The last of a dying breed? The INFINITI QX80 is a throwback in every sense of the word. Now entering its thirteenth model year, this slab-sided SUV has always represented a rare foreign presence in a sector dominated by the likes of GMC, Cadillac, and Lincoln. Given the headlong rush towards hybrids and electrification taking place throughout the automotive industry, it’s surprising that the QX80 has remained on sale for so long, and its lengthy lineage shows in all sorts of ways.

Look at the interior, with its tombstone of dash buttons and dials, or the exterior, with its Millennial roof rack and running boards. Look under the hood, where a 5.6-liter V8 blows raspberries at the Rivians of this world. And finally, look at the scales. A car weighing upwards of 5,700 lb couldn’t really be less in tune with modern sensibilities, especially when you consider AWD models return combined fuel economy of just 15 MPG. They also require premium fuel.

The power – but not the glory. Assuming you’re blasé about conspicuous consumption, you’ll likely be more interested in the QX80’s performance. Its V8 engine generates 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, which propels it to 60 miles an hour in six seconds. A syrupy seven-speed automatic transmission deploys power to either the rear wheels or all four (AWD is optional across the range), generating a maximum towing capacity of 8,500 lb.

On the road, the QX80 behaves exactly how you’d expect. Its sheer weight flattens out smaller bumps, while numb yet heavy steering means cornering isn’t something to anticipate. This can be mitigated with hydraulic body control, fitted to Sensory models whose prices nudge $90,000. They’re also fitted with 22-inch wheels, which fill those vast arches admirably but do result in a deterioration in ride quality. This is unquestionably a better vehicle to be driven in than to drive, especially since rear visibility is poor and it’s not easy to park at the journey’s end.

A cabin for the ages. The QX80’s size is intimidating from behind the steering wheel, and it’s intimidating when it looms up behind you in your rearview mirror, too. On the upside, it provides a prodigious amount of cabin space. If you’re tall enough to climb up without a stepladder, you’ll find squashy front seats and impressive second-row captain’s chairs – a three-seat middle bench is an option we wouldn’t tick. Row three offers less than 30 inches of legroom and slashes cargo capacity to 16.6 cu ft – a figure that almost trebles once they’re dropped.

The interior is as dated as the outside, as you’d expect from a vehicle that made its debut in 2011. Even so, materials are mostly top-notch, with even base models (and the term is relative here) sporting Nappa leather. That said, third-row occupants find themselves surrounded by monotone plastic – it’s airy but hardly luxurious. At least Sensory models liven the ambiance through quilted leather and wooden trim.

2023 INFINITI QX80 Interior

Impressive equipment. There’s only so much you can do to dress up a decade-old design, but INFINITI has comprehensively updated the QX80’s specifications. It’s a shame Android customers need to wire their phones into the infotainment system, but the 12.3-inch screen is sharp and effective. A Bose stereo is standard alongside navigation, even on entry-level Luxe trim. This is our preferred QX80, since spending $5,000 extra on Premium Select doesn’t really improve the specifications significantly. Sensory models add ventilated front and heated middle seats, softer leather, and hydraulic suspension, but they cost almost $90,000, and even a 17-speaker stereo doesn’t justify such a price tag.

Final thoughts. If you’re in the market for a three-row, three-ton SUV, the QX80 is a decent option. It’s an undeniably old design that should probably have been withdrawn from sale by now, but it still offers lashings of well-appointed interior space and creamy performance alongside a ride that simply flattens out road imperfections. It has all the presence buyers in this market could want, plenty of toys, and a large touchscreen, while its towing capacity is excellent.

The downsides are as you’d expect. It costs a lot to buy, and even more to run. It’s a nightmare to park, and won’t impress anyone with even a passing knowledge of environmental matters. The third-row seats are best for youngsters, yet they come at the cost of cargo capacity; dropping them triples luggage space while removing the main justification for buying such a big vehicle in the first place. And behind everything lurks the specter of the QX80 being discontinued – it surely can’t remain on sale for much longer. This is old technology in every sense, despite sporting a decidedly modern sticker price.

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