Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
No matter your situational circumstances there is always a need for a full-size luxury chariot that can transport six to seven family members or friends in style and with grace. Be it prom for your kid and his/her best friends or Sunday brunch with the crew, the impressive 2019 INFINITI QX80 Limited 4WD and its well-appointed interior is perfect for the tasks at hand.
During my week-long test evaluation I utilized the mucho grande SUV to escort my teen daughters and their companions to various activities since it was spring break. Of course, I am always the parent who is volunteered to pick up, drop off and chaperone since everyone knows my automotive journalistic profession. But I didn’t mind because the opportunity effectively allowed me to operate the QX80 as an owner while garnering instantaneous praise since passengers love utilities of this proportion. This automotive category is also special because it is represented by only a few players such as the Cadillac Escalade, Lexus LX and the all-new BMW X7. You could include the Land Rover Range Rover as well but this particular SUV only has two rows of seats opposed to three.
INFINITI’s full-size variant has been an industry darling due to the fact that all guests are comforted by extensive room and opulent details, especially the occupants of the second-row heated captain chairs. Yet, jumping into the third-row power 60/40-split fold flat and reclining seats is cozy as well. Many three-row SUVs squeeze passengers in which in-turn relegates the opportunity to only smaller children. Not with the QX! The greatest appreciation from the cabin came from the unique two-tone perforated semi-aniline premium leather material and quilted Alcantara leather-appointed chairs with contrast piping and stitching. Brilliant!
Although sizeable, the QX80 is simple to maneuver and park even, partially thanks to vehicle-speed-sensitive power steering, Around View Monitor and Front & Rear Sonar System. Specifically, during outings in the city for the auto show I had to parallel park on narrow streets and each time I was able to slide in just a simple as if I were in the smaller QX60. Though, garage parking was a hassle. Acceleration is stellar as power emanates from INFINITI’s 5.6-liter V8 putting out 400-horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. It links to a 7-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control and manual shift mode. However, expect only 13 city and 19 highway mpg for this super-sized utility. That’s right, you have to pay to play. An $89,800 MSRP will get you through the front door. Still, the only option my fully-loaded Anthracite Gray loaner required was a $500 premium paint tag and the $350 All-Season package. Everything else mentioned is inclusive unlike many of the QX80’s competitors who prefer the à la carte pricing structure.
For additional road confidence INFINITI All-Mode 4WD performance is at your disposal to handle increment weather such as snow and rain or traversing out in the wild when it’s time to hitch up and hit the mountain biking trails. In addition, Drive Mode Selector allows owners to customize vehicle settings by choosing Auto, 4H, 4L, Snow or Tow mode. The utility also features Hill Start Assist. Specifically dedicated to the QX80 Limited, dark machine-finished 22” forged aluminum-alloys wrapped in 275/50R22 rubber fill up the large wheel wells while providing all of your ground work for traction enhancement. The Limited is also blessed with satin chrome exterior trim, roof rails and crossbars and defining lower bumper treatment in the front and rear.
A key QX80 handling technology is Hydraulic Body Motion Control system (deletes stabilizer bar) which helps reduce body lean through turns. The result is a more comfortable and less boat like ride. The system was developed by Nissan and tested on the Nissan Patrol in the Middle East, subsequently becoming adopted by INFINITI for the QX. It’s very impressive, but not quite original.
Owners should enjoy the 8” INFINITI InTouch Navigation system flowing hand-in-hand with the sounds of Bose’s 15-speaker Cabin Surround Audio System. Keep in mind INFINITI hasn’t become too futuristic with their technology like some of their German counterparts, so there is still a human connection to respect. I admire some advanced elements such as virtual odometers, but many of today’s 2019 and 2020 vehicles are putting far too much control in the hands of the computing system. And yes, I love physical buttons and knobs still!