FIRST IMPRESSION: Handsome exterior features combined with truly functional three rows of seating for up to six make the QX80 a worthy contender for any luxury ground transportation operator looking for a unique fleet addition.
Infiniti is the latest OEM to eye our industry for commercial fleet sales (which could presumably lead to a livery program), so when they reached out to us for a test drive, we were excited to see what they had to offer. They sent us their beautiful flagship QX80, a three-row, six-passenger full-size luxury SUV. If you’re unfamiliar with the brand (it’s a new one for us too), it is the ultra-luxe arm of Nissan, featuring a lineup of SUVs, crossovers, and sedans. The QX80 is obviously posh, but it shares a ton with the Nissan Armada, including its body-on-frame construction.
The competition within the full-size luxury SUV category is strong, especially when the other nameplates are all vehicles that have dominated our industry fleets for years. But the QX80’s unique styling definitely makes it a standout among its peers. You still get all the bells and whistles that you will with others in its class, such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot and predictive collision warnings, and all the sensors and 360-degree cameras that you desire for safe operation.
While our testers were a little mixed about the exterior design—a completely refreshed QX80 is anticipated for the 2025 model year—we all agreed that the interior is not only well-appointed but worth the hype about its cavernous cabin. There was plenty of headroom and legroom for all three rows, and thanks to the second row’s captain’s chairs, we didn’t feel claustrophobic in that bonus row. Plus, the third-row seats power recline for additional comfort, and the second row is equipped with standard USB charging ports.
Another thing that impressed us was just how hushed the cabin was from road noise and weather. Infiniti advertises using noise-isolating glass, and we can attest that it’s doing its job well. Comfortable and quiet is a powerful duo for our industry.
For comparative purposes, the QX80 is 210 inches in length, which is on par with the Cadillac Escalade, although it’s more than 10 inches shorter than the Escalade’s extended version as well as the Lincoln Navigator L and the Chevy Suburban. The QX80’s storage clocks in at 16.6 cu. ft. behind the third row.
Make no mistake; the QX80 is a big boy powered by a 5.6L DOHC V8 (400 hp) with the MPGs to match. Expect to get 14/20 (city/highway) on the rear-wheel-drive models and 13/19 (city/highway) for 4WD. It drives like a truck, so those who are used to other large vehicles that share this type of platform will be comfortable. You’ll have no trouble merging into highway traffic, but we especially liked it as a city driver.
TRIMS: Luxe, Premium Select, and Sensory (all available in RWD and 4WD)
ENGINE: 5.6 L DOHC V8 (standard on all trims)
MPG: 14/20 (city/highway RWD); 13/19 (city/highway 4WD)
HEADROOM: (second/third row): 40"/36.8"
LEGROOM: (second/third row): 40"/36.8"
CARGO: (behind third row): 16.6 cu. ft.
PRICING: Excluding any incentives and destination and handling charges, the Luxe trim starts at $74,150, Premium Select at $78,300, and Sensory at $85,350.
Contact your local Infiniti retailer for further info about their Corporate Sales Program.
While the trend among luxe utility vehicles has been toward sleek touchscreens and panoramic glass roofs, Infiniti has chosen to stick with tactile buttons (we’re not complaining!) and a single moonroof. We enjoy the streamlined, modern look of large touchscreens and wide instrument displays, but sometimes it’s just faster to push that button than to hunt through a menu to adjust the heat or change the channel. This vehicle’s technology is intuitive although it may feel quaint compared to some of the crazy features that the other luxury OEMs are pumping out (you can decide for yourself since Infiniti is expected to be at the Vegas Show). Note that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available features in addition to the MyINFINITI app, which can keep you connected remotely, and INFINTI Voice Recognition for audio and vehicle controls. It should be interesting to see how Infiniti tackles the interior refresh in the 2025 model year.
Although we did not test drive any other models, we were intrigued by the lineup. If you’re looking for a midsize three-row utility that shares the QX80’s looks and features, the QX60 is billed as a crossover SUV and has a more fuel-efficient V6.
Bottom line: If your company thrives on fleet diversity and running a classy and luxurious vehicle that almost no other competitor in your area owns, and the lack of a dedicated fleet warranty or program isn’t a dealbreaker, the Infiniti roster is worth a look. [CD0124]