2017 Infiniti QX80

2017 INFINITI QX80 SUV Review

High levels of luxury, comfort and tech make the 2017 Infiniti QX80 a good pick as a large SUV.
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor

For some shoppers, a minivan just doesn't have the right capabilities. Even large, crossover-based SUVs won't do the trick. That's where hulking three-row, luxury vehicles such as the 2017 Infiniti QX80 come into play. With real towing power, high-quality interior appointments and a big-SUV attitude, the QX80 can shuttle your whole crew, and it can do it with style.

Equipped with a powerful V8 engine, the QX80 can pull up to 8,500 pounds. Its robust optional four-wheel-drive system can take you far off the beaten path. Or it can just transport you and seven of your closest friends to and from the local diner. The QX comes with upscale standard equipment such as tri-zone climate control and a 360-degree camera, and it is available with a suspension that gives it serious handling skill for its size — definitely not an attribute you typically associate with a three-row SUV. Thanks to its overall competence and several unique strengths, the 2017 Infiniti QX80 is definitely one of our top picks in the luxury, three-row SUV segment.



what's new

Trailer sway control is now standard across the lineup. In-car Wi-Fi is now part of the optional Theater Package.

we recommend

Though the Limited top trim level is appealing, we would start with a base QX80 and add the Theater and Driver's Assistance packages. That way, you get most of the desirable tech and safety features without the 22-inch wheels and tires that make for a bumpy ride quality.

trim levels & features

The 2017 Infiniti QX80 is a full-size luxury SUV that offers seating for up to eight passengers. It's offered in base and Limited trim levels. The base comes with a choice of rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, and the Limited comes exclusively with four-wheel drive.

Standard features on the base QX80 are abundant, so you won't be missing out on much, especially if you choose a few of the available options packages. The Limited model is a good option for buyers who just want to check every box and get all the equipment the QX80 offers.

There are quite a few standard features on the QX80, so calling it a base model is misleading. Nonetheless, even in the base trim level, it comes with a 5.6-liter V8 engine (400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet), a seven-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive (four-wheel drive with low-range gearing is optional), 20-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights and foglights, automatic high-beam control, a sunroof, roof rails, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, a power liftgate, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and ignition, automatic tri-zone climate control, leather upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable and heated driver seat (with two-way power lumbar adjustment), a six-way power front passenger seat, driver-seat memory settings, second-row captain's chairs (a 60/40-split bench seat is available as a no-cost option), a power-folding 60/40-split third-row seat, and a power-adjustable, heated steering wheel.

The QX80 is also packed with quite a bit of technology, most of which you would expect at this price point. Standard 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.

If you're looking to add a few more items to your QX80, you'll find that options are arranged in packages, some of which require other option packages as prerequisites. If it's advanced safety features you're after, the Driver Assistance package comes with adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning and intervention, forward collision warning (with pedestrian detection), stolen vehicle notification and secondary driver services such as geo-fencing and maximum speed notifications. If you have the Driver Assistance package, you can also add the Theater package, which includes 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 Tire and Wheel package gets you 22-inch wheels and all-season performance tires.

Going for the Deluxe Technology package gets you all the previously mentioned packages plus adaptive front lighting, headlight washers, 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.

Finally, the QX80 Limited comes with just about everything standard (including four-wheel drive) and adds its own distinctive interior and exterior trim. For both the base and Limited trims, in-car Wi-Fi is available as a stand-alone option.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Infiniti QX80 Limited (5.6L V8 | 7-speed automatic | AWD ).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Infiniti QX80 has received some revisions, but most of them were minor trim-level changes. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Infiniti QX80.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5.0

Driving

4.0 / 5.0

Acceleration4.0 / 5.0
Braking5.0 / 5.0
Steering3.0 / 5.0
Handling4.5 / 5.0
Drivability3.5 / 5.0

Comfort

3.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort3.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort3.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration4.5 / 5.0
Climate control3.0 / 5.0

Interior

3.0 / 5.0

Ease of use3.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out3.0 / 5.0
Driving position3.0 / 5.0
Roominess5.0 / 5.0
Visibility4.5 / 5.0
Quality3.0 / 5.0

Utility

4.0 / 5.0

Small-item storage3.0 / 5.0
Cargo space3.5 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
There's no getting around the fact that the QX80 is, underneath its skin, a 6,000-pound truck. That said, Infiniti has done a solid job engineering solutions to the problems that come along with moving so much mass, and there's really nothing here that lets the big SUV down.

acceleration

edmunds rating
The 400-horsepower V8 motivates this 6,000-pound SUV to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. It's an impressive and smooth engine with more than enough grunt to hustle this massive vehicle along. Most competitors at this price point post similar or quicker times, but you won't want for power.

