As a friend remarked, when seated in the Infiniti QX80, which is almost 2m in height, people have to “look up to you.”
During the three days spent with the QX80, it certainly drew attention wherever we went.
Nissan’s luxury marque is frank about what customers appreciate about the QX80 - it is designed to attract attention, and convey power and strength.
There are few vehicles in the country that come close to the QX80 in terms of size, power and breathtaking road presence.
Its enormous 22-inch wheels and Bridgestone Dueler H/T 275/50 size tyres are in a class of its own.
In fact, Infiniti Malaysia was quite worried about the QX80’s height - we were “advised” to be wary when entering covered car parks.
Its height meant you have to hoist yourself into the SUV, by using the step running boards and grip handles.
Its width (slightly over 2m) and length (around 5.3m) also meant we had to be extra careful when entering tollbooths and car parks.
To move its massive 2,829kg kerb weight, there is 405hp and 560Nm of torque from a 5.6-litre V8 naturally aspirated engine, which is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission.
These huge numbers translate into a quick sprint, as the QX80 can hit 100kph from a standstill in 6.8 seconds onwards to a top speed of 210kph.
Given its power and weight, it is not surprising that the QX80 is a thirsty beast with a huge 100-litre petrol tank.
Infiniti rates its combined fuel efficiency at 6.9km per litre but we never got close to that figure.
A friend told us: “The way you guys drive this SUV, you would need a full tank refill before reaching Ipoh on a Kuala Lumpur-Penang journey.”
Given its RM799,000 price tag, it is no wonder that the QX80 is filled to the brim with high-tech occupant safety and comfort features.
The premium entertainment features include a Bose Cabin Surround sound system with 15 speakers, an 8-inch LCD screen, dual seven-inch wide angle LCD screens in the front headrests (for second row passengers) as well as wireless headphones and DVD, USB and Bluetooth capabilities.
There is also three-zone automatic temperature control as well as a plasmacluster ion generator and grape polyphenol filter for air ventilation, cooling and heating functions for front seats, and powered recline adjustment for third row seats.
The QX80 has a long list of safety features and we recommend that interested buyers do a detailed study of the impressive safety systems here.
One highlight is its Backup Collision Intervention (BCI) technology, where in reverse gear, the QX80 will help the driver detect moving vehicles and objects behind the SUV, and, if necessary, the system can automatically engage the brakes to help avoid a collision.
Now, to park and move this mammoth safely in tight spots, there is Around View Monitor with front and rear sonar as well as Moving Object Detection (MOD).
In layman’s terms, this means there are cameras and software on the QX80 which provide a virtual 360-degree or a “Birds-Eye view” of objects around the vehicle.
The MOD function can detect large moving objects within the displayed image, and provide the driver with visual and audible warnings.
Those who want to bring the QX80 off-road can check out Infiniti’s All-Mode 4-wheel drive system with Auto, 4-High and 4-Low modes.
It also has multi-terrain mode (sand, on-road, snow and rock) as well as hill descent control, and active brake limited slip and a very respectable ground clearance of 232mm.
Still, we think the open highway is where the QX80 really belongs, with its commanding view and quiet, refined ride quality.
Infiniti has thrown a lot of technology into the QX80, resulting in a silky smooth ride quality, a welcome departure from the soft, floaty or boat-like sensation commonly experienced in several huge, tall SUVs.
The QX80 has front and rear independent double-wishbone suspension set-up and Infiniti’s Hydraulic Body Motion Control (HBMC), which reduces body roll during cornering or turns.
HBMC varies suspension travel independently on either side of the vehicle; thereby counteracting body roll and providing a luxurious, grounded ride sensation.
And if it’s your chauffeur’s day off, you will find driving the QX80 a nimble and fun experience.
It has very decent levels of agility and a sharp steering feel, which we did not expect from an SUV of such height and size.
The cabin is also well insulated where external noise intrusion is minimised.
The QX80 is aimed at those with deep pockets who want a massive and imposing set of wheels that commands awe and respect.