Just a few years ago, Infiniti’s flagship QX80 SUV seemed like a big thing. It’s still important, but as SUVs have gotten larger in every dimension, the QX80 has remained the same size.
When you compare the QX80 to its competition today, the Infiniti seems charmingly right sized for ease of navigation in urban streets and suburban parking lots, and that’s no small thing.
The 2023 Infiniti QX80 is a full-size, three-row, body-on-frame SUV powered by the Nissan/Infiniti 5.6-liter V-8 engine. The QX80 has ridden on its current chassis platform since 2010 with comparatively few changes.
The QX80 received facelifts in 2015 and 2018, but it is fundamentally the same SUV it was in 2010. As the flagship SUV of a premium brand, the QX80 competes with the Acura MDX, BMW X7, Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon, Lexus LX, Mercedes-Benz GLS and others.
Within the confines of the two-box design common to all large SUVs, the Infiniti QX80 is one of the more attractive looking models. This may be because the body has not appreciably changed over the last 13 years.
While other large SUVs have adopted a veneer of ruggedness that belies their essentially suburban reality as family wagons, the QX80 has retained a softer, more sophisticated look that is more dignified and more in line with the actual function of the vehicle. The QX80 is at home in the country club, or pulling your boat, or just driving the family on your daily errands.
Inside, the QX80 delivers the luxury experience you expect from a vehicle of this class, while maintaining the more sporty demeanor that is the signature feature of Infiniti products. There’s no effort to go over the top with futuristic tech here, but you get a good-sized center screen, easy-to-use controls with real buttons and dials, and comfortable seats that can be heated and ventilated depending on the trim level.
At the top Sensory trim level, everything is upholstered in soft semi-aniline leather, the outboard rear seats are also heated, and the third row folds flat at the touch of a button.
Since 2010 the QX80 has been powered by the venerable 5.6-liter double overhead cam Nissan V-8 engine. This is the same engine you’ll find in the Nissan Titan pickup truck, and it’s a great powerplant. You’ll get 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, passed to a 7-speed automatic transmission and your choice of rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
Like American brand full-size SUVs, the Infiniti offers real dual-range 4WD, so you can shift into low-range if you need to apply extra torque. For ordinary driving the Infiniti All-Mode 4WD system works like a conventional all-wheel drive system: it’s always on and you don’t have to think about it.
As a body-on-frame SUV, the QX80 is rated to tow up to 8,500 pounds. The QX80 comes equipped with a Class IV tow hitch and industry standard seven-pin RV-style wiring connector.
Safety and Technology
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not completely rated the 2023 QX80, but the platform shows its age with a three-star rollover test rating. Similarly, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the QX80 with its top “Good” rating for frontal crashes, but only “Acceptable” for side impacts. Now, don’t think this means the QX80 is unsafe, it’s just due for a design update to keep up with the latest standards.
On the safety tech side, the Infiniti gets top marks from IIHS for its full suite of advanced features. In the Sensory trim, the QX80 comes with all the collision mitigation and lane-keeping functions, plus automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, a 360-degree camera system, forward and reverse parking assist, and adaptive cruise control.
The QX80 comes with a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation at the Sensory trim level, but it also supports wireless Apple CarPlay and wire-connected Android Auto if you buy the QX80 without nav. The system even supports Alexa, so your voice control works very well.
The audio comes from a 17-speaker Bose system. There’s a wireless charging pad, too. Optionally, you can get dual rear seat entertainment screens, which is listed as “complimentary” on the window sticker for our test vehicle but confirm that with your Infiniti dealer.
Driving the QX80 is what will make a believer out of you. Infiniti always excels at the driving experience and the QX80 is no exception. I’m not saying it drives like a Q60 coupe, but in the world of full-size SUVs, you’ll enjoy the taut suspension and responsive steering along with the smaller size and lower overall weight of this SUV. Where other brands are large and ponderous, the QX80 is eager to move and easy to drive.
2023 Infiniti QX80 Specifications
|L: 210.2 inches/W: 79.9 inches/H: 75.8 inches/Wheelbase: 121.1 inches
|5.6-liter V-8; 7-speed automatic transmission w/4wd
|13 mpg city/19 mpg highway/15 mpg combined
|400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque
|Base price: $72,700; As tested: $91,580, including $1,695 destination charge
Infiniti provides the QX80 in three trim levels: Luxe, Premium Select, and Sensory. If you’re looking to save some money, the basic Luxe trim starts at $72,700. You get a nice SUV with all the safety stuff and it supports CarPlay and Android, so you can use that for navigation.
The mid-grade Premium Select trim starts at $77,300. The top Sensory trim begins at $84,350 for rear-drive, and with 4WD for $87,450. All trims add a $1,695 destination charge. With a few completely unnecessary options, the bottom line on our test vehicle window sticker came to $91,580.
But here’s the thing: all the good stuff is in the Sensory trim. That’s where you get the leather, the Bose audio, and much of the advanced tech. So with that in mind, we’ll recommend that if you’re going to get into the QX80, don’t pinch the last few bucks. It’s an expensive SUV, and it’s an old design. If you’re going to buy one, get one that will keep you happy for years into the future.
2023 Infiniti QX80 — Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Infiniti QX80 a reliable vehicle?
The 2022 Infiniti QX80 has a predicted reliability score of 81 out of 100. A J.D. Power predicted reliability score of 91-100 is considered the Best, 81-90 is Great, 70-80 is Average, and 0-69 is Fair and considered below average.
How many miles will a QX80 last?
Most likely 200,000 miles or more.
What is Infiniti all-mode 4WD?
Infiniti’s All-Mode 4WD system operates like a full-time all-wheel-drive unit and sends power to all four tires at all times, and there are high range and low range gears for poor weather or slippery traction situations.