It’s big, really big!
Everything about the rebadged 2014 Infiniti QX80 is, well, big.
But this is a truck of two tales.
Critically the curb appeal of this two-ton, 17-foot-long, snout-nosed, deep-grilled, flat-roofed truck with endless rolls of metal has not caught on.
I’ve always loved the sweeping curvy lines of the Infinitis but this burly design doesn’t quite catch my eye. Yet the interior is just gorgeous. The Deluxe Touring package includes burled wood trim, supple leather seats and soft touches in all the right places. Included is the sweet-sounding 15-speaker Bose surround sound with rear seat DVD players embedded in the headrest. Handsomely crafted, with well-placed controls, the interior is as inviting as a living room. The Technology Package even includes lane departure sensors linked to the blind spot monitors that will automatically move the truck to correct lane drift.
Infiniti still only offers the 400 HP 5.6 liter V-8 engine, this massive people mover can also be rigged to tow to a max capacity of 8,500 pounds but you’ll pay for it. The gas mileage is rated at a punishing 14 miles per gallon in the city and 20 on the highway, but I struggled to get that finding myself at the pump more frequently than I prefer. The good news is this rig will run pretty well on regular gas.
The vehicle is based on a truck platform and with the 22-inch wheel package, dwarfs most cars. The running board was handy to hoist myself in. Hydraulic Body Motion Control uses sensors in the shocks to change the pressure to absorb most road bumps and keep the truck’s handling more manageable. In fact steering is quite nimble, quick and responsive. Even with the high driver’s perch I struggled to get a sense of the truck’s dimensions but the 360-degree bird’s-eye camera really helped maneuverability.
With the handsome front and second row captain’s chairs the truck configures for seven passengers but an optional second row bench seat makes it 8. The theater package adds dual second row seven-inch screens, wireless controls, headsets and tip-up seats. But drop the rear seats and you’ve practically got the bed space of a pickup.
I was able to get a good read on the all-wheel drive during a winter snowstorm and here’s where this heavyweight proved an excellent match. Left in the auto mode on the large four wheel selector dial the truck easily overwhelmed the snow, seamlessly delivering power to the wheels as needed.
A MSRP of $65,444 gets you a nicely equipped machine but our fully tricked out test model QX80 fittingly rings the register at a robust $79,000 and should be compared against the Cadillac Escalade and Mercedes-Benz GL when shopping.
If this is your truck, what you’ll get is ample acres of luxurious interior room for arms, legs, gear and many runs to the big box stores wrapped in yards of swirling metal.