By Larry Lark, contributor
If you’re looking for a full-size, affordable, luxury SUV, check out the 2021 Infiniti QX80 Sensory four-wheel drive.
Now in its second generation of production, the 2021 model has been improved with added equipment, innovative technologies, and stylish feature befitting its luxury status.
My top-of-the-line tester Sensory trim level provides the best of the best. The aesthetics are had to beat rom the quilted, semi-aniline leather seats, charcoal burl trim, to the graphite tricot headliner, the QX80 has a handcrafted, tailored feel.
The exterior features stylish 22-inch forged alloy wheels and chrome mirror caps, both of which add to the QX80’s elegant appearance.
Powered by a 5.6-liter V8, the QX80 is designed to tow. The engine is rated up to 8,500 pounds towing capacity, delivering 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. Outfitted with a two -speed transfer case, the QX80 can switch between 4H and 4L modes, with a hydraulic body motion control system that enhances cornering stability and a smoother ride at all speeds.
A smooth-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission seamlessly channels the engine’s ample power and torque reserves for an assured feeling of control behind the wheel. I averaged around 14 miles per gallon fuel economy in a week’s worth of city and down-the-road travel.
This Infiniti will transport up to eight adults with an equally generous cargo area designed to haul all the trappings. The third-row seats recline with the press of a button to provide more room when needed.
The front captain’s chair seats are both heated and ventilated, while the second-row seats are heated with a dual screen entertainment system mounted on the back of the front seats. An oversized moonroof provides a view and extra light for all.
All trim levels (including Premium Select and Luxe) offer range of standard driver-assist technologies as standard equipment. Blind Spot Intervention, Lane Departure Prevention, Distance Control Assist, a Rear Seat Belt Reminder, and an updated Intelligent Cruise Control system are all included, while Android Auto and Apple CarPlay continue to bring enhanced connectivity across the QX80 range.
All grades now feature the second-generation of INFINITI’s Smart Rearview Mirror system, which switches between a regular mirror and an LCD monitor to display a high-definition image from a rear-mounted camera. It enables drivers to see clearly when passengers, cargo or lighting conditions obstruct the driver’s rear view. A wider 9.6-inch diameter display, high resolution camera ensures enhanced visibility for added confidence behind the wheel.
Other creature comforts to keep the crew smiling are tri-zone climates control that can keep each row’s occupants happy at different temperature levels, and a Bose performance audio system that blasts crystal clear sound through 17 speakers.
Rounding out the long list of amenities are navigation system with live traffic, a multi-view rearview camera, Wi-Fi hotspot, power lift-gate, power and folding side mirrors, LED headlights and fog lights, remote engine start, and heated steering wheel.
Other equipment designed to make the QX80 foolproof is hill start assist, trailer sway control, distance control assist, backup collision intervention, high beam assist, automatic collision notifications, forward collision emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and more.
Base Price: $84,695
Price As Driven: $87,035
Destination charge is included in base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.