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2021 Infiniti QX80 Review

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 ranks at the bottom of the luxury large SUV class. The QX80 offers lots of standard features, brawny engine performance, and composed handling, but it also has an underwhelming interior, a cramped third row, and a low predicted reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

  • Burly V8 engine
  • Surefooted handling
  • Large cargo area
  • Below-average predicted reliability
  • Snug third-row seats
  • Dated interior

Rankings & Research

The 2021 Infiniti QX80's #9 ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Large SUVs category. Currently the Infiniti QX80 has a score of 6.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 67 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

6.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.9
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 6.8
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

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Is the Infiniti QX80 a Good SUV?

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 isn’t a very good luxury SUV. The QX80 rates poorly for predicted reliability, its big V8 engine yields low fuel economy estimates, and its third-row seats are pretty slim on space. Worse still, the QX80’s interior hasn’t changed much since this SUV debuted a decade ago, giving it an outdated appearance. That might be passable for a nonluxury SUV, but it’s hard to ignore on a $70,000-and-up flagship.

It’s not all bad news though. The QX80 is relatively agile and comfortable to drive for such a large SUV. It accelerates briskly and makes easy work of towing a trailer, and it comes packed with safety features. The first- and second-row seats are all-day comfortable as well.

Why You Can Trust Us: 67 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 67 Infiniti QX80 reviews, as well as data points like reliability ratings and fuel economy estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

This 2021 QX80 review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2011.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Infiniti QX80?

We suggest skipping the 2021 Infiniti QX80 in favor of one of its luxury large SUV rivals like the Lincoln Navigator, BMW X7, or Mercedes-Benz GLS. Sure, these SUVs are pricier than the QX80 by a few thousand dollars, but they are considerably more luxurious and refined. The QX80 just has a bit too much in common with its less expensive Nissan Armada cousin.

Compare the QX80, X7, and GLS »

2020 vs. 2021 Infiniti QX80: What's the Difference?

There aren’t many differences between the 2020 and 2021 QX80 models. For 2021, Infiniti revised the QX80’s trim levels. The Premium Select and Sensory trims replace the previous Limited trim, but no new features were introduced. Adaptive cruise control, which previously was optional, is now standard.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 QX80 »

Here are the key changes for the Infiniti QX80 over the last few years:

  • 2018: refreshed exterior styling including headlights, taillights, hood, and bumpers
  • 2019: forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking joined standard features list
  • 2020: infotainment system upgraded with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 2021: revised trim lineup; gains standard adaptive cruise control

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 QX80, 2019 QX80, and 2020 QX80 reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Infiniti QX80 Cost?

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 has a $69,050 starting price, making it the least expensive vehicle in the luxury large SUV class. The price rises to $83,300 for the range-topping Sensory trim.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Infiniti dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives and great deals on our Infiniti deals page.

Infiniti QX80 Versus the Competition

Infiniti QX80 vs. Lincoln Navigator

The Lincoln Navigator outclasses the QX80 in just about every category. The Navigator has more cargo space than the QX80, roomier back seats, an easier-to-use infotainment system, and a higher-quality interior with up-to-date styling. Its twin-turbocharged V6 engine is punchier and slightly more efficient than the QX80’s V8. The Lincoln also rates higher for predicted reliability. The only area where the Navigator comes up short is price: It starts at $76,185, which is about $7,000 more than the QX80. Even so, the Navigator is the better buy.

Compare the QX80 and Navigator »

Infiniti QX80 vs. Lexus LX 570

The Lexus LX ranks alongside the QX80 at the back of the luxury large SUV class. The LX 570 offers less cargo space than the QX80, clumsier handling, and even worse fuel economy. Its infotainment system is frustrating to use, and its towing capacity is relatively low by class standards. On the plus side, the Lexus has a higher-quality interior than the Infiniti, and it rates considerably better for predicted reliability. Overall though, neither of these SUVs are great options in this class.

Compare the QX80 and LX 570 »

Compare the QX80, Navigator, and LX 570 »

QX80 Interior: Echo Chamber

QX80 Cargo Space

The Infiniti QX80 has 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind its third-row seats, 49.6 cubic feet with these seats folded, and a vast 95.1 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded. That’s better than average for a luxury large SUV, but it’s still not as spacious as rivals like the Cadillac Escalade ESV or Lincoln Navigator L.

