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The Infiniti QX80 is full-size traditional body-on-frame SUV that competes at the high end of the market. Formerly known as the QX56, the QX80's mechanicals might no longer be in vogue. All three models—QX80, QX80 AWD, and QX80 Limited—offer seating for up to eight and big V-8 power. A top rival for the Cadillac Escalade, the QX80 is the best Infiniti SUV to date and is superior to at least a few of its competitors.
The QX80 was redesigned for the 2011 model year, moving from the Titan pickup platform to the architecture of the Nissan Patrol. For 2017, it receives minor upgrades. The forward emergency braking system adds pedestrian detection, trailer sway control is added to all models, and Infiniti has made some changes to the interior and exterior color palettes.
All 2017 QX80s come with a 5.6-liter V-8 delivering 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, with drive going to either the rear wheels or all four via a 7-speed automatic transmission. The power figures might not be as impressive as those of some competitors, but the V-8 is strong enough to tow up to 8,500 pounds and provide adequate performance for this big and burly three-row SUV. Zero to 60 mph takes less than seven seconds, but fuel economy is no surprise at a low 16 mpg combined.
Ride quality is excellent, even if you get the available 22-inch wheels, but the handling is clumsy. There’s an automatic leveling setup on the rear end for towing duty, as well as available Hydraulic Body Motion Control, hydraulic pressure at individual wheels to help damp out some of the excessive body lean. The latter is nice feature, but it might not be worth the extra cost. The QX80's steering feel is light—perhaps too light—but its brakes are big and powerful.
Inside, the QX80 is spacious, with a high seating position and big front chairs that don't lack for room in any direction except where knees meet the center console. As for the second row, there's plenty of space for two adults (perhaps three for shorter distances), and the leather seats can be heated. Second-row bucket seats are available, and we prefer them. There's a third-row bench as well, and it will accommodate adults in a pinch, though it's best for kids. Behind it, there's enough space for moderate shopping duty, but the second- and third-row seats can be powered down to expand cargo space to a voluminous 95.1 cubic feet.
The QX80 remains a standout for those who want a vehicle that feels plush and exclusive. Standard features include leather upholstery, navigation with a hard drive for maps and music, DVD audio and satellite radio, Bluetooth with audio streaming, a sunroof, a power tailgate, and 20-inch alloy wheels. The Limited model comes with a Truffle Brown cabin marked by a palette of brown, black, and silver leather and wood appointments and trim. Quilted leather seats, a suede-like headliner, and leather-wrapped speaker grilles for the instrument panel are among the many dress-ups.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.