I have always maintained that no other SUV gives you that special, ‘ruler of all one surveys’ feeling like the Range Rover does. Mind you, I’m yet to get behind the wheel of a Rolls-Royce Cullinan, which might alter that opinion. While the Infiniti QX80 doesn’t quite match the Range Rover in that department despite its humongous proportions, it does attract a lot of attention. I cannot recall any recent flagship SUV that I tested that drew as many glances from passers-by as our long-terming Infiniti does.
The imposing presence sure does have something to do with it, but I believe it’s also the design tweaks made to the current model that play a positive role. There is almost as much bling here as a Cadillac Escalade, but the designers have managed to keep it relatively restrained though it’s definitely more flamboyant than the Nissan Patrol it’s based on. And the lines are significantly cleaner and less polarising than those of the model it replaces.
As you can see from the images here, the refreshed design has more angular, clearly defined lines compared to the rounded outlines of its predecessor. It also makes the already massive SUV look even longer.
The new ‘doublearch’ grille sits more flush and is more upright with the leading edge of the bonnet extending forward and sitting higher. The blank space above the headlights in the outgoing model that had received flak is gone now, with the new ‘human eye’ lamps positioned higher up and large fender vents closing the rest of the real estate. The bumper has also been redrawn, adding to the overall freshness of the fascia. There is barely any difference between the two when viewed in profile, while the rear gets some significant changes, including a strip of chrome connecting the LED taillights, which have also been redesigned.
Overall, the new QX80 has remedied whatever contentious issues the previous model had in terms of styling, while retaining all the large SUV goodness that it has inherited from the Patrol. And it manages to look more striking than the ubiquitous Nissan.
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