For drivers who want size, power, and a rich interior, large luxury SUVs fit the bill. These three-row behemoths include the well-known Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator. However, MotorTrend recently included the Infiniti QX80 in its top five full-size luxury SUVs of 2021. This crossover might be one of the best, but it drives just the way it looks.
Here’s the good and the bad about the 2021 Infiniti QX80.
The 2021 Infiniti QX80 made this shortlist of full-size luxury SUVs
When ranking its top six full-size luxury SUVs of 2021, MotorTrend selected the Lincoln Navigator first, followed by the Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, BMW X7, Infiniti QX80, and Lexus LX. The Infiniti QX80 is in good company but ranks next to last. It has the luxury part down, but many of its competitors outrank it in features.
Its appearance suggests it’s not great to drive
The 2021 Infiniti QX80 has a “boxy and brash” appearance, MotorTrend reports. Its body-on-frame construction means it drives like a truck. The QX80 shares its platform with the Nissan Titan and Armada. Despite updates for the 2020 model year, the QX80 suffers from “coarse handling and lots of body roll, as well as lackluster fuel economy,” MotorTrend complains. Despite the body roll, the QX80 performs well when driving in a straight line, MotorTrend says.
The handling isn’t great, but its standard naturally aspirated 5.6-liter V8 engine performs well. It produces 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque when paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but four-wheel drive is available. The QX80 can tow up to 8,500 pounds when properly equipped, a somewhat low rating for its class, U.S. News reports. And thanks to its enormous size, it gets only 13 to 14 mpg in the city and 19 to 20 mpg on the highway.
Pros and cons of the 2021 Infiniti QX80
The 2021 Infiniti QX80 boasts plenty of interior space with luxurious amenities. However, its third row is a bit snug, and it offers less passenger and cargo room than the Lincoln Navigator. But it provides comfortable seats, especially in the first and second rows, and an easily accessible third row.
The interior design is comfortable but feels a bit outdated because it hasn’t changed much in years. It also doesn’t offer luxury features like massaging seats or a panoramic moonroof. It comes standard with heated front seats, leather upholstery, and a heated steering wheel. Ventilated front seats and heated second-row seats are available.
The Infiniti QX80 also has a dual-screen infotainment system with an 8.0-inch display on top and a 7.0-inch display on the bottom. It includes navigation and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Also, expect a 13-speaker sound system; a 17-speaker upgrade is available on higher trim levels.
Plus, the 2021 QX80 includes plenty of advanced safety features. Blind-spot warning, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and rear-seat reminder join automatic emergency braking as standard features.
In addition to its less-than-stellar handling and fuel efficiency, the 2021 QX80 doesn’t have the highest safety ratings. The NHTSA gave it 4 stars for overall safety. It earned the highest rating of 5 stars for side crash tests, but the 3 stars it got for frontal crash tests and rollover tests dragged down its overall rating. U.S. News adds that the QX80 doesn’t have good predicted reliability either.
The 2021 Infiniti QX80’s best perks are arguably its luxury and comfort. But those aren’t quite enough to make up for its subpar handling. It’s due for a full redesign to keep up with the competition.