2025 Infiniti QX80 First Look: Can it command a hundred grand?

NEW YORK CITY — If Infiniti has its way, the all-new 2025 QX80 will be the flagship SUV that leads Nissan’s luxury marque into a much-needed renaissance. By the time the 2025 QX80 debuts, the current generation will have been on the market for 15 years. The model dates to 2010, when it debuted as the QX56 (prior to Infiniti’s naming system revamp).

The QX56/QX80 received a lot of hate for avant-garde styling that appeared to have been birthed from an H.R. Giger space horror. The 2025 iteration tones that down significantly with fewer curves and more chiseled lines. As previewed by the QX Monograph concept, the complete absence of surfacing on the sides is as unfussy it gets.

The nose retains Infiniti’s trademark double-arch grille, inspired by the enduring stone bridges of traditional Japanese gardens. Similarly, its vertical slats are meant to evoke the spires of a bamboo forest. The new Infiniti logo is now 3-dimensional, with the “infinite road” dropping into the center like a black hole. Unlike a black hole, it illuminates in an eye-catching effect that, thankfully, feels less pretentious than Mercedes’ glowing stars. At the rear, a full-width taillight bar recalls lights reflected in water and is made up of more than 300 LEDs.

The thin lights flanking the grille are DRLs, while the QX80’s real headlights are embedded in nooks just above vents on either side of the front fascia. Happily, those vents are functional, directing cooling air to beefy two-pot calipers and 13-inch discs. Likewise, the (finally de-chromed!) driver’s side fender vent acts as a heat extractor.

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That heat is generated by a new twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 that replaces the outgoing naturally aspirated V8. Mated to a 9-speed automatic, it hails from the same engine family as the GT-R supercar and makes 450 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, a surge of 50 horses and 105 lb-ft. At the same time, Infiniti says it gets 20% better fuel economy.

Many forget that beneath the predecessor’s alien beluga sheetmetal was a solid luxury SUV with real off-road bones. It was built on the same platform as the Nissan Patrol, a hard-core 4×4 that competes toe-to-toe with the legendary Toyota Land Cruiser in foreign markets. Come 2025 the QX80 will continue to share a chassis with the new Patrol, albeit an all-new body-on-frame unit that Infiniti says has 57% more lateral stiffness than the outgoing model and 300% increased torsional stiffness.

We don’t know specific differences between Patrol and QX80 yet, but if they’re anything like their predecessors, the Nissan will be rugged while the Infiniti pampers. Previous Patrols had mountain-cresting features like larger fuel tanks, increased ground clearance and locking differentials. QX80s, on the other hand, were geared for better fuel economy and comfort during highway driving. We have no reason to doubt this will continue.

The 2025 QX80 comes with an optional Dynamic Digital Suspension, a system that scans the road ahead 100 times per second and electronically adjusts damping force for a smoother ride and reduced body roll. Also available is an electronic air suspension with four ride heights. At highway speeds it drops the height by 1.2 inches for improved aerodynamics, while on trickier terrain it rises 2.4 inches. Once parked, the suspension lowers 2.8 inches (relative to regular cruising height) for easier entry, egress and cargo loading. Drive modes beyond the standard Eco, Normal and Sport include Snow, Tow and personalizable settings.

The QX80’s luxury appointments are where buyers will likely pay the most attention. Such bells and whistles include a now de rigueur song-and-dance sequence upon approach, one that animates DRLs, unfolds mirrors, extends otherwise flush door handles, and projects a “light path” on the ground.

Inside, drivers are treated to semi-aniline leather seats, ambient lighting (customizable to 64 colors) and trim comprised of open-pore ash wood or laser-etched metal inlays depending on grade. A Klipsch audio system with up to 1200 watts and 24 speakers marks the home theater brand’s first foray into the automotive realm. The system includes speakers embedded in the driver’s headrest, which pipe phone calls and nav instructions into the driver’s ears without disrupting the audio for other occupants.

As is the fashion, maps and infotainment are shown on a 14-inch screen well-integrated into the upper dash. HVAC and seat positions are controlled by, tragically, an additional iPad-sized screen on the center console. Occupants lounging in the second row —available as a bench or captain’s chairs — also have an HVAC touchscreen but may not need it. On upper trims an infrared biometric sensor scans their bodies and adjusts temps to match.

The new QX80 measures just an inch longer than its predecessor, but a over foot wider. To compensate for such a large vehicle Infiniti offers a host of driving aids. Infiniti pioneered the surround-view monitor in 2007, but the QX80 advances that with 3D Enhanced AroundView, which allows users to view the exterior from any angle like a racing sim replay. Rear blind spot monitors can also compensate for trailers up to 33 feet long, which can be hooked up to the QX80 as long as they weigh 8,500 pounds or less.

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Cameras also let drivers select Front Wide View, which displays a 170-degree on the infotainment screen to see around tight corners, or Invisible Hood View, which displays the road as if the nose isn’t even there. The latter could save families from the growing epidemic of front blind spot accidents. An on-board 8-GB hard drive lets these cameras record up to one minute segments on both ends of the car, acting as a built-in dash cam. An inward facing camera lets drivers monitor their kids in back rows or take road trip selfies on the rare occasion the entire brood is in a good mood.

For the tech fiends, the QX80 comes standard with Google built-in, which integrates Google Maps, Assistant, and Play to the car’s systems. ProPilot Assist 1.1, which includes radar cruise control with GPS lane centering, comes standard. On upper trims ProPilot 2.1 lets drivers take their hands off the wheel under certain highway conditions. Eight USB-C ports (2 media, 6 charge-only) and a wireless charging pad come standard as well. Last but not least, a world’s first “My Parking Locations” function helps slide the car into the exact right spot at commonly visited places. Owners mark parking locations (such as in a home garage) and GPS positions the car as they pull up. Think of it as the world’s most advanced tennis ball on a string.

The QX80’s base Pure RWD trim starts at $84,445 including a $1,995 destination charge. The next-step Luxe RWD, which increases wheel diameter from 20 to 22 inches and adds the Dynamic Digital and Electronic Air Suspension as well as a second-row climate zone, starts at $91,545. For either of those trims, four-wheel drive is a $3,100 option.

The QX80 Sensory and up are four-wheel drive only, and costs $102,640 to start, adding semi-aniline leather, massaging front seats, the Klipsch 24-speaker audio system, biometric cooling and other luxury features. Finally, the range-topping Autograph rings in at $112,590 while adding second-row massagers, seat heaters in all three rows, a front console cooler box, and ProPilot 2.1.

That makes the 2025 QX80 the first Infiniti to cross the six-figure threshold. The outgoing model trails behind the Benz GLS and BMW X7 in sales, but not as much as you’d expect for a car unchanged for one-and-a-half decades. The 2025 QX80 costs over $10 grand more than its predecessor’s $92,440 top-of-the-line Sensory 4WD trim but will be a quantum leap in terms of whiz-bang features. It has the potential to jump-start a brand that parent company Nissan has basically ignored for years, but it will need more product to keep the momentum going.

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