If you’re lucky, you won’t have to.
Have you ever found a vehicle you love to drive? I mean REALLY love to drive because the journey is so fantastic you can’t imagine the car coming to a stop? The 2017 Infiniti QX80 is one of those types of vehicles: a stylish, comfortable, ride that is more of an experience than a quick trip around the block. After spending a week with an Infiniti QX80, I can certainly say it was a luxurious vehicle I never wanted to leave.
Who the Infiniti QX80 is for
- Buyers who need seating for 7 or 8 passengers as well as cargo space (16.6 cubic feet behind the third row)
- Large families or couples who regularly need extra passenger space
- Buyers who want top luxuries in a car
- Drivers who spend a lot of time in the car
- Buyers who need a large car for daily driving as well as road trips
- Drivers who might occasionally need off-road capability
- Parents who value a pampering front cabin
- Parents who want their kids chauffeured in the finest style
What It Costs
- Base price: $63,850
- All wheel drive model: $66,950
- Safety feature package (blind spot monitors, rear collision intervention, forward crash mitigation, lane departure warning and prevention) adds $2,900 to the base price
- Theater package (two screens, wireless headphones, wireless remote and household plug) adds $2,400 to the base price
- Deluxe technology package (heated and cooled seats, premium sound system, enhanced interior details) adds $5,400 to the base price
- Limited model: $83,450
Every inch of this car screams luxury
The 2017 Infiniti QX80 is a premium luxury SUV that stands out from the crowd. The car is as stylish on the inside as it is on the outside, with a 15-speaker Bose Premium audio system, truffle brown leather and ash wood finishes. The exterior features Infiniti’s distinct muscular shape accented with side chrome air intake vents, LED headlights that wrap from front to side, a chrome grille and windows that are framed in chrome. The base model starts at $63,000 and the top of the line Limited model (which we test drove) starts over $89,000. The Limited has a premium interior and every feature possible and is not your typical family car; it offers style and sophistication for those who want it. But families with kids (think sweaty soccer players, errant juice boxes, the never ending trail of Cheerios) may not want the stress of trying to keep it clean. The base and all wheel drive models, however, can be equipped with most of the features we liked for about $10,000 less than the Limited (easy to clean leather interior included). You can see comparisons of all the models here.
Maybe the most luxurious part? This car is very user friendly
The week we test drove the Infiniti we trekked from Illinois to New York for a family gathering. This meant luggage, electronics, two adults and three kids…tall boys! Fortunately, there was plenty of cargo room both behind the third row and between the seats. My intention was to make as few stops as possible and when everyone is comfortable and happy, this can happen.
The Infiniti QX80 is a full size SUV that seats seven or eight: the model we drove has two bucket seats in the middle row and a 60/40 split three-passenger row in the rear, but there is a center row bench seat option that increases seating to eight. The QX80 is based on the same framework at the Nissan Armada, which is also a luxurious SUV, but Infiniti takes it up a notch with finishes and features unique to the luxury brand.
I loved that the dash board was self explanatory and easy to figure out, offering buttons for things you need to access quickly and a touch screen with additional features such as navigation, apps, easy-to-use tri-zone temperature control system and vehicle settings. We also appreciated the smart key (you can leave it in your purse when you start the car) and the push button starter. It only took a minute to figure out how most things worked since the panel was helpful in guiding the user through the steps.
Infiniti’s safety systems keep you out of harm’s way
Infiniti and its parent company Nissan have been on the forefront of developing active safety systems that help you avoid hazards such as pedestrians crossing behind you, vehicles that swoop into your blind spot and slowing traffic that you might not be able to see (until it’s too late).
One of the most helpful features is the rear and surround view cameras. When putting the car in reverse, the monitor displays a split screen view of the car from above as well as the rear view. This took some getting used to, but it was really helpful since the QX80 is a large SUV and it can be hard to see things that might be right in front or behind the car. Blind spot monitors used flashing lights in the rear view mirrors to warn of objects or vehicles you might not be able to see in your mirrors.
One of the best features of the Infiniti QX80 was the adaptive cruise control. The driver can set the cruise control to a certain speed and if traffic slows, the Infiniti will automatically reduce speed. The driver doesn’t need to do a thing. This was both good and bad, as sometimes it would reduce speed when it didn’t seem necessary (someone passing another car and briefly getting in front of your vehicle before returning to their lane). For the most part though, I found it to be helpful. The Infiniti also has lane departure warning and prevention: when set, it beeps and an icon illuminates on the dashboard to let you know you’re drifting from your lane. If you drift too far, the system will give a little resistance to help you quickly get back into your lane (it won’t do this if you’ve used your signal to change lanes).
They almost thought of everything. Now, if they can just prevent kids from spilling
The truffle brown leather interior is stunning, as is the ash wood finish on the arm rest and door trim. The passenger and driver seats have power controls including two-way power lumbar support and are heated and cooled. The middle row bucket seats are also heated, and they tip forward for easy third row entry. Even the third row seats can fold flat or recline slightly as needed. A running board helps passengers to get into the car easily and there are hand grips for a little extra help (leather covered, of course).
Most families want DVD players in their vehicles and the Infiniti QX80 has 7” color monitors on the back of the headrests of the front seats. They are large enough for third row passengers to see them and the sound can be heard on the sound system or on wireless headphones so parents don’t have to listen to the the kids movies. We LOVED that.
There are 9 cup holders and 4 bottle holders in this vehicle, but I don’t know that I would ever let my kids drink in an interior this beautiful. It would be ruined in an instant. It did have plenty of cargo pockets on the seats and in the door for carrying books, movies, and gear, as well as an armrest in between the bucket seats to carry anything extra.
So, what’s missing?
The one thing Infiniti QX80 forgot in this vehicle (and it’s a big one), is USB outlets. There is one, up front by the driver. In my opinion this is a huge oversight, as most families are traveling with multiple devices on any given trip. We searched and searched, but there is only one, though in the Limited edition or with the Theater package, a 120V household plug is included (on the back of the center console). A multi-port car charger might be required for buyers of this vehicle.
What We Loved
- The driving experience: a powerful 400-horsepower engine made driving fun and confident
- Luxury leather details, beautiful ash wood trim and suede ceiling headliner (on Limited Model)
- Heated steering wheel (I always love this, especially living in the Midwest) and heated front and center seats
- Good seating configuration for larger families
- Easy to access third row
- Comfortable ride with good lumbar support and reclining second and third row seats
- Theater system with two screens and wireless headsets
- Snow and tow drive modes enhance the all wheel drive capability
What you need to know
- Gas mileage is luxury too: 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway
- Premium fuel recommended but regular gas is OK
- The base model starts at $63,850, the Limited we test drove starts at $89,450.
- The Infiniti QX80 has a 5.6-liter 32-valve V8 engine which gives it a lot of power, but sometimes it doesn’t corner as smoothly as you would expect (it seems top heavy)
- 8,500 lbs tow capacity
- 4 Year/60,000 mile basic limited warranty coverage
- 6 year/70,000 mile powertrain limited warranty coverage
- 7 year/unlimited mileage corrosion limited warranty coverage
- 24 hour roadside assistance
- Complimentary service loan car
Disclosure: Infiniti provided the QX80 Limited for our test drive; opinions expressed here are all my own.