Conventional wisdom: Car and Driver likes the “handsome styling, standard V-8 power, plush and spacious cabin” but not that it “seems outdated compared with rivals, Nissan Armada is almost as luxurious, poor fuel economy.”
What’s new: The huge SUV (weighing in at 5,813 pounds, able to pull 8,500 pounds) stays huge for 2021. The Sensory is a new top trim level with, among other new features, a Smart Rearview mirror with 9.6-inch display. Which is good, because once inside you cannot see what’s behind this monster for squat. Its last face-lift came in 2018 but the QX80 has received only modest updates since its 2011 introduction.
Up to speed: The 400-horsepower 5.6-liter V-8 moves the QX80 with more ease than one would expect from a huge truck. I was able to perform all kinds of acceleration feats to outmaneuver much more agile vehicles, when a sudden lane change would be needed after a stoplight, for instance. It reaches 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, according to Car and Driver; it’s the Q that roared.
But Mr. Driver’s Seat did learn to live with it. I put almost 200 miles on the QX80, on country roads and even I-95 and the Blue Route. Hard corners could be taken with some speed, and country roads were not bad — although uneven dips were the vehicles literal downfall. I thought the QX80 would be on its side a few times.
Driver’s Seat: It’s a long climb to the cabin of the Q, but driver and passenger are amply rewarded. The Lovely Mrs. Passenger Seat raved about her quarters, saying the QX80 was like a living room on wheels.
Second, many other drivers think they’re aimed far too high — I kept getting high beams flashed at me. I even had one weirdo in front of me get out of his car at a stop sign and yell something while waving downward. He looked disappointed when I turned the high beams on.
Play some tunes: The infotainment system features two screens, as most premium brands offer these days. The lower screen controls most of the functionality, and buttons toggle from audio to HVAC to home menu. A dial controls volume while buttons control stations or scrolling through songs. If it sounds complicated, it is.
This content was originally published here.