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Smooth Ride and Comfort: Infiniti QX80

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Infiniti has a weird habit of frequently renaming its vehicles. The luxury division of Nissan decided on new names for much of its 2014 lineup. Strange!

So if you wondering if the QX80 is a new Infiniti vehicle, the answer is no. It was previously called the QX56, a full-size luxury sport utility vehicle. The new name is the only major departure from the 2013 QX56 model.

This classy-looking SUV is capable of carrying a big load (seating capacity is seven or eight, depending on configuration), which isn't surprising for a vehicle that weighs approximately 5,500 pounds. The QX80 features rich-looking interior materials combined with some cutting-edge technology.

For such a big vehicle, the QX80 is fairly athletic, providing the driver with a good degree of confidence in any driving situation. Its exterior is appealing as well, with its gigantic chrome grille and three rectangular vent ports.

The all-wheel drive QX80 is a luxury vehicle, so one expects plenty of standard features. And that is the certainly the case.

The vehicle offers automatic bi-xenon headlights; foglights; sunroof; rear privacy glass; power liftgate; front and rear parking sensors; automatic tri-zone climate control; leather upholstery; heated eight-way power driver seat, six-way power front passenger seat; heated steering wheel; 360-degree parking camera; Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity; 13-speaker Bose sound system with a CD player, satellite radio.

Priced at approximately $62,550, the QX80 is among a small category of luxury SUVs to consider. Other notable choices include the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Lexus LX 570 or the Cadillac Escalade.

2014 QX80

  • Performance: 5.6-liter, V8, 400 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate range: 14-20 mpg
  • Estimated price: $62,550
  • Warranty: 4 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain: 6 years/70,000 miles; roadside assistance: 4 years/unlimited; corrosion: 7 years/unlimited

One thing many folks may not like about the QX80, or any large SUV for that matter, is the gas mileage. It ranges from 14-20, but from this personal experience, the QX80 leans toward the lower number. Note that many of its rivals also average similar dismal numbers in regards to gas mileage.

The QX80 features a 5.6-liter, V8 engine that produces 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. Utilizing a seven-speed automatic transmission, the QX80 has strong acceleration, traveling from 0-60 mph in a fairly quick 6.8 seconds. It can tow up to 8,500 pounds.

As mentioned previously, the QX80 offers impressive driving characteristics for such a big vehicle. It delivers a solid and stable ride with virtually no wind noise. The optional deluxe touring package includes the Hydraulic Body Motion Control system, which minimizes body roll on tight turns.

Both front and back seats will give plenty of room and comfort for all occupants. However, the third room is not very roomy and only small children will feel real comfort. The QX80 employs a 60/40-split power-folding third-row. Cargo room is only 16.6 cubic feet, but when the third row goes down there's a very sizable 95 cubic feet of storage space.

The QX80 can beat most of the competition in price, which is a major plus for many folks. It's a big, dependable SUV with lots of upside for large families.


Weidel on Wheels author Jeffrey Weidel is an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region who has reviewed automobiles for more than two decades. He can be reached at skiweidel@gmail.com
Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.