2017 INFINITI QX80

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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2017 INFINITI QX80. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Premium cabin materials and quality
  • Second-row space
  • Towing capacity
  • Innovative active safety features
  • Electronic flip-and-tumble captain's chairs

The Bad

  • Awkward styling
  • Tight third row
  • Gas mileage
  • Steering feedback at highway speeds
  • Child-safety seat installation and third-row access

Notable Features of the 2017 INFINITI QX80

  • Full-size SUV with V-8 power
  • Rear- or four-wheel drive
  • Seats seven or eight, depending on configuration
  • 8,500-pound towing capacity
  • Surround-view camera system available

2017 INFINITI QX80 Road Test

Mike Hanley
The Verdict:

Brash styling and gutsy V-8 power are hallmarks of the Infiniti QX80 full-size luxury SUV, which remains one of the best-handling models of its type.

Versus The Competition:

The QX80's excellent road manners are a rarity in its class, but like in many other full-size SUVs, the third-row seat is uncomfortable and there's not much cargo room behind it.

The QX80 is Infiniti's largest SUV, with seating for up to eight in three rows. It's also the only truck-based SUV in the luxury brand's lineup, and its rugged Nissan foundation helps give it an 8,500-pound maximum towing capacity. Truck-based competitors include the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator and Lexus LX 570 (see their specs compared here).

The QX80 starts at $64,845, including a $995 destination charge, but the as-tested price of the top-of-the-line Limited we drove was a significantly higher $90,445. 

Exterior & Styling

The Infiniti QX80's smooth body sides and upright profile give it a traditional SUV look from certain angles. The front end, however, is considerably more adventurous; there's a bulging hood and a large grille bordered by LED headlights. It's the same approach used by the Escalade and LX 570, which also feature eye-catching front styling.

How It Drives

Full-size-SUV drivers have long had to put up with floaty body motions, numb steering and spongy brake-pedal feel. In some models, they still do, but the QX80 shows it doesn't have to be that way; this SUV has the driving composure of a smaller model.

The Infiniti QX80's handling prowess is its most impressive quality. Infiniti has done an expert job quelling nosedive during braking and rear-end squat under acceleration — problems that remain common among full-size SUVs. Credit the SUV's optional Hydraulic Body Motion Control system, which shifts hydraulic fluid among all four corne...

The QX80 is Infiniti's largest SUV, with seating for up to eight in three rows. It's also the only truck-based SUV in the luxury brand's lineup, and its rugged Nissan foundation helps give it an 8,500-pound maximum towing capacity. Truck-based competitors include the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator and Lexus LX 570 (see their specs compared here).

The QX80 starts at $64,845, including a $995 destination charge, but the as-tested price of the top-of-the-line Limited we drove was a significantly higher $90,445. 

Exterior & Styling

The Infiniti QX80's smooth body sides and upright profile give it a traditional SUV look from certain angles. The front end, however, is considerably more adventurous; there's a bulging hood and a large grille bordered by LED headlights. It's the same approach used by the Escalade and LX 570, which also feature eye-catching front styling.

How It Drives

Full-size-SUV drivers have long had to put up with floaty body motions, numb steering and spongy brake-pedal feel. In some models, they still do, but the QX80 shows it doesn't have to be that way; this SUV has the driving composure of a smaller model.

The Infiniti QX80's handling prowess is its most impressive quality. Infiniti has done an expert job quelling nosedive during braking and rear-end squat under acceleration — problems that remain common among full-size SUVs. Credit the SUV's optional Hydraulic Body Motion Control system, which shifts hydraulic fluid among all four corners to vary suspension firmness and lessen body motions. Minimal body roll; light-effort, direct steering; and predictable, linear brake-pedal feel are also highlights that help separate the QX80 from its luxury competition. And even though you sit up high, in a throne-like driving position, the QX80 doesn't feel top-heavy, as do some full-size SUVs. However, with the optional suspension and low-profile tires on 22-inch alloy wheels, the QX80's ride is taut; you feel small bumps and expansion joints.

All versions are powered by a 400-horsepower, 5.6-liter V-8. The engine is strong off the line and makes enough power and pounds-feet of torque overall to accelerate this big SUV to highway speeds in short order. Its power reserves aren't as deep as the Land Rover Range Rover's available supercharged V-8, but there's enough for high-speed passing, and the engine works with a responsive seven-speed automatic transmission.

I like how Infiniti hasn't suppressed the V-8's refined growl; it's not too loud, but the sound is ever-present in the cabin. However, a lot of other, less desirable sounds — like road noise — find their way into the cabin, too.

