Can you say BIG?
Infiniti QX80 AWD Limited (2017)
By: Juan Robbin
Large SUVís in the United
States are de riēgueur these days and the QX80 does not
disappoint in size, luxury and driving experience.
During my week with the QX80 I had an invitation to an
annual aviation extravaganza called ďSun N FunĒ that takes
place in Lakeland, Florida which is 235 miles from Miami.
Ha! The perfect opportunity to really try out this luxury
SUV on the highway and see how it really is during a long
Before the drive starts, letís have a walk-around the QX80.
Instantly you notice how tall and imposing this vehicle
really is, the large hood, the jewel-like lights and upright
fascia are all loud-and-clear design statements that
resonate throughout the vehicle. The side profile is elegant
and modern, with a thoughtful, comfort rocker panel-step for
easy entry and exit. The rear of the QX80 features an
elegantly placed, sculpted metal guard above the bumper
which clearly conveys luxury. There are two sculpted exhaust
tips that blend nicely within the rear bumper.
Once inside the QX80, you instantly notice the Infiniti
elegance and luxury without any of it feeling like itís over
the top. There is a sense of understated elegance throughout
the interior, thanks to the quality of the trim, materials
used, switchgear and design execution. As the driver, you
sit up high, with a commanding and expansive view of the
My drive to Lakeland would take over three hours and I
wanted to pay attention to how the seating position and
comfort over the journey felt to me. Verdict? Very
comfortable and enjoyable. One thing I like to do with the
different vehicles I drive, is to set up a destination on
the onboard GPS without having to use the ownerís manual. I
went ahead and entered the destination on the GPS and
frankly it was a bit more difficult to use than I expected.
However, Iím sure that as an owner with a bit of practice,
itís a snap to use. So, on an intuitive scale, itís a five
out of 10. The QX80 has intelligent cruise control and it
does a good job maintaining distance and speed, a nice
feature for highway driving. The Bose sound system,
ventilation and various other controls are easy to manage
and understand. I appreciate the good, old fashioned knobs
for the volume and station selection. Maybe I sound old, but
why change a good thing?
The drive was uneventful and we arrived in Lakeland just as
a rain storm ended, making the grass field parking area into
a giant mud pit. Aha! Perfect timing to try out the
all-wheel drive function, I thought. Verdict? The QX80
handled it flawlessly. Iíll admit, I wanted to fling the
QX80 in all different muddy directions but simply couldnít.
Iím sure that would have been a blast!
Sun and Fun was a huge success this year, with great weather
and interesting displays. The Blue Angels as well as a host
of classic P-51 Mustangs did ongoing flying displays. I had
an enjoyable time getting up close to the warbirds and
antique aircraft. Itís a great event, one worth attending.
My return was a more leisurely one and I enjoyed a more
sedate pace and routing with the QX80. Having the beefy,
5.6-liter engine really does give it the power a big SUV
like this deserves. Passing is a non-event and being smooth
on the stops as well as crawling in traffic is surprisingly
easy. Yes, this is a big SUV and at times it does feel a bit
ponderous, thatís no surprise. Guess what, you donít have to
give anything up with the QX80. Itís easy to park and it
does fit into a standard one car garage, albeit snugly. The
test vehicle had a complete second row entertainment system
with dual screens as well as a comfortable and stylish
center arm rest with ample storage. Rear seating is
adequate, but would rather not have to do a three-hour trip
back there, as an adult.
Would I own one? If I had a reason to own one, I would,
without a doubt. The QX80 is easy to live with, extremely
comfortable to drive and be driven in. What else can you ask
MSRP: $89,450.00 MSRP (As tested): $90,445.00 (includes
Fuel Economy (Observed): 17.5 MPG in mixed, mainly highway
Engine: V8, 5.6 liter, 400 HP
Popular Options and Packages our test vehicle brought: None
as itís the Limited edition