Those who purchase large premium SUVs mostly buy them for the additional cabin room and luxury they provide apart from the bragging rights of a flagship nameplate and their sheer presence on urban boulevards. Ironically though, most of the leading full-size SUVs on the market today are impressively capable off-roaders, and the Infiniti QX80 is no exception.
The QX80’s off-road abilities needn’t be justified as it’s pretty much obvious from the fact that it shares its underpinnings with the immensely proficient Y62 Nissan Patrol. In the (unlikely) event of a QX80 owner wanting to head out into the wilderness, the Infiniti flagship will be very much up to the task.
Over the last weekend, I ventured off the beaten track for a brief excursion over loose sand and gravel, and the long-termer had no problems handling the terrain. Although it’s equipped with a low-range transfer case with a control knob on the centre console for various modes, leaving it in Auto is sufficient for basic off-roading. While my test car rides on supersized 22in alloys wearing lower profile rubbers, anyone looking to take advantage of the QX80’s off-road abilities should stick with the 20in wheels and multi-terrain tyres.
On tarmac, the body-on-frame construction results in a rather floaty ride, and body roll is apparent around corners despite best efforts from the truck’s Hydraulic Body Motion Control system. Whether on the road or off it, the 5.6-litre V8 impresses with its smooth, refined performance. Even at its full payload, it never shows signs of strain or sluggishness.
So, will I recommend the Infiniti QX80 to someone who would want to take his or her ride off-road once in a while? The answer is ‘No’.
If that’s the intention, then go straight for a Nissan Patrol. You will get pretty much everything you get here, minus the premium badge of course, and any potential damage could prove less expensive to repair.
You may also like: Week 1 - 2018 Infiniti QX80: Infinite luxury
You may also like: Week 2 - 2018 Infiniti QX80: Change is good
You may also like: Week 3 - 2018 Infiniti QX80: Room with a view
You may also like: Week 4 - 2018 Infiniti QX80: Hits and misses