Big SUVs are trendy again, so our friends at Infiniti have revised their most popular model. The QX80 is the largest in their lineup, and it is much more than a comfortable Nissan Armada. We have experienced every member of Infiniti’s QX lineup, and they fall somewhere between quirky and nonconformist.
Some will be quick to disclose their feelings about Japanese full-size SUVs, until they experience one. We spent a week with a 2018 Limited Edition, and it sent mixed signals. Styling is unique and polarizing. Being a luxury brand, the paint quality was downright poor. Their target audience doesn’t care about orange peel, but it could sure use a wet sanding before delivery.
Inside you are treated to a gorgeous interior. Leather everywhere is pleasing, and visibility is great. The touchscreen has all the latest navigation and connectivity, but some of the most important controls are set into the same silver plastic found in every Nissan product. My gripe is the buttons are small and flush with the background. Controls on the steering wheel are not ergonomic, and the climate system is mounted very low. It forces your eyes off the road to make a simple adjustment.
Once you learn the unconventional controls, driving is a breeze. It is the first SUV to have a hydraulic active suspension system, with all corners linked by high-pressure accumulators. Some would consider it over-engineered, but the QX80 offers an incredibly smooth ride. The only engine offered is the sturdy 5.6L V8. It sends 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque to a 4WD transfer case.
Don’t venture too far off the pavement because the 6,140 lbs of curb weight might give you a sinking feeling. The weight also plays a part in fuel economy, with a city rating of 13 mpg and only 19 on the highway. We couldn’t get close to these numbers, so you have been warned. The base price starts at $65,400, but that does not include many options you are accustomed to. This is a unique vehicle that appeals to a niche market, and perhaps it has your name on it. Click the link below to find yours and stay with us for more insightful reviews.