2014 Infiniti QX80 A Heavenly Hauler

A 2014 Infiniti QX80 is ethereally posh.  I didn’t drive, rather I rolled up to my events like a bank of clouds softly sneaking over the mountains. I arrived at my destination completely zenned out by the effortless journey wherever I went.

QX80's Manners Are Heavenly

QX80’s Manners Are Heavenly

I experienced very little engine noise from the 5.6l V8. Pleasantly, the power is there whether I’m driving the kids to school or up the hills to ski.  I did usually find myself cruising faster than I thought and it was so floaty and calm I had to keep myself in check.  It was excessively enjoyable eliciting a growl from the V8 when I floored it. Inclement weather? I relaxed knowing the QX80 was in AWD most of the time, but I could switch it over to 4WD if I needed to.

 

The leather seats were heated and cooled, the door trim tufted.  It felt very serene and cloud like. Passengers felt coddled in the second row with their heated captain’s chairs and center console that housed storage and cupholders. My test car also had a rear entertainment system for my kids to watch while we cruised at altitude.  Small third row passengers had decent but not decadent legroom, and they were shut out of the movies unless it was broadcast throughout the vehicle instead of through the wireless headphones for the passengers in the second row.

Floating Along in Tufted Bliss

Floating Along in Tufted Bliss

 

What I also liked about the second row was that I could fold the seats with the push of a button in the front seat.  This doesn’t work with small kids who will be in car seats in the second row, but for my kids who are out of safety seats (and their friends) this was great.  Access to the third row was gained only by flipping the second row seats, and beware that when the third row is in use, there’s very little room for cargo. The QX80 also has a very high load floor in the cargo area.  This is not unusual, but be prepared to work a little harder to load your gear.

Where the QX80 really shines is with its interior materials and overall design.  The Infiniti does not have buttons that look like afterthoughts, or weird empty plastic panels that remind you they house something really wonderful that you could have had if only you’d shelled out more money. The arced wood trim on the dash is luxurious but not gaudy. The brushed metal trim makes for subtle highlights, not the glaring bling I might have expected.

Second Row, First Class

Second Row, First Class

 

The QX80 has a ton of safety features, most of them feel futuristic and fantastical.  One of my favorites is the Around View monitor which uses cameras stationed on the outside of the vehicle to let you know how well inside the lines you’ve parked.  This is wonderful because the QX80 is huge.  Another feature is the Intelligent Cruise Control feature.  You can program the minimum distance you will allow the QX80 to get to another vehicle while you are using Cruise Control.  If you are getting to close the QX80 will decelerate and even apply the brakes if necessary.

 

 

Cloud Cockpit

Cloud Cockpit

So what’s not to love about the QX80? It’s priced fairly close to its competition  ($64,450 base price for my test car; $79,095 after adding options) and it requires premium fuel like most of its competition does.  An average 16 miles per gallon is also pretty standard in its class.  Teeny tiny kids in car seats will be hard to deal with because it’s so big and not incredibly flexible if car seats are installed in the second row.  If you’re okay with all that, you will certainly find the the QX80 a heavenly hauler.

 

 

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