76,150
Here is what Infiniti has to say.
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