Driving the Updated 2020 Infiniti QX80: There Is More New Stuff Than You May Think

2020 Infiniti QX80 (Photo: Infiniti)

2020 Infiniti QX80 – staying the course

Each version of the QX80 is better than the one prior – but little has changed on the surface. It’s still a serious contender. The big Infiniti QX80 is hiding some significant changes on the inside.

With a base price of $66,750 (Luxe) and the top-of-the-line (Limited) model starting at $91,450 – it’s not exactly inexpensive. Higher snoot competitors are around the same price. Our tester (Luxe 4WD) came in at $76,150 and it was well equipped, but not “loaded.” Still, the new tech inside, gobs of luxury paired with a creamy-smooth ride keep the QX80 relevant in its class.

What’s new?

An upgraded infotainment system is the main update for the 2020 Infiniti QX80. It now has two displays which are stacked one on top of the other. The upper screen is an 8.0-inch and the bottom one is a 7.0-inch – both are easy to use and have good There is also a new 7.0-inch color display trip-computer display amid the gauge cluster.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and now standard throughout the QX80 lineup. Blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, rear automated emergency braking and rear-seat reminder are standard too.

The outstanding interior materials carry through, as do some of the most comfortable seats in the business. Sure, I like a lower seating position, but I am fairly tall and I can still find a comfortable driving position. Even with the non-quilted seats (which are lovely) the seats feel luxurious.


5.6-liter V8 that is still one of my favorites. While tuned differently, it’s basically the same engine used in the Nissan Titan – which is one of its best traits. Making 400 horsepower at 5,800 rpm, you have to flog it to make it seriously move. Maximum torque of 413 lb-ft comes on at 4,000 rpm.

Oddly, Nissan opted to keep its older mediocre 7-speed automatic transmission in the 2020 Infiniti QX80 as opposed to the new 9-speed used in the newest Titan. Around town, the seven-speed is very smooth, but on the highway, it can hunt for gears a bit too often.

Fortunately, if you ever need to do some off-road driving, even fairly challenging off-roading, the QX80 is up to the task. Only a handful of real luxury SUVs can handle off-road challenges actually exist, the QX80 is one of them. Despite the ridiculous 22-inch wheels and street tires, it is quite capable. Credit goes to its real-truck Armada/Patrol components.

Sure, this baby weighs about three tons with driver and passengers – but it manages to perform as if it’s a bit lighter. It corners well for a beast and, as stated before, the ride comfort is exceptional. One thing that’s not exceptional is its consumption.

According to the EPA, the 2020 Infiniti QX80 gets 13 mpg city, 19 mpg highway and 15 mpg combined. I averaged nearly 17 mpg with mostly highway driving. Fortunately, if you are serious about puling a trailer with your prized stallion, the QX80 is rated to tow a maximum of 8,500 lbs. That’s impressive. Having towed with one in the past, I can honestly say it tows very well.


Somehow, with very little upgrading, Infiniti/Nissan have managed to keep this new QX80 relevant. Infiniti needs to take the needs of the QX80 seriously. It made up around 20,000 sales in North America in 2019. Considering they sold around 120,000 vehicles in 2019… the QX80’s future should be taken seriously by Nissan/Infiniti.

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.