New 2018 INFINITI QX80 SUV New 2018
INFINITI QX80 SUV

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

If you've ever doubted the power of a nose job, feast your eyes on the 2018 Infiniti QX80. Like an aging Hollywood star seeking a new lease on her career, the new QX80 got a thorough facelift, elevating it from dowdy to delightful. The same is true inside, where Infiniti has updated the interior with nicer leather, a bigger and better infotainment system, and the kind of high-quality fit and finish one expects in a luxury SUV targeting the likes of the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator and even the Lexus LX and Land Rover Range Rover. While it's true the big Infiniti can't entirely hide its aging roots -- this full-size luxury SUV was introduced in 2010 as the QX56 -- it continues to be as pleasant to drive as it always has. But now, it's pretty.

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You'll Like This SUV If...

The 2018 Infiniti QX80 remains a top choice if carrying eight people and towing up to 8,500 pounds are on your chore list. It's one of the few vehicles available offering such capability, and one of the few truck-type body-on-frame SUVs around.

You May Not Like This SUV If...

As nice as the QX80 is, the Nissan Armada is almost as nice and considerably less expensive. Offering much of the same capability and features, the mechanically identical Armada nonetheless costs about $20,000 less. Additionally, the QX80's fuel economy lags competitors like the Lincoln Navigator.

What's New for 2018

The 2018 Infiniti QX80 gets a wholly redesigned front end, including headlights, grille, hood, fenders, bumper and even fender vents. The taillights and tailgate are also redesigned, and the interior gets a nice upgrade as well. The updates make the QX80 surprisingly fetching.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

While Infiniti made numerous changes to the way the 2018 QX80 looks, the company left well enough alone with the way it drives, and that's fine with us. The 400-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 is no fuel-economy champ, but it does an excellent job converting hydrocarbons into forward motion. Mash the accelerator, and this big beast moves with an authority we'd even call "quick." Yet it's not dramatic. The only time you hear the engine is if you gun it. In fact, that's about the only noise you'll hear, as the QX80's hushed cabin is one of its strongest points. The suspension wisely skews toward ride comfort instead of sporty handling, aided by Infiniti's Hydraulic Body Motion Control system, which helps keep the big Infiniti from leaning too much in corners without resorting to stiff springs that would ruin the ride. True, its size makes it difficult to navigate tight urban parking spots, but the Around View 360-degree camera system significantly aids even that.

Favorite Features

DISTANCE CONTROL ASSIST
The 2018 QX80 boasts an advanced Distance Control Assist system that works independently of things like active cruise control. Even with cruise off, the system monitors the vehicle ahead, and will automatically slow down if that vehicle starts to slow as well, bringing the QX to a full stop if necessary.

HYDRAULIC BODY MOTION CONTROL
While stiffer springs or anti-roll bars would keep the nearly 6,000-pound Infiniti from leaning too much in corners, both of those solutions would hurt ride comfort. Instead, the QX80 uses something called Hydraulic Body Motion Control, which utilizes active shocks to control lean in corners, without hurting the ride.

Vehicle Details

Interior

Infiniti says it drew inspiration for its 2018 QX80 interior from luxury jets; we'll take their word on that, but can confirm that the new QX80 offers a comfortable interior, with expensive-looking quilting and piping. The seats are also protected from stains. Rear-seat passengers can be entertained by a new infotainment system, and there's an updated infotainment system with a larger screen, but no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Additionally, despite the comfort -- and it is exceptionally comfortable -- the big Infiniti's 2nd-row seats don't slide forward, limiting 3rd-row legroom. The black-and-white information display between the analog gauges also looks old-school in the wrong way.

Exterior

The odd nose, droopy headlights and ill-conceived fender vents are gone, replaced by all-new sheet metal in front that not only gathers this full-size luxury SUV into the rest of the Infiniti design fold, but makes it a genuinely handsome vehicle. It doesn't disguise the big Infiniti's size though, and at nearly 209 inches long and nearly 80 inches tall, this is a BIG SUV. Still, we like it. The proportions are spot-on, we like the kick-up of the rear-side windows even if it does limit rear visibility, and the new tailgate and fender vents all give the Infiniti QX80 the kind of style that stands out for all the right reasons.

Notable Standard Equipment

The only differentiator between 2018 Infiniti QX80 models is the number of wheels driven: rear-only, or all four. Standard equipment is shared between the two, and includes things like leather seating, navigation system, power liftgate, tri-zone climate control, moonroof, heated front seats and steering wheel, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and Around View monitor with Moving Object Detection. You also get luxury touches like power-folding mirrors, a leather-wrapped instrument panel, and 2nd-row captain's chairs. There's one year of complimentary subscription to the Infiniti Connection telematics system, which includes concierge service and vehicle information sent to your phone, a 13-speaker Bose AM/FM/CD/DVD Premium Audio System with USB connection and Bluetooth streaming, and front and rear sonar parking sensors.

Notable Optional Equipment

Option packages on the 2018 QX80 include a Deluxe Technology Package that adds a camera-based rearview mirror, a 15-speaker Bose surround-sound system, the Hydraulic Body Motion Control suspension, and upgraded leather seats. The Theater Package adds dual 8-inch rear screens mounted in the front-seat headrests, along with wireless headphones and a remote. A Driver Assistance Package bundles all the active driver assists into one: blind-spot warning, back-up collision prevention, forward emergency braking and collision warning, active cruise control, lane-departure prevention, and so on. You can also add a 22-inch wheel-and-tire package, along with various other stand-alone options like in-car 4G LTE-based Wi-Fi.

Under the Hood

The only engine available for the QX80 is Infiniti's 5.6-liter V8 driving either the rear or all four wheels through a 7-speed automatic transmission. It's an impressively powerful engine, with 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque, and it lets the body-on-frame QX tow up to 8,500 pounds, quite a lot for a luxury SUV. Both rear- and all-wheel-drive (RWD, AWD) models come with Hill Start Assist and Snow Mode to help you get moving when roads are slick. Opt for AWD and you get a full-time system, and the ability to shift into a 4LO mode in case road conditions turn exceptionally rugged. But don't expect good fuel economy: The best EPA number is 20-mpg highway for rear-drive models, and we've seen averages of around 14-15 mpg in mixed driving.

5.6-liter V8
400 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
413 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg (RWD), 13/19 mpg (AWD)

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Pricing Notes

Considering its luxury credentials, the starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2018 Infiniti QX80 isn't too bad, at about $66,000 for a rear-wheel-drive model, or about $3,000 more if you want AWD. However, if you select one of the premium interior packages, such as the excellent Saddle brown interior, most of the option packages come with it, meaning your interior preference can cost you the better part of $14,000 as the price boosts to more than $80,000. Still, those prices remain competitive against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Range Rover Sport, Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade and Lexus LX 570. Check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the 2018 Infiniti QX80. You can expect good long-term resale value for the QX80 as well, beating the Lincoln and Cadillac, similar to the Mercedes, but lagging behind the Lexus LX.

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