2015 Infiniti QX80 Limited

2015 Infiniti QX80 AWD Limited Review

High, but not very mighty.

By: David Merline

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: October 13th, 2015

The Infiniti QX80 began life as the QX56, which was a gussied-up version of the Nissan Armada. In 2011 it got its own platform, and in 2014 it got a major refresh to go with its new alphanumeric name.

  • Exterior

    Coming from the luxury arm of Japanese automaker Nissan, it's not surprising that the QX80 has the gigantic proportions of a Nissan truck. Nissan makes its trucks big and beefy, and that styling has crept up into the Infiniti brand.

    Unfortunately, the massive bumper and high-hood look works much better on a pickup truck, which is supposed to look tough, but on a high-end luxury SUV it looks downright ridiculous.

    This was probably less of an issue when the QX56 debuted, way back when large SUVs were in vogue, but now the gargantuan proportions seem ridiculous. The front and rear bumpers dominate, and come to a height of about four feet.

    The massive, gaping grille also seems out of date, ad most automakers have toned down the front-end bling. It's meant to appeal to Land Rover lovers, but rather than looking like a luxury off roader, it just looks like an SUV with a fat lip.

  • Interior

    The interior of the QX80 is a study in overstatement. Any surface not covered in leather or wood trim is soft plastic or even softer Alcantara. The cabin has the over-stuffed, over-appointed look of a set of chintzy 1970s living room set. The seating position is ridiculously high. While most SUVs and crossovers give you a van-like seating height, the QX80 puts your seat at somewhere about those other SUVs' rooflines.

    Sound deadening is decent, but the cabin is far from silent, and even farther from as quiet as you'd expect from a near $100,000-vehicle. Road noise is easily masked by the Bose surround-sound system, which is likewise nice, but not luxury-car nice.

    The big appeal with the QX80 is the easy-to-operate second- and third-row seats. Configurability is key in an SUV, and the QX80 is easy to turn into a wagon, or a three-seater, although the total amount of cargo space is shockingly slight for such a massive car.

    The QX80 is loaded with features, which is befitting its luxury-level price tag. Heated steering wheel, heated first and second-row seats, massive moon roof, 8-way power driver's seat, heated power exterior mirrors, lighted running boards, etc.

  • On the Road

    While many people will opt for the QX80 based on its ride height (it has to be the highest seating position this side of a tower crane), not many are likely to choose it for its ride. This is a monstrous vehicle - there's no way around it. It's difficult to navigate turns in it, and were it not for the 360-degree cameras, it would be impossible to park without hitting another car, a parking berm, or a wall.

    Thanks to its 5.6-liter V-8, the QX80 is never lacking for power. The vast majority of that power (and the bulk of the money you'll sink into the gas tank) goes toward just getting this behemoth moving, however. Even if this SUV handled like anything other than a very large truck, driving it fast would be an exercise in outrageously antisocial recklessness.

  • Conclusion

    The Infiniti QX80 is for the person who has a ton of money to spend on a car, doesn't need a whole lot of interior space, and likes to waste gas. Everyone else could easily find a better alternative.

  • Specs & Prices

    Engine: 5.6-liter naturally-aspirated V-8

    Transmission: 7-speed automatic transmission

    Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, four-wheel drive

    Power Output: 400 hp / 413 lb-ft

    Fuel Economy (mpg): 13 city / 19 highway

    Base Price: $88,850

    As Tested: $89,845 (includes $995 destination charge)

    Available Features:

    Leather-wrapped grab handle, heated second-row seats, heated leather-wrapped tilt/telescope steering wheel, power sliding moonroof, power rear liftgate, 7-inch color touchscreen with navigation, remote engine start, intelligent cruise control, Bluetooth, Bose Cabin Surround sound system with 15-speakers, USB ports

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