2021 Infiniti QX80 review: All that glitters is not gold

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

The QX80 casts an imposing shadow in targeted traffic.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 is a fundamentally excellent a few-row luxury SUV. However, context is always critical, and when seen as a result of the very same lens as its more recent competition — including a contact that’s coming from within the house, so to converse — all its shiny bits may not be as shiny.


  • Clean, strong powertrain
  • Luxurious-delicate journey
  • Oodles of passenger area

Don’t Like

  • Worse tech than the Armada
  • Getting old styling
  • Way much too thirsty

High quality appears to be and comfort and ease galore

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 has cosmopolitan excellent appears to be, some of which carry more than from a 2018 update, when the relaxation stem from a 2020-product-12 months interior nip-tuck. Even though the headlights and taillights now far more closely resemble other modern day Infiniti models, the standard form of the entire body stays the very same from when it was termed the QX56, including the rear bumper’s unpleasant underbite. From a front a few-quarter watch, however, it truly is modern day in all the suitable spots, and its 22-inch alloy wheels fill the wells with the suitable sort of flashiness.

Context when again will come into play within the QX80. Even though I like the layered dashboard, it appears to be decidedly aged when as opposed to other luxe a few-rows such 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 move forward of the Infiniti in this department, particularly when the dreadful two-screen heart stack is the focus. However, there is loads of comfort and ease to be discovered in in this article, with delicate leather on the seats and, perfectly, just about just about everywhere you can attain.

Considering the QX80 is around the size of a crimson dwarf star, it truly is no surprise that the second and third rows usually are not much too shabby for occupants, either. My High quality Decide on tester rocks two captain’s chairs in the second row that are just as comfortable as those in the to start with, separated by a heart console sizable more than enough to take care of whatever kids want to throw at or in it. Slide either chair forward and there is enough room to sneak to the third row, which is spacious more than enough to house grown ups, even though maybe not for cross-country highway journeys with no some stops to extend.

Luxurious does not impugn on cargo ability either. With the third row up, the QX80 offers a commendable sixteen.six cubic ft. Drop the third row, and that number expands to 49.six cubes. Leave just the front row standing, and that number grows to a appropriate ninety five.one cubic ft. 

Loads of commitment

The 2021 QX80 reminds me that at times there is no substitution for displacement. All variants of Infiniti’s honkin’ a few-row SUV occur with a five.six-liter V8 creating 400 horsepower and 413 pound-ft of torque, which is despatched to either two or four wheels (the latter on my tester) as a result of a seven-speed computerized transmission. That’s the exact very same setup as the Armada, believe it or not.

Effectiveness is even keeled across the two fraternal twins, as perfectly. Irrespective of a porcine curb pounds of about six,000 kilos, the V8 is keen to decide on up the QX80’s nose and send the SUV careening forward with minimum provocation. The transmission is clean for its age, but some downshifts choose a tiny more time to sign-up than I’d like. Towing admirers will respect all that hustle, mainly because that motive power grants the QX80 an eight,500-pound towing ability in both equally 2WD and Four wheel drive variants.

Comfort and ease is at the forefront of the QX80 driving expertise, and the end result is rewarding. The steering is a touch overboosted, which makes it a tiny less difficult to make directional adjustments with no upsetting the SUV’s harmony on its typical set suspension, factors can get a tiny entire body-roll-large if provoked to move much too speedily. However, between the dampers and the 275/50R22 Bridgestone Dueler H/T tires, most highway nastiness is vanquished just before it reaches the cabin. Road and tire sound are delightfully small in the cabin, much too.

All that motive power wants something to kick it off, and sad to say, that something is a complete good deal o’ gasoline.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

One particular thing that’s small, and not in a excellent way, is the QX80’s gas financial system. Four wheel drive variants like my High quality Decide on tester obtain an EPA-believed 13 miles for each gallon town and 19 mpg freeway, with each number bumping up by one for 2WD models. I am typically really simple on the throttle on the expressway, but reaching EPA estimates took a good bit of concerted hard work.

In all honesty, both equally the Armada and QX80 generate just about specifically the very same. They really feel really similar on the highway, regardless of whether it truly is steering really feel or suspension or braking. They are both equally able of towing eight,500 kilos, much too. One particular of those automobiles costs a several thousand fewer than the other. What you choose to do with that info is up to you.

Odd, aged infotainment

Infiniti wants to place its two-screen infotainment setup on to a boat and ship it off to Valhalla. It’s not automatically hard to use — the map lives on the leading screen, when most of the usual duties are managed by the screen below — it truly is just nowhere in close proximity to as excellent as what rivals can provide, like BMW’s iDrive or Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX. The graphics are dramatically distinct on each screen, even though I am glad Infiniti upgraded the leading show to a resolution that no more time resembles a Ideal Invest in-acquired Garmin, and neither structure really screams “luxury car” to me. At minimum there are actual physical buttons for the local weather controls, which makes adjusting them a breeze. Both of those screens are adequately responsive, however, and modern day niceties like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a Wi-Fi hotspot are all tucked in there.

Here is the largest difficulty, however: The Nissan Armada’s new infotainment is leagues forward of its luxury-oriented sibling’s, and for fewer money, to boot. The structure is cleaner, the graphics look like they ended up designed in the final 12 months or two and Apple CarPlay is accessible wirelessly. I can only hope that this procedure makes its way not just to the QX80, but to all Infiniti models in the future, mainly because it truly is significantly nearer to what is predicted in a luxury car in this selling price variety.

Even with apparent delineation of duties, dual-screen setups are typically far more distracting and hard to figure out than their solitary-screen counterparts.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Even however my High quality Decide on tester isn’t a variety-topping variant, it truly is nonetheless loaded with oodles of typical protection tech. The window sticker incorporates forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise management, computerized crisis braking, rear-door warn, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping aid and a bird’s-eye-watch observe. I am not keen to use them most of the time, as I want to be in management of this significantly momentum at all situations, but when I did engage the freeway-friendly things, it worked smoothly.

Down to brass tacks

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 has some stellar competition, which places it in a difficult spot. The Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class and BMW X7 are significantly far more lavish, and both equally are also far more rewarding to generate. The Lincoln Navigator can be optioned out in wild ways, providing one of a kind interior styling cues that even the Germans have difficulty matching.

But in all honesty, the QX80’s largest competitor is the 2021 Nissan Armada, which offers the very same driving expertise and cabin area with improved technologies and, in my feeling, improved appears to be. My High quality Decide on tester is the midrange product, and with a small number of alternatives, its $seventy six,450 base selling price bumps to approximately $80,000 including $one,395 for vacation spot. Nissan has not introduced pricing for the 2021 Armada as of this producing, but it will unquestionably occur in decreased than this.

In a bubble, there is a good deal to like about the 2021 QX80. It’s a major boy that offers enough interior area and leather-lined comfort and ease on the highway, and it truly is able of towing a excellent quantity of things many thanks to a V8 that enjoys to move. But when positioned versus the context of its closest competition, it starts to shed some of that luster.