2020 Infiniti QX80 Limited AWD

Empower the drive
March 3, 2020 Updated: March 3, 2020

Infiniti’s QX80 is big, powerful, comfortable, and expensive. But for all you get, well worth the price.

First, let’s talk about the powerful aspect. The 5.6-liter V8 with Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) and Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) delivers 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque.

On AWD models, Infiniti All-Mode 4WD (Auto 4HI and 4LO) with Drive Mode Selector for towing and deep snow, is added to the regular 7-speed automatic transmission. If you leave it to the vehicle, Adaptive Shift Control optimizes gear selection for performance and efficiency. The there is always the manual shift mode if you want to have your say.

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Power and AWD to go anywhere. (Courtesy of Infiniti)

All this power and prestige rests on 22-inch forged aluminum alloy wheels and H speed rating all-season tires.

The fuel economy is 19 mpg on highways and 13 mpg in the city, for a combined 15-mpg average. Infiniti needs to continue with the power, but develop better mileage.

QX80 has too many advanced features to mention, but the Hydraulic Body Motion Control System was most impressive when driving at high speed on snake-like curves or rough roadways.

The Nissan Armada chassis provides excellent stability, helping to ensure ride quality. Personally, I think the Limited is very competitive with the Mercedes-Benz, Lincoln Navigator, and Lexus LX570.

The InTouch infotainment has been upgraded, now supporting both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The technology is sophisticated and maybe a little challenging, but not complex. The system interacts with the passengers through a new lower 7-inch and upper 8-inch dual touchscreen displays on the center console.

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Dual-screen center console. (Courtesy of Infiniti)

Want to know your location or find the quickest and best way to your destination? Navigation with premium clarity is just a fingertip away. How about some relaxing music while driving, or some communication to the outside word? Bose 13-speaker Premium Sound System is eager to please, just choose from sources that include SiriusXM Satellite Radio, CD player, and Bluetooth streaming.

Two of the absolute best quality and comfort features were in the cabin. Rear door alert enhances passenger safety, and power liftgate makes loading quick and easy.

For the second row, dual 8-inch monitors, 2 wireless headphones and remote control, 12V & 120V power outlets, headphones jacks, and HDMI port will keep seats passengers engaged and QUIET.

Leather appears to cover the entire interior, accented by ash wood trim. Semi-Aniline leather appointed seats have eye-catching Alcantara accents and “LIMITED” embossing. Leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel, 12-way power-adjustable driver seat and 10-way power-adjustable front passenger seat are also featured. It seemed as though every seat had lumbar support. The captain chairs in the 2nd-row feature remote tip-up for easy enter and exit. Together with the 3rd-row 60/40 split fold-flat seats, getting people and cargo in and out is easy. Admittedly, the 3rd row was not too comfortable with more than two adults.

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Leather covered interior. (Courtesy of Infiniti)

There were a couple of items that need improving. The large storage bin between the two front seats needs a light. Because of its depth, you just cannot see the black shadowed bottom, especially at night.

The driver’s seat belt recall is mounted too high to the left of the driver seat and right of the passenger seat. They are difficult to find unless you turn around to see the seat belt. You must turn around and reach way up to find it and then buckle up.

I found over 27 safety features on the QX80 listed as standard, from the tire pressure monitor to the Around View Monitor. My favorites were Lane Departure Prevention, Blind Spot Intervention, and Forward Emergency Braking.

This Infiniti is known for its cabin quality, smooth ride, great 2nd-row space, and maximum 8,500 pounds of towing.

The suggested retail price is $91,450 for the feature-loaded Limited AWD model.

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or durhlcaussey@gmail.com.