2017 INFINITI QX80 Introduction

The INFINITI QX80 is a full-size, body-on-frame, rear-wheel-drive SUV that can seat seven or eight and uses a big 5.6-liter V8. No crossover here, and luxury all the way, this is a traditional large sport-utility vehicle.

All-wheel drive is available.

The QX80 was last redesigned for 2011, when it took over the platform of the Nissan Patrol SUV, leaving behind the platform of the Nissan Titan pickup truck. Even with its dated design, it feels plush and exclusive. Its most recognizable rival might be the Cadillac Escalade. The Range Rover tops the class, which also includes the Mercedes-Benz GLS.

The 2017 INFINITI QX80 gets no mechanical changes, only small things. The available emergency braking system adds pedestrian detection, trailer sway control is added to all models, and there are color changes for the sheetmetal and cabin. The 2017 INFINITI QX80 Signature Edition comes loaded with high-contrast leather, special wheels and other features.

All models come with a 5.6-liter V8 making a whumping 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. That’s less horsepower than some rivals, although performance is adequate, with acceleration from zero to 60 in less than 7 seconds. The ride is excellent but the handling is clumsy, unlike the Range Rover. QX80 is rated to tow up to 8500 pounds.

Since the QX80 is closely related to the Nissan Patrol, off-roading is in its genes, with an available all-wheel-drive system that’s simple, and uses a low gear ratio. The torque is biased to the rear, but can go to 50/50 front/rear when the rear wheels slip. It’s equipped with hill start assist.

Naturally, the QX80 gets low fuel mileage, at an EPA-rated 14/20/16 miles per gallon City/Highway/Combined. It hasn’t been crash-tested in recent years, but its sheer size should make it safe.

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