One of the key appeals of traditional full-size SUVs is that they provide a spacious container for packing a vast array of luxury goodies many buyers like to keep close at hand. Formerly known as the QX56, the full-size QX80 is Infiniti’s full-size body-on-frame traditionalist that’s a little bigger (and heavier) than a Chevy Tahoe. The exterior dimensions don’t change for 2015, nor do the underpinnings or the powertrain—a robust 5.6-liter V-8 (400 horsepower, 413 lb-ft of torque) and seven-speed automatic transmission driving either the rear or, optionally, all four wheels.
Infiniti cites the Q50 sedan as the inspiration for the new front end, which includes a redesigned upper grille and adds a lower grille opening. The headlights and fog lights are all LED, as are the turn signals, and the new front bumper incorporates sonar sensors for the adaptive cruise control and forward collision-alert system.
Inside, the redesigned cabin sports new trim elements, a comprehensive range of standard features—premium audio, navigation, leather upholstery, a sunroof, a new auto high- and low-beam feature—and two revised option packages: Driver Assistance and Deluxe Technology. The latter includes elements you might expect, such as a 15-speaker Bose surround-sound system, new Stratford Burl trim, and adaptive front lighting, plus something you might not—a climate-control system with auto recirculation, a Plasmacluster air purifier, and a grape polyphenol filter.
While a loaded QX80 is unquestionably posh, Infiniti market research shows that the appetite for luxury features is almost insatiable, which has inspired an even higher-lux trim level for 2015: the QX80 Limited.
Exterior differentiators include dark-finish headlight lenses, tinted rear lamps, and pool lighting beneath brushed-finish running boards. Exterior chrome trim has a dark finish, as do the standard 22-inch wheels, and there are three new colors exclusive to the Limited model. The main color of the seven-passenger interior is a shade Infiniti calls Truffle Brown, the ash wood trim is specific to the Limited, and the overall effect, according to Infiniti Americas president Michael Bartsch, is “decidedly masculine, what might be unapologetically described as a mobile man cave.” In addition to its specific trim touches, the Limited will also include the contents of all the QX80 option packages: Driver Assistance, Deluxe Technology, and Theater.
Introduced at the New York show, the updated QX80 will be on sale in the fourth quarter of 2014 as a 2015 model.
Thanks to: Car and Driver