- - Friday, May 13, 2016

The first thing I noticed about the 2016 Infiniti QX80 was the exterior. The front is rounded and my first impression is that this luxury SUV looks happy. Happy for many reasons I suppose the biggest being because it’s a sturdy, excellent choice for folks looking for a three-row SUV that offers all the bells and whistles.

Also added for this year, the Infiniti QX80 offers a Signature Edition that will give you a Driver Assistance package as well as a Split Bench Seat package.

This Infiniti is big too, really big actually because when I was standing next to the tires each one easily reached my waist. I felt strong sitting behind the wheel and with the very large grille in the front and the unique headlights this just added to that happy exterior. You can be sure you will definitely be making a statement to the world when driving this Infiniti.

Competition in the 2016 Infiniti QX80 market includes the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Cadillac Escalade and the Lexus LX 570, all with three rows of seats, but none with its own personality like this Infiniti brings to the table.

This Infiniti is a full-size SUV that offers room for up to eight passengers in a pinch, seven comfortably. The trim levels come in either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive as a base or Limited version.

On the base you get 20-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and fog lights with high-beam as well as a sunroof, roof rails and a power lift gate. There are also power-folding auto-dimming mirrors and the keyless entry and ignition. With rear and front parking sensors, the leather upholstery adds a high-end touch as does the heated driver seat and a power-adjustable heated steering wheel. In the second row there are captain’s chairs and the power-folding 60/40-split third-row seat is perfect when you need more room in the back. For technology on the QX80 there is the 360-degree parking camera, Bluetooth, eight-inch touch screen, navigation system and a 13-speaker sound system that has all the goodies like an auxiliary audio jack, USB port and even a CD player.

There are optional packages if the standard features are not enough from the Theater package that focuses on an entertainment system in the second row and a 120-volt power outlet to the Split Bench Seat package with 60/40-split folding bench seats that allows eight passengers with ease. Other packages include the Driver Assistance Package, Tire and Wheel package, with 22-inch wheels or the Deluxe Technology package with Infiniti’s Hydraulic Body Motion Control suspension and an even more luxurious interior.

On the Signature Edition trim you get a cleaner look with chrome trim and the Driver Assistance and Split Bench Seat packages come standard.

Under the hood, it’s a big engine in the 5.6-liter V8 with 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. The rear-wheel drive is standard with a seven-speed automatic transmission.

For safety expect all the standards like stability and traction control, antilock brakes, front-seat side and full-length side curtain airbags and there is also the front active head restraint. The QX80 also offers the Infiniti Connection telematics service and that gives you stolen vehicle protection, remote door access and automatic collision control. If you opt for the Driver Assistance package there is also the blind spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and not only front, but also back-up collision control.

Once inside the 2016 Infiniti QX80 you really will feel strong as if you own the road. This is a lot of SUV and the materials used on the interior are high-end with no costs cut. The electronics inside will also be more than enough and easy to figure out and navigate. In the second row there is plenty of room for passengers, but as you move into the third row it gets a bit more cramped. There is 16.6 cubic feet behind the third row and if needed you can get up to 49.6 cubic feet with the third row down or 95 cubic feet with the second and the third rows folded down.

As you drive around town you will feel the engine power, but it’s also an easy ride. You can expect limited noise and a strong ride translated to mean, yes you can be sure you do own the road.

The 2016 Infiniti QX also offers the four-wheel drive feature and while you might not imagine this sexy beast offroading you can be sure this vehicle will take no prisoners if needed to navigate rough terrain. Final answer, it’s a vehicle that can take you anywhere at any time and you can be sure you will do it in style.

Should You Need to Know: When the 2016 Infiniti QX80 is properly equipped you can tow up to 8,500 pounds.

Miles Per Gallon: The 2016 Infiniti QX80 Limited I drove got 13 miles per gallon in the city and 19 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: The 2016 Infiniti QX80 Limited I drove had a price tag of $89,845.

For more auto tips and information follow Rita @RitaCook13.



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