2022 Infiniti QX80 Review Update

Chris Teague, Independent Expert | Mar 28, 2022

Introduction - Find the best Infiniti deals!

The Infiniti QX80 is the automaker’s flagship full-size SUV that offers a plush interior, a robust standard V8 engine, and plenty of standard tech features. It competes in the cutthroat large premium SUV segment alongside models such as the Land Rover Range RoverCadillac Escalade, and BMW X7.

Though it’s a strong competitor on paper, most of the QX80’s rivals offer more exciting driving dynamics, better interior finishes, and more elaborate tech. Infiniti has done what it can to update the aging SUV with new screens and safety features. Still, the reality remains that the Europeans and even the Americans have figured out how to build a competent and savvy full-size premium SUV. There are even sporty entrants in the segment, such as the BMW X7 M50i, Audi SQ7, and upcoming Cadillac Escalade V-Series.

Updates for the 2022 QX80 include:

  • Additional smartphone connectivity options
  • New touchscreen infotainment system
  • Updated climate control interface

Infiniti offers the 2022 QX80 in three trims: Luxe ($71,995), Premium Select ($76,780), and Sensory ($83,630). All come powered by a V8 engine, and 4-wheel drive (4WD) is available for better off-road and all-weather performance. Though it’s basically a Nissan Armada underneath, Infiniti adds a variety of upscale materials and sharp styling to cover it up.

Previously, J.D. Power reviewed the 2019 Infiniti QX80. This review focuses on the QX80’s updates for 2020, 2021, and 2022, and how they potentially impact its overall appeal to consumers.

What Owners Say About the Infiniti QX80 - Find the best Infiniti deals!

2022 Infiniti QX80 Front Quarter View

The Infiniti QX80 competes in the Large Premium SUV market segment. According to data collected from verified new-vehicle buyers for the J.D. Power 2021 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, 59 percent of new Infiniti QX80 buyers are male (vs. 68 percent for the segment), and the median age of a new QX80 buyer is 51 years (vs. 55).

As part of the APEAL Study, owners rated the Infiniti QX80 in 10 primary categories. Listed below in descending order, you’ll find their preferences, from their most favorite thing about the vehicle to their least favorite:

  • Exterior styling
  • Driving feel
  • Feeling of safety
  • Powertrain
  • Interior design
  • Driving comfort
  • Setting up and starting
  • Getting in and out
  • Infotainment system
  • Fuel economy

In the 2021 APEAL Study, the QX80 ranks sixth out of eight Large Premium SUV models.

What Our Independent Expert Says About the Infiniti QX80 - Find the best Infiniti deals!

In the sections that follow, our independent expert analyzes a 2022 Infiniti QX80 Sensory 4WD equipped with the following options:

  • Illuminated cargo scuff plate

The price of the test vehicle came to $86,955, including the $1,395 destination charge.

Upgraded and Simplified Infotainment Touchscreen

2022 Infiniti QX80 Interior Dashboard

Previous QX80 models came with a confusing dual-touchscreen infotainment system. The 8-inch upper touchscreen handled audio, maps, and related functions, and the 7-inch lower display was responsible for climate and vehicle settings. While crisp and colorful, the two-display system required too much attention to use. It replaced a single 8-inch display just a short while ago, which many felt was a downgrade for the QX80’s infotainment system.

The dual-screen infotainment system debuted for the 2020 model year, but it’s already out. The situation is much improved for 2022, as a new 12.3-inch widescreen touch display now sits atop the QX80’s center stack. It brings navigation with lane guidance and a 5-year subscription to traffic and map data. A Wi-Fi hotspot is also standard but requires a paid subscription after the 30-day trial period.

The new single screen is responsive and straightforward to use. It features good clarity and is plenty colorful but is not overly complicated with excessive menus and functions. The size is correct, too, as a 12.3-inch display fits the QX80’s massive cabin much more appropriately than two smaller screens. It can be challenging to reach from the driver’s seat, especially for shorter people.

New Wireless Smartphone Features

The fresh infotainment hardware brings a broader array of smartphone connectivity options, with wireless Apple CarPlay now standard. Android users are slightly left out, though, as Android Auto is offered only with a wired connection. That said, all smartphone users benefit from a newly standard wireless charging pad. Infiniti made good use of the QX80’s expansive dash space by tucking the charger in a hidden area under the climate controls. iPhone users can place their devices on the charger, shut the cover, and never have to touch the phone while driving.

The standard audio and infotainment systems are more than solid, but for people with kids, more is usually better. Infiniti offers a rear-seat entertainment system for those buyers with two 8-inch screens mounted into the backs of the front headrests in the top Sensory trim. The Theater package also brings an additional USB port and a power outlet.

The first time a user connects a smartphone, a prompt pops up to choose between wireless and wired Apple CarPlay connectivity. Wireless works well and is mostly responsive, though at times there are lags as the communication between phone and vehicle takes longer than expected. Infiniti implemented wireless charging nicely here as well. Having the ability to hide a device in the charging cubby and shut the cover is a big plus for people who hate clutter. Though it works just as well with Android phones, wired Android Auto makes it difficult to charge and connect simultaneously, especially for larger phones.

