2021 INFINITI QX80

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
December 4, 2020

Buying tip

The QX80 makes the most sense in base Luxe trim; other versions cost more but don’t add enough to justify their pricetags.

features & specs

LUXE AWD
LUXE RWD
PREMIUM SELECT AWD
MPG
13 city / 19 hwy
MPG
14 city / 20 hwy
MPG
13 city / 19 hwy
MSRP
$72,150
MSRP
$69,050
MSRP
$76,450

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 luxury SUV is an older design that remains a decent choice given its trucky abilities.

What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Infiniti QX80? What does it compare to?

The QX80 is a large luxury SUV with seating for up to eight passengers, a powerful but thirsty V-8, and serious towing ability. Consider it against the GMC Yukon, Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, and Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class.

Is the 2021 Infiniti QX80 a good car/SUV?

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For a big SUV, the QX80 does many things well, but fuel economy isn’t among those pluses. We give it a TCC Rating of 6.4 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2021 Infiniti QX80?

This year, the QX80 adds a few nice safety features to help keep it in its lane, and its trim levels are revised to base Luxe, mid-level Premium Select, and range-topping Sensory grades. 

The QX80 shares everything but the dressing on top with the Nissan Armada. Underneath its brutish body, you’ll find a 5.6-liter V-8 that churns 400 horsepower to either the rear or all four wheels through a 7-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is atrocious at 15 to 16 mpg combined, though the QX80 can confidently tow as much as 8,500 pounds. 

Inside, the QX80 is more business jet than Greyhound thanks to its spacious, old-school interior. Twin screens in the center stack work reasonably well, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility were finally added last year. New for 2021 is a rearview mirror that doubles as a display for a camera. 

The QX80 hasn’t been crash tested, but it comes with a good level of collision-avoidance gear including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control. 

How much does the 2021 Infiniti QX80 cost?

A base QX80 Luxe runs about $72,000, while four-wheel-drive adds $3,000 to that. The range tops out at around $85,000.

The best buy here is the base Luxe; the Premium Select doesn’t add much, while the Sensory is priced against more modern rivals.  

Where is the 2021 Infiniti QX80 made?

In Japan.

7

2021 INFINITI QX80

Styling

Glitzy and over-the-top, the QX80 looks like a proper luxury SUV.

Is the 2021 Infiniti QX80 a good-looking car?

Handsome but far from understated, the QX80 is a reasonably stylish big SUV. A few updates over the last few years cleaned up the front and rear ends for a more cohesive look that combined with the pleasant interior earns a 7 out of 10 on our scale.

The QX80 ticks all the big SUV boxes: a roof rack, fender flares, running boards, and of course a two-box profile. The new Premium Select trim trades chrome for attractive bronze-tinted accents on the grille and tailgate, but curiously the brightwork on around the windows and on the door handles remains the shiny stuff. Paired with mandatory 22-inch alloy wheels (think expensive tire bills), it’s a trim level to skip. 

Inside, the QX80 is no less bulbous, a term we can apply to its curvy dash as well as its overstuffed seats. Most QX80s will have twin middle-row captain’s chairs, though a three-piece bench is available.

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2021 INFINITI QX80

Performance

The 2021 Infiniti QX80 is a big SUV that drives like one, unlike some rivals.

Is the Infiniti QX80 4WD?

It’s configured with rear-wheel drive, but 4WD is an option. Infiniti charges about $3,000 extra for it on the QX80. 

How fast is the Infiniti QX80?

With 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque from its 5.6-liter V-8 tasked with moving around 6,000 pounds of SUV, the QX80 is plenty peppy. We rate it at a 6 out of 10, with a point for performance and one for its towing ability, with one point canceled out by ponderous handling.

At least the ride is soft and composed, even with optional 22-inch wheels. Steering feel is nonexistent, and the QX80 is as much a chore to shuffle down a winding road as it is to sneak into a parking spot. Hydraulic body motion control keeps the truck relatively level in cornering, though it’s only included on the megabuck Sensory trim. In other versions it leans heavily and feels every bit of its length and height and weight.

The QX80 rides on a separate ladder frame that gives it confidence and the ability to tow as much as 8,500 pounds. Ground clearance is good for off-road use, too.

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2021 INFINITI QX80

Comfort & Quality

The 2021 QX80 is a road-trip rock star.

Step right up to the Infiniti QX80 and you’ll find plenty of room for passengers in all three rows as well as nice materials throughout. We rate the QX80 at 9 out of 10 for comfort, with points for its front seats and rear, cargo space, and its ability to seat five comfortably.

Cushy seats make the QX80 a comfortable place to whittle away the miles. Row two can be had with either captain’s chairs and a center console or a three-piece bench. The third row stows when not needed, but its nearly 29 inches of leg room is better than you may expect. 

Cargo space is of course an asset. You’ll find a smidge less than 17 cubic feet with the third row raised, but that grows to nearly 50 cubes with row two folded and a maximum of 95.1 cubic feet of cargo space. 

The QX80’s interior is nicely appointed but only truly decadent in Sensory trim which swaps standard leather for softer semi-aniline hides. A few lower-buck details like a chintzy unlined glove box and hard trim on the lower door panels serve as reminders that the QX80 is a dressed-up Nissan, and not vice-versa.

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2021 INFINITI QX80

Safety

The 2021 QX80 comes with the expected array of crash-avoidance tech.

How safe is the Infiniti QX80?

Crash tests haven’t been performed on the QX80, but most signs point toward a safe vehicle. Starting with the 6,000-pound curb weight, the QX80 adds to its resume standard automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, and active lane control. 

A new rearview mirror that doubles as a display for a rear-mounted camera complements a surround-view camera system necessary to help moor a land yacht like this one.

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2021 INFINITI QX80

Features

The QX80 is well-equipped at every level.

The QX80 wants for little, as it should for upward of $70,000. We rate the lineup at 8 out of 10, with extra points for standard features, infotainment, and its 4-year/60,000-mile warranty.

Which Infiniti QX80 should I buy?

Three QX80 trim levels are offered, and from there your only choices include drive wheels, captain’s seats versus a middle-row bench, and of course colors.

The base QX80 Luxe comes with leather seats, twin screens that offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a sunroof, and a full suite of active safety gear. We’d stop shopping here, since the $4,300 or so Infiniti charges for the Premium Select mostly buys you appearance features as well as 22-inch wheels that deliver a slightly stiffer ride. 

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Infiniti QX80?

Topping the range is the QX80 Sensory, which for about $85,000 with four-wheel drive adds softer leather, cooled front seats, more Bose speakers, rear-seat entertainment, and a few more features. 

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2021 INFINITI QX80

Fuel Economy

Nothing about the Infiniti QX80 suggests frugality.

Is the 2021 Infiniti QX80 good on gas?

Compared to an actual yacht, yes, the QX80 is a thrifty choice. Compared to other SUVs, no, the QX80 is not good on gas. 

We rate it at 2 out of 10, and the EPA rates it at just 14 mpg city, 20 highway, 16 combined with rear-wheel drive. Opt for four-wheel drive and those figures dip by 1 mpg each. In real-world use on the mandatory premium fuel, we’ve seen closer to 13 mpg in mixed driving. 

Review continues below
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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$69,050
MSRP based on LUXE RWD
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6.4
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 9
Safety N/A
Features 8
Fuel Economy 2
Compare the 2021 INFINITI QX80 against the competition
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    7.2
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  • 2021 GMC Yukon

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  • 2021 Lincoln Navigator

    7.5
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  • 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS Class

    7.4
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  • 2021 Nissan Armada

    5.8
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