Auto123 tests the 2021 Infiniti QX80.
The Infiniti QX80 is perhaps one of the most misunderstood SUVs on the North American market. In fact, the QX80 is perhaps one of the most misunderstood vehicles in the industry.
This misunderstanding is due to its appearance. It’s gargantuan, to begin with. Then, with its big chrome grille, its headlights and its 22-inch-tu-moi-vu wheels, it offers a presence to spare on the road. Even the color of the model tested suited him perfectly. Note, however, that mirrors offering the same color rather than blinding chrome would be appropriate.
Other than that, the QX80 has always been endowed with one of the most distinctive styling, both in terms of lines and details. This reality has always been polarizing for the model.
But here is the problem. While the QX80 – and the QX56 before it – has always eclipsed the competition in this regard, styling in the luxury SUV universe has become increasingly distinctive. The new Cadillac Escalade, for example, differs greatly from its predecessor. The Lincoln Navigator is a real juggernaut on the road – especially in the long wheelbase version, which Infiniti does not offer for the QX80 by the way -. And have you seen the grille of the BMW X7, or even the smaller Genesis GV80?
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The QX80 no longer has a monopoly on me-you-saw style. And this is all the more true since the update of 2018 which saw Infiniti soften the lines of the facies and give to its SUV a less bulging and more refined aspect.
This may have irritated some, but while style matters, there are so many other things worth considering when it comes to moving forward with buying a a new full-size luxury SUV. And in the case of the QX80, the truth is that it has a lot going for it, especially when it comes to value.
The fully-equipped seven-seat ProActive version I tried cost $ 87,998 (there’s also an eight-seat version that costs $ 500 less, while the base Luxe version starts at $ 79,998). The only option my model had – paint – drove the bill up to $ 88,748. A few more options can be added, but nothing really noticeable.
With this fully loaded QX80 you get an excellent four-wheel drive system, interior features like leather seats, USB-C and USB-A ports, rear seat entertainment, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto apps. , a 17-speaker Bose audio system, a digital rear-view mirror, heated and ventilated front and second row seats, a heated steering wheel, three-zone climate control, 12 cup holders, as well as third row power folding seats.
A good price-performance ratio
And that’s without forgetting all the driving aids such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistance, forward collision warning and adaptive headlights. There are even adaptive shocks and, although they are not the magnetic type like on the GMC Yukon / Chevrolet Tahoe / Cadillac Escalade triplets, they are not as efficient as on General Motors products. However, it’s nice to be able to count on them.
To get a similarly equipped Navigator, it takes about $ 100,000; Escalade will raise the bill to nearly $ 120,000. What about the Germans? Forget them! Even a high-end Chevrolet Tahoe High Country costs about the same. The QX80 therefore has an absolutely correct price.
Good price ?
The QX80 hasn’t really been redesigned since the 2011 model year. So it’s showing signs of age. There are no real styling efforts on board, just large, wide surfaces and right angles, although these are interrupted by the dual-screen multimedia system.
Leather looks a bit cheap and the third row of seats is less spacious than the competition. In addition, some modern technological elements, such as wireless charging and heads-up display, are missing.
Still, I wasn’t too embarrassed by the whole thing, although the material of the seats started to bother me after a while, as did the slowness with which the third row of seats stowed and unfolded. . Despite everything, we enjoy it on board and we have the impression of being behind the wheel of a damn high-performance vehicle.
In this department, we have under the hood a big naturally aspirated 5.6-liter V8 that develops 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, power that is transmitted to all four wheels by a seven-speed automatic transmission. It’s the same powertrain found in the Titan pickup truck, but it also has its origins in an engine used in some racing versions of parent company Nissan’s GT-R. That is what is said.
The QX80 weighs over 2,600 kg. Consequently, we cannot therefore say that it is agile, but that does not mean that it does not deliver its power smoothly and over a wide rev range. You feel like he’s unstoppable when he does. No wonder it can tow almost 3,900 kg.
Overall, beyond the numbers, the QX80 is an awesome, honest, courageous and, yes, even pretty SUV. He does not hide his intentions and his abilities.
Of course, it’s a bit rustic and its handling is not as pleasant as that of GM products. But it is still attractive to climb aboard and enjoy its luxury, big engine and plenty of space inside. There are no other complexities than those related to the technical equipment of the cabin, just generous power and a high entry cost.
Excellent value for money
Heavy-duty powertrain and chassis
We like less
Disappointing third row
Inexpensive leather-to-touch surfaces
The main competition
Chevrolet Tahoe High Country
Ford Expedition Platinum
GMC Yukon Denali
Lexus LX 470
Mercedes-Benz GLS 450