Looks are de­ceiv­ing with QX80

South Western Times - - Wheels - Vani Naidoo

Say what you may, but it is al­most im­pos­si­ble not to ad­mire the at­ti­tude of the Infiniti QX80. De­spite dis­parag­ing re­marks about its looks and size, this big SUV is de­fi­antly un­apolo­getic, stand­ing tall and proud in a like-it-or-lump it scoff at crit­ics.

In fact, if at­ti­tude alone sold cars, then the QX80, would be well poised to leave a more no­tice­able foot­print in the Aus­tralian mar­ket, mir­ror­ing the suc­cess it has found es­pe­cially in North Amer­ica and the Mid­dle East.

Infiniti has glad­dened the odds, mak­ing changes to both the ex­te­rior and the un­der­pin­nings of the QX80 to show that dif­fer­ent has its ad­van­tages too.

Styling

Let’s face it the QX80 is hardly the shy and re­tir­ing type, no wall­flower here friend, just bold brash and hard to miss. Infiniti have made more than a hand­ful of ex­te­rior changes, mostly in re­sponse to the po­lar­is­ing style of the orig­i­nal model which ar­rived here some three years ago.

So, there is a re­designed tail­gate and grille, new LED head­lights and tail lights and a longer, higher bon­net. The side steps are wider, the bumper is new and there is an abun­dance of chrome. All in all it makes for sharper, sleeker QX80, prob­a­bly still not ev­ery­one’s cup of tea, but I love the unique­ness of the proposition.

The changes to the in­te­rior are min­i­mal, at the very least, with an up­dated cen­tre con­sole, up­sized front cup-hold­ers, a new gear stick and quilted semi-ani­line leather up­hol­stery. The lat­ter is a good bal­ance be­tween func­tion­al­ity and looks. While these changes are a step in the right di­rec­tion, the cabin fix­tures and de­sign which looked so flash in the Infiniti line a cou­ple of years ago, is start­ing to look dated.

It is hard to com­plain about the space and com­fort the QX80 of­fers though with more than enough room to swing a cat (not that any cats were swung) even in the third row. There is room aplenty for heads, shoul­ders and feet and cred­i­ble luggage stor­age even with the third row in place. The Infiniti can be or­dered in ei­ther seven or eight seats with two Isofix points in the sec­ond row.

Cli­mate con­trol op­tions in the sec­ond and third rows add to the crea­ture com­forts with pas­sen­gers in the sec­ond row also get­ting 8.0inch en­ter­tain­ment screens. The third row can be elec­tron­i­cally raised and low­ered with en­try through the 60:40 split sec­ond row.

The Infiniti QX80 is bold and brash and now, bet­ter look­ing, too.

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