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  • James Flammang
    Contributing Editor - November 28, 2016


    When the QX80 officially debuted in 2014, it wasn’t really a new model. Instead, it was a part of INFINITI's new model-naming restructure. The vehicle’s roots stretched back to the 2004 emergence of the QX56 full-size SUV. INFINITI had renamed that QX56 the QX in 2012, then switched to QX80 in 2014. Three seasons later, the QX80 still looks similar to the 2014 model, but some notable changes have been made to this large SUV, including a rather hefty freshening for the 2015 model year.

    What's New for 2017

    Forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection has been added to the optional Driver Assistance Package (standard on Limited). All models now include trailer sway control.

    INFINITI QX80 Front Quarter

    Choosing Your INFINITI QX80

    Unique appearance details separate the QX80 from key rivals like the Cadillac Escalade and Lexus LX 570, though not everyone appreciates the bold look. Each QX80 contains the same engine: a 5.6-liter V8 that produces 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. This powerful V8 mates with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Only one decision has to be made in the drivetrain department: whether you want rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

    With that kind of power in a heavy vehicle, fuel economy is hardly a strong point, EPA-estimated at 14 mpg in city driving and 20 mpg on the highway. Four-wheel drive makes it even less thrifty, 13/19 mpg (city/highway). When properly equipped, towing capacity is 8,500 pounds.

    Two trim levels are offered: base and Limited.


    In base trim, the rear-wheel drive QX80 starts at $64,845 (destination charge included), while the four-wheel drive model is priced at $67,945. Even the base QX80 comes standard with a wealth of premium features, rivaling any full-size luxury SUV on the road. These include a sunroof, roof rails, a power liftgate, INFINITI Intelligent Key, leather-appointed seating, a 10-way power driver’s seat and 8-way power passenger seat, and mocha burl trim. Bluetooth audio streaming, an eight-inch color touchscreen, Bose 13-speaker audio, a 360-degree camera system with moving object detection, active front head restraints, front/rear parking sensors, navigation system, and automatic tri-zone climate control also are standard.

    Limited AWD

    Available only with four-wheel drive for $90,445 (destination charge included), the Limited gets a more distinctive look, featuring dark chrome 22-inch alloy wheels, dark chrome interior trim, stainless steel running board caps with rubber grips, welcome lighting under the running boards, darkened headlight and taillamp inner lenses, and dark chrome windshield pillar covers. The unique interior features semi-aniline Truffle Brown leather with a quilted pattern, plus open-pore wood trim. Grab handles are leather-covered, and the Limited’s center stack holds unique silver switchgear. Option groups available on the base QX80 are standard in the Limited, including Driver Assistance, Tire and Wheel, Theater, and Deluxe Technology.

    Buyers of the base QX80 can choose from five option packages:

    • Driver Assistance Package:Adds $2,500 to the base price, providing plenty of active safety features. They include backup collision intervention, predictive forward collision warning and emergency braking, lane-departure warning and prevention, backup collision intervention, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot intervention, Distance Control Assist, and a steering wheel-mounted switch for Safety Shield Technologies.
    • Theater Package:For $2,400, you can keep rear passengers entertained. Option group includes two 7-inch monitors in front headrests, a wireless remote, two sets of wireless headphones, A/V input jacks, 120-volt outlet, and heated outboard second-row seats.
    • Tire and Wheel Package:Lay out an extra $2,800 and INFINITI will supply a set of 22-inch, 14-spoke forged alloy wheels wrapped in all-season performance tires.
    • Split Bench Seat Package:At no extra cost, INFINITI will replace the second-row captain's chairs with a 60/40 split bench, which increases seating capacity from seven to eight.
    • Deluxe Technology Package:For $5,200, this package adds Hydraulic Body Motion Control, climate-controlled front seats, 15-speaker Bose surround-sound audio, semi-aniline leather seating, Stratford burl trim, chrome mirror caps, second-row footwell lighting, Advance Climate Control, headlight washers, pre-crash front seatbelts, and adaptive headlights.
    CarsDirect Tip

    Considering how much is included with the base QX80, it seems to be the sensible choice. However, we strongly recommend adding the active safety features in the moderately priced Driver Assistance Package (which really should be standard in a vehicle of this class). Moving up to a Limited does bring a long list of additional features, but at a whopping $22,500 premium. Of course, adding several of those option groups individually can also push the total outlay substantially upward.

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