Apr 12, 2019

What we're driving: 2019 Infiniti QX80 Limited

This image shows the black and gray interior of the Infiniti QX80.

Infiniti QX80 Limited's interior. Photo: Infiniti

This week I'm driving a 2019 Infiniti QX80 Limited, which, to me, is a big truck in a fancy dress.

Why it matters: The luxury SUV market is highly competitive, and in both performance and features, the Infiniti doesn't quite match up to premium competitors like the Mercedes GLS 450 or the Cadillac Escalade.

  • The "base" QX80 Luxe starts at $66,795, about the same as the fully loaded Nissan Armada Platinum Reserve I drove last December. (They share a platform.)
  • The QX80 Limited will set you back $91,450.

For that price, you should expect to be bathed in luxury. But the Infiniti tries a little too hard: Its open-pore wood accents, faux-suede surfaces, and two-tone color scheme are just too gaudy for my tastes.

  • But there are some nice convenience features, like the telescopic steering wheel that helpfully retracts when you're getting in or out of the vehicle, and the 360-degree camera makes parking this behemoth a little easier.

Standard driver assistance features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and technology that keeps you in your lane or prevents you from backing over someone or something.

  • A predictive forward collision warning system can even warn the driver of risks two cars ahead.

The bottom line: Infiniti's flagship SUV is commanding, but does anybody need a $91,000 truck?

Go deeper: See what else Joann has been driving

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