Licensing Consultant

Not just any technology

2021 Infiniti QX80 review: All that glitters is not gold

The QX80 casts an imposing shadow in targeted visitors. Andrew Krok/Roadshow The 2021 Infiniti QX80...

The QX80 casts an imposing shadow in targeted visitors.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 is a basically fantastic three-row luxury SUV. However, context is generally crucial, and when considered by the exact same lens as its newer rivals — like a simply call that’s coming from inside of the residence, so to talk — all its shiny bits may well not be as shiny.


  • Easy, powerful powertrain
  • Luxury-delicate journey
  • Oodles of passenger house

Will not Like

  • Worse tech than the Armada
  • Ageing styling
  • Way too thirsty

Top quality seems and ease and comfort galore

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 has cosmopolitan fantastic seems, some of which have more than from a 2018 update, even though the rest stem from a 2020-product-yr interior nip-tuck. When the headlights and taillights now extra closely resemble other fashionable Infiniti models, the normal shape of the system stays the exact same from when it was referred to as the QX56, like the rear bumper’s unattractive underbite. From a front three-quarter look at, however, it is fashionable in all the correct areas, and its 22-inch alloy wheels fill the wells with the correct form of flashiness.

Context at the time again arrives into enjoy inside of the QX80. When I like the layered dashboard, it seems decidedly outdated when when compared to other luxe three-rows these types of as the Mercedes-Benz GLS, Cadillac Escalade or Lincoln Navigator. Heck, even the Nissan Armada — an SUV with which the QX80 shares a platform — feels a move ahead of the Infiniti in this section, specially when the dreadful two-display screen heart stack is the focus. Nonetheless, you will find a good deal of ease and comfort to be identified in in this article, with delicate leather-based on the seats and, effectively, just about all over the place you can get to.

Thinking of the QX80 is approximately the size of a pink dwarf star, it is no surprise that the 2nd and third rows are not too shabby for occupants, either. My Top quality Decide on tester rocks two captain’s chairs in the 2nd row that are just as comfy as those people in the initially, separated by a heart console sizable plenty of to take care of regardless of what kids want to throw at or in it. Slide either chair forward and you will find sufficient place to sneak to the third row, which is spacious plenty of to residence older people, even though probably not for cross-state highway excursions without the need of some stops to extend.

Luxury isn’t going to impugn on cargo capacity either. With the third row up, the QX80 features a commendable sixteen.six cubic ft. Fall the third row, and that quantity expands to 49.six cubes. Go away just the front row standing, and that quantity grows to a good 95.1 cubic ft. 

Plenty of enthusiasm

The 2021 QX80 reminds me that at times you will find no alternative for displacement. All variants of Infiniti’s honkin’ three-row SUV occur with a 5.six-liter V8 developing 400 horsepower and 413 pound-ft of torque, which is despatched to either two or four wheels (the latter on my tester) by a 7-pace automatic transmission. That is the exact exact same setup as the Armada, feel it or not.

General performance is even keeled across the two fraternal twins, as effectively. Irrespective of a porcine curb pounds of about six,000 pounds, the V8 is keen to select up the QX80’s nose and send out the SUV careening forward with small provocation. The transmission is easy for its age, but some downshifts take a minimal lengthier to sign up than I’d like. Towing admirers will value all that hustle, due to the fact that motive power grants the QX80 an eight,500-pound towing capacity in each 2WD and 4wd variants.

Comfort and ease is at the forefront of the QX80 driving expertise, and the final result is gratifying. The steering is a touch overboosted, which helps make it a minimal less complicated to make directional modifications without the need of upsetting the SUV’s stability on its standard mounted suspension, factors can get a minimal system-roll-large if provoked to move too rapidly. However, involving the dampers and the 275/50R22 Bridgestone Dueler H/T tires, most highway nastiness is vanquished just before it reaches the cabin. Street and tire sounds are delightfully very low in the cabin, too.

All that motive power requires something to kick it off, and regretably, that something is a total great deal o’ gasoline.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

A single point that’s very low, and not in a fantastic way, is the QX80’s gas economy. 4wd variants like my Top quality Decide on tester reach an EPA-estimated 13 miles for every gallon town and 19 mpg highway, with each individual quantity bumping up by 1 for 2WD models. I’m generally really simple on the throttle on the expressway, but achieving EPA estimates took a truthful little bit of concerted hard work.

In all honesty, each the Armada and QX80 push practically precisely the exact same. They experience really equivalent on the highway, irrespective of whether it is steering experience or suspension or braking. They are each capable of towing eight,500 pounds, too. A single of those people vehicles prices a few thousand fewer than the other. What you decide on to do with that details is up to you.

Odd, outdated infotainment

Infiniti requires to place its two-display screen infotainment setup on to a boat and ship it off to Valhalla. It truly is not automatically complicated to use — the map life on the best display screen, even though most of the normal duties are dealt with by the display screen below — it is just nowhere in the vicinity of as fantastic as what rivals can provide, like BMW’s iDrive or Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX. The graphics are considerably various on each individual display screen, even though I’m glad Infiniti upgraded the best show to a resolution that no lengthier resembles a Finest Acquire-acquired Garmin, and neither layout genuinely screams “luxury motor vehicle” to me. At least there are bodily buttons for the local weather controls, which helps make changing them a breeze. Both screens are adequately responsive, however, and fashionable niceties like Apple CarPlay, Android Vehicle and a Wi-Fi hotspot are all tucked in there.

This is the largest challenge, however: The Nissan Armada’s new infotainment is leagues ahead of its luxury-oriented sibling’s, and for fewer funds, to boot. The layout is cleaner, the graphics glimpse like they had been built within the very last yr or two and Apple CarPlay is readily available wirelessly. I can only hope that this procedure helps make its way not just to the QX80, but to all Infiniti models in the future, due to the fact it is much closer to what’s envisioned in a luxury motor vehicle in this selling price variety.

Even with very clear delineation of duties, twin-display screen setups are usually extra distracting and complicated to figure out than their solitary-display screen counterparts.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Even however my Top quality Decide on tester isn’t really a variety-topping variant, it is still loaded with oodles of standard protection tech. The window sticker consists of forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise handle, automatic crisis braking, rear-doorway notify, blind-place monitoring, lane-departure warning, lane-maintaining help and a bird’s-eye-look at observe. I’m not keen to use them most of the time, as I desire to be in handle of this a great deal momentum at all occasions, but when I did have interaction the highway-helpful things, it labored efficiently.

Down to brass tacks

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 has some stellar opposition, which places it in a difficult place. The Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class and BMW X7 are much extra high-class, and each are also extra gratifying to push. The Lincoln Navigator can be optioned out in wild means, providing special interior styling cues that even the Germans have problems matching.

But in all honesty, the QX80’s largest competitor is the 2021 Nissan Armada, which features the exact same driving expertise and cabin house with superior technologies and, in my feeling, superior seems. My Top quality Decide on tester is the midrange product, and with a tiny quantity of options, its $76,450 foundation selling price bumps to just about $eighty,000 like $1,395 for desired destination. Nissan has not produced pricing for the 2021 Armada as of this creating, but it will unquestionably occur in lower than this.

In a bubble, you will find a great deal to like about the 2021 QX80. It truly is a significant boy that features sufficient interior house and leather-based-lined ease and comfort on the highway, and it is capable of towing a fantastic sum of things many thanks to a V8 that enjoys to move. But when positioned towards the context of its closest rivals, it starts to lose some of that luster.