Infiniti has taken the wraps off a mildly refreshed 2018 QX80, giving the flagship SUV a few updates inside and out. The biggest visual changes are the (slightly) revised front and rear fascias: The headlights are now narrower and sit higher on the front fenders, the lower front fascia sports slimmer horizontal running lights, and the grille is now wider at the bottom rather than at the top compared to the outgoing model. Out back, the taillights are different in design if not in overall shape, and they’re now joined by a single horizontal chrome strip that runs along the top of the rear license plate niche.
Overall, it’s an evolutionary look that tweaks the established design of the QX80 in the spirit of the QX80 Monograph concept that debuted at the New York auto show earlier this year, instead of a complete redesign.
The changes are even milder on the inside: The design of the steering wheel and the leather-wrapped gear shift has been tweaked, and Infiniti has added choices of Wheat or Graphite upholstery. When it comes to tech, the refreshed QX80 now features larger rear infotainment screens — a bump from 7.0 to 8.0 inches — as well as HDMI ports in addition to the standard USB ports. Up front, Infiniti has made a few changes to storage space, including a larger smartphone storage area and cupholders for cups with handles. The storage area under the center armrest has also been expanded, now measuring 5.4 liters in volume.
Underhood, the QX80 still packs a beefy 5.6-liter V8 with 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque on tap, paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission.
In sum, most of the changes are on the outside and they serve to tone down the brash, bulbous style of Infiniti’s largest offering, which has been on sale since 2010 (first as the QX56). The SUV is now closer to a complete redesign than to its initial launch, as it battles much newer galleons including the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator. But that redesign won’t be here for at least a couple of years.
The change in price for 2018 is similarly incremental; the QX80 is now $900 dearer for two- and four-wheel-drive models alike, weighing in at $65,745 and $68,845, respectively.
„The Infiniti QX80 has been a popular choice for buyers in the luxury SUV segment, particularly in North America and the Middle East,“ said Christian Meunier, Infiniti Global Division Vice President. „The new QX80 will boost Infiniti’s presence in the full-size SUV segment by evoking the spirit of inclusive luxury travel. Customers expect maximum comfort, practicality and style – and the 2018 QX80 delivers.“