“Toddlers will one day outgrow the family crossover, and eventually even their school mates will join the family vacations. So whether it’s The Hamptons in the summer or Vail in the winter, the QX80 Limited will transport their Starbucks-drinking bottoms in striking luxury and comfort.”
The QX80, alike the rest of the Infiniti line-up has evolved gracefully through the years, as their coupes, sedans and crossovers are much more appealing today than they were five and ten years ago. That being said, the QX’s curvy lines and rich interior couldn’t do much to soften the blow Missi and I suffered due to sticker-shock —$89,845 Dollars, £80,899 Euros, or $1,511,291 Mexican Pesos is exactly how much you’ll fork out for this presidential suite on wheels.
At first, I was quite skeptical about why anybody would want to spend that much money on the QX80 Limited, specially as the quite stunning Cadillac Escalade, and an equally attractive but less spacious Land Rover are better established in the luxury market. But the longer we spent time with it, the more I realized just how exquisite the QX80 Limited is, and how much I would enjoy owning one… If I could afford to.
Not only is the QX80 Limited luxurious, but it’s also nice and polite. What am I talking about? Open the driver’s side door and you’ll be welcomed by the gentle-glow of the Infiniti illuminated door sill, and to make things easier, the hand-crafted leather seat automatically moves back and the steering wheel moves up to allow an easy and comfortable entry. Missi found this to be extra-handy if you carry a big purse, or perhaps shopping bags, etc.
Settle on what resembles an Etihad first-class seat and you’ll notice the QX80 Limited has every feature imaginable at a fingertip’s reach. Infiniti did an incredible job at designing a clean and organized layout, and even though there are quite a few buttons and knobs, they are all ergonomically outlined depending on how often they’re used or how important they are. The only “awkward buttons” are located directly above the instrument cluster. Call me old-school, but I’m glad Infiniti has chosen actual buttons, and not touchscreen functions hidden in endless sub-menus.
Surely the driver and front passenger can’t complain about getting first-row access to all the technology like XM Radio, heated and cooled seats, and even a navigation screen that doubles as movie screen (when parking brake is enabled). But if there is an even better place than in the QX80 Limited, it has to be the second-row captain chairs, or even the third row bench.
I normally refer to the rear accommodations as “Kid Kingdom”, and what a Kingdom indeed! Regardless of how old your little princesses or princes are, rest be assured that only a Rolls Royce could offer more lavish seating surfaces. Climbing into the third-row is pain-free courtesy of catapult style second row chairs, as with just a push of a button the seats fold and even move out of the way on their own. This can also be accomplished by the driver via center-console button, therefore making it a breeze to allow little ones in without having to exit the vehicle.
The rear center-console features A/V hookups for game consoles, a 120-volt household style plug, as well as a cigarette lighter plug power adapter. When it comes to passenger comfort, the QX80 Limited offers a fully-separate third climate zone that serves the second and third-row only, with the second row captain chairs featuring heated hand-stitched leather as well. The gorgeous wood and leather center armrest features two cupholders (12 total) and a storage compartment big enough to store iPads, wireless headphones and plenty of snacks.
Now let’s talk about my kids’s favorite feature —the tri-zone entertainment system. No matter where you’re seated in the QX80 Limited, you’re guaranteed a front row seat to a first-class visual and auditory experience. Whether you seat in the middle of the third-row, or in the front passenger seat, you can watch your choice of DVD or video game through the 8-inch center-dash touchscreen, or the two headrest mounted 7-inch screens. I suggest listening to your movie through the incredible 15-speaker Bose Surround Sound 5.1-channel system, although for the best audio experience I pushed the audio to the rear speakers just a bit. If you feel like listening to Nickelback (hopefully not) while the kiddos watch Nacho Libre, then simply use the premium wireless headphones.
I really can’t imagine many buyers out there shopping for a QX80 Limited because of its handling prowess, but you never know… Even with the trim-specific 22-inch wheels this Infiniti eats massive potholes for breakfast, and lots of gasoline for lunch and dinner. We averaged a whopping 11.8mpg in the city and 19mpg in the highway, for a combined average of 14mpg during our time behind the wheel. Although if you really think about it, what can you really expect out of an all-wheel drive V8 engine with 400-horsepower?
The QX80 Limited employs a unique system called “Hydraulic Body Motion Control” that isn’t just another fancy sounding feature that you can’t really experience. This system allows a vehicle of this power and size to handle and corner with minimal lean or body roll, and let me tell you —it works. Don’t expect to be admitted to your local autocross, but this giant is certainly no slouch.
As technology keeps growing in the crash-avoidance sector, we can expect to see not only more tech, but better tuned and more refined driver-aid technology in the near future. The QX80 Limited features the now somewhat standard “safety luxuries” like smart cruise-control, blind spot warning, back up collision with rear cross traffic alert, and lane departure warning systems. But one that I truly enjoyed was the Distance Control Assist (DCA).
DCA is an industry-first from Infiniti. It intuitively helps you release the throttle and subtly applies the brakes in slowing traffic. The DCA is activated through a button on the steering wheel and is the absolute shiz-nit in stop-and-go traffic.
The 2015 Infiniti QX80 has yet to be crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
It’s hard not to get carried away by such a gorgeous, fancy and expensive vehicle, but then I have to put my feet back on the ground and remember to be objective, factual, and most of all —allow you to experience this vehicle through our writing, photos and video.
After finding out the price tag I really wanted to “dislike” the QX80 Limited, I wanted to find reasons why it wasn’t worth the asking price (average sales price of 85k at most dealers), and why anyone would be ludicrous to spend this much money on an Infiniti. But it turns out the more I drove it, the more Missi drove it, and the more our girls enjoyed all of its features, the QX80 Limited just made a whole lot of sense.
Sure, it’s not cheap, but look at all you’re getting, definitely a lot more than you do in a Land Rover, Cadillac and most definitely a Mercedes Benz. If I’ve learned one thing throughout this time, is that Infiniti isn’t after those guys, you can tell in the styling, in the mechanics of it, and in the overall mindset of the vehicle. Infiniti is racing its own race, and they have a heck of a race horse.
So whether you’re going to Vail, The Hamptons, or the grocery store, the Infiniti QX80 Limited can you get you there in luxury, comfort, safety, and with a big smile on your face.
- Functional and easy to understand technology.
- Gorgeous styling.
- Easy to maneuver despite its size.
The not so Great:
- Some interior plastics are below grade.
- Interior lighting looks dated. LED’s instead of halogen bulbs would’ve been nice at this price point.
- Rearview camera image quality isn’t all that great.
- Your gasoline budget could easily equal your monthly payment. I know, I know…
- Starts at: $88,850
- Price as tested: $89,845