2018 In­fin­ity QX80

Alpine Observer - - Motor Guide - By EWAN KENNEDY

INFINITI’S ex­tra-large QX80 has had a ma­jor facelift and a num­ber of stylish in­te­rior up­dates. Pre­vi­ously the shape had been a bit - dare we say - Ja­panese and wasn’t al­ways to the taste of Aus­tralians or Amer­i­cans. Most sales are to these two na­tion­al­i­ties so the changes are likely to make it more ap­peal­ing in this coun­try, and per­haps in­crease sales, be­cause they have been rather slow to date. STYLING This is more than your rou­tine facelift, every­thing for­ward of the wind­screen has been re­vised, not just the easy-to-re­shape plas­tic bits.

The bon­net is 20 mm higher and has been ex­tended for­ward by 90 mm, the grille is taller and broader. The tail­gate, tail­lights, chrome bar and rear bumper have also been re­designed. The QX80 sits on large new-de­sign 22-inch forged alu­mini­u­mal­loy wheels, up from 20s on the old model.

Over­all, the look is cer­tainly dif­fer­ent and not as chal­leng­ing as pre­vi­ously. Those who com­mented on our test car all liked the new look. IN­SIDE The topline Infiniti has an up­dated in­stru­ment panel as well as the cen­tre and rear-cen­tre con­soles. Seat and door trim quilt­ing, stitch­ing and pip­ing have been re­freshed, and there is now a con­trast­ing coloured dou­ble-stitch de­sign on the cen­tre arm rest. IN­FO­TAIN­MENT The Ja­panese SUV has Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity. We loved the out­put from the Bose Sur­round au­dio sys­tem. The rear en­ter­tain­ment screens have been in­creased from 7.0 to 8.0 inches as part of the QX80’s makeover. The large sym­bols on the cen­tral screen min­imise the time you have to take your eyes off the roads. POWERTRAIN Infiniti QX80 is pow­ered by a large 5.6-litre V8 petrol en­gine. It has an im­pres­sive 298 kW of power and 560 Nm of torque. That’s good old fash­ioned grunt.

Power is sent to all four wheels by way of a seven-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion and Infiniti’s All-Mode 4WD sys­tem. Tow­ing ca­pac­ity is listed at 3500 kg. SAFETY The big Infiniti does not have an Aus­tralasian NCAP rat­ing, but be­ing aimed pri­mar­ily at the mar­ket in the USA there’s a big em­pha­sis on safety. Ma­jor items in­clude Blind Spot Mon­i­tor­ing, For­ward Emer­gency Brak­ing and Lane De­par­ture Warn­ing. All of which will in­ter­vene if the driver isn’t pay­ing at­ten­tion.

There are only two IsoFix points, on the outer seats of the sec­ond row. You would ex­pect three, even four.

SUB­TLE: Styling of the Infiniti QX has been toned down and is now ad­mired by many.

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