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2025 Infiniti QX80 First Drive: Here’s to New Beginnings

2025 Infiniti QX80 | Photo: D.Heyman
  • EPA Category: Luxury midsize SUV
  • Price: 104995 $ - 124995 $
  • Consumption: 12,7 - 12,7 L/100km
  • Warranty: 4 years / 100000 km

strong / weak points

  • Incredible audio system
  • Gutsy turbo V6 makes V8 easy to forget
  • Spacious and ergonomic
  • Good value

  • Ride still very truck-like
  • Styling not for everyone
  • No mild-hybrid assist
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Dan Heyman
The latest QX80 heralds a new era for the luxury brand
The all-new Infiniti QX-80 | Photo: D.Heyman

Napa Valley, CA – The big luxury SUV segment is being altered by the rise of three-row crossovers (not to mention EV crossovers).

What’s more, many times those new crossovers with their off-beat body styles are being labeled the flagship of their brand. The model whose manufacturer has thrown everything they have at it. It may not be the bestselling model in the lineup, but it’s often the most powerful and well-equipped.

Enter the 2025 QX80, a full-size body-on-frame SUV tasked with bringing Nissan’s beleaguered luxury division back into the game. And they’ve given it their all, that’s for sure. And that includes releasing the QX80 before the more mass-market Armada arrives later this year.

See also: New York 2024: For Infiniti and its 2025 QX80, third time has to be the charm

2025 Infiniti QX80 – What’s new?

Pretty much everything. The chassis has been stretched and the floor lowered for more room inside, there are new adaptive dampers and air suspension and the V8 engine has been ditched for a twin-turbo V6.

The SUV also gets a new taper to the side windows, the grille, headlights and DRLs are all new and the interior has undergone a complete redesign, topped off with a sound system from Klipsch. The all-new Ram 1500 is the only other model to feature that brand inside it, by the way.

2025 Infiniti QX80, profile
2025 Infiniti QX80, profile | Photo: Infiniti

Design of the 2025 Infiniti QX80 – 8.5/10

While the QX80 mostly retains its tall, boxy shape, a few tweaks help ground the shape, add some athleticism and remove some of the awkward touches from the old model.

The side windows no longer have such a gaudy chrome surround and look much cleaner with a tapering rear side window for a more-squat look.

2025 Infiniti QX80, three-quarters rear
2025 Infiniti QX80, three-quarters rear | Photo: D.Heyman

The top-spec Autograph model gets a little flare here with some badging under the window. Around back, we find a full-width light bar for the taillamp, which again helps pull the shape down to the tarmac below. Tthe standard 22-inch wheels get a specialized design in Autograph trim.

Above all, the new styling standard is set by the front fascia. The design of the grille seeks to mimic the way bamboo grows, while the headlamps are pushed to the outside and down, and the DRLs consist of 9 separate lighting sections, each one a different size (though Infiniti does call it a piano key look).

2025 Infiniti QX80, front grille, hood
2025 Infiniti QX80, front grille, hood | Photo: D.Heyman

Instead of the controversial tall hood that had the look of a Cro-Magnon brow on the old car, the new one gets a much sleeker affair, with a slanted leading edge to help improve airflow. It’s a very unique look, one that leaves little question that this is a QX80, just one that’s hit the gym and stylist. It’s boxy styling does remain a bit of an acquired taste, however, and there are some that may still balk at it in favour of something more curvaceous like a BMW X7 or Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class.

2025 Infiniti QX80, interior
2025 Infiniti QX80, interior | Photo: D.Heyman

Interior
Inside, as expected, it’s all about digital displays. There are three (five if you include the digital rearview mirror and heads-up display) for the gauge cluster, infotainment and climate controls.

The more analogue stuff has been given a comprehensive redo as well. There’s more room in all rows, more storage and Infiniti says third row access is the best in the biz. Considering I can fit my adult frame between the second-row seatback and door frame without having to twist my torso, I believe them.

Once back there, there are USB-C ports and heated seats, and each subsequent row is mounted higher than the last for an improved view out. They fold completely flat for easy loading and storage. Storage volume behind the first, second and third rows has improved by 6, 17 and 28 percent, respectively.

The second row is heated and cooled and gets massage seating in Autograph spec, in a first for the QX80, and they both tilt and slide. Which is good because thanks to a hefty armrest and storage bin between the second-row captain’s chairs, you can’t go between them to get to the third row. The Lux and Pure trims, meanwhile, have a second-row bench seat and seating for eight.

2025 Infiniti QX80, second row of seats
2025 Infiniti QX80, second row of seats | Photo: D.Heyman
2025 Infiniti QX80, third row of seats
2025 Infiniti QX80, third row of seats | Photo: D.Heyman

Up front, the seating position is comfortable and the seats come heated and cooled as standard, with a massage feature on Autograph. The seats themselves are well-padded for comfort over extended periods. Having a button shift system means there’s room for storage below the centre console and the main storage bin is deep and acts as a mini fridge on the Autograph trim. There are no heated/cooled cupholders, though, which is a shame.

Technology in the 2025 Infiniti QX80 – 8.5/10

The dash includes dual 14.3-inch displays for the gauge cluster and infotainment, and if you select “live” mode, they will change colours depending on the time of day. You can also choose from four preset colourways for your dash and ambient lighting (representing the four seasons) or pick from a 64-colour swatch.

