2018 INFINITI QX80 Review


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2018 INFINITI QX80 Overview

First hitting the market in 2004, Infiniti’s then named QX56 became their largest SUV. After a comprehensive redesign in 2011 and 2014 revamp, Infiniti renamed it the QX80. For the 2018 model year, the QX80 gets another facelift to match Infiniti’s latest design cues.

The front end is instantly recognizable as new. It trades the QX80’s characteristic low-set headlights for new units that flank the top of a new, squared-off grille. There’s a chrome ‘moustache’ above the lower grille and deep recesses that house slimmer fog lights. The QX80’s sides see new front fender openings and wheel designs. The rear echoes the front, with new taillights and a more smoothly integrated license-plate recess. Overall, the exterior styling is bolder and more elegant than earlier models.

The QX80’s interior has received plenty of attention, too. Similar shapes are now swathed in rich new colors and improved materials including an optional semi-aniline quilted leather. Storage spaces have been reconfigured to address today’s technology needs.

The cabin continues to be comfortable in the QX80. The 121.1-inch wheelbase and 208.9-inch length exceed several competitors’ market entries. There’s seating for seven, several USB ports, an (optional) entertainment system with larger displays, and extensive soundproofing to reduce engine and road noise.

The QX80 is powered by a familiar 5.6-liter 8-cylinder engine and 7-speed automatic transmission, putting out the same 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque as the previous model year. The standard drivetrain sends all power to the rear wheels, but there’s an available four-wheel-drive (4WD) system with multiple modes. In the default “auto” mode, it favors the rear axle, but redistributes torque between front and rear as demands change. It can also be locked into permanent high and low 4WD modes. The system is supported by a torque vectoring system that applies individual brakes to control cornering and stability. All of this is good for 14 mpg city, 20 highway, and 16 combined on premium fuel. Fuel ratings drop to 13, 19, and 15 with 4WD. With towing capacity reaching as much as 8,500 pounds, the QX80 is impressive for its class.

Size gives vehicles like the QX80 an advantage on the road, but Infiniti keeps focused on safety by offering a full suite of features, including forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, and rear collision intervention. One new option for 2018 is a digital rearview mirror. Typically displaying the physical mirror, drivers can press a button to access a built-in LCD with a wide-angle camera feed if their view is obstructed. The 2018 QX80 has not been crash-tested at this time.

The QX80 is Infiniti’s flagship, so it’s fitting that it should get an implementation of the brand’s current school of design. In a world where few large traditional luxury SUVs exist the 2018 QX80 offers buyers a vehicle with competitive curb appeal and a luxe interior.


Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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