The 2015 Infiniti QX80 once shared its body, frame and powertrain with the American made Nissan Armada. But in its second generation production was moved to Japan where it now shares its architecture with the Nissan Patrol.
More upscale in spec and design than before, the Infiniti QX80 is much larger than Japanese contemporaries like the Lexus LX570 and really is sized much like the American branded competitors. And while it is indeed available in other markets than here in small numbers, it’s right sized for the U.S.
Styling is full speed Infiniti with its artful ovations that really make it stand out in the mall parking lot. It has a face that many will love and many won’t, certainly one that won’t be called imitation. Its rear flanks are equally distinctive as are its large 22-inch satin finish wheels.
As our 2015 Infiniti QX80 was near fully loaded with options, the interior was lush with flourishes of Semi Aniline leather, acres of Mocha Burl trims, and niceties like heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and power adjustments for just about everything.
That power adjustment of course extends to its leather and wood steering wheel, who’s settings in addition to seats and mirrors can be stored in memory for the driver. Instruments are easily read though the trip computer functions require a long reach to a dash mounted button for use.
The design is very unique here, with bold forms and use of soft trims. The dual cockpit dash fits the price tag in terms of appeal, ergonomics, fit and finish of trims, quality of the switchgear as well as ease of use.
The center mounted touchscreen infotainment system powered out sound very well through 13 speakers of Bose audio. Navigation and connectivity functions worked near flawlessly in most of our week with its ease of use though the center-stack knobs and buttons being middle of the road.
Rear seat passengers will enjoy all the legroom and headroom this class offers with the ability to adjust their seats recline, and they are power folding for third-row access. The third row here is better than many in its space for adults, though still it’s a place that is really meant for kids.
Ours had the rear seat theater entertainment system with two 7-monitors for quiet entertainment of your guests.
Under the hood is a unique to the 2015 Infiniti QX80 5.6 liter V8 which with premium fuel offers up 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. It sends power to our rear-wheel drive model through a 7-speed automatic transmission.
It’s thirsty by comparison to many of its crossover contemporaries. The EPA rates it at 14 mpg city, 20 mpg highway and has a 16 mpg EPA combined rating. In our week with the QX80 we managed 17.5 mpg combined with an equal mix both in-town and highway driving.
The QX80’s chassis is as contemporary as a body-on frame SUV can be with a fully independent double-wishbone suspension front and rear. Our tester had the optional hydraulic body motion control which deletes the traditional anti-roll bars for a computer controlled solution.
I found that the 2015 Infiniti QX80 provided a high quality driving and handling experience that befits is price class in terms of refinement and the indulgence it offers when you treat it with a little aggression. The chassis was free of shudders and shakes that are often associated with body on frame SUV’s.