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2021 Infiniti QX80 Performance Review


Performance: 7.6

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 is among the sportier SUVs in its class. The QX80 accelerates up to speed with confidence, thanks to its muscular V8 engine. It rides fairly comfortably yet feels stable around turns. It can be a hassle to park though, and its gas mileage isn’t great.

  • "With its 400-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 and a 7-speed automatic transmission, the 2021 Infiniti QX80 is quick, aided by crisp throttle response and direct, well-timed shifts." -- Autotrader
  • "The suspension wisely skews toward ride comfort instead of sporty handling, aided by Infiniti's Hydraulic Body Motion Control system, which helps keep the big Infiniti from leaning too much in corners without resorting to stiff springs that would ruin the ride. True, its size makes it difficult to navigate tight urban parking spots, but the Around View 360-degree camera system significantly aids even that." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "Steering is very light but more communicative than most. It makes you confident about moving such a large object around on crowded roads. Tight maneuvers at low speed can be annoying due to the massive turning radius and the extent to which you need to spin the steering wheel between locks." -- Edmunds (2018)

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Engine: 5.6-liter V8 with 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available four-wheel drive (4WD)
  • Transmission: seven-speed automatic

The V8 engine hauls this Infiniti SUV around town and up to highway speeds with authority, even when pulling a heavy trailer, albeit at the expense of fuel economy. The transmission is mostly smooth and responsive, though it’s occasionally reluctant to downshift when needed.

  • "Under the hood, a 400-horsepower V8 offers up plenty of power for towing and passing, but it’s thirsty for fuel." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "As for acceleration, the 5.6-liter V8 offers stellar performance, responding instantly to throttle input and delivering a sweet, low rumble that is music to a V8 lover's ears." -- Autotrader (2020)
  • "In our testing, the 400-hp 5.6-liter V-8 and seven-speed automatic transmission launched the three-ton Infiniti from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. While that's speedy for its size, every other competitor we tested was even quicker. Still, we loved the engine's smooth power delivery and snappy throttle response. Too bad it was hard to hustle it along on the highway, with a transmission that hesitated to downshift. Otherwise, it galloped around town with grace, its exhaust note growling after heavy-footed accelerator applications." -- Car and Driver (2020)

MPG Estimates

The Infiniti QX80 gets an EPA-rated 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway with its rear-wheel-drive configuration. The four-wheel-drive QX80 model is rated at 13/19 mpg city/highway. These fuel economy estimates are below average for a luxury large SUV.

Handling and Braking

The Infiniti QX80 is nimbler than its size might suggest. The steering is quick and lightly weighted, the SUV remains balanced and composed around turns, and its suspension soaks up most bumps and dips comfortably. The brakes slow down the QX80 quickly but with some undue body motions.

  • "From the driver’s seat, the big and luxurious QX80 doesn’t feel as large as it looks. Its steering effort is light and direct, with good feedback. And Hydraulic Body Motion Control – standard on the Sensory model – minimizes body lean in corners while giving this high-riding Infiniti a plush ride on the highway." -- Autotrader
  • "In our hands, the QX80's ride was highlighted by its comfort, especially compared with the rougher rides of rivals from General Motors. Still, the Infiniti felt less athletic than the GLS450, the GMC Yukon, and the Cadillac Escalade. While those alternatives had more direct steering, the QX80's light helm was friendly around town and steady on the highway. If you're looking for a mega-luxury SUV with sharper driving dynamics, you should look elsewhere, but the Infiniti's serene character will satisfy buyers who want to be coddled." -- Car and Driver (2020)
  • "The [brake] 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." -- Edmunds (2018)
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2021 Infiniti QX80

MSRP: $69,050 - $83,300

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