The QX80 casts an imposing shadow in visitors.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 is a basically good three-row luxurious SUV. Nevertheless, context is at all times essential, and when seen by way of the identical lens as its newer rivals — together with a name that is coming from inside the home, so to talk — all its shiny bits is probably not as vibrant.

Like

Easy, potent powertrainLuxury-soft rideOodles of passenger area

Do not Like

Worse tech than the ArmadaAging stylingWay too thirsty

Premium appears to be like and luxury galore

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 has cosmopolitan attractiveness, a few of which carry over from a 2018 replace, whereas the remaining stem from a 2020-model-year inside nip-tuck. Whereas the headlights and taillights now extra intently resemble different trendy Infiniti fashions, the final form of the physique stays the identical from when it was referred to as the QX56, together with the rear bumper’s ugly underbite. From a entrance three-quarter view, although, it is trendy in all the suitable locations, and its 22-inch alloy wheels fill the wells with the proper of flashiness.

Context as soon as once more comes into play contained in the QX80. Whereas I just like the layered dashboard, it appears to be like decidedly outdated when in comparison with different luxe three-rows such because the Mercedes-Benz GLS, Cadillac Escalade or Lincoln Navigator. Heck, even the Nissan Armada — an SUV with which the QX80 shares a platform — feels a step forward of the Infiniti on this division, particularly when the terrible two-screen middle stack is the main focus. Nonetheless, there’s loads of consolation to be present in right here, with smooth leather-based on the seats and, nicely, nearly all over the place you possibly can attain.

Contemplating the QX80 is roughly the scale of a crimson dwarf star, it is no shock that the second and third rows aren’t too shabby for occupants, both. My Premium Choose tester rocks two captain’s chairs within the second row which are simply as comfortable as these within the first, separated by a middle console sizable sufficient to deal with no matter children wish to throw at or in it. Slide both chair ahead and there is ample room to sneak to the third row, which is spacious sufficient to accommodate adults, though perhaps not for cross-country street journeys with out some stops to stretch.

Luxurious would not impugn on cargo capability both. With the third row up, the QX80 provides a commendable 16.6 cubic toes. Drop the third row, and that quantity expands to 49.6 cubes. Depart simply the entrance row standing, and that quantity grows to a correct 95.1 cubic toes. 

Loads of motivation

The 2021 QX80 jogs my memory that generally there is not any alternative for displacement. All variants of Infiniti’s honkin’ three-row SUV include a 5.6-liter V8 producing 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, which is distributed to both two or 4 wheels (the latter on my tester) by way of a seven-speed automated transmission. That is the very same setup because the Armada, consider it or not.

Efficiency is even keeled throughout the 2 fraternal twins, as nicely. Regardless of a porcine curb weight of about 6,000 kilos, the V8 is eager to choose up the QX80’s nostril and ship the SUV careening ahead with minimal provocation. The transmission is easy for its age, however some downshifts take a little bit longer to register than I might like. Towing followers will recognize all that hustle, as a result of that driving force grants the QX80 an 8,500-pound towing capability in each 2WD and 4WD variants.

Consolation is on the forefront of the QX80 driving expertise, and the result’s rewarding. The steering is a contact overboosted, which makes it a little bit simpler to make directional modifications with out upsetting the SUV’s stability; on its commonplace fastened suspension, issues can get a little bit body-roll-heavy if provoked to maneuver too shortly. Nevertheless, between the dampers and the 275/50R22 Bridgestone Dueler H/T tires, most street nastiness is vanquished earlier than it reaches the cabin. Highway and tire noise are delightfully low within the cabin, too.

All that driving force wants one thing to kick it off, and sadly, that one thing is a complete lot o’ gasoline.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

One factor that is low, and never in a great way, is the QX80’s gasoline financial system. 4WD variants like my Premium Choose tester obtain an EPA-estimated 13 miles per gallon metropolis and 19 mpg freeway, with every quantity bumping up by 1 for 2WD fashions. I am typically fairly simple on the throttle on the expressway, however reaching EPA estimates took a good bit of concerted effort.

In all honesty, each the Armada and QX80 drive virtually precisely the identical. They really feel fairly related on the street, whether or not it is steering really feel or suspension or braking. They’re each able to towing 8,500 kilos, too. A kind of automobiles prices a number of thousand lower than the opposite. What you select to do with that data is as much as you.

Odd, outdated infotainment

Infiniti must put its two-screen infotainment setup onto a ship and ship it off to Valhalla. It is not essentially tough to make use of — the map lives on the highest display, whereas many of the traditional duties are dealt with by the display beneath — it is simply nowhere close to pretty much as good as what rivals can supply, like BMW’s iDrive or Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX. The graphics are dramatically totally different on every display, though I am glad Infiniti upgraded the highest show to a decision that not resembles a Greatest Purchase-purchased Garmin, and neither structure actually screams “luxurious car” to me. At the least there are bodily buttons for the local weather controls, which makes adjusting them a breeze. Each screens are sufficiently responsive, although, and trendy niceties like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a Wi-Fi hotspot are all tucked in there.

This is the largest drawback, although: The Nissan Armada’s new infotainment is leagues forward of its luxury-oriented sibling’s, and for much less cash, as well. The structure is cleaner, the graphics seem like they have been designed inside the final yr or two and Apple CarPlay is offered wirelessly. I can solely hope that this method makes its manner not simply to the QX80, however to all Infiniti fashions sooner or later, as a result of it is nearer to what’s anticipated in a luxurious car on this value vary.

Even with clear delineation of duties, dual-screen setups are sometimes extra distracting and tough to determine than their single-screen counterparts.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Though my Premium Choose tester is not a range-topping variant, it is nonetheless loaded with oodles of ordinary security tech. The window sticker consists of forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise management, automated emergency braking, rear-door alert, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping help and a chicken’s-eye-view monitor. I am not eager to make use of them more often than not, as I desire to be in command of this a lot momentum always, however after I did interact the highway-friendly stuff, it labored easily.

All the way down to brass tacks

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 has some stellar competitors, which places it in a tough spot. The Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class and BMW X7 are much more luxurious, and each are additionally extra rewarding to drive. The Lincoln Navigator may be optioned out in wild methods, providing distinctive inside styling cues that even the Germans have bother matching.

However in all honesty, the QX80’s greatest competitor is the 2021 Nissan Armada, which provides the identical driving expertise and cabin area with higher expertise and, in my view, higher appears to be like. My Premium Choose tester is the midrange mannequin, and with a small variety of choices, its $76,450 base value bumps to almost $80,000 together with $1,395 for vacation spot. Nissan hasn’t launched pricing for the 2021 Armada as of this writing, however it can undoubtedly are available decrease than this.

In a bubble, there’s lots to love in regards to the 2021 QX80. It is a huge boy that gives ample inside area and leather-lined consolation on the street, and it is able to towing a superb quantity of stuff because of a V8 that loves to maneuver. However when positioned towards the context of its closest rivals, it begins to lose a few of that luster.

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