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Infiniti launch über-SUV in SA


WE, SOUTH Africans, have taken to SUVs almost as well as the Americans have. There are thousands on our roads and it would appear, the bigger the better and therefore Japanese luxury manufacturer Infiniti’s QX80 would take the prize for most badass SUV currently available in SA.


We went to an Infiniti dealership to view the beast in the metal and what a behemoth it is. The styling is very American with lashings of chrome outside, a massive grille, LED fog lights and low-set LED headlamps with a simple side profile, which sweeps into a typical ‘Infiniti’ rear section with more LED lighting. The addition of roof racks and massive 22-inch wheels create a car that looks more at home in an urban situation than off-road.

Interior appointments

Let’s get this out in the open… the QX80 can seat eight people, yes, and has three rows of seats including a boot - that’s very impressive! The brief experience that we had with the interior showed that the QX80 has great levels of quality and a seriously impressive array of features, even for such an expensive car.

Standard kit

The list of standard equipment is impressive. Take a deep breath for this one… 10-way adjustable electric driver’s seat, eight-way adjustable electric passenger seat,  nine cup holders and four door-pocket bottle holders, Tri-Zone automatic temperature control, electroluminescent gauges, Infiniti analogue clock, climate control system with air purifier and grape polyphenol filter and auto recirculation.

On the infotainment front, there’s also an eight-inch WVGA colour touchscreen display, a 30GB hard drive navigation system with a 10GB music box, Bluetooth, around view monitor with front and rear sonar system with Moving Object Detection (MOD), Bose cabin surround  15-speaker audio system with two subwoofers and rear headliner-mounted third row speakers. The list goes on… a CD/DVD/MP3 player, USB /iPod interface, dual seven-inch colour monitors mounted on the rear of the front headrests, two pairs of wireless headphones, wireless remote control, auxiliary input jacks and 120V power outlet.

On the safety front, there’s the Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) with forward emergency braking system, Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), Backup Collision Intervention (BCI), intelligent cruise control, Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Distance Control Assist (DCA), Blind Spot Intervention (BSI), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) and front pre-crash seatbelts.

Under the hood

Powering the new model is the familiar 5.6-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine with 298kW/560Nm on tap with a seven-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) doing the cog swapping. The car can tow up to 3 500kgs while claimed fuel consumption is 14.8 litres/100km, which we feel might be slightly optimistic.


It may look like an urban bruiser but, on paper at least it would appear that it has what it takes to tackle some off-road stuffwith the all-mode AWD system with auto, 4H and 4L modes along with hill descent control, lockable rear differential and a choice of four different on-road and off-road settings as well as 233mm of ground clearance.

Ride comfort technology

The Q80 features an independent double-wishbone design front and rear, with dual-flow Pattwin tube shock absorbers and an automatic rear levelling system. In addition to this, there’s the Hydraulic Body Motion Control (HBMC), which is said to reduce body lean in turns for improved ride comfort for passengers. The suspension travel is automatically controlled by hydraulic chambers integrated into each shock absorber.

Warranty and Maintenance Plan

The QX80 comes with a three-year/100 000km warranty as well as a five-year/100 000km maintenance plan.

Pricing R 1 238 000

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