New Car Previews

Preview: 2025 Infiniti QX80 Finally Gets a Dramatic New Look

Infiniti has always employed a solid roster of talented designers. Its cars and SUVs have generally featured clean lines, good proportions, and an aversion to trendy gimmicks that have made other vehicles age prematurely. If there’s been an exception to the rule, it’s the largest offering from the brand – the full-size QX80 SUV – that has, at times looked downright awkward. After nearly a decade and a half, the old QX80 is gone, replaced by a new one that shuns the frumpiness of the old model, instead presenting a bolder, yet more elegant visage.

Impressive Style

In the premium segment the QX80 occupies, fashion matters and Infiniti has done a lot of work here to modernize this truck. Walking around the QX80, it’s still unmistakably an Infiniti, but there’s far better cohesion in the design than before with a few derivative elements. The smooth vertical panels, blacked-out roof and c-pillars, and retractable door handles recall the latest Range Rover, as does the INFINITI script across the back end. The window framing is nearly flush with the side glass. When approaching the top-trim Autograph models, the front and rear LEDs light up, along with elaborate, wing-like projections that shine down from the running boards to welcome occupants.

The QX80’s front end is both its most distinctive and impressive. The bold grille features tightly spaced vertical bars meant to resemble a bamboo forest, while the upper portion flows directly out to sleek piano-key LEDs for the daytime running lights. The large plastic grille is punctuated by a new Infiniti badge that not only lights up, but features a neat 3D relief to it, as the “cheeks” of the QX80 are dimpled with headlights. It’s a look we’re told will trickle down to future models, including the recently announced QX65.

While fender vents have largely gone out of fashion, the QX80 carries them forward, although they are functional for bringing air into the engine bay, just as the large vents in the lower front fascia also help shape air around the truck.

If this new QX80 looks bigger and more imposing, that’s because it sort of is. The overall footprint is no larger than the outgoing model, but the leading edge of the hood is taller, and the windshield now stands prouder than before, giving the big SUV a boxier look that’s all the rage these days. Walking up to the QX80, one fully appreciates just how much presence this machine has.

Elegant Interior

The obvious benefit of the squared-off cabin is a more interior space. The second-row captain’s chairs are highly adjustable, and on the Autograph trim, features heating, cooling, and a massage function, plus a touchscreen control panel between them to adjust their many features. The third row offers surprising leg room, even with the second row at its rearmost position, but headroom, and the headrests that press into the upper back of taller occupants, make this three-row bench best-suited for small passengers. Of note: even the third row is heated.

The luckiest passengers will get one of the front two seats, which offer sublime comfort. Beyond their adjustability, they also provide heating, cooling, and massage functions, and seem to offer a perfect balance between supportive and supple.

The deep red and black, semi-aniline leather feels properly decadent and fills the cabin with their heady aroma. The pillars and ceiling around the panoramic sunroof are trimmed in faux suede, and there’s plenty of open pore wood and LED mood lighting throughout the cockpit. And, just like Range Rover, there’s an available cooler between the front seats that’ll chill six beverages during the ride to the soiree.

As a segment first, Infiniti has given the QX80 biometric climate adjustment that can sense if a second-row passenger is too hot or too cold, and instantly adjust the airflow and temperature accordingly to help keep occupants comfortable without having to interact with the system.

Despite an overall elegance, there are a few areas where corners were cut to save costs that seem out of place compared with some of the key competitors. The pillar-mounted grab handles are basic moulded plastic without any leather (or vinyl wrap), the seatback pockets are also a chintzy-feeling vinyl, and there aren’t any soft-close doors. Sure, these may seem like trivialities, but when competing in this primo segment, every touchpoint counts toward the overall level of luxury.

Impressive Tech

There’s also no separate screen for the front seat passenger. While gimmicky, it is a feature showing up with increasing frequency in makes ranging from Jeep to Porsche to Mercedes. Even still, Infiniti does fit a sweeping panel comprised of two adjacent 14.3-inch panels to create a vast driver information centre, plus a colour head-up display. The gauge pod is adaptive to accommodate information preferences, plus a trio of designs to suit one’s mood. The primary infotainment display offers touchscreen functionality. Yet another touchscreen – this one 9 inches – resides below the infotainment screen and provides climate controls and drive mode selection.

In addition to the eight USB-C ports throughout the cabin, the QX80 allows wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus Google built-in to the primary system for up-to-date navigation and Google Assistant to take voice-activated commands. Infiniti has paired up with Klipsch audio for a 600-watt, 14-speaker system in the base, Luxe trim, while Sensory and Autograph trims receive a 1,200-watt, 24-speaker system with speakers mounted all over the place, including four in the roof, and another pair in the headrests, generating a completely enveloping audio experience, and one that can also cancel extraneous cabin noises while driving.

Infiniti has made extensive use of cameras throughout the QX80, mostly to good effect. The series of frontal cameras can provide a “front wide view” that displays across both 14.3-inch screens, offering an ultra-wide viewing angle for navigating tight parking spaces. It also enables an Invisible Hood View that utilizes image processing to project what’s immediately in front of the vehicle as if the hood and engine didn’t exist, again, helping to navigate the large truck in particularly tight spots.

There are also cameras inside the cabin, which may be off-putting to some, especially when the “Journey Diary” function is enabled that can capture forward-facing or in-car images during a trip. The in-car camera can also be accessed remotely via smartphone after the vehicle is parked to see if any items have been left behind.

More Safety Tech

As expected, Infiniti has thrown everything in its advanced safety repertoire into the QX80, including predictive forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, blind spot and lane departure steering intervention, and a trailer blind spot warning. Autograph trim QX80s will receive the ProPILOT Assist 2.1, which enables hands-off driving under certain highway conditions.

Smaller Engine with Bigger Power

As most of its competitors have done recently, Infiniti has downsized the engine for greater efficiency, although fuel consumption figures were not provided. Infiniti’s Regional Senior Vice President and Chief Planning Officer, Ponz Pandikuthira, enthused that the new QX80 drives as well or better than its competitors, both domestic or European – a claim we eagerly await to evaluate in the future. Still, the twin-turbo, 3.5L V6 holds promise with its 450 hp and 515 lb-ft of torque that better last year’s V8 by 50 horses and 103 lb-ft. Matched with a revised version of Infiniti’s nine-speed automatic transmission that has a 40 per cent wider gear spread, we expect greater responsiveness with better highway cruising.

All QX80s come standard with a full-time all-wheel-drive system, as well as an adaptive, electronic air suspension that can lower more than 7 cm when parked for easier entry and exit, as well as raising it up 6 cm above its normal ride height when in off-road drive mode settings. It’ll also squat down at highway speed to facilitate better efficiency.

The new suspension is said to improve ride, but also handling and stability with 57 per cent greater lateral stiffness. The new QX80 is also said to be up to four decibels quieter than the old model.

Final Thoughts

It’s been a long time coming, but the wholistic renewal of the QX80 has clearly been a major undertaking and one that looks to push all the right buttons. It’s styled and equipped to be competitive once again, with a stronger drivetrain, Infiniti believes makes the QX80 poised to capture former domestic-brand truck owners looking for greater refinement, as well as those tired of seeing the same German brands parked in all their neighbours’ driveways. Either way, it's an impressive effort that appears worthy of being Infiniti’s flagship model.

The 2025 Infiniti QX80 is scheduled to arrive at dealerships this summer.

2025 Infiniti QX80 Canadian Pricing

  • Luxe: $104,995
  • Sensory: $113,995
  • Autograph: $124,995