Sunday, July 14, 2024
First Reviews2025 INFINITI QX80 First Drive Review: Much-Needed Makeover

2025 INFINITI QX80 First Drive Review: Much-Needed Makeover

The new-generation 2025 INFINITI QX80 was long overdue and while the changes are notable, you wonder if INFINITI did enough to stand out in a very competitive segment.


2025 INFINITI QX80 Pros

  • Beautiful interior

  • A lot of innovative technology

  • Plush and comfy ride


2025 INFINITI QX80 Cons

  • New engine is loud when pushed

  • Not as spacious as some of its rivals

  • Driver assistance tech needs some work


In a segment where consumers want the latest thing, the INFINITI QX80 has been all but forgotten in the last few years. Not surprising, given that the previous generation dated back to 2011 when it was introduced as the QX56. Sure, there have been multiple facelifts since, but the core of the model was over a decade old. The redesigned 2025 INFINITI QX80 was therefore long overdue.

2025 Infiniti QX80 | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur

Catching up to the competition when it comes to technology

The 2025 INFINITI QX80 introduces several segment-first technologies, aiming to bridge the gap between it and its competitors. One notable feature is the Front Wide View, a parking aid providing a 170-degree view to the sides of the vehicle. This system is particularly useful for seeing around corners and objects that aren’t visible from the driver’s seat. The QX80 displays its multiple camera angles directly in front of the driver in the digital instrument cluster which means a huge image and a striking visual, but the steering wheel sometimes gets in the way of seeing areas shown by the camera.

Additionally, the Klipsch Premium Audio system offers impressive sound quality, with the base system featuring 14 speakers and a 12-channel amplifier, and an upgraded version boasting 24 speakers, titanium tweeters, and a powerful 24-channel amplifier. The sound is crisp and clear, though not necessarily superior to systems from Bose or Bang & Olufsen.

2025 Infiniti QX80 | Photo: Infiniti

Another innovative addition is the Biometric Cooling system, which uses an infrared sensor in the headliner to detect if a passenger in the second row is hot. It then automatically adjusts the temperature and air flow to cool them down quickly, something nobody asked for but could actually end up being very useful.

Regarding driver assistance, the ProPilot 2.1 system in the QX80 aims to compete with Cadillac’s Super Cruise and Lincoln’s Blue Cruise. While it offers hands-free driving capabilities, it falls short in some areas. For example, bright sunlight can disrupt the system’s camera, making it unreliable in certain conditions. It needs refinement to truly match the leading systems in this segment.

The QX80’s infotainment system stands out with its dual 14.3-inch displays on the dashboard. The configurable meter offers three views – Classic, Elegant, and Enhanced – and can be controlled using a jog wheel on the steering wheel or through touch interactions on the center INFINITI InTouch display. With Google built-in, the system is intuitive and user-friendly, even if it doesn’t match the sheer size of the Escalade’s display. The overall design is sleek and modern, contributing to a pleasant user experience.

Interior Design and Space

2025 Infiniti QX80 | Photo: Infiniti

The interior of the new QX80 marks a significant departure from its predecessor, featuring high-quality materials and an ergonomic layout. The seats are wide, plush, and comfortable, making long drives enjoyable. The new design also enhances cargo space, with 28% more space behind the third row and 17% more behind the second row compared to the previous model. However, while the QX80 surpasses models like the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS in cargo space, it still falls short of the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, and Jeep Grand Wagoneer in overall capacity.

Massive Improvement Under the Hood

Under the hood, the 2025 QX80 replaces the outdated V8 with a more modern VR35DDTT 3.5L twin-turbocharged engine. This new powertrain produces 450 horsepower and 515 lb-ft of torque, offering a significant performance boost over the old engine. The QX80 now accelerates better and feels more enthusiastic when passing, though it can be loud when pushed hard. Notably, fuel economy has improved by 12%, addressing one of the major drawbacks of the previous model. The QX80 can tow up to 8,500 pounds, which is better than the Escalade, Navigator, and German luxury SUVs, but falls short of the Grand Wagoneer.

2025 Infiniti QX80 | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur

On the road, the QX80 delivers a smooth and quiet ride, thanks to features like Electronic Air Suspension and Dynamic Digital Suspension. These systems enhance ride quality and handling, while also offering practical benefits. The air suspension can lower the vehicle by 1.2 inches at speed for better aerodynamics, and by 2.8 inches when parked for easier entry and cargo loading. In off-road conditions, the suspension can raise the vehicle by 2.1 inches, improving its capability on rugged terrain. That said, the QX80 has lost some of its off-road capability in the redesign as there’s no longer a manually locking differential.

The 2025 INFINITI QX80 represents a significant upgrade over its predecessor, with notable improvements in technology, interior design, and performance. While it still has areas needing refinement, particularly in driver assistance, it offers a compelling package.

2025 Infiniti QX80 | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur
2025 Infiniti QX80 | Photo: Charles Jolicoeur

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Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur was studying to be a CPA when he decided to drop everything and launch a car website in 2012. Don't ask. The journey has been an interesting one, but today he has co-founded and manages 8 websites including EcoloAuto.com and MotorIllustrated.com as General Manager of NetMedia360. He also sits on the board of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. Send me an email

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