2019 Infinity QX80 - Driven
The Infiniti QX80 isn’t exactly a spring chicken. If you count the three years that it was on the market as the “QX56,” this full-size SUV has been on the market for nearly a decade. This is a rather long lifestyle for an SUV in today’s automotive climate, but the QX80 is a very niche vehicle; not in size and purpose but in terms of sales for the brand. When you look at overall sales of the XC80, the figures don’t look that great. In 2016, Chevy sold more than 103,000 Tahoes, and even Cadillac sold some 23,000 examples of the Escalade. The QX80, though? Infiniti moved just 14,085 over all of 2016, and that was an 8.3-percent increase over 2015. With that in mind, the company can’t exactly give it a short lifespan like other automakers can their full-sized, wide-selling SUVs.
That doesn’t mean the QX80 has been ignored, however. On the contrary, it was actually refreshed when Infiniti swapped its name over from QX56, and it was refreshed again in 2017. The overall appearance of the QC80 isn’t displeasing to look at, and when we were offered the chance to spend a few days and give it a good thorough test drive, we couldn’t turn down the offer. Immediately we started asking ourselves questions: Can it still hold its own in a market with much newer, more advanced vehicles? Does it’s aged chassis still deliver driving dynamics and comfortability that’s on par with other full-sized, luxury SUVs on the market today? Should someone really pay anywhere between $65,000 and upward of $90,000 for a vehicle that’s due for retirement? Well, we’ve set out to figure out just how well the QX80 has aged over the years – you just might be surprised.
2018 Infiniti QX80 by Larte Design
For the longest time, the Infiniti QX80 suffered from a design that made it look like it preferred to be sleeping in a hammock than being out and about in the road. The refreshed 2018 model fixed some of those issues with new headlamps and a more upright profile, but there’s still something about the full-sized SUV’s design that lacks the personality that’s evident in the QX60 and QX70. Well, in times like this, the solution may not be found with the automaker itself, but rather, in the aftermarket tuning world. In this case, German tuner Larte Design is on the scene with a super aggressive body kit that not breathes much-needed life into Infiniti’s resident flagship SUV.
2019 Infiniti QX80 Limited
The Infiniti QX80 arrived in special-edition form at the 2018 New York Auto Show. Called the QX80 Limited, the full-sized SUV receives a good dose of exclusive features, including upgrades to its exterior and interior. It’ll be joined in New York by a similar special edition version of the smaller QX60. Both limited edition models should get plenty of attention in the Big Apple as Infiniti tries to inject more personality into an SUV lineup that needs to make up some ground against the competition.
2018 Infiniti QX80
The Infiniti QX80 is getting a slight refresh for the 2018 model year. This comes after the SUV debuted in 2013 and is welcomed since the SUV segment is so hot these days. The grille, headlights, and hood receive the biggest updates, while new LED taillights, wheel designs, and color options round out the refresh. Even milder changes happen inside, though potential customers wanting the latest and greatest will find the larger rear-seat entertainment screens, revised leather-wrapped steering wheel, and larger storage compartments a welcomed addition.
The QX80 is somewhat of a niche vehicle. Infiniti says it sold 14,085 QX80s in the U.S. within the last calendar year, which is an 8.3-percent increase over the prior year. Compare that to the Chevrolet Tahoe’s 2016 sales of 103,306 in the U.S. Even the Cadillac Escalade outpaced the QX80 in 2016 with 23,604 examples sold in America. Still, Infiniti says its research shows the QX80 averages the youngest buyer in the full-size SUV segment, with a high percentage being females. The brand also labels the QX80 buyer as “affluent, high-achieving entrepreneurs and business leaders, often with families, who demand space and utility, hand-crafted quality and modern design, and effortless on-road performance” – whatever that means. Basically, the QX80 is a three-row, full-size SUV for those who want to stand out. The changes for 2018 won’t magically boost QX80 sales toward the Tahoe, but Infiniti can surely expect to see growth in the segment.
Let’s see exactly what’s changed for 2018.
2018 Infiniti QX80 Monograph
The Infiniti QX80 was birthed into the world back in 2004 as the QX56. It went through a generational change in 2010 and in 2014 it went through a mid-cycle overhaul and received the QX80 name to go with Infiniti’s new naming structure. Even with the facelift taking place just a few years ago, the QX80 is rather dated for such an overpopulated segment. We were hoping to see a new model for 2018, but instead, Infiniti has been busy working on the QX80 Monograph – a design study that basically displays how the QX80 could evolve in the future. For now, there’s only one image to go by, and it does have an evolutional look to it, but it’s also just as boxy so it’s not quite as modern as some would expect.
As a design study, it’s quite possible that this is the direction that Infiniti wants to go with the next-gen model. But, the problem is that it’s not really all that different from the current model. Sure, it’s got those fancy and futuristic LED headlights and a new nose that sits a bit taller to go with a new front fascia design, but that’s about it. To be quite honest, I doubt Infiniti is going to get a good reaction from this concept as it’s just too boxy for the segment that it competes in, but then again, the QX80 has been known as the model that outsells the rest of Infiniti’s SUVs, so anything is possible. With that said, let’s dive on in a take a closer look at the QX80 Monograph.
Continue reading for the full story.
2017 Infiniti QX80 Signature Edition
The second-generation QX80 came to be in 2010, when it still had its original name, the QX56. The company’s largest crossover yet was renamed in 2013, when it also gained a significant facelift. Seven years old as of 2017, the QX80 is living its final years on the market, but Infiniti is putting a great deal of effort into keeping it relevant against the competition. At the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, the luxury brand launched a new special-edition model, called the Signature Edition.
Essentially a reheated soup – a Signature Edition version was also offered in 2016 – the limited-edition model aims to offer a blend of "popular equipment and unique design features." While there aren’t many unique design features to talk about, the Signature Edition is indeed equipped with many tech features that are optional on most QX80 trims. The reasons why Infiniti brought it back are very simple. Not only the Signature Edition was a big success in 2016, it also helped the QX80 set an all-time U.S. sales record of more than 16,700 units last year.
“Infiniti’s Signature Editions signify something special for our customers and deliver on our promise to provide an unparalleled level of sophistication with exclusive new content,” said Randy Parker, vice president of Infiniti Americas. “This year, these unique models feature the most sought-after selections to enhance the driver’s experience for our ever-popular Q50 sport sedan and QX80 full-size luxury SUV.”
Milking it for all it’s worth is the way to go in today’s industry and I can’t really blame Infiniti for doing this. Let’s see what this "new" Signature Edition is all about.
Continue reading to learn more about the Infiniti QX80 Signature Edition.
Along with today’s announcement of the new 2015 QX80 SUV, Infiniti also dropped a very special Limited model. The normal QX80 is far from plebian, but the QX80 Limited is sprucing up the New York Auto Show as one of the most luxurious vehicles to ever come from the Nissan group.
While the started with a very solid canvas, what Nissan managed to create for Infiniti moves the brand on the territory of its competitors and into a new market of vehicles that haven’t even arrived yet. We know that Bentley is making an SUV, and that Aston Martin may have one on the table as well, but it seems that the QX80 Limited may have beaten both of those models to the punch.
With an unprecedented amount of standard technology, convenience and luxury features, the Limited edition of the QX80 is setting a very high bar for anything that comes afterwards. If you think it feels weird to hear Bentley and Infiniti mentioned in the same breath, read on to see the sheer amount of class and refinement crammed inside of this rolling palace.