Used 2016 INFINITI QX80 Review

High levels of luxury, comfort and tech make the three-row 2016 Infiniti QX80 a solid pick among large luxury SUVs.




what's new

For 2016, Infiniti offers a limited-production QX80 Signature Edition that includes the Driver Assistance and Split Bench Seat packages, a special tan interior and minor exterior styling tweaks.

vehicle overview

While there are plenty of car-based crossovers that get better fuel economy and are more space-efficient inside than the 2016 Infiniti QX80, not a single one of those minivans-in-disguise models looks as cool as the QX80. Alright, maybe "cool" is a matter of opinion in this case. Still, there's no doubt that the big Infiniti makes a statement with its huge grille, one-of-a-kind headlights and distinctive shape. It's an announcement to the world that you're going big, and you really don't care what anyone thinks.

Happily, the QX80 packs plenty of muscle behind its sinister mien. With a 400-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 at your beck and call, authoritative acceleration and relaxed towing ability (up to 8,500 pounds worth) come easy. A little-known fact is that this Infiniti is based on the legendary Nissan Patrol, a rugged SUV that's seen duty on tough terrain around the world, so there's a respectable amount of off-road capability baked in, too.

Unlike many a milquetoast crossover SUV, the 2016 Infiniti QX80 stands out with brash styling.

Throw in a decidedly upscale interior with three rows of seats and it's clear that the QX80 is well equipped for just about anything you'll want to do with it. But it's not the only three-row luxury SUV worth considering. The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is a great choice thanks to its adult-friendly third row and superior overall refinement. Conceptually, the off-road-capable 2016 Lexus LX 570 comes closest to the QX80 (it's based on the similarly legendary Toyota Land Cruiser), while the all-American 2016 Cadillac Escalade makes a bold statement all its own. In final measure, all are solid picks. But if you want something with character, the inimitable 2016 Infiniti QX80 is the way to go.




trim levels & features

The 2016 Infiniti QX80 is a full-size luxury SUV that offers seating for seven or eight passengers. It's offered in base and Limited trim levels with a choice of rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

Standard features on the base QX80 include 20-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights and foglights, automatic high-beam control, a sunroof, roof rails, power-folding auto-dimming mirrors, rear privacy glass, a power liftgate, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and ignition, automatic tri-zone climate control, leather upholstery, a heated eight-way power driver seat (with power two-way lumbar), a six-way power front passenger seat, driver memory settings, second-row captain's chairs, a power-folding 60/40-split third-row seat and a power-adjustable heated steering wheel.

Standard tech features include a 360-degree parking camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an 8-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system, voice controls and a 13-speaker Bose sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB port.

The center stack may have more buttons than a field jacket, but the contrast against the chrome and burl trim is aesthetically pleasing.

Options are arranged in packages, some of which require other option packages as prerequisites. The Theater package adds a dual-screen rear entertainment system, a 120-volt household-type power outlet and heated second-row seats with a power tip-up feature for easier third-row access. The Split Bench Seat package replaces the second-row captain's chairs and center console with a 60/40-split folding bench seat that increases seating capacity from seven to eight. Then there's the Tire and Wheel package, which gets you 22-inch wheels and all-season performance tires.

If it's advanced safety features you're after, the Driver Assistance package (see Safety section below) has you covered. Going for the Deluxe Technology package gets you adaptive front lighting, Infiniti's Hydraulic Body Motion Control suspension, an upgraded climate control system, upgraded leather upholstery, special wood trim, ventilated front seats and a 15-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system.

The QX80 Signature Edition gets some extra chrome trim, a special tan interior treatment and the Driver Assistance and Split Bench Seat packages.

Finally, the QX80 Limited comes with just about everything standard and adds its own distinctive interior and exterior trim.



performance & mpg

Powering the 2016 Infiniti QX80 is a 5.6-liter V8 engine that produces 400 hp and 413 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard. Four-wheel drive (with low-range gearing) is available as an option. Properly equipped, the QX is capable of towing up to 8,500 pounds and, if so optioned, also features a self-leveling rear suspension.

In Edmunds testing, a 2015 QX80 with four-wheel drive accelerated from a standstill to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, which is a little quicker than average for this vehicle segment. The EPA estimate for the rear-wheel-drive QX80 is 16 mpg combined (14 city/20 highway), while the four-wheel-drive model drops to 15 mpg combined (13/19).

safety

The 2016 Infiniti QX80 comes with stability and traction control, antilock brakes, a 360-degree parking camera, front-seat side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front active head restraints. Included with the Infiniti Connection telematics service are automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle notification, remote door access and locking, geo-fencing and max speed notifications.

The optional Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and intervention, frontal collision warning and mitigation and a back-up collision mitigation system.

In Edmunds brake testing, a QX80 with 22-inch wheels stopped from 60 mph in only 113 feet, a figure we're accustomed to seeing from much lighter passenger cars. This is an astonishing result for a 3-ton SUV.

Driving

The standard 5.6-liter, 400-hp V8 puts a lot of punch at your disposal. Even though our last QX80 test vehicle weighed in at 6,043 pounds, the V8 makes that weight melt away when you dip into it. Shifts from the seven-speed automatic are smooth and swift. On the highway, the QX feels solid and stable, and road and wind noise are largely absent.

A strong V8 is the norm for luxury SUVs, but the 2016 Infiniti QX80 also possesses uncommon agility.

With four-wheel drive, the QX can handle some limited off-road excursions thanks to its low-range gearing and tough suspension. Yet Infiniti's big SUV is also blessed with uncommon agility, particularly when it's fitted with the Hydraulic Body Motion Control system, which reduces body roll around tight turns to the point that the QX almost feels light on its feet. The downside is that ride quality suffers somewhat, though the decline in comfort has less to do with the optional suspension itself than the large 22-inch wheels that are mandatory with the upgrade. We advise taking a QX80 for a thorough test-drive over a variety of surfaces before opting for these wheels.

Interior

Inside, the 2016 Infiniti QX80 offers a handsome cabin that's enhanced by the generous use of high-quality materials. Technophiles will appreciate the wide array of bells and whistles, including the Around View Monitor that offers a 360-degree top-down view of the area around the vehicle. Just as important is the fact that technophobes have nothing to fear, because the QX's electronics interface is very easy and intuitive to use. Only picky shoppers, perhaps, will object to the fact that this interface has been around for quite a while now, and it doesn't have the freshest look or feel.

As you'd expect, the QX80's front and second-row seats offer a high degree of comfort. The 60/40-split power-folding third-row seat has less legroom than the third rows in other large luxury SUVs, though it's passable on short trips and usable on a regular basis by kids. On the hauling front, the QX80 can swallow 16.6 cubic feet of stuff behind its third row, 49.6 cubes with the third row folded and a healthy 95 cubes with both rear rows folded.

As in most three-row SUVs, the third row is best left to occupants of smaller stature.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.