The QX80 had a major update in early 2018 with an external redesign and more features added internally. Selling in small numbers and primarily designed for the Middle East and USA, the QX80 has a small but strong following in Australia.
The QX80 looks big, and it is, with a polarising look that people either like or look aghast at. To me it has a front end that only a mother could love and a rear end that Kim Kardashian would be proud of.
Changes to the QX80 include extensively redesigned headlights, front bumper, grille and bonnet, while the rounded curves of its predecessor have been squared off, particularly on the lower bumper, giving the QX80 a wider more angular look that elevates its athletic stance along with the 22inch alloy wheels.
QX80 new front end incorporates signature front I-LED headlights – with LED “eyebrow” Daytime Running Lights and the new integrated LED fog lights have two LEDs on each side, with indicators squared off.
From behind; the tailgate, taillights, chrome bar and rear bumper have been redesigned to give a firmer, higher look. The cargo door has also been updated, better integrating with the sharper, thinner rear LED lights.
Climb up inside over the stainless steel sill plates and the size theme continues. It feels positively cavernous. It also feels a little bit like I stepped back in time to the 1990s, with woodgrain overlays everywhere and a circular theme.
Both the quilted leather front seats are climate controlled as well as multi electrically adjustable with the drivers having additional electronic lumbar adjustment. The driver’s seat is slightly restricted in its length of slide. There is a driver’s grab handle as well as extendable sun visors, always handy.
In front of the driver is a thick, power adjustable wood rimmed steering wheel that frames the twin large dial instrument binnacle. White on black dials are crisp and easy to read. They are separated by a smaller MFD as is usual these days. The controls on the steering wheel and spread out in an unusual design and again, something different the top outer edges of the instrument surrounds also house buttons for the MFD. It took a while to figure that out.
Centre stack is a mix of woodgrain overlay and silver dials and buttons. The Satellite Navigation with 3D mapping and 8″ integrated colour display with touch screen also houses the audio system with 13 Bose speakers throughout. Vertical AC vents framing the screen, the 8 inches looks very small, especially when many other SUVs are heading to 10 or 12 inch screens. .
There are storage areas everywhere, with a huge lid chilled centre console for drinks to keep the driver and passengers refreshed. Also keeping the occupants refreshed is the tri-zone climate control air-conditioning with Intelligent Key memory along with rear seat controls.
Second row passengers have easy access courtesy of the wide opening doors, plenty of room for even longer legs and two 8 inch screens for entertainment as well as rear AC vents, heated outer seats and USB ports for the electronic obsessed.
Third row seats are ok for slightly taller kids, but with no foot well. The boot area is huge and with fold flat seats becomes cavernous at 1500L plus. Even with the third row seats up there is about 500L of space available.
Drive and Engine
The QX80 boasts a 5.6 litre V8 petrol with 298 kW/ 560 Nm matched to a 7-speed automatic transmission with manual mode that complements the intelligent 4X4 shift switch (Auto, 4-high and 4-low capabilities). There is also an electronic rear diff lock. Hydraulic Body Motion Control (HBMC) suspension system along with the off road monitor assists with control of all driving situations.
This V8 petrol engine will drink fuel at an ADR combined rate of 14.5 l/100k. On the freeway I managed to extract about 10 l/100k on cruise control, maximising the low torque of the V8, however around town we were constantly seeing the wrong side of 20 l/100k for normal driving.
This thing is huge to drive and isn’t helped by incredibly light steering that in a way disconnects you from control. It does come in handy though in tight suburban shopping centre car parks. It’s quiet, very quiet inside, the suspension soaks up every bump possible and it feels like gliding along on air. That is good and bad.
Off road credentials retain the strong DNA of the donor vehicle and even though it is far removed from its Nissan ancestors, it will still go where they went, only in luxury and comfort.
The towing brigade will love the ease of towing, but the fuel economy, or lack of, will shock them. You are cocooned from the realities of the harsh Australian outback while gliding along over the roughest of tracks.
Even though the QX80 doesn’t have an ANCAP safety rating it is chock full of safety features.
There are driver and passenger front and side impact SRS airbags curtain SRS airbags all 3 rows, 2nd row child restraint anchorage points (2 x ISOFIX outer seats, 2 x top tether), 3rd row child restraint anchorage point (right hand seat).
Driving aids include:
- Front and rear parking sensors,
- Intelligent Rear View Mirror (I-RVM),
- Intelligent Around-View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection,
- Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) including
- Traction Control System (TCS),
- Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and
- Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD,
- Hill Descent Control (HDC) with on/off switch and Hill Start Assist (HSA),
- Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC),
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW),
- Intelligent Distance Control,
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW),
- Intelligent Lane Intervention,
- Blind Spot Warning (BSW),
- Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention,
- Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) and
- Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
Infiniti QX80 Summary
It sells in ridiculously small numbers, say less than 100 a year, but is important as a flagship model. I’m actually glad that Infiniti has persevered with the vehicle, and encourage buyers to at least have a drive. When these vehicles eventually disappear under the PC world of EV, my world will be a much sadder place.
Until then I delight in knowing that there is a beast of a 4WD that will carry my family in absolute luxury and comfort pretty much anywhere I choose to go, without breaking the bank. It remains an exceptionally capable 4WD vehicle and can tow almost anything you put behind it.
- Powerful engine/transmission
- Luxury features
- 4WD/towing Ability
- Fuel Economy
- Not car park friendly
- Restricted driver seat travel
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Facts and Figures: 2019 Nissan Patrol TI-L
- Engine: 5.6L V8 Petrol produces 298kW/560Nm
- Transmission: 7-speed AT 4WD
- Warranty: 4 Yrs. / 100,000 km 4 Yrs. Roadside Assist
- Safety: TBA ANCAP
- Origin: Japan
- Price: From $110,900 MLP*
*Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options