Also of note, a hi-res back-up camera with multiple views as well as a “see-through hood” feature that shows you what’s about to pass underneath the QX80.

Or maybe it isn’t? Because unlike the competition that keeps its exterior cameras on the centre screen for the most part, you can actually stretch that screen across to the gauge cluster area as well, for an ultra-ultra-ultrawide view forward. Infiniti devised a test for us that showed just how effective the system is by having us pull into an intersection that was partially obstructed by a vehicle on our right. We couldn’t see it from our vantage point, but a glimpse at the display showed that there was a bicycle hidden behind that we would never have seen otherwise.

Second- and third-row occupants get an HVAC system that actually biometrically reads them so it can automatically set the vents to direct air exactly to where its needed. Like, say, your face as you step in on a hot day.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are present (as is wireless charging and eight USB-C ports) but Infiniti has sweetened the deal by also adding Google built-in. That means the standard navigation system uses Google Maps, and there’s also Google Assistant and the Play store, among other baked-in apps such as Spotify.

The standard audio system is a 14-speaker affair from Klipsch, but our Autograph tester gets the big kahuna: a 24-speaker, 1,200-watt Klipsch system that will blow your socks off.

2025 Infiniti QX80, engine
2025 Infiniti QX80, engine | Photo: D.Heyman

Powertrain of the 2025 Infiniti QX80 – 8.0/10

Power from the V6 is rated at 450 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, fed to all four wheels through a new 9-speed auto. The close ratios of the transmission means there’s power immediately on-hand at any speed, making for confident progress. We were passing semis and entering freeways with nary a care in the world.

The engine even sounds good, so I didn’t really miss that big ol’ V8. And even with the loss of two cylinders, the QX80 can tow up to 3,855 kg (8,500 lb) no matter the spec.

It's great, though the lack of any electronic assistance in the form of a 48V mild hybrid system is surprising. Many rivals now include that tech, which can improve both acceleration and fuel economy, but with the more efficient V6 replacing the V8, it seems Infiniti feels it has done enough. For now.

2025 Infiniti QX80, front
2025 Infiniti QX80, front | Photo: D.Heyman

Driving the 2025 Infiniti QX80 – 6.5/10

The new engine is not the only area of change. Self-levelling air suspension is now standard across the range, there are adaptive dampers and the vehicle 25-percent stiffer torsionally and 57-percent stiffer laterally. It’s easy to forget that a firm chassis is what helps reduce noise, keep a big vehicle like this more centered through turns and even provide a better ride in some cases.

Except in this new QX80, I didn’t feel it as much as I thought I would, considering how much time was spent on chassis tuning. After all, the QX80 is still a body-on-frame truck and that can still be readily felt through undulations and repeated small bumps. It’s better than before, but with all that tweaking I expected to feel more of a difference, something more akin to a Lincoln Navigator.

Alas, even after removing a locking differential – apparently QX80 customers just don’t need it, and Infiniti would rather save the weight – there’s still some definite heft to the ride.

The steering, however, is greatly improved. It’s direct and with just enough weight and electronically-assisted boost to maintain some nice steering feel. It’s surprising for a big luxury barge like this to have that but like its penchant for building performance engines, Nissan knows a thing or two about steering.

2025 Infiniti QX80, on the road
2025 Infiniti QX80, on the road | Photo: D.Heyman

2025 Infiniti QX80 pricing in Canada

Here’s the pricing structure for the 2025 Infiniti QX80 in Canada, including the Autograph model we drove:

  • - 2025 QX80 Lux: $104,995
  • - 2025 QX80 Sensory: $113,995
  • - 2025 QX80 Autograph: $124,995

This is a significant increase over the outgoing model, the price range of which varied roughly between $88,000 and $96,000.

Some of your questions about the 2025 Infiniti QX80

Are there any other engine choices for the new QX80?
As of right now, the twin-turbo V6 is the only way to go.

Is there a RWD option for the 2025 QX80?
Well, yes and no. The US gets a base “Pure” model that provides rear-wheel-drive but there are no plans to bring this to Canada as of yet.

Both the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator get extended wheelbase versions. What about the QX80?
The Infiniti comes only with the single wheelbase choice, but considering how much room has been added inside, it should suit most families fine.

2025 Infiniti QX80, arrière
2025 Infiniti QX80, arrière | Photo: D.Heyman

The final word
The ace up the QX80’s sleeve has always been the value it presents. Now, it’s true that not all luxury buyers place as much emphasis on bartering for the lowest price possible – in fact it’s often quite the opposite and the more expensive, the better. But Infiniti was able to draw more new luxury buyers to the QX80 as a result.

Some folks will always want the capability of a truck, but with a luxury badge and the amenities that come with that. Even today, with this all-new truck, there is no Navigator or Escalade trim that comes that far down in terms of price, even before adding stuff like air suspension or better audio et cetera.

The QX80 is the value-added truck of its segment, and with its new styling and tech – including that audio system -- it just might be able to get over the hump and push closer to the fore in the big Luxury SUV category.

Competitors of the 2025 Infiniti QX80

  • - BMW X7
  • - Cadillac Escalade
  • - Lexus LX470
  • - Lincoln Navigator
  • - Mercedes-Benz GLS 450
2025 Infiniti QX80, trois quarts avant
2025 Infiniti QX80, trois quarts avant | Photo: D.Heyman
Dan Heyman
Dan Heyman
Automotive expert
  • Over 12 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 70 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 150 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists