- - Wednesday, March 1, 2017

For Infiniti fans, the automaker debuted the Q50 and QX80 Signature editions at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this month with an eye toward offering stronger engines and sexier, sure-to-be- noticed wheels.

While this is the QX80’s second year to return with the Signature Edition, fans can expect even more. This includes the already well-appointed leather, high-contrast Saddle Tan interior, chrome outside rearview mirror caps, a suite of advanced driver assistance features and unique, dark-finish 22-inch wheels.

A full-size SUV, last year the Infiniti QX80 saw impressive sales numbers setting an all-time high according to Infiniti executives. In fact, there were more than 16,700 units sold, which was an increase of seven percent.

Competition that faces the Infiniti QX80 includes the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, Toyota Land Cruiser and the Land Rover Range Rover.

Available for either seven or eight passengers, the 2017 QX80 normally comes in either a two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive version. As for what is new in 2017, that would be the trailer sway control, which is now standard across the trim levels. There is also a Wi-Fi option, which is part of the Theater Package.

The trim levels are either the base or Limited. The base comes with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive and the Limited comes equipped with four-wheel drive only.

As for the 2017 QX80 5.6 Signature Edition the offering is a blend of popular equipment and unique design features that stand out for a high-end experience.

“INFINITI’s Signature Editions signify something special for our customers and deliver on our promise to provide an unparalleled level of sophistication with exclusive new content,” said Randy Parker, vice president, INFINITI Americas. “This year, these unique models feature the most sought-after selections to enhance the driver’s experience for our ever-popular Q50 sport sedan and QX80 full-size luxury SUV.”

Under the hood, the 2017 QX80 Signature Edition is offered in two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive versions, both of which are equipped with an advanced 400-horsepower 5.6-liter DOHC V8 engine featuring Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) and VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift) technology. QX80 four-wheel drive models feature INFINITI All-Mode 4WD® with computer-controlled transfer case and three settings; Auto, 4H and 4L.

For safety consideration, the 2017 QX80 Signature Edition includes a suite of Infiniti’s popular driver assistance technologies, including Backup Collision Intervention (BCI), Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Intelligent Cruise Control (Full-Speed Range), Distance Control Assist (DCA), Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), Blind Spot Intervention (BSI), Land Departure Warning (LPW) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP).

If you are not quite ready for the Signature Edition, the QX80 still offers the base trim with quite a few standard features even before you begin adding optional packages. There is the 20-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights and fog lights as well as automatic high-beam. You also get a sunroof, roof rails, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, power liftgate, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable and heated driver seat and steering wheel. In the second row there are captain’s chairs or a 60/40-split bench seat and a power-folding 60/40-split third-row seat.

Standard technology on the QX80 includes the Bluetooth phone and audio connect along with an eight-inch touchscreen, navigation system, voice control and an auxiliary audio jack and USB port.

For the QX80, the optional packages offer quite a bit more. Take note however, some packages are only offered if you include prerequisite packages first. The variety of packages are diverse like a Driver Assistance Package or a Deluxe Technology Package that goes as far as including headlight washers, Infiniti’s Hydraulic Body Motion Control suspension and special wood trim.

For the 2017 Infiniti QX80 Limited trim, you get all the standard goodies and a unique interior and exterior.

Under the hood, expect the 400-horsepower 5.6-liter DOHC V8 with a seven-speed automatic transmission.

The ride in the QX80 is comfortable to a fault. Indeed, the seats are all luxury and you get a quiet cabin with very minimal road noise. Keep in mind too that the seats have all kinds of tweaks and adjustments that can be made to assure the perfect ride and drive. Even the second and third row seats are made for comfort. The third row even has an adjustable backrest.

The third-row is also quite easy to get into as opposed to the competition. Once back there you will also find there is plenty of leg and head room. While not a home run for a large adult, the teen or smaller adult will feel just fine in the third row.

As the driver, you will find plenty of room behind the wheel and lots of ways to make adjustments for the ultimate in comfort. There is also a tilt-and-telescoping power steering wheel to adjust to your comfort level. All-in-all the 2017 Infiniti QX80 is a winner with a comfort and style that can’t be beat. With the Signature Edition you can feel even more love as you’re driving whether short hauls or longer road trips

Should You Need to Know: The 2017 Infiniti QX80 Signature Edition comes in four colors — Hermosa Blue, Graphite Shadow, Black Obsidian and Majestic White and will be available at Infiniti retailers nationwide beginning in May.

Miles: The miles per gallon on the 2017 Infiniti QX80 is 14 miles per gallon in the city and 20 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: The standard price for the 2017 Infiniti QX80 is $63,850.

For more auto tips and information follow Rita @RitaCook13.

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