Big, bold and beautiful, thanks to a mid-cycle refresh, the 2018 Infiniti QX80 is stylish and off-road ready. Powered by a V8 engine, Infiniti’s full-size SUV offers excellent performance. The spacious cabin provides family-friendly seating for up to eight passengers.

The 2018 Infiniti QX80 is a five-door full-size luxury SUV. Infiniti offers the QX80 in one well-equipped trim. The body-on-frame construction, like a full-size pickup truck, is towing and off-road capable. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is available.

Infiniti refreshed the QX80 for the 2018 model year. The enhancements include a new front clip and rear hatch area. The refresh also gave the QX80 a new interior with updated technology.

Exterior

The 2018 Infiniti QX80 looks more sophisticated without losing its muscular appealThe makeover included a new grille, lighting, hood, fenders, side vents and front bumper, and a new tailgate and taillights out back. The enhancements go a long way, giving the QX80 a coherent design. Make no mistake, the QX80 is a large vehicle measuring almost 209 inches long and an imposing 80 inches tall. But the new design turns the SUV into a gentler giant.

The QX80 features 20-inch alloy wheels; LED headlights, turn signals and integrated fog lights; power-folding heated side mirrors with LED turn lamps; body-color running boards; roof rails and solar glassStandard equipment also includes a power moonroof, a stainless-steel rear bumper protector, a rear power liftgate and a tow hitch.

Options include 22-inch alloy wheels, headlight washers and chrome mirror caps.

Interior

The 2018 Infiniti QX80’s interior is spacious, quiet and comfortable. The updated cabin features plenty of wood trim and soft-touch surfaces. The oversized heated front seats are soft but provide support for longer road trips.  The standard 10-way power driver’s seat and tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel make it easy to find a comfortable seating position. Thanks to the SUV’s ride height, the QX80 also provides an authoritative driving position. Standard premium features include a heated steering wheel, tri-zone climate control, interior mood lighting and an abundance of family-friendly cargo solutions.

The QX80’s second-row seating includes two comfortable captain’s chairs and a center console. The seats are like the front row, offering plenty of legroom and headroom. Those looking for more seating can replace the second-row captain’s chairs with a 60/40-split bench seat. The optional bench seat increases the QX80’s seating capacity to eight. The third-row bench has seat belts for three passengers. The cramped quarters are better suited for two smaller adults or children, however.

The QX80 offers 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row of seats. That expands to 49.6 and 95.1 cubic feet when stowing the third and second rows, respectively.  With all the QX80’s seats in place, the SUV’s cargo space is less than that offered by other SUVs in the segment. The QX80 beats much of the competition in the cargo department when the third and second row of seats are stowed.

Available upgrades include semi-aniline leather seating, an advanced climate control system, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats and charcoal or espresso burl wood trim.

Performance

The 2018 Infiniti QX80 is powered by a 5.6-liter V8 engine that delivers 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an intuitive seven-speed automatic transmission. The combination provides excellent acceleration. The V8 always feels up to the task whether driving around town or towing up to an impressive 8,500 pounds. All models include a driver-selectable snow mode and hill-start control. Optional features include hydraulic body motion control. The system works to keep the SUV level on uneven surfaces. Infiniti’s four-wheel drive system monitors road surfaces and adjusts the vehicle. The system distributes torque between the front and rear wheels for better traction on slippery roads.

The rear-wheel-drive QX80 is rated at an EPA-estimated 14/20 mpg city/highway on premium unleaded fuel. The four-wheel-drive QX80 AWD model is rated at 13/19 mpg city/highway. Fuel economy is not going to win the full-size SUV any awards, but it’s like the V8-powered Lexus LX 570Consumers looking for better fuel economy will want to check out the 2018 Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator. Both offer similar power and a significant savings at the fuel pump, with numbers as high as 16/23 mpg city/highway.

The QX80 is easy to drive, especially considering the SUV’s size and off-road capabilities. Steering is precise. The damped suspension absorbs rough road surfaces. The optional body motion control keeps the QX80 stable. The V8 and seven-speed transmission provide excellent acceleration and towing capabilities. The V8 engine also provides the instant torque and low-end grunt that only a large displacement V8 engine can produce.

Technology

The 2018 Infinity QX80 features an intelligent key with push-button start and remote startThe standard Bose infotainment system features an 8-inch touch-screen display, 13-speaker audio, Bluetooth, USB, satellite radio and navigationThe standard infotainment system and navigation are easy to use and provide excellent audio. But the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Audio keep the QX80 from earning higher scores.

Available infotainment upgrades include a 15-speaker Bose surround-sound system and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with two 8-inch displays, wireless headphones and a remote control.

The QX80 includes an around-view camera, trailer sway control and auto hazards when the airbags are deployedAvailable active safety technology features include intelligent cruise control, forward collision warning, distance control alert and blind spot warningBackup collision warning, backup collision intervention and lane departure warning and prevention also are optional.

Value

The 2018 Infiniti QX80 starts at $64,750 for the rear-wheel-drive model. The QX80 AWD, which adds four-wheel drive, starts at $67,850. A fully-equipped QX80 AWD with all the option packages costs around $84,000. All prices do not include a $1,295 transportation charge.

The Infiniti QX80 is priced below premium full-size SUVs from Land Rover, Lincoln, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus.  The comfortable interior, powerful engine and long list of standard technology represent value. Although decent for a large V8 engine, shoppers should consider the QX80’s fuel economy and need for premium unleadedThose looking for much of the Infiniti QX80’s luxury, performance and styling will want to investigate the 2018 Nissan Armada. The Armada shares the QX80’s essentials at a much lower price point.

Overall

The 2018 Infiniti QX80’s styling and performance make the SUV a strong competitor in the full-size luxury segment. The SUV’s ample cargo space and optional seating for eight garner favor with families. The QX80’s price undercuts much of the competition by thousands of dollars without compromise.