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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
Under the hood is a 400-horsepower direct-injected version of Nissan's 5.6-liter V8…It's enough to easily get our nearly 3-ton QX up to pace with the interstate herd.
Still, this is not a slow truck. We tested the last QX to 60 in 7.1 seconds, and it’s shocking how something pushing three tons can get moving that quickly. The exhaust note is as glorious as before, too.
Car and Driver
Steering is nearly pinky-light. It's bit more vague than the Escalade's, and not one of the QX56's dynamic strong point.
Hydraulic Body Motion Control system… is pretty effective. Body roll is, indeed, minimal, especially for such a large, comfortable SUV. And it keeps head toss down, as proven by short back-to-back drives of the new QX against an Escalade.
There's also a low range for, in theory, off-roading, but it's more likely to be used when you're pulling your boat trailer up a ramp.
All 2015 QX80s come with a 5.6-liter V-8 delivering 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, with drive going to either the rear wheels or all four via a seven-speed automatic transmission. The engine’s numbers might not seem high, but it’s enough to tow up to 8,500 pounds and provide adequate performance for this big and burly three-row SUV. This big ute can hit 60 mph in a surprisingly quick seven seconds, while gas mileage is no surprise -- a low 14/20 mpg.
Push the start button, and the QX rumbles to life. The V-8 is one shared with the Nissan Titan and Armada–under the hood, but the QX's exhaust sounds more lush and refined than NASCAR race-ready. It's a strong, silent type of powertrain.
Since the QX80 shares some of its rugged underpinnings with the military-grade Nissan Patrol, it’s no surprise the Infiniti has off-roading in its genetic makeup. For traction, Infiniti upgrades the rear-drive QX80 to full-time four-wheel drive with a real low drive ratio. Torque is biased to the rear, but can be split 50:50 between the front and rear axles when wheels start slipping. It’s fairly simple and effective—more so with the QX’s standard hill-start-assist electronics.
Ride quality is excellent, too, in the QX80, even if you get the 22-inch wheels that are available on the most expensive versions. The QX's steering feel is light -- perhaps too light -- but its brakes are big and powerful. There’s an automatic leveling setup on the rear end for towing duty (the QX will drag 8,500 pounds behind it), as well as available Hydraulic Body Motion Control, air pressure at individual wheels to help damp out body lean (a feature not entirely worth the extra cost).
The real, though faint, difference between the suspensions didn’t get much more pronounced with larger wheels, so normally we’d advise skipping the Deluxe Touring Package and the hydraulic suspension—but since it’s added with the 22-inch wheels and other features, it’s between you and your wallet. Steering feel is too light for our tastes, but the QX’s brakes are big and powerful.
The QX80 offers true luxury-vehicle road manners with its strong V-8.