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  • 2018 Infiniti QX80 4WD

    Posted on March 1st, 2018 ninarussin

    Luxury SUV for growing families

    By Nina Russin

    2018 Infiniti QX80

    2018 Infiniti QX80

    The full-size QX80 has been redesigned and re-engineered for 2018, with new infotainment, active and passive safety features. As the brand’s sport-utility flagship, the three-row QX80 leads the way with features such as hydraulic body motion control for flatter cornering, programmable four-wheel drive, and rear auto-leveling suspension. Towing capacity is 8500 pounds.

    In automatic mode, the four-wheel drive system remains in rear-wheel drive on dry roads, switching to four-wheel drive high mode to deliver traction to all four wheels in rain, ice or snow. The two-speed transfer case includes a low range for off-road trails.

    Base price is $67,850 excluding the $995 destination charge. Options on the test car include a technology package upgrading the standard audio system to Bose surround-sound and adding ventilated front seats, semi-aniline leather upholstery and adaptive front lighting; theater package including eight-inch seatback monitors, wireless headsets, heated and tip-up second-row seats, 22-inch tires and wheels; driver assistance package including a backup collision intervention, blind spot monitoring, lane departure assist, intelligent cruise control and forward emergency braking, carpeted cargo mats, first aid kit, roof rails with cross bars, Wi Fi, illuminated kick plates and welcome lighting. Final MSRP is $84,660.

    Test drive in Southern Arizona

    2018 Infiniti QX80

    2018 Infiniti QX80

    I spent the past week behind the wheel of the new QX 80 driving through the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area as well as sections of the Gila River Indian Community south of town. While its price, especially with the expensive options on the test car, will put the newest QX out of reach for some potential customers, the SUV offers those who can afford it the ultimate in luxury and versatility.

    Because of its extremely large footprint, the QX80 might or might not work for families is congested urban areas, simply because it requires a relatively large space to park. It will fit in the family garage, but smaller garage spaces in urban centers could be a challenge.

    Driver-assist technologies such as rear and surround-view cameras certainly help, since they eliminate large blind spots around the rear pillars and under the rear glass. Ditto for blind spot monitoring that illuminates LEDs in the A pillars when vehicles in adjacent lanes pass through the driver’s blind spots.

    2018 Infiniti QX80

    2018 Infiniti QX80

    For those who commute through dense traffic, intelligent cruise control that functions at speeds down to one mile-per-hour helps the driver maximize fuel economy. Since the QX80’s fuel economy average is 15 mpg, the option should more than pay for itself over the lifetime of the vehicle.

    Given its 5,888-pound curb weight, the car requires a large, powerful engine, with enough torque for the four-wheel drive-low setting. The 5.6-liter V-8 engine delivers up to 400-horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque to get the job done.

    This writer recommends that those planning to go off-road not opt for the 22-inch wheel package with low-profile tires. Equipped the 20-inch wheels, standard skid plates and hill start assist make the QX80 capable on moderate trails. There is no hill descent control, so drivers attempting steep grades need to have good control of the brakes.

    2018 Infiniti QX80

    2018 Infiniti QX80

    A seven-speed automatic transmission with manual mode enables drivers to control the gears for more aggressive performance. In automatic mode, the transmission progresses smoothly through the gears with no shift shock or hunting under normal driving conditions.

    The four-wheel independent suspension delivers a supple but not overly soft ride for all three rows of occupants. I can’t say that I took any corners at warp speed, but the new hydraulic body roll technology seems to do the job of keeping the chassis flat.

    Engineers did a good job of minimizing road, engine and wind noise to the interior so occupants in all three rows can converse or enjoy the upscale audio system.

    Luxurious interior

    QX80 Interior

    QX80 Interior

    Infiniti has delivered as promised on the QX80’s luxurious interior, with features such as keyless entry and start, driver’s seat memory, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, automatic LED headlamps, power liftgate, satellite radio, Bluetooth audio streaming, tri-zone climate control and more: in other words, all the comforts of home on four wheels.

    Running boards on the test car make it easier to climb inside. Even though I’m fairly-tall, the QX80’s high seating position would make it difficult without them. Grab handles on the A-pillars help as well.

    I found the power driver’s seat easy to adjust for a clear forward view with ample lower lumbar support. Driver’s seat memory makes it easier for multiple family members to share the car.

    There is ample storage space inside the passenger cabin for everything from laptops to bug gulp cups, with easy access to USB ports for plugging in cell phones. Infotainment controls are intuitive to operate. Both center stack screen and gauge cluster are easy to read in bright sunlight and after dark.

    Changes to the 2018 model include larger, higher resolution screens for the optional entertainment system. A HDMI port in the second row enables occupants to plug in portable Blu-ray and DVD players. USB ports in the back support use of tablets and cell phones.
    The full-size QX80 has plenty of room in the third row for adults, leaving enough space behind the row for luggage or the weekly groceries. With third-row seats folded flat the QX80 meets our bicycle-friendly standards. Optional roof rails with crossbars make it easy to add a carrier up top. Due to the car’s high roof height, most cyclists will opt for a hitch-mounted rear rack.

    Standard safety

    The Infiniti QX80 comes with six airbags, front seat active head restraints, traction control, stability control, antilock braking, trailer sway control, tire pressure monitoring, daytime running lamps, rearview camera and around view monitor with moving object detection.

    The factory warranty includes four years of roadside assistance with complimentary loaner cars.

    Like: A luxurious sport-utility vehicle capable of traversing moderate off-road trails.

    Dislike: Expensive option packages significantly increase the price of the vehicle.

    Quick facts:

    Make: Infiniti
    Model: QX80 4WD
    Year: 2018
    Base price: $67,850
    As tested: $84,660
    Horsepower: 400 HP @ 5800 rpm
    Torque: 413 lbs.-ft. @ 4000 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: N/A
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: Available
    Bicycle friendly: Yes
    Off-road: Yes
    Towing: Yes
    Fuel economy: 13/19 mpg city/highway

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