Fresh HVAC Controls

2022 Infiniti QX80 Infotainment Touchscreen Climate Controls

The previous SUV featured a mix of physical and touchscreen controls that were way more complicated than they needed to be. The move to a single touchscreen for 2022 meant a change in climate control configuration. Now, there’s a more traditional climate panel with dials for temperature control and clearly labeled buttons for everything else. It’s not as flashy as a touchscreen climate control system, but it gets the job done and is easier to use while driving.

Previous model years featured a mix of virtual/on-screen controls and physical buttons that sometimes could be confusing. Redundancy works well to preserve functionality in various situations, but fumbling with a screen while driving isn’t a good look.

Even though the world is moving toward touch controls and capacitive displays for almost everything, physical controls are still easier to use in many cases. The QX80’s climate controls now live on a physical panel with physical buttons, making them less distracting and easier to use when the vehicle is in motion. The new setup looks cleaner and more intuitive than the outgoing model, even with extra buttons on the dash. All controls are clearly labeled for easy use when the SUV is moving, and there’s no ambiguity over which button controls which feature. Even the somewhat old-school display window on the climate panel is a refreshing touch, as it’s vastly superior to a touchscreen in terms of ease of use and clarity.

New Premium Select Trim in 2021

J.D. Power last reviewed the QX80 for the 2019 model year, and though changes for 2020 were modest, Infiniti unleashed a new trim level for 2021. The Premium Select trim joined the lineup as a mid-level variant with 22-inch wheels, brown interior accents, and exclusive dark chrome exterior trim. It formed the midpoint between the “entry-level” Luxe trim and top-end Sensory trim. It brought other upgrades over the Luxe model, including lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control. Other standard features over the base model include 22-inch all-season tires and mocha burlwood interior trim.

Infiniti’s trim structure is simple compared to the models offered by American brands. Where automakers like Chevrolet and GMC offer standalone options and various powertrain choices, parent Nissan Motor Co. took the easy road by offering three trims with little in the way of available added packages and features. It’s ideal for people who like simplicity because there are very few choices to make when picking out a new QX, but many others may be left wanting more granularity in their SUV options.

Independent Expert Opinion - Find the best Infiniti deals!

2022 Infiniti QX80 Rear Quarter View

The Infiniti QX80 comes with a 5.6-liter V8 engine producing 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. It’s linked to a 7-speed automatic transmission and rear- (2WD) or all-wheel drive. The numbers are strong on paper, and its feel and sound live up to expectations on the road. Acceleration is brisk, and the V8 makes a wonderful sound when pushed. The downside comes at the gas pump, where owners will frequently be stopping. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the 2WD version of the QX80 returns just 14 mpg in the city; with 4WD, that figure drops to 13 mpg. Highway mpg is only slightly better at 19-20 mpg.

The QX80 won’t be at the top of anyone’s list of rallycross cars, but it handles its size and weight well. The ride is comfortable but mostly controlled, and though there’s body roll in the curves, it’s not overbearing or intrusive. The story is much the same on the highway, where the big Infiniti wafts along without much complaint.

The SUV’s styling is not as fresh or exciting as its rivals, and beyond the touchscreen, the interior is quite dated overall. Interior finishes are excellent, and the whole package feels solid, but it’s easy to see the direct line between today’s QX80 and the model that debuted over a decade ago. Fitting new features in a dated interior raises challenges around where to put all the new buttons and controls, which has led to some awkwardness in the QX80’s interior. The auto start/stop button and controls for some safety features are tucked under the dash to the left of the steering wheel, requiring a search to locate, for example.

There’s no shortage of space in the first two rows, and even the entry-level QX80 offers plush leather upholstery. The scene isn’t as deluxe for passengers in the third row, as the full-size QX falls short on space in the “way back.” That said, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where the QX80 would fail to offer enough storage space. Interior small-item storage is excellent, and the center console is massive.

Many premium brands limit warranty coverage to shorter terms and lower mileages, but Infiniti backs the QX80 with a limited warranty of four years or 60,000 miles and a powertrain warranty of six years or 70,000 miles. That’s better than many premium automakers but far short of the bar set by KiaHyundai, and Genesis, the latter of which makes SUVs that directly compete with the Infiniti.

A lot is going for the QX80, but it’s ultimately let down by feeble fuel economy and a glaring lack of now-common luxury features, like a panoramic sunroof. A big V8 is terrific, but the fuel bills will become tiresome, even for people expecting the pain. At this point, we are way too far down the road to electrification to deal with an SUV that delivers 14 mpg in the city and only 20 mpg on the highway.

Though it’s a relative value pick in its segment, the QX80 doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself from mainstream brands’ top models. A high-end Chevy Suburban, for example, is around the same price and every bit as lovely as the QX80. It’s also available with a diesel engine for better fuel economy and capability.

Chris Teague is an automotive journalist with several years of experience covering tech, new vehicles, industry trends, and breaking news. In addition to JDPower.com, his work has appeared in numerous digital and print publications, marketing journals, and national ad campaigns.

The opinions expressed in this review are the author’s own, not J.D. Power’s.

No portion of these reviews may be reproduced, distributed, publicly displayed, or used for a derivative work without J.D. Power’s written permission. © 2022 J.D. Power

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