Caraganza Review 2022 Infiniti QX80: The More Things Change

The last time I was behind the wheel of an Infiniti QX80, it was 2017, and the world was a much different place indeed. It was the ‘before times’: before COVID; a time when pretty much everyone still got along in our country, there was joy and happiness, only the birds were angry, and you could still count the number of streaming services on one hand.

What a difference five years make.

Today, the birds aren’t so angry, though the rest of America seems to be, we have all been (mostly) freed from lockdown, and if you aren’t streaming, you aren’t living (I guess).

One thing that hasn’t changed in those five years (besides my hair style and waistline) is the Infiniti QX80. Yes, there have been some tweaks in the past few years: In 2018 Infiniti updated the front and rear ends and added new paint colors, wheel designs, and running boards. And in 2020 they put two displays, stacked one on top of the other in the center stack like the systems found in much of the rest of the Infiniti lineup.

For this year Infiniti put in a brand-new infotainment system, and since I guess there was some sort of uproar over the stacked displays (I always liked that setup myself), they redesigned the center stack. Now there is a large 12.3-inch touchscreen and a redesigned HVAC control panel with buttons and knobs that look very fancy. There’s also a wireless smartphone charger hidden behind a retractable panel beneath the climate controls.

The changes, or the lack of them, are both good, and bad.

Good in the sense that the QX80 is still the big in-your-face SUV that takes up an entire lane with enough room inside to transport an entire football team (don’t try that), or with the seats folded down take Granny’s casket to its final resting place (if you try that you’re just weird).

On the road the QX80 with its quilted leather seats and powerful V8 pounding out 400 horses propelling it effortlessly with a Hydraulic Body Motion Control system (for less body roll when cornering) over the pavement is a very nice place to be. Especially on that Great American thing we call the “Road Trip.” On the highway there are few nicer places to be than behind the wheel of the QX80.

For my most recent week I again had the “Sensory” model which is the top of the line in terms of luxury in this lineup. Among its many attributes, it has 22-inch wheels, advanced cabin air filtration, a 17-speaker Bose audio system, heated outboard second-row seats, and a rear-seat entertainment system with dual 8-inch screens.

But what makes it so good, is actually what makes it sort of bad. The world is downsizing, and vehicles that don’t plug into the wall, or have ‘hybrid’ in the name, are becoming oh so yesterday. Perhaps, that’s why Infiniti hasn’t really done much to the QX80 since the second generation was introduced in 2011. Sadly, that’s evident in some of the design which is starting to show its age around the edges. But for now at least, the QX80 is still a luxurious way to travel.

In the five years since last I spent a week with the QX80 indeed a great deal has changed. Sadly though, we don’t take “real” road trips as much anymore, instead putting on VR headsets to go wherever we want, and in fact don’t venture too far afield since we can all work remotely.

Infiniti might decide to update the QX80 a bit more, or if sales fall too much, retire it to a museum of all things we once knew. Things like Road Trips, Angry Birds, or Cable TV.

I hope not.

But then again, I don’t have a newspaper subscription anymore, I do own a smart phone, and I’ve accepted hybrid vehicles as the future.

And I promise you that I wouldn’t carry granny to the cemetery, that would just be weird.

2023 UPDATE: Infiniti didn’t really make many changes for the 2023 model year.  The lane departure system now provides haptic feedback through the steering wheel, and Amazon Alexa was added. For 2023 the entire lineup gets Infiniti Premium Care complimentary maintenance plan which covers scheduled maintenance items for the first three years including oil changes, inspections, brakes fluid flushes, and more.

Finally the 2023 Sensory I had for a week had a base MSRP of $87,450 with an as-tested MSRP of $91,580.


The 2022 Infiniti QX80 AWD Sensory
MSRP: $84,850
MSRP (as tested): $87,985
Engine: 5.6 liter V8 400hp @ 5800rpm, 413 lb-ft @ 4000rpm
Transmission: 7-Speed Automatic -inc: Adaptive Shift Control (ASC), manual shift mode w/Downshift Rev Matching, snow and tow modes and hill start assist
Fuel Mileage (EPA est.): 13 mpg City/19 mpg Hwy
Fuel Mileage (as tested in mixed conditions): 18 mpg

Interior Dimensions
Front Hip Room (in) 59.2
Third Head Room (in) 36.8
Front Leg Room (in) 39.6
Second Shoulder Room (in) 63.5
Third Hip Room (in) 48.8
Passenger Capacity 7
Second Head Room (in) 40
Third Leg Room (in) 28.8
Front Shoulder Room (in) 63.8
Second Hip Room (in) 58.4
Front Head Room (in) 39.9
Second Leg Room (in) 41
Third Shoulder Room (in) 60.5

Exterior Dimensions
Track Width, Front (in) 67.5
Width, Max w/o mirrors (in) 79.9
Wheelbase (in) 121.1
Track Width, Rear (in) 67.9
Height, Overall (in) 75.8
Length, Overall (in) 208.3
Min Ground Clearance (in) 9.2
Cargo Area Dimensions
Cargo Volume to Seat 3 (ft³) 16.6
Cargo Volume to Seat 1 (ft³) 95.1
Cargo Volume to Seat 2 (ft³) 49.6
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating Cap (lbs) 7300
Maximum towing capacity (lbs.) 8,500

Basic Miles/km 60,000
Basic Years 4
Corrosion Miles/km Unlimited
Corrosion Years 7
Drivetrain Miles/km 70,000
Drivetrain Years 6
Roadside Assistance Miles/km Unlimited
Roadside Assistance Years 4

Greg Engle