If you haven’t heard of the Inifiniti QX80 SUV, don’t feel like you just crawled out from under a rock. Infiniti has renamed the QX56 and it’s hard to keep up with all the name changes as the Japanese automaker has almost renamed they’re entire range this year. QX80 is last year’s QX56 but the larger 80 designation fits this big SUV from Infiniti well. This week we’re testing a 2014 QX80 AWD model that comes loaded with a bunch of technology features.
What’s new for the Infiniti QX80?
There isn’t much new for 2014 except for the name change and QX80 gets a new Backup Collision Intervention system that is added to the Technology Package this tester comes with. The QX80 SUV can be described in three words, big, luxurious and powerful. It fits in a competitive segment that includes the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, Lexus LX 570, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Audi Q7, Volkswagen Toureg, and Range Rover. But it competes well in this heavy-weight class.
Big is the first thing that comes to mind when you walk up to the 2014 Infiniti QX80. I took a tall friend to lunch this week, and his first comment about the vehicle was, that he didn’t have to duck his head when he got in. The QX80 is an ideal vehicle for 6’5 inch or taller individuals who need the extra leg and headroom. This SUV would be an NBA players dream vehicle. Inside, this SUV is spacious and luxurious.
Why choose the QX80?
This 2014 Infiniti QX80 tester is big, comfortable and powerful. It comes with all-wheel drive ($64,450) with a five-mode system. QX80 uses a powerful 5.6-liter, 32-valve, double overhead-cam V8 engine with direct fuel injection and variable valve timing and lift, making 400 horsepower and a massive 413 foot-pounds of torque. It needs every bit of it, and it gets this huge SUV moving down the road quickly.
One unique feature this QX80 has is a 7-speed double overdrive transmission that has adaptive shifting, matching a driver’s style, and a manual mode that provides a sports car’s downshift blip. This big family hauler is not only big and powerful, but it is fun to drive. That’s something you don’t find on every giant SUV. We pushed the big SUV up the mountain on I-70 and had plenty of power to go faster if needed. And it was fun with the manual mode around town.
QX80 has excellent acceleration for a 5600-pound vehicle that can haul 7-8 people in style with its third row seating. This tester came with all-wheel-drive that has a five-mode dial on the center console with automatic, four-wheel-drive high, four-wheel-drive low, low lock, tow mode and snow mode. While most owners will never take this big SUV off-road, it’s ideal for cold weather climates. We felt safe and secure this week as we encountered snow and icy roads.
The driver can leave the tranny in auto mode which moves engine torque between the front and rear axles, from 0 front/100 rear to 50/50. This worked well this week as we didn’t have to think about how to best navigate the slick conditions. QX80 with AWD worked perfectly in the snow-covered roads near Evergreen.
Inside, the QX80 comes with every creature comfort you will need or want. There’s leather galore, including the steering wheel, and premium leather heated and cooled front seats with the Deluxe Touring Package. The driver’s seat is 10-way power adjustable and passenger seat eight-way; both have two-way power lumbar support. The rear bench seat is also heated with remote tip-up for easier third row entry/exit. The 60/40 third row seat folds flat, with a power button located in the cargo space that came in handy as we carried extra cargo during the week.
This QX80 tester came with four optional packages that pushed the total price to $79,095 including destination. The Deluxe Touring Package ($4650) includes the Bose surround-sound system with 15 speakers, Hydraulic Body Motion Control system, climate-controlled front seats, semi-aniline leather seating surfaces, Mocha Burl trim, rear seat footwell lights, Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS), and headlight washers.
The Theater Package ($3100) features dual 7-inch color monitors, two pairs of wireless headphones, wireless remote control, auxiliary inputs, 120V power outlet, heated rear seats, remote tip-up rear seats for easy third row access.
The Technology Package ($3250) offers Intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Distance Control Assist (DCA), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP), Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Blind Spot Intervention® (BSI), Front Pre-Crash Seat Belts, and Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) with auto-leveling headlights.
The Tire and Wheel Package ($2450) offers 22×8-inch 9-spoke forged aluminum-alloy wheel and 275/50R22 all-season tires.
Out on the road and around town, the 7-speed transmission is a joy, like it wasn’t even there. It offers smooth power and the Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) and manual shift mode with Downshift Rev Matching (DRM) made the driving experience much more interesting. For those who like to drive, it offers an extra bit of fun for driving enthusiasts.
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With the Hydraulic Body Motion Control system, this QX80 tester rode like a dream on the highway. It also reduced body lean in the corners which can be a problem with big top-heavy SUVs. The 2014 Infiniti QX80 has a powerful powertrain, plenty of space for larger individuals and excellent handling for a big SUV. Optional packages can drive the price up, but they are nice if you can afford them.