SPECS AND VERDICT Model Engine Transmission
in the corners is extraordinary. That’s down to the independent double wishbone front and rear suspension (with Dual Flow Path twin tube shock absorbers, stabiliser bars and automatic rear selflevelling system) aided by the Hydraulic Body Motion Control system. A wobbly ride this is not. Sure, the 275/50 all-season performance tyres scream their lungs out at the very sight of a turn, but they dig in deep to keep you on the straight and narrow. The highstiffness frame structure enhances ride comfort and reduces road noise and vibration.
It’s clear, then, that comparisons with lumbering cetaceans are only skin-deep – under the blubber lies a very talented SUV. Its approach and departure angles mean you can head off-road, too, as it packs a proper 4x4 two-speed transfer case. The snarling V8 is also a good reminder of its potency. However, to the untrained eye this one is identical to the previous model – but look closer and you just might spot the tiny differences. First of all, it gains a new upper grille design and a revised front fascia, which houses new LED headlights, LED turn signals and LED fog lights, while the new bumper gets flush-mounted sonar sensors. You get a new wheel design too (14-spoke 22in forged aluminium alloys) and three new exterior colours – Hermosa Blue, Graphite Shadow and MajesticWhite.
The cabin, which can seat seven adults, is swathed in leather and wood trim. New are theWheat or Graphite leather-appointed seats, while the previous Tuscan Burl trim has been ditched for a Mocha Burl, which has a heavier, richer wood grain. What’s more, there is ample leg- and headroom for first-, secondand third-row passengers. ome of the switchgear is decidedly Altima-like, which is a bit of a shame, but on the technology front, the QX80 packs a punch. Advanced High Beam Assist (this can read oncoming or upcoming traffic to automatically dip high beams to the low beam setting and comes standard on all models) and the Predictive Forward CollisionWarning system (which works by warning the driver of risks that lie beyond his or her forward field of vision and is standard on the Luxury Grade trim) are both useful new additions. The latter can sense the relative velocity and distance of a vehicle directly ahead and of the vehicle in front of the preceding one. Three-blink one-touch turn signals round off the new technology, while an extensive suite of advance safety systems such as Front Emergency Braking, Front CollisionWarning Systems, Blind Spot Warning, Blind Spot Intervention, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Prevention systems should keep you safe and sound.
I wouldn’t want to buy one myself, but I can see the appeal of Infiniti’s flagship; it drives well, has a very comfortable and wellequipped interior and prices start from just Dh288,000. I just hope the next generation does away with the whale-like face.
Comparisons with those cetaceans are only skindeep. Under the blubber lies a very talented SUV