2021 Infiniti QX80 review: All that glitters is not gold

The QX80 casts an imposing shadow in traffic.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 is a essentially fantastic 3-row luxurious SUV. However, context is generally essential, and when seen by the similar lens as its newer competitors — like a get in touch with which is coming from inside of the house, so to discuss — all its shiny bits may well not be as vibrant.


  • Clean, potent powertrain
  • Luxurious-smooth journey
  • Oodles of passenger space

Do not Like

  • Even worse tech than the Armada
  • Ageing styling
  • Way too thirsty

High quality seems to be and ease and comfort galore

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 has cosmopolitan fantastic seems to be, some of which have about from a 2018 update, when the relaxation stem from a 2020-model-year interior nip-tuck. While the headlights and taillights now more intently resemble other contemporary Infiniti versions, the general shape of the physique continues to be the similar from when it was identified as the QX56, like the rear bumper’s unattractive underbite. From a front 3-quarter look at, although, it is really contemporary in all the appropriate locations, and its 22-inch alloy wheels fill the wells with the appropriate variety of flashiness.

Context the moment once more will come into participate in inside of the QX80. While I like the layered dashboard, it seems to be decidedly previous when in contrast to other luxe 3-rows this kind of as the Mercedes-Benz GLS, Cadillac Escalade or Lincoln Navigator. Heck, even the Nissan Armada — an SUV with which the QX80 shares a system — feels a action ahead of the Infiniti in this office, particularly when the dreadful two-display screen center stack is the target. However, you will find plenty of ease and comfort to be uncovered in below, with smooth leather-based on the seats and, very well, just about almost everywhere you can arrive at.

Contemplating the QX80 is around the measurement of a purple dwarf star, it is really no shock that the second and 3rd rows are not too shabby for occupants, both. My High quality Select tester rocks two captain’s chairs in the second row that are just as comfortable as individuals in the to start with, separated by a center console sizable ample to deal with what ever youngsters want to throw at or in it. Slide both chair forward and you will find enough room to sneak to the 3rd row, which is spacious ample to house grown ups, while possibly not for cross-country road outings without having some stops to extend.

Luxurious doesn’t impugn on cargo capability both. With the 3rd row up, the QX80 presents a commendable 16.6 cubic toes. Drop the 3rd row, and that range expands to 49.6 cubes. Leave just the front row standing, and that range grows to a proper 95.one cubic toes. 

Loads of determination

The 2021 QX80 reminds me that occasionally you will find no alternative for displacement. All variants of Infiniti’s honkin’ 3-row SUV occur with a five.6-liter V8 generating four hundred horsepower and 413 pound-toes of torque, which is sent to both two or four wheels (the latter on my tester) by a seven-velocity computerized transmission. That’s the exact similar set up as the Armada, think it or not.

Functionality is even keeled across the two fraternal twins, as very well. Even with a porcine suppress bodyweight of about 6,000 pounds, the V8 is keen to pick up the QX80’s nose and deliver the SUV careening forward with negligible provocation. The transmission is easy for its age, but some downshifts get a minimal longer to sign-up than I would like. Towing enthusiasts will respect all that hustle, because that motive force grants the QX80 an eight,five hundred-pound towing capability in both equally 2WD and 4 wheel drive variants.

Comfort is at the forefront of the QX80 driving working experience, and the final result is satisfying. The steering is a contact overboosted, which helps make it a minimal easier to make directional adjustments without having upsetting the SUV’s balance on its standard preset suspension, factors can get a minimal physique-roll-hefty if provoked to shift too quickly. However, amongst the dampers and the 275/50R22 Bridgestone Dueler H/T tires, most road nastiness is vanquished before it reaches the cabin. Road and tire noise are delightfully reduced in the cabin, too.

All that motive force requires a thing to kick it off, and regrettably, that a thing is a total whole lot o’ gasoline.

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One detail which is reduced, and not in a fantastic way, is the QX80’s gasoline economy. 4 wheel drive variants like my High quality Select tester accomplish an EPA-approximated thirteen miles per gallon city and 19 mpg freeway, with each range bumping up by one for 2WD versions. I’m typically very uncomplicated on the throttle on the expressway, but reaching EPA estimates took a fair bit of concerted effort and hard work.

In all honesty, both equally the Armada and QX80 push practically just the similar. They truly feel very very similar on the road, whether it is really steering truly feel or suspension or braking. They’re both equally able of towing eight,five hundred pounds, too. One of individuals vehicles charges a number of thousand considerably less than the other. What you choose to do with that info is up to you.

Odd, previous infotainment

Infiniti requires to set its two-display screen infotainment set up onto a boat and ship it off to Valhalla. It is really not automatically hard to use — the map lives on the top rated display screen, when most of the normal responsibilities are managed by the display screen down below — it is really just nowhere around as fantastic as what rivals can supply, like BMW’s iDrive or Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX. The graphics are significantly unique on each display screen, while I’m happy Infiniti upgraded the top rated exhibit to a resolution that no longer resembles a Most effective Buy-procured Garmin, and neither layout definitely screams “luxurious car or truck” to me. At least there are bodily buttons for the weather controls, which helps make changing them a breeze. Equally screens are adequately responsive, although, and contemporary niceties like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a Wi-Fi hotspot are all tucked in there.

Here’s the major dilemma, although: The Nissan Armada’s new infotainment is leagues ahead of its luxurious-oriented sibling’s, and for considerably less income, to boot. The layout is cleaner, the graphics appear like they ended up intended inside the last year or two and Apple CarPlay is accessible wirelessly. I can only hope that this process helps make its way not just to the QX80, but to all Infiniti versions in the upcoming, because it is really far closer to what is expected in a luxurious car or truck in this cost vary.

Even with clear delineation of responsibilities, dual-display screen setups are often more distracting and hard to determine out than their solitary-display screen counterparts.

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Even although my High quality Select tester isn’t a vary-topping variant, it is really however loaded with oodles of standard protection tech. The window sticker contains forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise handle, computerized emergency braking, rear-doorway inform, blind-location monitoring, lane-departure warning, lane-maintaining aid and a bird’s-eye-look at observe. I’m not keen to use them most of the time, as I want to be in handle of this significantly momentum at all moments, but when I did engage the freeway-welcoming things, it worked effortlessly.

Down to brass tacks

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 has some stellar competitiveness, which places it in a difficult location. The Mercedes-Benz GLS-Course and BMW X7 are far more luxurious, and both equally are also more satisfying to push. The Lincoln Navigator can be optioned out in wild means, featuring special interior styling cues that even the Germans have issues matching.

But in all honesty, the QX80’s major competitor is the 2021 Nissan Armada, which presents the similar driving working experience and cabin space with better engineering and, in my impression, better seems to be. My High quality Select tester is the midrange model, and with a compact range of solutions, its $76,450 foundation cost bumps to approximately $80,000 like $one,395 for desired destination. Nissan hasn’t introduced pricing for the 2021 Armada as of this crafting, but it will definitely occur in lower than this.

In a bubble, you will find a whole lot to like about the 2021 QX80. It is really a major boy that presents enough interior space and leather-based-lined ease and comfort on the road, and it is really able of towing a fantastic total of things thanks to a V8 that enjoys to shift. But when placed versus the context of its closest competitors, it begins to get rid of some of that luster.