2022 Infiniti QX80
2022 Infiniti QX80
The 2022 Infiniti QX80 is a full-size luxury SUV based on the Nissan Armada. It seats up to eight people in the business-class cabin, uses a 400-hp V-8, and has a smooth ride to go with its smooth power. Naturally, given its size and weight, the handling isn’t exactly nimble.
For 2022 the QX80 gets a 12.3-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, as well as navigation. Also new are wireless smartphone charging and adaptive cruise control.
The QX80 shares its roofline with the Armada, but it’s more attractive in the details, namely a thickly framed grille, slim headlights, and bronze trim on some models. The cabin is also handsome, with its hints of old-school charm such as a dash wrapped in soft material and burled wood.
The 400-hp V-8 and 7-speed automatic are needed to pull the prodigious curb weight of nearly 5,900 lb. The big SUV can pull from a stoplight with assertive force and tow up to 8,500 lb. The flip side is a big thirst for premium fuel, and ponderous handling.
The appeal of the QX80 lies in its classy interior with quilted nappa leather on the top model, with captain’s chairs in the second row, and a three-person bench as a no-cost option.
The EPA rates the most common four-wheel-drive model at 13 mpg city, 19 highway, 15 combined. With rear-wheel drive it gets 14/20/16 mpg. Our seat time produced less than that: just 13 mpg in mixed city and interstate driving.
The QX80 hasn’t been crash-tested by either the NHTSA or the IIHS. But standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, a rear camera mirror, and a surround-view camera system that’s useful–actually it’s needed– since the third-row headrests and big roof pillars block out much of the rearward view.
Made in Japan, the QX89 comes in Luxe, Premium Select, and Sensory models.
The $71,995 for the QX80 Luxe comes with leather upholstery, 12.3-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, wireless smartphone charging, second-row captain’s chairs, 13-speaker Bose audio, 20-inch wheels, and a power tailgate.
The $76,780 Premium Select adds 22-inch wheels and burled wood trim.
The $83,630 QX80 Sensory has all-wheel drive, cooled front seats, softer leather, 17-speaker Bose sound, rear-seat entertainment, and an adaptive hydraulic suspension.
Four-wheel drive is available for $3,100.
The 4-year/60,000-mile warranty doesn’t include free maintenance.
The QX80 isn’t exactly understated, with a big grille, roof rack, running boards, and fender flares, but it’s cohesive. The grille is bracketed by slim headlights and underscored by a strip of air intakes, all in good balance. In profile it looks the same as the Nissan Armada it’s based on, with an angled and retro rear roof pillar that throws back 30 or 40 years. The QX80 proves that details matter; if it weren’t for the details, it might look as blocky as the Armada.
The interior is well appointed with leather and wood trim, although the doors have some hard trim and the glovebox isn’t lined. The cabin really sings on the Sensory model, with
quilted nappa leather and burled wood. The curved dash and new wide-screen interface are easy to live with.
The front seats are supremely comfortable, while captain’s chairs are standard for the second row, with a three-person bench being available instead, at no cost. And unlike many second rows, the bench has ample shoulder room for three people.
Row three isn’t so roomy, with a mere 28.8 inches of leg room and a low, flat bottom cushion rendering it comfortable only for two or maybe three small passengers.
With 16.6 cubic feet behind the third row, there’s enough space for sports gear. With the third row folded there’s 49.6 cubic feet, and with the second row folded it’s 95.1 cubic feet.
The QX80’s velvety 5.6-liter V-8 makes 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, with a ripe but muted exhaust note. The strapping powerplant couples well with a 7-speed automatic to move the heavy SUV (5,678 to 5,813 lb) off the line with a snap in its step, or enable it to tow up to 8,500 lb. That huge tow weight is possible thanks also to a strong ladder frame. And it’s capable of going off-road, thanks to a 2-speed transfer case and 9.2 inches of ground clearance.
But it’s missing a crisp response in the curves, where there’s a lot of body lean. But the active hydraulic suspension on the Sensory model cures that, keeping the vehicle at an even keel. The QX80 lacks steering feel, and it can be a chore to nudge into a tight parking spot.
The ride is better than the cornering; it’s soft and composed, even on big 22-inch wheels.
The 2022 Infiniti QX80’s strength is its big V-8, but it’s also a smooth-riding SUV with a charming look. The cabin’s plush and high-tech, too—especially in nappa-leather-lined Sensory models.
—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection