The INFINITI QX80 is a full-size, luxury SUV based on Nissan’s large truck platform. This traditional body-on-frame model with standard rear-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive operates in a narrow segment, a vehicle offering room for seven or eight as well as 8,500 pounds of towing capacity.

Pricing and Equipment

Starting at $63,250 (plus a $995 destination charge) for the base rear-wheel drive model, this SUV tops out at $88,850 for the all-wheel drive Limited edition. Add $3,100 to obtain all-wheel drive to either the base or the Signature ($64,250) editions. The INFINITI QX80 Limited brings in an assortment of packages, including some available elsewhere, such as a deluxe technology package ($5,500) with a 15-speaker Bose Cabin Surround Sound System, climate-controlled leather, and headlight washers. Shoppers can also opt for a theater package ($2,400), a tire and wheel package ($2,800), and a driver assistance package ($2,500).

Standard equipment for the model tested included:

  • LED lighting all around
  • 5.6-liter V8 making 400 horsepower
  • Seven-speed automatic transmission
  • Class IV tow hitch
  • Navigation system
  • Moonroof
  • Tri-zone climate control
  • Surround view monitor with moving object detection

Performance Pros

INFINITI QX80
  • We found the INFINITI QX80 offers very good power with its 400-horsepower V8 tuned to deliver generous off-the-mark acceleration and full power on the road when you need it. The SUV’s seven-speed transmission shifts confidently and works seamlessly in the background.
  • We didn’t have the opportunity to pull with the QX80, but its 8,500-pound towing capacity beats the Lexus LX 570 by 1,500 pounds and matches well with the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln’s Navigator. All three models are the INFINITI’s chief competitors.

Performance Cons

There is no getting around the fact that the INFINITI QX80 is one heavy vehicle. In Limited trim, it tops three tons with ease. As such, fuel economy comes in at just 13 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. One more note: premium fuel is required.

Interior Pros

INFINITI QX80
  • The cabin is large, open and bright, and is carefully outfitted with leather touches. The top-end Limited pulls out all the stops by bringing in quilted, semi-aniline leather, an ultra suede headliner, and pillars, and silver switchgear on the center stack.
  • Upgrading from seven to eight seats replaces the middle row captain’s chairs with a 60-40 split bench and at no charge to consumers.

Interior Cons

Not everyone desires a truck-like SUV. And that’s what you have in the INFINITI QX80. Its ruggedly handsome exterior visage appeals to some. Inside, the cabin may be too spread out to others.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

INFINITI QX80

The INFINITI brand offers few surprises as we’re used to the high-quality interiors matching the best of what Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi have to offer. You don’t need the Limited edition to experience high-end luxury, but the semi-aniline leather in the QX80’s most expensive trim level is exceptional and quite comfortable.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

We found the tested INFINITI QX80 hits all the high notes for luxury and quietness. It also pushes $90,000 and that’s a budget buster for some. There is no intermediate step between Signature all-wheel drive and Limited, making for a $20,000 price premium that’s hard to swallow.

The Bottom Line

Lower fuel prices make the INFINITI QX80 a more enticing proposition than when gas was near $4 per gallon. This SUV operates in a niche market, serving people who need the interior room as well as its robust towing capabilities. For most shoppers, the Signature edition with one or two packages added may be the best value proposition.