Saturday Road Test Infiniti QX80 Limited

                    

Franklin, Tenn. (July 8, 2015) - Infiniti has announced that for the third year in a row its QX80 full-size luxury SUV was recognized as best-in-class in the 2015 AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSA) for the Luxury/Large SUV segment. Now in its 19th year, AutoPacificÕs VSA identifies the most satisfying vehicles on the market. An industry benchmark for measuring how satisfied an owner is with his/her new vehicle, VSAs are based on survey responses from over 66,000 owners of new 2015 model year cars and light trucks.

                            Infiniti QX80 Limited

                      Great Long Distance Touring

 By Ron Amadon

 BALTIMORE, MD – Rounding out my week with the QX80 I left the Baltimore Beltway and headed west on I-70. To my left was a sign that said in part, “Denver 1700” miles.

 Such journeys require comfort and luxury with a smooth ride, a great audio system, and at least a sprightly engine up front. The “Q” had all that and more.

 While I did not visit the home of baseball’s Colorado Rockies this time, I enjoyed the comfort of “truffle brown semi-aniline leather appointed seats with unique quilting” that were adjustable 10 ways, heated, cooled, and with power lumbar adjustments. Even the grab handles were leather wrapped.

The 2016 QX80 is offered in three models: QX80, QX80 AWD and QX80 AWD Limited – the most premium SUV ever offered by the brand.

 Soft touch surfaces abounded, the second row seats were heated, and the 60/40 folding third row seats were also powered, a nice touch come cargo loading time. The test “Q” could seat 7 but other models will increase capacity by one.

 Reproducing faithfully every sound given it, the Bose “Cabin Surround” audio system with 15 speakers was a winner. “Purple Rain” would sound spectacular. Second row passengers had dual 7” color monitors.

 The headliner was Ultra Suede, the dash trim was “Open Pore Matte Finish Ash Wood”, and there was every safety feature one would expect.

 On the interstates it was quiet inside to say the least, thanks in part to a silent partner under the long hood. There, a 5.6 liter V8 cranks out 400 horsepower with 413 lb-ft of torque tied to a 7-speed automatic. All wheel drive was present and drivers could choose snow or tow operating modes.

 You might think that with a 5.6 liter V8 this rig must get up and hustle, and there is plenty of power to meet most needs. But that big eight has to move more than 6,000 pounds of vehicle down the road so it will not push you back into the seats when it’s pedal to the metal time.

 If it matters in a vehicle in this price range, and I don’t think it does, the EPA rates the “Q” at 13 mpg city, 19 highway for a combined 15, on premium gas. In a week’s worth of suburban stop and go and interstate travel I came at 15.

 Not great but this is a big vehicle. There is a reason for those entry steps on either side – it is nearly 79 inches tall, not to mention nearly 209 inches long, 80 inches wide and rides on a 121-inch wheelbase. It is longer than two of its rivals, the Toyota Sequoia and the Cadillac Escalade.

 So we are talking full size, old style body on frame chassis here. But don’t sneer, because these big rigs are selling thanks to the low prices we see at every gas station.

 The ride was on the soft side but it handled bumpy still unpatched rural roads rather nicely. As for handling, see the weight and size above and think limo.

 On the flip side, this SUV will tow up to 8,500 pounds or one very large boat. And with all seats folded it will haul 95 cubic feet of whatever and that is a lot of hauling space.

 Go for the top-of-the-line Limited trim level and forget about options. There were none on the test “Q” but two full rows of fine print on the price sticker outlined the extensive standard equipment.

 With delivery, the MSRP came to $89,845.

The 2016 QX80 is offered in three models: QX80, QX80 AWD and QX80 AWD Limited – the most premium SUV ever offered by the brand.

 The Q80 is big, quiet, well built, and full of luxury and safety features. It loves to cobble up miles, (okay there will be a few gas stops) and one comes away with a perfectly fine vehicle if the urge strikes to experience your own “Rocky Mountain High, Colorado.”

 One more item: On my first cross country driving trip to Colorado I found a small hamlet high up in the mountains with a fine mom and pop motel. The owners urged me to join them for dinner at the local saloon/restaurant with a bar right out of Miss Kitty’s on the old Gunsmoke.

 To enter, one went through a conventional door and just a couple feet away two swinging doors. I asked the owner, kiddingly, if the second set of doors were redundant.

 “You can’t have an old west saloon without swinging doors,” was his quick response.

 Vehicle photos from Infiniti.

The 2016 QX80 is offered in three models: QX80, QX80 AWD and QX80 AWD Limited – the most premium SUV ever offered by the brand.

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