braking

edmunds rating
The pedal is soft but linear and offers some feedback. There is a lot of nosedive when braking hard, which might shake your confidence but doesn't hurt performance. In Edmunds testing, our best stop from 60 mph was 116 feet, which is very impressive for a vehicle with this much mass.

steering

edmunds rating
Steering is very light, but more communicative than most. It does the job of making you confident about moving such a large object around on crowded roads. Tight maneuvers at low speed can be annoying due to the massive turn radius and number of turns between locks.

handling

edmunds rating
Infiniti's trick self-leveling hydraulic suspension keeps the car stable in turns, controlling body roll very well, and the SUV is not upset by midcorner bumps or corrections. Stability control is always on, and it steps in decisively before the QX80 can reach its limits.

drivability

edmunds rating
The QX80 is generally very predictable, but during passing maneuvers or hard starts, there is a delay between putting your foot down and acceleration. The transmission shifts smoothly, only causing problems on uphill climbs where its eagerness to upshift makes it difficult to maintain constant speed.

comfort

edmunds rating
The QX80 can't quite hide its utilitarian roots. While the seats look nice, they aren't up to the standards of similarly priced vehicles, and the climate control is unrefined. The suspension is quite good, but the big wheels make for some harsh moments.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
For a car this expensive, the front seats offer limited adjustability. Unfortunately, the only upgrades are aesthetic and not functional, which means not everyone will be able to find a comfortable seating position. The second-row dual thrones are less adjustable versions of the front seats.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
Big bumps are handled well by the clever suspension, but the car gets bouncy over uneven paving. The massive 22-inch wheels and slim sidewalls mean more harshness makes it through than we'd like. With smaller wheels, the ride could outshine many other luxury offerings.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
The QX80's cabin is generally quite well insulated from outside sounds and road noise. At partial throttle the V8 can sound a bit trucky, but it's not intrusive. The QX80's biggest weakness in this category is moderate audible wind noise at freeway speeds.

climate control

edmunds rating
On automatic, climate control alternates between too passive and too aggressive, and it doesn't maintain temperature so much as charge toward it then back off for a while. Seat heating and cooling both work very well. The controls aren't the best we've seen but are straightforward enough to use.

interior

edmunds rating
There's plenty of interior room to go around, and in spite of thick pillars the visibility is good, with a high seating position and big mirrors. That said, the control layout isn't the best we've seen, and some controls require a bit of a reach. The QX80's truckish roots show through again.

ease of use

edmunds rating
Basic driving controls are easily accessed, but with the big center stack, reaching some controls can be a stretch, requiring you to lean. Also, the distinctly last-generation button layout and user interface require a bit of getting used to.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
This is a tall SUV that requires a bit of a climb to get in and out. But grab handles and a generous running board, along with high, square door openings, help. The third row can be a struggle for an adult to access: Its floor is higher, and the folding second-row seats don't create a large opening.

driving position

edmunds rating
The driving position feels commanding and upright, and there's enough adjustability for shorter and taller drivers, but the steering wheel feels canted up quite a bit toward the driver. All part of the underlying truck roots. Some controls are hard to reach from a comfortable sitting position.

roominess

edmunds rating
The first and second rows offer tons of head- and legroom and shoulder room. There's no feeling cramped in those seats. The third row has much more limited room, but it's better than the third rows in some competitors. Shorter adults will fit in a pinch, and children should have no problem with the space.

visibility

edmunds rating
Visibility is good, with lots of glass all around. The big side mirrors and 360-degree camera help. The hefty front roof pillars can obstruct some views, and rear visibility can be compromised by third-row headrests and a viewpoint high enough to hide some small cars at stoplights.

quality

edmunds rating
Surface materials are nice, and nothing rattles. Under its skin, this is a well-built truck. But Infiniti could have gone much further with the interior upgrades. While there's lots of leather around, it mostly just covers over the hard, plasticky, truck-based Nissan Armada underneath.

utility

edmunds rating
With the QX80's folding seats and great towing capacity, there's a lot of utility. But the SUV's design hurts accessibility and usability. The high liftover and deep bumper make loading heavy items in the back a strain, and you can't open up a completely flat cargo space as in some competitors.

small-item storage

edmunds rating
Storage is sufficient, but not as clever or well integrated as many competitors. You'll find a big center armrest bucket and door pockets for water bottles. The cupholders don't have any restraint system, which has become a common feature, and there are no real spots to put a cellphone.

cargo space

edmunds rating
Folding the third row provides quite a bit of room. The second-row center console is fixed in place, so unless you option second-row bench seats, the QX80 can't provide the same kind of cavernous cargo space as competitors. Liftover is also very high, and the deep rear bumper forces you to reach.

child safety seat accomodation

edmunds rating
The spacious second-row buckets means two of just about any car seat will fit, and the LATCH points aren't hard to find. Unfortunately, the vehicle's height means you'll have to lift infants in.

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.