Infiniti's Distance Control Assist is optional for the QX80. It's designed to make stop-and-go driving less taxing by automatically braking the SUV in response to slowing traffic.

Rear-wheel-drive Infiniti QX80s get an EPA-estimated 14/20/16 mpg city/highway/combined, while all-wheel-drive versions are rated 13/19/15 mpg. The LX 570 is also rated 15 mpg in combined driving, while four-wheel-drive versions of the body-on-frame Escalade and Navigator are slightly more efficient: They're both rated 17 mpg.

Interior

Our Limited test model had large swaths of high-quality leather seats and open-pore wood trim, but between these high-end finishes were other elements — mostly technology-related — that didn't seem nice enough for an expensive luxury SUV.

Fast-advancing electronics technology has a way of making earlier tech look dated, and that's what's happened in the QX80. The low-resolution monochrome trip computer between the analog gauges looks old, just like the graphics of the dashboard touchscreen. Both screens display valuable information, they just look out of place in a $90,000 SUV.

Comfy, wide bucket seats give you a commanding view of the road. It's a bit of a climb up to the front seats, but standard running boards and grab handles make the task easier. The SUV has large side windows that help you see more of what's around you when checking your blind spots.

The Infiniti QX80's standard seven-seat configuration includes first- and second-row bucket seats and a three-person third-row bench. An optional, split-folding second-row bench seat increases the seat count to eight. Our test model had the second-row bucket seats, which are very comfortable and have the same kind of wide feel as the front seats. They recline but don't slide forward or backward. Legroom is generous.

Most full-size SUV third rows are comically small when you consider the exterior bulk of the vehicle, and the Infiniti QX80's rearmost seat is no exception. Legroom is extremely limited, and with the seat cushions not far off the floor, you sit in an uncomfortable position with your legs bent tightly at the knees. The only non-extended-length full-size luxury SUV that does third-row comfort right is the Lincoln Navigator.

Ergonomics & Electronics

While some luxury brands force you to operate the multimedia system one way, like Mercedes' Comand knob-based interface, Infiniti has taken a different approach by offering multiple ways to control the multimedia system. You can use the standard 8-inch touchscreen, the dashboard knob controller or various buttons and knobs on the dashboard.

A six-month trial of Infiniti Connection is standard. The emergency communication service includes automatic collision notification, enhanced roadside assistance, and remote locking and unlocking capability, among other features.

Infiniti's Around View Monitor 360-degree camera system is standard, along with front and rear parking sensors. Both features are useful when parking this big SUV — especially the cameras, which show various angles on the dashboard screen.

Cargo & Storage

The QX80's cargo area is a tiny 16.6 cubic feet with all three rows of seats in place, and you have to clear a high bumper when loading luggage. Competitors' cargo areas are similarly small: The Navigator's rearmost cargo area measures 18.1 cubic feet, while the LX 570 has 15.5 cubic feet and the Escalade 15.2 cubic feet. The QX80's split-folding third row has standard power operation; when it's folded, cargo space increases to 49.6 cubic feet.

In seven-seat form, the QX80 has center consoles between the first- and second-row bucket seats, and both consoles have a deep storage bin under the armrest. Additional storage spaces include a good-sized glove box, door pockets, a shallow underfloor compartment in the cargo area, and a forward cubby in the second-row console.

Safety

As of publication, the QX80 hadn't been crash-tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Optional active safety features include a blind spot warning system, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, backup collision intervention and lane departure warning and prevention.

Value in Its Class

The full-size luxury SUV has become something of a showcase for adventurous design, as the number of models with big, in-your-face grilles continues to grow. These vehicles are designed to make a statement wherever they happen to be, and the QX80 lives up to that expectation while delivering a driving experience that's considerably better than the class norm — and at a starting price that's lower than most competitors.


Latest 2017 QX80 Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.9)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.9)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Great Car

by Chris from TYLER on October 6, 2018

Great car definitely what we are looking for. Interiors appear to hold up well and has good space for our family. Wish the gas mileage was a little better, Read full review

(5.0)

New to Infinity

by Mosby2002 from Davenport,Iowa on September 28, 2018

We are new to the infinity family. I love the bells & whistles and the smooth ride so far. Our kids love the entertainment package. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2017 INFINITI QX80 currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2017 INFINITI QX80 has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by INFINITI
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 60,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    72 months / 70,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    Less than 6 model years/less than 70,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    6 years/unlimited mileage

  • Powertrain warranty

    72 months/70,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    167-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The QX80 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Third-row access

C

Infant seat

A

Booster

(second row)

B

Booster

(third row)

B

Latch or Latch system

C

Forward-facing convertible

(third row)

C

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

A

Rear-facing convertible

A
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.
For complete details,

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker