New Infiniti adds more tech, enhances ride of luxo SUV
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The 2018 Infiniti QX80 is really big and really luxurious. Having said that, it is important to note this is a three-row body-on-frame transporter whose days may be numbered, but still manages to impress with everything it does, and everything it does is done with refinement and class.
Massive land-roving luxury like you find in the new Infiniti QX80 is notable for three very important aspects of the high-end three-row SUV market: one, a classy and sophisticated cabin pampers passengers at the very highest levels; two, optional 4-wheel drive delivers sure-footed connection in any weather or environment; three, if you need to tow – the QX80 can pull with the best of them.
This model year, Infiniti provided the aging QX80’s with revised exterior cues, including new, more prominent grille with a new LED headlamp and foglamp design. The new cut is sleeker and it makes this hulking frame (210.2 in. long) look a lot more streamlined. Additionally, look for the same impressive replacements for the taillamps and rear bumper.
Standard 20-inch rims look amazing on the QX80. An optional 22-inch rim, featuring forged aluminum alloy, rides on 275/50R-22 all-season tires with a slightly softer sidewall that engineers explain adds more comfort to the elevated ride. QX80 comes with either rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive.
The tried-and-true 5.6-liter V8 delivers a massive 400 horsepower (mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission) that delivers the expected acceleration for a heavy SUV that weighs in at 5,676 lbs. Towing capacity is a stellar 8,500 lbs.
My tester’s 4WD settings were easily reached and offered automatic, 4-high and 4-low choices at the flick of a switch. Look for fuel economy to be right where you would expect it to be: 13 City/19 Hwy
Front-row seating and vision is superb. Power adjustments, as well as heated and cooled seating, deliver refinement and comfort at the highest levels. Second row leg- and headroom is plentiful, with optimal access to the third row with seats that easily flip-and-tumble for access. Room in the third row is close comfort, but bigger than almost everything out there.
There are three climate zones, a phone pocket ahead of the two cupholders in the front console, and those cup holders now feature a notch for coffee mugs and their handles.
One gripe was the woodgrain plastic on the dash and console, it really felt a bit ‘below’ the level of the Infiniti’s overall refinement.
There’s a new information/entertainment screen with high-resolution plus two additional USB ports, and wireless headphones for the rear entertainment system. The kids will love the interface and distraction from the road.
The QX80 actually offers two variations of leather, including a semi-aniline upgrade and both with a stain-resistant coating. A gorgeous saddle-brown interior was in my tester and it had distinct French stitching.
A new digital rearview mirror operates off the rear camera, so you can see what’s behind you even if somethings stacked to the headliner. It’s adjustable for height and brightness, and if you prefer old school mirrors, no problem, you can turn it off and use it as a regular mirror.
Infiniti also has added new driver-assist automation features. Look for a predictive forward-collision warning that can see two vehicles ahead, lane-departure warning and prevention, intelligent cruise control with distance-control assist, forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, and back-up collision warning.
With a base price of $68,845, the add-ons for the 2018 Infiniti QX80 can push the cost up above $83k. Is this an SUV worth looking into? It is if you want to tow something, stay plated to the road in any condition and be wrapped in exquisite, luxurious refinement on any length trip.
This auto review was researched and written by SteinPro Content Services and provided to the Sun-Times for publication