2021 Infiniti QX80
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 the 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 drives, 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.
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.
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-sized rivals.