Roadshow Video Reviews
2014 Infiniti QX80 AWDThe Infiniti QX80 is one huge slice of technology and comfort.
-I recall the Japanese only made small cars. All right. Let's drive one of their biggest--the 2014 Infiniti QX80 all-wheel drive. And check the tech. Now, let's be honest. The QX80 is a great big blunder bus of a thing, and it's lines make no attempt to hide that. I mean, look at this face. What is this? Fudgy the whale? And it's cut off like a blunt piece of lumber. Out the back, you got this pouty, jutting rear bumper. Nothing about this vehicle makes apologies for its presence. Continuing on our big theme, back here is another zip code, another weather system. As you can see, we go on for days here. Third row, obviously. Why would you have something this big if you didn't? You can also get that second row as a bench. That lifts your passenger capacity in this thing to eight people. You can carry all the effective members of Congress at once. By the way, if you want this thing even bigger, you can get the optional clip-on tent that's the size of a townhouse. Now inside this big boy, it's kind of Ersatz luxury. I don't think infinity on this vehicle does the best job with plastwood and plastichrome, but it does say fancy. We've seen this head unit before and generally like it when we see it. This is your eight-inch touchscreen with pretty good response. You see I'm bouncing round the map here pretty easily. You've also got the infinity controller which turns, kicks, and clicks. They got rid of the buttons around it which makes good sense. Voice command is also available, so a lot of ways to run this guy. The voice command is actually quite tight. Check it out. -Please say command. -Navigation. -Navigation. Please say a-- -Address. -Address. What state please? -California. -California. -Now as you can see, it picks up what I say really quickly. The downside is when you get into the address, you've gotta do state, city, street, number as independent little buckets. That's kinda old feeling at this point in history. But all in all, quite functional. Still a little bit childish-looking display. Good 3D fly-by mode, but they do a nice job showing you what lane to be in when you get to one of those dicey freeway interchanges. So not a whole lot new there. And I will say this, this vehicle has about the best streaming Bluetooth I've heard, which is kind of saying something 'cause streaming Bluetooth doesn't sound really good; but this one does a great job of bringing it together, making good sense of the sound, and even bringing out things I don't hear in some other cars. That's impressive. Let's talk about some drive control you don't have in any vehicle. First of all, this all-wheel-drive controller right here with an automatic mode that you leave it in typically--four-wheel high or push and turn to four low. You need to know about exactly nothing about off-roading to use this guy. Our shifter goes to a seven-speed automatic--the only choice. You have a shiftable gate over here that also gives you a little more of a sporty behavior. And then as--when I go to reverse, you find a whole bunch of cameras go up here. This can also work for front view as well, which it will do when you're creeping at low speeds. If you hit something in this car, you weren't looking. In fact, you probably had a blindfold on. Along with those cameras goes a ton of available driver assistance tech. Let's run down the left. There's adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and prevention, distance control alert, independent braking and front collision warning and prevention, blind spot warning and intervention, back-up collision intervention, and stirrable front headlights. You almost can't crash this thing. And power stuff galore in this vehicle. You got your power lift-gate button over here. You've got power buttons here to drop the backseat almost violently. And there are power switches in the very back to raise and lower the seats in the third row. Oddly enough though, you get these little dinky mail slot of a sun roof and no option to make it bigger. This is way behind the times. Okay. Under the not-insignificant prowl of this thing is a 5.6- liter V8, direct-injected, variable vale timing. Beyond that though, nothing terribly tricky about it. It's just big. Four hundred horsepower, 413 foot pounds of torque--that's enough to get this nearly three-ton vehicle up to sixty in the high six-second range through a seven-speed automatic. An all-wheel drive in our configuration as I mentioned, you get about 1420 mpg. We're doing about 15 average all in. Twenty-six-gallon tank. At current California prices, that's 180 bucks a fill-up. Let's go find out what it gets us. Now a lot of things about this QX to drive are clearly not a driver's car sort of influence. I mean, from the pedal accentuated emergency brake, to the big [unk] ride, we have the adapter of suspension in this car, but it still is a big kind of a willowy experience--much better than I'm sure it would be without it. The power is plentiful, but you've got kind of a [unk] accelerator as you'd expect in a vehicle in this category. That will modulate out any kind of jerkiness in the power delivery. And it's all sort of disconnected from the road. The stirring almost gives you no feedback on what's going on. In other words, this car is perfect for the kind of person who is shopping for it. You're not buying this and cross-shopping it with a Cayenne for crying out loud. It's a whole different animal. It's kind of in the escalated class. You have no idea what kind of road you're driving on when you're in the QX80. You're just kinda floating above it all. Once you go get in it though, especially if you get over here on the shifting gate, you get a nice [unk] out of that V8 and a ton of power, which is actually kind of amazing, that something this heavy can ever move that fast. Well, I gotta hand that to them. Just not my cup of tea. Okay. Let's price this giant thing. Starts off about $65,500 for a QX8. Remember, that's a V8, and I'm talking about the all-wheel-drive model here. And that price does include delivery. Now the options, they all basically come in big packages. The first one is the rear seat entertainment system, which I'm gonna pass on all day. It's DVD-based. If your kids are intrigued by DVDs, they need tutoring, not rear-seat entertainment. I am intrigued though more by the technology package, which includes all the driver assistance technologies, an amazing amount of them, for $32.50. And the last thing I'm on the fence on is this whole package. It's Deluxe Touring, they call it. Like $4600. It gives you the adaptive suspension which I and this vehicle needs. Also cool seats, a bunch of interior trim upgrades, oh and surround sound on your Bose audio system. Probably worth it, but there's an awful lot in there. You're looking at about $73,500 for one of these guys, done up CNET-style. Not a cheap ride, but you're getting a lot of tonnage for your money, if that helps. And once you're in there, you're so isolated from the real world, you won't even remember what your payment is.