How Many People Does the QX80 Seat?

The Infiniti QX80 is a three-row SUV with seven seats. An eight-seat layout that swaps the second-row captain’s chairs for a bench seat is available. Regardless of configuration, the first- and second-row seats are comfortable, supportive, and provide plenty of headroom and legroom, even for taller occupants. The third-row seats aren’t as cushy, and there isn’t much legroom, but it’s sufficient for kids and younger teens. Outward visibility is good in most directions, thanks to the SUV’s large windows and tall ride height. The interior remains very quiet at cruising speeds with minimal wind or road noise.

Leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel are standard. Available upgrades include ventilated front seats and heated second-row seats.

QX80 and Child Car Seats

The QX80 has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the second-row seats and a tether-only connection for the third row.

QX80 Interior Quality

The Infiniti QX80’s cabin is somewhat disappointing. While there are numerous high-end materials, the overall appearance of the dashboard, steering wheel, and center console hasn’t changed much since this SUV debuted back in 2011 as the QX56. It doesn’t look cheap, but it’s also nowhere near as luxurious as competitors like the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS.

QX80 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The QX80 is equipped with Infiniti’s InTouch infotainment system, which pairs an 8-inch touch screen at the top of the dashboard with a 7-inch touch screen below it. This dual-display setup works fine for the most part, but it requires more attention from the driver than rival systems like BMW’s iDrive. The top screen displays the Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and navigation systems, while the lower screen adjusts the audio, climate control, and vehicle settings. Some functions can also be controlled using a knob on the center console and buttons on the side of the bottom screen.

  • Standard infotainment features: 8- and 7-inch touch screens, a navigation system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, four USB ports, HD Radio, satellite radio, and a 13-speaker stereo
  • Available infotainment features: a 17-speaker sound system and a rear-seat entertainment system with two 8-inch displays
  • Additional standard features: keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, tri-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, and a power liftgate

Read more about interior »

QX80 Performance: Heavy Hitter

QX80 Engine

The Infiniti QX80 is equipped with a 5.6-liter V8 engine that produces 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard; four-wheel drive is available. This V8 shuttles the QX80 up to speed briskly – going from zero to 60 mph takes about six seconds – and it offers strong passing power on the highway, as well as eager pulling power at lower speeds. The transmission provides smooth yet prompt gear changes for the most part, but it’s occasionally reluctant to downshift at times. The big trade-off of this muscular V8 is an even bigger appetite for fuel.

QX80 Gas Mileage

The Infiniti QX80 gets an EPA-rated 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway, which is well below-average for a luxury large SUV. Upgrading to four-wheel drive lowers this rating further to 13/19 mpg city/highway.

QX80 Ride and Handling

The Infiniti QX80 isn’t sporty, per se, but it does feel more nimble out on the road than its gargantuan dimensions would suggest. The QX80’s steering is light and responsive, and it feels stable around turns. This is especially true of the QX80 Sensory trim, which is equipped with a hydraulic system that limits body lean. The QX80 rides comfortably on uneven road surfaces, though jitters and jolts are more noticeable in models with the available 22-inch wheels than those with the standard 20-inch wheels. Like nearly all of its rivals, the QX80 can be a pain to park and maneuver in tight areas.

QX80 Off-Road Performance

The Infiniti QX80 has respectable off-road ability. Its suspension flexes nicely over rough terrain, and its 9.2 inches of ground clearance keep the SUV from dragging its underside on rocks and other obstacles. Available off-road equipment includes a two-speed transfer case with high- and low-range gearing. The QX80’s biggest limitation when off-roading is its low-profile all-season tires. You’ll need to upgrade to chunkier rubber if you plan on venturing off the beaten path.

QX80 Towing Capacity

The Infiniti QX80 can tow up to 8,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about performance »

QX80 Reliability

Is the Infiniti QX80 Reliable?

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five.

