Infiniti’s largest model combines power with luxury.

The QX80 is the largest of four Infiniti utility vehicles.
The QX80 is the largest of four Infiniti utility vehicles.

Large, luxury sport utility vehicles are the ultimate expression of a brand’s strength and visibility, as these models utilize much sheetmetal and girth to convey a powerful image. The QX80 offers a clear demonstration of Infiniti prowess, while also surrounding passengers with comfort and opulence.

The 2019 Infiniti QX80 is a full-size luxury SUV with room for seven or eight. This model comes with a V8 engine matched with an automatic transmission. Customers have a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive. This model is available in Luxe and Limited trims.

New for 2019 is a Limited trim with standard four-wheel drive and special colors. Now standard this year are forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and emergency braking.

Exterior Features: Infiniti QX80

Copious amounts of sheetmetal is not the lone marker of a big SUV. It is what the manufacturer does with that canvas to make it stand out.

The 2019 QX80 features a bold front fascia marked by an oversized mesh grille. A wide lower grille opening, sleek headlamps with LED accent lighting, and a massive hood complete this SUV’s frontal expression.

2019 Infiniti QX80

Along the sides, the QX80’s size becomes more apparent with its long roofline and high beltline. Defining characteristics include pronounced wheel wells, vent ports, and an ample greenhouse. From the rear, this SUV has narrow wraparound tail lamps with LED accent lighting. Infiniti connects the lights with metallic trim. Metal trim also graces the top of the bumper at the liftgate.

Standard features include automatic headlights with high beam assist, LED fog lights, 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, power heated and folding side mirrors, running boards, a roof rack, a power moonroof, and a power rear liftgate. The Limited edition adds such features as under running board welcome lighting, stainless steel touches, and an adaptive front lighting system.

Interior Features: Infiniti QX80

How do you like your cabin? That’s a question Infiniti’s designers sought to answer by dressing this SUV in lavish leather with very comfortable seats up front and near equally comfortable captain’s chairs in the second row. Even the third-row bench seat is plush and supportive.

Optionally, Infiniti supplies 8-passenger seating by replacing the middle-row seats with a bench seat. But that makes for a less comfortable seating area and also restricts third-row legroom. If there is a downside to this Infiniti’s cabin, it would be the standard cargo space. Measuring just 16.6 cubic feet, you’ll need to stack most items or fold part or all of the rear seat as needed.

2019 Infiniti QX80

Infiniti utilizes a fairly traditional cabin layout with a layered dashboard, analog instrument panel dials, and an upright center stack. That stack has its share of switches and dials for controlling climate, audio and navigation functions. The quilted center console cover is one of several refined points in the cabin.

Standard equipment includes full power accessories, power front seats with lumbar support, heated front seats, three-zone climate control, and a power third-row seat. Upgrades include illuminated kick plates, cooled front seats, heated second-row seats, and semi-aniline leather.

Safety and Technology Highlights

Luxury vehicle shoppers expect a long list of technologies and the 2019 QX80 does not disappoint. Beyond the power tilt-and-telescopic steering column, this model has a 13-speaker Bose audio system, Bluetooth, four USB ports, auxiliary audio input, and navigation. My top-trim Limited model came with a 15-speaker Bose audio system and a Theater Package with a pair of 8-inch color monitors, wireless headphones, input jacks, and a 120-volt outlet.

2019 Infiniti QX80

Beyond the standard rearview camera, forward collision warning, and forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, Infiniti offers other features. These include intelligent (adaptive) cruise control, distance control assist, blind spot warning, lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, and backup collision intervention.

Crash test scores are either incomplete or unavailable. That said, the Infiniti QX80’s large size works to its benefit. And when equipped with a full suite of driver-assist features, it raises the safety quotient accordingly.

On the Road With the 2019 Infiniti QX80

Start the ignition and the Infiniti Q80 comes to life in a big way. In a significant, loud way that is.

The QX80’s V8 engine makes its presence known, emitting a noisy and sustained whoosh once it starts. That cacophony may seem counterintuitive to how a luxury model should sound, but make no mistake about it: this Infiniti has the performance to sustain its size.

2019 Infiniti QX80

Once you shift into gear and move forward, the engine sound eases to a sustained hum. At work is 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, an ideal amount of performance for this big SUV. Infiniti matches this engine with a 7-speed automatic transmission that fires off gears quickly and without drama.

My test Limited model with standard all-wheel drive, supplied a very comfortable and smooth ride. Under hard acceleration, the V8 responded with copious amounts of power and the attendant whoosh, moving this near three-ton utility vehicle with ease.

Steering is light to the touch and this Infiniti supplies ease of handling. It feels much lighter on its “feet” than its size would suggest, something that should ease the minds of shoppers who might think this SUV would behave otherwise.

If you want to take this SUV off-road, you can. You have the usual 4-Hi and 4-Lo settings and various modes to play with, including snow. It is doubtful you’ll do much off-roading with it anyway, but rest assured that with its standard kickplates, you can.

2019 Infiniti QX80

Fuel economy is not one of the QX80’s strengths as this model makes 13 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway (1 mpg less than the two-wheel-drive model). But that’s roughly in line with competing models.

If you tow, the QX80’s 8,500-pound trailering capacity shouldn’t be overlooked. It edges the Cadillac Escalade with 8,100 to 8,300 pounds available and finishes just ahead of the Lincoln Navigator’s maximum 8,300-pound capacity. It also comes with an automatic leveling rear suspension and a tow/haul mode.

Parting Thoughts: Infiniti QX80

The QX80 does everything it needs to do to keep Infiniti shoppers in the brand fold. It is one of four utility vehicles offered by Infiniti, although if you need room for seven, the QX60 crossover should also be explored. The QX60 offers larger standard cargo space too, but then it can’t approach the QX80’s lofty towing capacity.

As for model choices, the standard Luxe model is a very good place to start. It costs $65,100 ($68,200 with all-wheel drive). The Limited with standard four-wheel drive ($89,800) adds every conceivable option and supplies exterior and interior embellishments not found with the base model.

2019 Infiniti QX80

2019 Infiniti QX80 Specifications

  • Sticker price from $66,395 (including $1,295 destination)
  • Price as tested: $91,500
  • Seats 7 or 8 passengers
  • 5.6-liter 32-valve V-8 gasoline engine
  • 400 horsepower @ 5,800 RPM
  • 413 foot-pounds of torque @ 4,000 RPM
  • 3.86 inches bore by 3.62 inches stroke
  • Engine compression ratio: 10.8-to-1
  • 7-speed automatic transmission
  • Wheelbase: 121.1 inches
  • Length: 210.2 inches
  • Width: 79.9 inches
  • Height: 75.8 inches
  • Passenger volume: 167.9
  • Storage volume: 16.6 cubic feet
  • Towing capacity: 8,500 pounds
  • EPA: 14/20 mpg city/highway (2WD) 13/19 (4WD)
  • Premium grade gasoline recommended
  • Fuel tank: 26 gallons
  • Curb weight: 5,679 pounds (2WD); 5,926 (4WD)
  • IIHS safety rating: Not rated
  • Limited vehicle warranty: 48 months/60,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 72 months/70,000 miles
  • Corrosion warranty: 84 months/unlimited miles
  • Vehicle assembly: Yukuhashi, Japan

This article was originally published by Auto Trends Magazine.