2018 Infiniti QX80 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.2

The 2018 Infiniti QX80 has a powerful engine and composed handling. Its Hydraulic Body Motion Control system delivers a smooth and agile ride despite the SUV's heavy weight. The QX80's transmission shifts seamlessly, and the vehicle offers quick acceleration.

  • "This all works well enough that the 2018 Infiniti QX80 doesn't feel like a body-on-frame vehicle with the usual sideways shake on rough and crumbled roads. Like the old model, the new one is the most comfortable competitor in the big luxury SUV segment, and was able to handle the gentle sweeping curves on the coastal roads near Charleston with good body control." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "From behind the wheel of the 2017 Infiniti QX80, you soon begin to feel invincible. With each mile you feel coddled, cradled and comfortable, but most of all, you feel ... invincible." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "… the QX80 is a full-size luxury SUV that features a traditional body-on-frame layout. This design lets the utility back up its rugged looks with excellent towing and off-roading capabilities, although it also features surprisingly competent handling on the pavement as well." -- Left Lane News (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The QX80 features a 5.6-liter V8 engine that puts out 400 horsepower. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard. Despite its size and weight, the QX80 has impressive acceleration. The transmission shifts smoothly with no lag when you press down on the throttle. When properly equipped, this SUV can tow up to 8,500 pounds.

This Infiniti gets subpar fuel economy even by the lax standards of a large SUV. It earns an EPA-estimated 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. With four-wheel drive, ratings drop by 1 mpg.

  • "The carryover 400-hp 5.6-liter provides the sort of acceleration you'd expect from a big V-8 powering a big and heavy SUV. Nice motorboat gurgle under full throttle." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "As far as the engine goes, it is an accomplished performer that may not offer class-leading horsepower but brings enough oomph to the task at hand. It's quiet, though under hard acceleration it will intrude on conversation." -- New York Daily News
  • "Although the QX80 weighs almost three tons, the 400-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 and its 7-speed automatic transmission move it with certainty but not without sacrifices in fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

Handling and Braking

The QX80 comes standard with rear-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive is available. It rides comfortably, even over rough roads. Most people expect that from a luxury large SUV. What you might not expect is the QX80’s handling. The Hydraulic Body Motion Control system helps limit this Infiniti’s body lean around turns, contributing to a level of agility normally reserved for smaller vehicles.

  • "The ride is comfortable and quiet and body roll, squat and dive typical of a tall SUV is kept in check by the Hydraulic Body Motion Control system. The hydraulic system (which replaces the stabilizer bar) helps keep the body flat around corners while also allowing the more independent wheel movement than a bar to soak up bumps. The system also allows a bit of rear auto-leveling, which keeps the tail from sagging when loaded up or towing." -- CNET
  • For its size, the QX80 handled well, a sensation enhanced by clear outward visibility. I never felt as though it was too big for its lane (even though at times it was)." -- New York Daily News
  • The big QX80 really thrives on the highway where the interior is extremely quiet and the ride defines 'smooth.' In tighter spaces, such as the grocery-store parking lot, that size is problematical, but the Around View camera and front and rear parking sensors help describe the boundaries." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

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