Infiniti QX80 Warranty

Infiniti covers the QX80 with a four-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

QX80 Safety

QX80 Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Infiniti QX80 an overall safety rating of four out of five stars. The QX80 earned five stars in the side crash test but only three stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2021 QX80.

QX80 Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview mirror with an integrated camera display
  • Surround-view parking camera system
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Lane departure warning
  • Forward collision warning with pedestrian detection
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Rear seat alert (helps to prevent children and pets from being left inside the vehicle)

Available advanced safety features:

  • Adaptive pivoting headlights

Read more about safety »

QX80 Dimensions and Weight

The QX80 is 17.5 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 5,678 to 6,098 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Infiniti QX80 Built?

Infiniti builds the 2021 QX80 in Japan.

Which Infiniti QX80 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 comes in three trims: Luxe, Premium Select, and Sensory. We suggest skipping the Premium Select trim since it only adds relatively minor cosmetic tweaks. Instead, most shoppers will be happier with the base Luxe trim. It comes packed with tech and safety features, and it offers the same V8 engine as the upper trims.

Infiniti QX80 Luxe

The entry-level QX80 Luxe starts at $69,050, and it’s outfitted with a 400-horsepower V8 engine, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is a $3,100 option. Standard infotainment features include 8- and 7-inch touch screens, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, four USB ports, HD Radio, satellite radio, and a 13-speaker stereo. Other standard features include a moonroof, keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, a power liftgate, tri-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, heated front seats, second-row captain’s chairs, power-folding third-row seats, 20-inch wheels, and a Class IV trailer hitch.

Standard safety features include rearview and surround-view parking camera systems, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, a rear seat alert, and LED headlights with automatic high beams.

A second-row bench seat is a no-cost option, and it ups the QX80’s seating capacity to eight.

Infiniti QX80 Premium Select

The midrange QX80 Premium Select trim starts at $73,350 for rear-wheel-drive models and $76,450 for four-wheel-drive models. This trim adds 22-inch wheels and dark chrome exterior accents. The only option is the second-row bench seat.

Infiniti QX80 Sensory

The QX80 Sensory trim starts at $80,200 for rear-wheel-drive models and $83,300 for four-wheel-drive models. This trim adds quilted leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, 17 speakers, adaptive headlights, and a rear-seat entertainment system with two 8-inch displays. Also standard is Hydraulic Body Motion Control, a system that mitigates body lean around turns. As before, a second-row bench seat is a no-cost option.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Infiniti dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives and great deals on our Infiniti deals page.

See 2021 Infiniti QX80 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 succeeds at beating its luxury large SUV competition on price, and, in some instances, ride quality and handling. But it ultimately falls short in the other areas that count. The QX80’s interior design and tech features are out of step with what top rivals offer. The QX80 rates below average for predicted reliability, and its V8 engine gets poor gas mileage. The QX80’s value proposition quickly fades in its higher trim levels as well. There are better options in this segment.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "With its distinctive styling, powerful V8 engine, rugged truck-based chassis, and luxurious interior, the 2021 Infiniti QX80 deserves a look. This full-size luxury SUV isn’t quite as large as the Lincoln Navigator, and it may not have the technical sophistication of the newer Mercedes-Benz GLS, but the QX80 offers comfortable seating for up to eight when the second-row captain’s chairs are replaced by a 3-person bench (a no-cost option)." -- Autotrader
  • "This big-bodied SUV can seat up to eight passengers—on leather seats, natch—and offers plenty of space for cargo as well. A 5.6-liter V-8 provides adequate power and a deep-throated burble that seems well-matched to the QX80's masculine styling. While the Infiniti goes up against luxury SUVs such as the BMW X7 and the Mercedes-Benz GLS-class, its plebian roots—it's based on the Nissan Armada—show through too much to be taken entirely seriously as a premium product." -- Car and Driver (2020)
  • "This high-content heavyweight impresses for its surprisingly brisk acceleration, high mechanical refinement, adept ride, and spacious, tasteful, high-quality interior. The main downsides are the trade-offs in fuel economy and maneuverability that go with big SUVs, plus blatant Ponzi-scheme options-package availability that undercuts attractive starting prices (though rival premium brands are guilty of this too)." -- Consumer Guide (2020)
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