The 2019 INFINITI QX80 may bear a Japanese badge, but it’s as American as they come. A muscular V8, king-sized comfort, and a casual disregard for fuel efficiency make a charming – albeit aging – package.

Best Value

The QX80’s already comfortable interior can be swaddled in quilted Nappa leather, and the Limited trim includes open-pore wood and a rear-seat entertainment system. But prices for a Limited start past $90,000, and most of the options can be added à-la-carte, so the base Luxe trim is the place to look for value.

Base models don't lack luxury, coming standard with 20-inch wheels, heated front seats, leather upholstery, and navigation. For $3,100, four-wheel drive is an easy and sensible addition. Automatic emergency braking is standard, but INFINITI also makes it easy to add a suite of remaining safety tech with the ProAssist Package.

  • Model: 2019 INFINITI QX80 Luxe 4WD
  • Engine: 5.6-liter V8
  • Output: 400 hp / 413 lb-ft
  • Transmission:Seven-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain:Four-wheel drive
  • MPG:13 City / 19 Hwy
  • Options: ProAssist Package ($2,550, backup collision intervention, blind-spot monitoring, blind-spot intervention, blind-spot warning and prevention, lane departure warning and prevention, adaptive cruise control, distance control assist, Safety Shield steering-wheel switch)
  • Base Price:$69,495 (including the $1,295 destination fee)
  • Best Value Price:$72,045

Performance

INFINITI QX80

The QX80 is an old-fashioned, unsophisticated cruiser. The chunky V8 produces plenty of power, and the seven-speed automatic transmission is competent and predictable. A two-speed transfer case controls all-wheel-drive versions, which lends some extra confidence on rough tracks. Towing capacity is an impressive 8,500 pounds, which is plenty for a camper or boat duty. Steering is light and predictable, reducing fatigue on long drives.

Unfortunately, the QX80’s approximately three tons of bulk makes handling a chore. Body roll is heavy, especially without the optional hydraulic suspension. The light steering is clumsy and inefficient at low speeds. Perhaps worst of all, with all-wheel drive equipped, the V8 struggles to get more than a combined 15 miles per gallon. In this day and age, that’s atrocious.

Style

Style is a strong point for the QX80. The 2019 model sees a welcome facelift, which introduces sleek headlights and an imposing mesh grille. The profile is pleasantly boxy, and the rear has been reshaped into an appealingly modern form. The interior is just as impressive. Coated in leather and boasting exceptional finish, it’s a wonderful place to spend time. The seats are supportive, and the front two rows are spacious enough for taller adults. Features are competitive as well, with nice touches like the power-folding third row, which expands cargo capacity to more than 25 cubic feet.

With just 28.8 inches of leg room, however, the third row is best suited for children. Hard plastics still peek through in places, which cheapens the feel just a hair. Worst of all is the infotainment system. It’s low-resolution and clunky, incapable of supporting Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, and glaringly out of place among modern competitors.

The Best and Worst Things

The QX80 sticks to the genre-defining formula that made SUVs so successful: size, comfort, and style. If it could only bring its powertrain (and infotainment) up to date, it would be hard to turn down.

Right For? Wrong For?

INFINITI QX80

The QX80 is right for family buyers who prefer to travel in comfort. The cabin and the handling are best appreciated in long, straight lines, and the exterior will ensure that you make an impression on arrival.

Buyers with more modern tastes will be disappointed. Other than active safety, technology integration is not the QX80’s strong point. “Efficiency” is not even in its vocabulary.

The Bottom Line

The 2019 INFINITI QX80 remains a tempting purchase for the right buyer. The styling alone will stand out in a crowd, and the interior is up there with the best. But while the QX80 has done well to keep up with modern features, it still feels inescapably dated. Even large cars are getting nimbler and more economical, and it seems likely that the QX80 will soon be left behind.