THE RIDE: A four-door, up-to-eight-passenger (our trim seated seven), full-size 2021 Infiniti QX80 4WD.
DOWN THE ROAD: Based on a fully boxed all-steel frame, the power in the Infiniti is abundant to propel the 5,706-pound-plus vehicle. The luxurious ride is quiet and graceful whether you are on the highway or testing the Infiniti’s off-road talent.
TECH & PERFORMANCE: A 5.6-liter V8 DOHC engine pumps out 400 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 413 pounds-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. It is mated to a seven-speed auto transmission, but our all-wheel-drive version also was equipped with an auto-leveling air suspension to smoothen the bumps while towing a boat or a small trailer. Tow capacity? An astonishing 8,500 pounds.
The four-wheel drive system can be driven in auto, 2WD, 4Hi or 4Lo modes, depending on road and weather conditions. Up front and in the rear is an independent double wishbone suspension with stabilizer bars. The power-assisted, rack-and-pinion steering is accurate and direct. Stopping power is left up to the massive 13.8-inch ventilated disc rotors. The SUV sits on enormous 22-inch forged dark aluminum-alloy wheels.
LOOK & FEEL: We test-drove the Premium Select model, which is packed with tech and luxury goodies. This means dark chrome and black decked up the double-arch grille, fender vents, door mirror caps and rear tailgate strip. The side step rails will come in handy for the little tykes to ingress and egress from the vehicle.
Space is at a premium in the full-size QX80 with storage areas in the center console, overhead console and doors. Want cargo space to haul plywood from the local home improvement store? Then fold flat the third row seat for 49.6 cubic feet of space. Or press a button and watch the 60/40 third row seat fold flat to open up 95.1 cubic feet of space (that’s with both second and third row seats down).
The InTouch infotainment system, which comes with 8-inch dual touch screens atop each other, is convenient to use. The wood trim on the doors and the dashboard above the glove box conveys a tasteful appearance. Also standard are the tri-zone auto AC, 10-way power and eight-way front passenger heated/cooled seats, power-fold outside mirrors, roof rails and power-slide/tilt moonroof and rear liftgate.
SAFETY FIRST: Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for all rows, four-wheel disc brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, two-speed transfer case, blind spot monitor, lane departure warning, forward emergency brakes with pedestrian detection, 360-degree camera, hill-start and distance control assists, adaptive cruise control, daytime running lights and a tire pressure monitor are standard.
OUT THE DOOR: Based at $78,450 (with options totaling $80,185), plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges.
BY THE NUMBERS: Wheelbase: 121.1 inches; length: 210.2 inches; width: 79.9 inches; height: 75.8 inches; fuel capacity: 26 gallons; city: 13 mpg; highway: 19 mpg; website: www.infinitiusa.com.
WHY DIG IT: Packed with luxury, plentiful room for passengers and cargo as well as an admirable tow capacity backed by a potent engine, what’s there not to like? If you looked past the fuel economy figures (we did eke out just 16.9 mpg in combined driving, beating EPA estimates), this full-size SUV should serve the needs of large households quite well.