There’s still a lot of demand for large, luxurious SUVs. Even in spite of the mad rush by many car makers to get a compact crossover in their ranges. In fact, it’s hard to think of any premium car maker that doesn’t offer a large 4x4 model nowadays. Unsurprisingly, then, Infiniti also has its own gargantuan ‘soft-roader’ in the form of the huge QX80, complete with a giant V8 gasoline engine and availability in an eight-seater configuration.
How does it look like?
The 2019 redesign is a welcome update, and while it's still not pretty, it's much more attractive than before. The front fascia has a more streamlined look with LED running lights and headlights. The rear end also gets a nip/tuck, with redesigned tail lamps and turn signals that are placed low on the bumper.
What about the interior and tech?
The interior touches are more noticeable, especially the leather and Alcantara seat trim complete with quilting and contrast piping and stitching. It's joined by a leather-wrapped steering wheel, open-pore wood trim, a suede headliner, and metal door sills with a “LIMITED” script. Before diving into how the VC engine works, let’s touch on some of the new QX80’s other technologies. Driver assistance features are finding their place among the most important factors in new vehicle purchases – especially when it comes to luxury products. To satisfy safety-conscious consumers, Infiniti introduces its Pro Pilot Assist driver aids on the 2019 QX80. Designed to reduce fatigue and respond quickly to emergency situations, Pro Pilot Assist includes adaptive cruise control, braking assistance, and lane keeping measures.
What does the engine offer?
Infiniti fundamentally changes how it delivers power with the 2019 QX80's new engine. Under the hood, a 2.0-liter turbo-4 can vary how much power it delivers based on need by varying its displacement. It's a nifty trick that involves vast amounts of engineering brainpower but operates seamlessly for drivers. The bottom line is a 30-percent gain in fuel economy returns over the last generation. The EPA rates the QX80 up to 27 mpg combined.
How is it to drive?
Lightly weighted steering with a relatively quick-feeling ratio augments the Infiniti’s perched-on-its-axles sensation while helping to mask its considerable size with fleet changes in direction. It’s neither nimble or confidence inspiring, but neither is anything else in this class excepting only the Mercedes-Benz GLS-class. At least it doesn’t feel as if you are piloting the S.S. Infiniti. With its four-wheel independent suspension, the vehicle’s ride, is generally good, unlike most similarly sized behemoths that use live rear axles. Plenty of driver's aids and a new digital rearview camera mirror means the QX80 is a comfortable and easy ride.
How much does it cost?
Much like its distant and considerably smaller cousin, the Nissan Murano, the Infiniti QX80’s big USP outside of the optional eight-seater configuration is the asking price. With the range starting at $63,250, the Infiniti is roughly the same price like-for-like as a Lincoln Navigator, and substantially cheaper to purchase initially than, say, a Cadillac Escalade, Land Rover Range Rover, Toyota Land Cruiser or Lexus LX.