First Look: The 2025 Infiniti QX80 Gets an Overdue Makeover

Before we delve into a deep design dive of the just-unveiled 2025 Infiniti QX80, a personal disclaimer: I’ve never been a fan of Infiniti styling. Not once have I put the marque’s sedans, let alone SUVs, and especially its large SUVs, on a short, or even long list of favorites. Something about their bulging headlamps, bulbous body panels, and stylistic overreach has long struck me as trying a bit too hard. Nothing personal against the talents of design boss Alfonso Albaisa or his team; Infiniti sheetmetal just hasn’t been my cup of tea. And so it was with some resignation that I trekked across traffic-clogged Los Angeles to lay eyes on the new QX80 and hear its design story from the responsible parties.

The massive sport ‘ute presents itself rather differently in the flesh than I expected it to. First, the biggest Infinity now breaks new ground by starting at $82,450— a premium of around 15 percent over last year’s model, with the top trim level beginning at $110,595.

More from Robb Report

The 2025 Infiniti QX80.
The 2025 Infiniti QX80.

The QX80’s looks are commensurately revised to be smoother, sleeker, and more contemporary than the complex curves presented before. “You’ll see the high front and then that line very gently tapering down, so you get all the big power and then a sense of fluidity,” Albaisa says. Yet even if it’s less visually clunky than its predecessors, it’s still a bit much to take in. The smooth nose and shoulder-high hoodline recall the brutalism of the Cadillac Escalade, and perhaps the even more grandiose, battery-powered Escalade IQ.

Up front is a new grille pattern that senior design director Taisuke Nakamura says was inspired by the towering bamboo forests that dwarfed him during his childhood in Kyoto. The forced perspective indeed resembles what a kid would see looking up at the skyscraper-like shoots, a neat visual reference of curved linearity. Below that honking hood is a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6, which replaces the naturally aspirated 5.6-liter V-8. It’s hard to argue with the downsized engine, as it offers an additional 50 hp and 103 ft lbs of torque from the previous iteration, for a total of 450 hp and 516 ft lbs of torque.

The interior of a 2025 Infiniti QX80.
The twin 14.3-inch displays, separated by only a 6 mm gap, are complemented by a 9-inch touchscreen sitting below.

The vibe outside is more unified and streamlined than before, with conventional door handles replaced by flush grips that extend and retract automatically. The greenhouse incorporates blackout trim across the A, B, C, and D pillars to tie everything together more tightly; at the rear, a strip of stainless-steel trim adds a raised edge to the beltline for a bit of character amidst an otherwise minimalist silhouette.

Inside, things are a bit more ornate; the top trim level that I checked out had open-pore ash wood embedded with thin strips of laser-etched aluminum. The semi-aniline leather seats offer a novel quilting pattern, with recessed surfaces that are created by hidden stitches on the reverse side. And there’s up to 30 percent more cargo volume than before, at least when the third row is folded down.

The interior of a 2025 Infiniti QX80.
The leather seats feature recessed surfaces that are created by hidden stitches on the reverse side.

“We wanted the cabin to look like a glass house,” Albaisa says, and indeed there is a good amount of visibility from the interior, which can seat up to 8 passengers depending on configuration. (The air suspension can drop the vehicle nearly 3 inches for easier ingress.) The twin 14.3-inch screens add a techy touch (which always runs the risk of quickly becoming outdated) separated by a thin 6 mm gap. Below is a 9-inch touchscreen for additional adjustments. The small selection of buttons and controls include a physical volume knob, a welcome alternative to the haptic sliders and touchscreen-only setups that are currently all the rage. And on offer in the higher-end variants is an ultra-wide front view camera that enables occupants to see what the vehicle is driving over.

The 2025 Infiniti QX80.
The top trim version of the new QX80 starts at $110,595.

After inspecting it from bow to stern, and questioning its creators, I gave an honest ponder to whether the QX80’s extreme makeover could get me to view Infiniti more favorably. On the one hand, the QX80 has reworked many of the elements that irked car enthusiasts like me about the brand. But is it good enough to compete against stalwarts in the segment, such as the Cadillac Escalade and Mercedes-Benz GLS? The jury’s still out, as we haven’t yet driven this behemoth.

With its new plus-sized pricing, though, the QX80 had better take a step up in driving dynamics if it’s going to compete against the big boys. It appears to be improved, but this SUV is going up against some major players that have been at the top of their game for far longer.

Click here for more photos of the 2025 Infiniti QX80.

The 2025 Infiniti QX80.
The 2025 Infiniti QX80.

Best of Robb Report

Sign up for Robb Report's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.