2014 INFINITI QX80 Review – Specs, Options, Pricing, Colors + 30 Real-Life Photos



When planning this article, I cannot help but think of the QX80 is a ‘reliable Range Rover,’ a smoother and better-handling Land Cruiser, or an Escalade with actual class.

But throwing sand never wins any points in life. So let’s stick to the high road with this newly-renamed QX56 model for 2014.

QX80 RLP GIF1

A few extra packages enter the fray for 2014, including a huge number of laser/radar and sonar-based active safety elements as standard — and even more with the optional Tech Package.

400-horsepower through a seven-speed automatic continues with this chain-driven marvel of a V8 — and the big QX80 is even offered as a simple rear-drive configuration for those in arid climates like Arizona. Or Abu Dhabi.

So, is the QX80 a cynical restyle of the Nissan Armada? It is easy to assume this is the case — but you would be dead wrong. The first QX56 was, indeed, a bit of a badge/stickers job on the outside even while the interior carries 400-pounds of extra comfort materials over the work-a-day Armada.

QX80 Int flyaround 1 QX80 Int flyaround 2 QX80 Int flyaround 3 QX80 Int flyaround 4

But while the original Armada soldiers forward — the QX80 actually was fully redesigned only a few years into its stint on the global Infiniti sales books. A blend of more-upright layouts for the seating and a thorough chassis overhaul means that the Armada and QX80 are distant cousins as best these days.

This comes into sharp relief when considering the QX80 comes from Japan, while the Armada from a US assembly plant. For car people: this means they are completely different machines. It also brings a standard of quality execution that is beyond volume-car-lines.

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The Infiniti (and Lexus) flagship factories are slow, detailed-obsessed and attentive to the low, low volumes of cars they produce. It is not that the Lexus LS460 has smarter robots to build it than the ES350 in Kentucky — but just much more freedom to stop the line, make changes, and ensure things are perfect.

Versus stopping the line: I think much more handcrafting means the cars may not be on a moving assembly floor at all. But this is speculation.

QX80 RLP GIF2

The QX80, if we’re not mistaken, is now assembled in the old Q45 shop — indicating a max output volume per head that might make Bentley blush. Fewer than 10,000 units, we estimate, from a staff of thousands. That is attention to detail — and that is also a major benefit of this luxury hauler versus the Armada, Suburban, Yukon, Escalade, Expedition… all of them.

But this car’s real laser-guided target is the new Range Rover. The Infiniti is larger in all dimensions, seats seven in proper padded seating, and may outlive even a Range Rover assembled in 2020. There simply is not the same quality of production-level engineering in any English car factory, we regret to report.

QX80 Exterior Digital 1GIF

So is the QX80 just as unburst-ably-tough as Land Cruiser or Lexus LX570? Yes, these are the QX80’s closest kindred spirit.

But while the Land Cruiser is still mighty wobnbly and insecure in corners, the QX80’s lower roof keeps things chill even in 100-mph-plus sweeping corners.

QX80 AFS GIF1

Will it love gravel roads like an Escalade? Oh yes. And this truck, unlike any previous Escalade at least — will keep the interior fittings tight over years of washboard surfaces. Many Yukon Denali XL owners will know what we refer to here — a cacophony of trim rattles is the Suburban’s classic first-birthday-gift for many owners who push the trucks beyond urban comfort zones.

The QX80 is actually a real hoot to drive — in the way that flogging any big, powerful truck is — but also a sweet companion when simply trying to nap quietly in the middle row of captains chairs.

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Is the QX80 without faults? No. The LED accents in the headlamps are a bit passe — while the lower foglamps are halogen and do not match the HID hue above. It is also, perhaps, a bit too subtle for many Q7 or Escalade aspirants. But, for many shoppers, the fewer rap-video appearances the better at maintaining the QX80’s quiet excellence.

Quiet.  And rattle-free — of course.

 

Exterior Flyaround Digital desert 1GIF

 2014 Infiniti QX80 Pricing

MODEL

SUGGESTED
LIST PRICE (1)

ENGINE

TRANSMISSION

QX80

$62,550

5.6L V8

7-spd auto w/ manual shift mode

QX80 AWD

$65,650

5.6L V8

7-spd auto w/ manual shift mode

FACTORY INSTALLED OPTIONS

SUGGESTED
LIST PRICE (1)

QX80

QX80 AWD

Theater Package

$3,100

Tire & Wheel Package

$2,400

Deluxe Touring Package

$4,650

Technology Package

$3,250

Split Bench Seat Package

No Charge

REAL-LIFE PHOTOGRAPHY

PORT INSTALLED ACCESSORIES

SUGGESTED
LIST PRICE (1)

QX80

QX80 AWD

Roof Rail Crossbars

$325

Rear Bumper Protector

$270

Moonroof Wind Deflector

$190

Cargo Mat, Cargo Net & First Aid Kit

$200

Illuminated Kick Plates

$405

(1) Manufacturer Suggested List Price. Dealer sets actual price. Prices and specs are subject to change without notice.
Excludes tax, title, license and destination charges. Destination and handling $995.

Exterior Flyaround COLORS desert 1GIF

 

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