2018 Infiniti qx80 4wd savage on wheels

Certainly the strong V8 is a benefit if you’re hauling boats or snowmobiles on trailers. It pulls hard and steady and still remains refined enough to not advertise to the world that you’ve got a V8. And while the vehicle is stout at 3+ tons, that V8 will help the SUV gallop up to highway speeds relatively quickly. Car and Driver magazine says this will do 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. Heck, most 1960s muscle cars couldn’t do that, save for a few Corvettes, Camaros and the Mustang Mach 1!

Here the QX80 excelled in looks with a black over saddle leather interior with perforated leather seats, black dash with that saddle tan trim by the center stack, plus chrome surrounds on the console, stack, dash and doors. That chrome is way too reflective on sun days though, a brushed or blacked-out trim would be better.

There also was some black fake wood trim on the console, but it too was reflective. Yet riders praised the look as they clamored aboard via helpful running boards.

The dash looks fine too, but there are a lot of buttons and knobs to figure out, but most are easy and large. However, the infotainment screen is mighty small for this sized and priced vehicle. Infiniti claims it’s an 8-inch screen, but it looks miniscule atop the center stack. Many newer luxury cars, crossovers and utes now offer much wider screens.

But it all feels cushy. The doors’ armrests, and big storage box/armrest between the seats feel like Uncle Charlie’s favorite easy chair in the den. The seats themselves also are well cushioned, featuring a quilted leather pattern that looks and feels rich. Seat bottoms are fairly flat, but comfortable, while the seat backs were more contoured.

In back there’s a split bench for the second row ($250 option) and third row seats that will power down, thanks to some buttons inside the powered rear hatch. The driver also can power down the second row seats from controls under the ute’s center stack. All this makes lowering the seats easy to boost cargo space. A LOT of space when you start folding down the seats!

Most popular with the grandkids was the built-in screens in back of the front row seats’ headrests. Grandpa could slap in a Despicable Me DVD and quiet reigned for miles and miles. Parents and grandparents everywhere celebrate! This feature is part of Infiniti’s theater package that also includes wireless headphones, various plug-in ports and heated second row seats.

There are many other pluses too. This Infiniti came with a full load of safety devices, including blind-spot and lane departure warnings and intervention systems, plus backup collision intervention. That means you not only are warned of a problem, but the car takes evasive action. This is all part of a $2,900 driver assistance package. It adds smart cruise control, forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection and front collision warning.

The deluxe tech package also adds a 15-speaker Bose sound system, semi-aniline leather seats that are heated and cooled, adaptive front lighting and Hydraulic Body Motion Control, all for $5,700. Again, heated and cooled seats should be standard. That HBMC system is designed to help reduce vehicle body roll with hydraulics instead of anti-roll bars. It may help, but as stated earlier, there still was body lean in turns.