Road Test: 2017 Infiniti QX80 Limited

QX80 offers an unmatched combination of power, strength and premium style, and it’s capable of transporting up to eight adults and their belongings in spacious elegance. With the opportunity to spend some time with a Mocha Almond QX80 Limited, we truly experienced Infiniti’s flagship luxury SUV. Trim levels include QX80, QX80 AWD and QX80 AWD Limited.

Ride and Handling
QX80 rides as any flagship luxury cruising hauler should: comfortably, securely and with confidence. The unique twin-tube shock absorbers and Hydraulic Body Motion Control system reduces body lean in turns, while the auto rear leveling suspension system maintains uniform ground clearance and angles while hauling heavy cargo or towing.

Handling is impressive for such a large vehicle weighing three tons. It was no Q60S, but it moved quickly and felt secure doing it.

Very stylish dark chrome 22″ alloys are standard with all-season tires.

Braking is provided by 4-wheel disc brakes (13.8-inch vented discs front and rear). 4-wheel Active Brake Limited-Slip (ABLS) is standard on every QX80. Braking feel is linear and strong.

Powertrain and Fuel Economy
QX80 is equipped with a 400 horsepower 5.6-liter V8 engine routing power through a 7-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control and manual shift mode with Downshift Rev-Matching. Response is excellent and the QX80 feels strong.

Around town and highway driving is smooth and easy; we never felt we needed more power. The three-ton SUV moves around effortlessly and beautifully.

Haulers will be happy with the 8,500-pound towing capacity and Trailer Sway Control.

During our typical drive week of mixed local and highway driving, fuel economy averages in at 17.4 mpg. The EPA rates the QX80 of 13 mpg city, 19 mpg highway, and 15 mpg combined.

QX80 is bank-vault quiet, with total noise isolation from the outside world.

QX80’s dark finish LED high- and low-beam headlights work beautifully. with windshield wiper interlock, LED fog lights and LED turn signals. The High Beam Assist headlight function, standard on all models, utilizes a forward camera to read oncoming or upcoming traffic and automatically dips the high beams to the low-beam setting. The high-beam setting is restored when the traffic is clear.

Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) with auto-leveling headlights and headlight washers is also available. Other exterior features include LED taillights and special lighting under the brushed-finish running boards. A dark chrome finish is added to the upper and lower grille surround, fog light surround, side vents, roof rails and crossbars, A-pillar finisher, door handles, license plate surround and side mirror caps.

Interior Fit and Finish
Where to begin. Everything is wrapped in leather or suede and stitching. Everything feels absolutely superb.

The speaker grilles on the instrument panel are also leather-wrapped. Even the assist handles are covered in leather, and the center cluster features special silver accenting.

QX80 Limited stands out with a unique Truffle Brown interior environment marked by a palette of brown, black and silver leather and wood appointments and trim. Along with the special Truffle Brown semi-aniline leather-appointed seats, there is unique seat quilting with silver accent piping.

The seats themselves have the appearance and feel of contemporary leather furniture. They’re extremely comfortable and supportive, with an 10-way drive and 8-way passenger adjustments. It includes a standard dual occupant memory system for the driver’s seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors. The heated, Mocha Burl and leather-wrapped steering wheel feels stupendous.

The front seats are climate-controlled (heating and cooling functions) with heated second-row seats.

The wood trim is unique to the QX80 AWD Limited – natural-tone genuine Ash wood selected for its “open pore” look and matte finish. The second row follows the same pattern as the front seats, with open pore wood trim on the doors and center console finisher, along with leather-wrapped assist handles.

The headliner and pillars (A-, B- and C-pillars) are also covered with an Ultrasuede leather lining. The steering wheel, too, is wrapped in special high-grade, smooth leather. Completing the long list of interior enhancements are unique stainless steel lighted doorsills.

The second-row captain’s chairs offer a tip-up function for easy third-row entry/exit.

The third-row seat is a 60/40-split power folding design. The second-row center console includes two cup holders and two storage bins.

A 16.6 cubic foot cargo space for luggage is provided with the third-row seat up.

Visibility all around is excellent. Thin A-pillars and a commanding view allow for excellent sightlines. Power-folding sideview mirrors with auto-dimming aid in tight parking spots.

Around View Monitor creates a virtual 360° view of objects around the vehicle, making maneuvering into parking spots easy.

Sun visors block all sun glare when positioned over the side windows.

Gauges and Controls
Crisp, well-lit gauges and controls provide all information at a quick glance. All critical info is easily accessible and the retention of high quality buttons and knobs with large labels is excellent.

Everything is well-organized easy to operate while the QX80 is in motion.

QX80 comes standard with a Bose 15-speaker Cabin Surround sound system. The touchscreen 8″ display projects nav and several key pieces of information. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available. Inputs include CD/DVD player, SiriusXM, USB, and Streaming Audio via Bluetooth. Wi-Fi capability is optional.

The Theater Package on our test vehicle features dual 7-inch color monitors mounted in the front headrests, two pairs of wireless headphones, wireless remote control, auxiliary input jacks and 120V power outlet. The system allows playback of games or movies for rear passengers, while front occupants listen to audio at the same time.  The two 7-inch color monitors include an auto-bright system that adjusts for daytime, clouds/evening and night/tunnel lighting.

Bluetooth audio phone quality was excellent.

For 2017, all QX80s are available with Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Backup Collision Intervention, Intelligent Cruise Control, Blind Spot Warning, Distance Control Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Prevention, and Blind Spot Intervention.

We love Distance Control Assist as a driving aid, pushing back on the gas pedal or changing transmission gearing in certain situations when a vehicle ahead is too close. It works seamlessly and should be on every vehicle.

Lane Departure Prevention works well, braking individual wheels to pull the QX80 back into the lane.

Intelligent Cruise Control did a beautiful job of maintaining our highway and stop-and-go distance from vehicles ahead. It accelerates smoothly and with confidence, with not overly conservative or aggressive following distances.

We appreciate the blind-spot warning system notifications in the front doors opposite the side mirrors instead of in the mirror itself; it’s easier to see in all lighting conditions, and the brightness is adjustable in the customization menu.

Lastly, Backup Collision Intervention triggered on a few instances when getting close to some tall lilies. It’s impressive and could save a life, or at the very least prevent damage to the vehicle. We commend Infiniti for being one of the few automakers to offer such a system on several vehicles across their portfolio.

Front and rear sonar sensors and the aforementioned Around View Monitor system make parking a breeze.

Crash Test Results
QX80 has not been tested by the IIHS or NHTSA, but we expect it to earn top ratings.

Summary Scorecard (1-10)
Ride and Handling 10
Braking 9
Powertrain and Fuel Economy 8
Noise 10
Headlights 10
Interior Fit and Finish 10
Seating 10
Visibility 10
Gauges and Controls 10
Infotainment 10
Crash-Avoidance 10
Total Score 97
Make: Infiniti
Model: QX80
Trim Level: Limited
Engine: 5.6L V8
Transmission: 7-Speed Automatic
Options: None
Base Price: $89,450
As-Tested Price: $90,445

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