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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

Go deeper

Ro Khanna accuses Biden of quitting Middle East

Rep. Ro Khanna. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

An outspoken progressive Democrat is wary of President Biden’s approach to the Middle East, arguing it’s like “conceding defeat of the aspiration” to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Why it matters: A number of members of Biden’s own party dislike his Middle East strategy, as his administration signals the region is no longer the priority it was for President Obama and his predecessors.

Democrats eye reconciliation for immigration

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Comprehensive immigration reform is a pipe dream, but some Senate Democrats are hoping to tie key immigration provisions to the next big reconciliation push.

Why it matters: Immigration is one of the most controversial and partisan issues in U.S. politics, which is why the budget reconciliation process — which allows for bills to pass the Senate with a simple majority rather than the usual 60 votes — is so attractive.

13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden meeting Quad amid own pivot toward Asia

Artists paint portraits of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Mumbai, India. Photo: Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

President Biden plans to meet this month with the leaders of Japan, Australia and India in a virtual summit of the so-called Quad, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: By putting a Quad meeting on the president’s schedule, the White House is signaling the importance of partnerships and alliances to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.