The Infiniti QX80 is the flagship in the Infiniti lineup and definitely the largest luxury SUV they have to offer. We found that to be an awesome deal when the weekend presented us with a chance to head out to dinner with some of our extended family.
We took the opportunity to fill all the seats in the QX80 by taking Craig’s mom Pat, his sister Marci, her son Max and our grandson Jensen out for the night. Even with six inside the full-sized SUV, there was still room for one more in the rear seat.
Coming with captain’s chairs for the second row, both Marci and Pat were very comfortable on the ride; they really enjoyed the added heat in the seats as the night in mid-April was a little chilly. Having the rear seat for the two boys proved to be the best part as they were somewhat separated from the adult conversation, and with a Wi-Fi system that would accept up to seven devices, they kept quiet with iPads in hand.
In 2018, the QX80 went through a mid-cycle refresh, and this year Infiniti has chosen to change the trim level names of their flagship. The 2021 version is offered in three models: the QX80 Luxe, QX80 Premium Select and the QX80 Sensory at the top of the line, with our test ride coming as a Premium Select with four-wheel drive.
Over the years, we have been drawn to the looks of all the SUV models in the Infiniti line, as the company has shied away from going with sharper angles on the exterior of the vehicle, instead opting for a more rounded and, quite frankly, sophisticated, upscale look. We have always loved that about Nissan as a whole, taking chances on design and then making changes if things didn’t work out quite as planned.
For the QX80, the design works and draws buyers to the very large luxury SUV, only being outsold in the marketplace by the Cadillac Escalade, which features a much boxier look. Having driven all three of the large luxury SUVs this past year — QX80, Escalade and Lexus LX575 — we would opt for the Infiniti simply because of its unique looks and the fact it comes with all of Nissan’s 4x4 DNA included.
The Premium Select Edition that landed in our driveway was loaded with many bells and whistles, including the new dual touch screen setup that Infiniti has added into all their new models. We have become very enthralled with this new setup.
It works very well with an 8-inch screen on the top and an accompanying 7-inch screen below, and both are high definition. This allowed us to keep the navigation running at all times on the top with radio or climate being controlled on the bottom — or even better, our phones.
There are other manufacturers that have larger screens, even elongated up-and-down screens, but they have to be set up for different configurations and when we want something different on the screen we would lose navigation. Having driven a number of Infinitis since they implemented this system, we think this is a better way to do it. Hopefully this design may eventually find its way into some of the other Nissan models.
We would liken the interior of the QX80 unto a luxury jet liner as the front two rows were plush leather captain’s chairs. This does bring up the point that the Premium Select set up this way will only seat a total of seven for the ride with the second row being captains seating.
Up front, the luxury just seems to go on and on, with heated seating, a heated steering wheel, climate control and infotainment. This was all hooked up to a 17-speaker Bose 5.1 surround sound system that made whatever we played come out in true high fidelity.
The steering wheel after being heated was also power adjustable. Again, it’s the little extras that make a big difference in the luxury world.
On the safety side, the QX80 came with everything we would have expected, including lane departure warning and prevention, blind spot monitoring with intervention, rear cross path detection and intervention, forward collision warning and intervention, and trailer sway control. There was also a very nice adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams.
One needs to remember that the QX80 is a very large SUV and comes with a larger stance and larger motor with the 5.6-liter V8 that produces a very nice 400 horsepower and 413 foot-pounds of torque. EPA estimates put the large Infiniti at 15 mpg combined and we managed an even better at 17.6 mpg for the week that included pretty much everyday driving.
Included this year is what Infiniti dubs their enhanced Smart Rear View Mirror, which basically turns the mirror into an LED screen that has a rear view from a camera mounted on the QX80. It is a cool system and takes some getting used to, but with an SUV full of riders it definitely gives a much better view of what’s behind.
On the towing side, the QX80 comes standard with a package to allow for pulling all your toys and/or camping trailers around. With a capacity of 8,500 pounds, it should prove more than adequate for most any family adventure, with the great news being it will easily hold seven passengers in complete and total comfort on the way to said adventure!
The new 2021 QX80 made for a great family hauler and would be the perfect match for those who want to make the journey in complete comfort and also allow for any type of off-road experience the family would want to take.
Base price: $76,450
Price as driven: $79,490