Before Infiniti changed its naming convention in 2013 bringing all SUVs in its range under the QX label, there was only one model bearing that designation. That was the QX56, launched in 2004 as the Japanese luxury brand’s flagship SUV. It was based on parent company Nissan’s full-size SUV Armada. While this model was in production until 2010, the QX gained more publicity after it was moved to the same platform as the Y62 Nissan Patrol’s. Even as the sixth generation Nissan flagship gained unprecedented levels of success and was universally liked, the second-gen QX56 divided opinion with its bulbous, peculiar looking face. However, due to the strong underpinnings and luxury trappings, it remained reasonably popular in our regional markets.

But whatever shortcomings that model might have had aesthetically were remedied last year when the SUV, now renamed QX80, got a redesign. Revealed for the first time at the Dubai International Motor Show 2017, it was given a makeover inspired by the QX80 Monograph concept shown in New York earlier that year. With a much less polarising exterior design, an even more luxurious cabin and a host of advanced drive assist technologies, the 2018 model vastly improved the flagship SUV’s appeal. The massive, naturally aspirated 5.6-litre V8 engine was retained, churning out a substantial 400 horsepower and 560Nm of torque.

All these factors earned the new Infiniti QX80 the coveted Best Premium SUV accolade at the wheels Car of the Year awards this year, and we are pleased to introduce it here as our new long-termer for six weeks. Look out for detailed reviews on various aspects of the SUV over the next few issues.