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Video review: 2019 Infiniti QX80 Limited

Infiniti is keeping its QX80 fresh with a new range-topping Limited trim.

Just one year after introducing a redesigned version of its flagship SUV, Infiniti has added a cherry to the top its QX80 lineup.

That new sundae-topper is known as the 2019 QX80 Limited and it adds another layer of luxury to Infiniti's largest SUV offering. 2019 QX80 Limited models benefit from a bespoke interior, along with a few new exterior design cues. But are those changes enough to keep the QX80 relevant in an increasingly competitive full-size luxury SUV segment? Read on to find out.

What is it?

Limited is a new high-end luxury trim for Infiniti's QX80 SUV. You can kind of think of Infiniti's Limited trim like Lincoln's Black Label or Cadillac's Platinum.

The QX80 Limited comes standard with pretty much every feature that is optional on the standard QX80. Additionally, Infiniti has tweaked the QX80 Limited's exterior styling and added some new interior touches.

What's it up against?

The 2019 Infiniti QX80 Limited competes against a wide-range of full-size luxury SUVs. Those competitors include the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, Lexus LX570 and the new BMW X7.

What does it look like?

If you're not a QX80 expert, it might be difficult to spot the changes between the standard version of the SUV and the high-end Limited. Luckily you have us to chart the changes.

To start, the QX80 Limited gets a new dark chrome finisher on its lower front bumper. Infiniti has also swapped out the QX80's chrome side mirror caps in favor of a pair of body-colored caps.

The QX80 Limited features stainless steel running boards -- in place of the regular QX80's body-colored units -- with integrated courtesy lights that shine the Infiniti logo. The QX80 Limited rolls on a set of unique 22-inch wheels.

At the rear, the only change is a chrome strip affixed to the QX80 Limited's lower bumper area.

And the inside?

As with the exterior, most of the QX80 Limited's interior is carryover from the standard model. However, materials inside the QX80 Limited are exclusive to the model.

Those unique touches include a graphite and stone two-tone color treatment, Alcantara seat bolster inserts, matte silver open pore wood trim and a few Limited badges strewn throughout the cabin. There's also a few extra bits of leather, including on the front seat grab handles.

Second-row passengers are treated to individual captain's chairs, a large center console and individual TV screens in the QX80 Limited. The QX80 Limited's rear bench offers seating for three.

The QX80 Limited's interior color scheme won't be everyone's cup of tea, but there's no denying the quality of materials. Every surface feels high-end, even in the QX80 Limited's second row.

What doesn't feel high-end, though, is the QX80 Limited's infotainment system. Although updated for the 2018 model year, the basic system dates back to the QX80's 2010 introduction (back then it was still called the QX56). The touchscreen is small and lacks a lot of modern functions -- things like Siri Eyes Free and Apple CarPlay.

Likewise, the QX80 Limited's gauge cluster is a step behind the modern competition. While most other flagship vehicles in this class have moved to all-digital displays, the QX80 Limited still uses analog dials and a tiny black-and-white LCD screen.

Despite that outdated tech, the QX80 Limited is actually well equipped when it comes to semi-autonomous systems. It has all of the standard kind of stuff -- adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, etc. -- plus a few unique tech items.

Infiniti's Distance Control Assist, standard on the Limited trim, is basically adaptive cruise control for all-speed driving. Intended for use in stop-and-go traffic, the system will lock on to the vehicle ahead and then keep a safe distance behind. The system will automatically bring the vehicle to a stop and then get it going again, and adaptive cruise control does not have to be activated for the system to function.

The QX80 Limited also has Infiniti's Predictive Forward Collision Warning. The system works like a conventional forward collision warning system, but Infiniti's version has been tuned to be able to "see” under the vehicle ahead. If the system detects a sudden stoppage two-vehicles ahead, the QX80 can be brought to a stop before the car ahead of you even hits the brakes.

But does it go?

Unlike its modern competition, the 2019 Infiniti QX80 Limited still relies on a big, naturally aspirated V8 for motivation. But even though it's lacking the turbocharging tech of its newer rivals, the QX80 Limited has no problem getting up to speed.

That's because the 5.6L V8 residing under the QX80's redesigned hood makes a healthy 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. That's enough to get the 6,000 pound luxury SUV from 0-60 in just 7 seconds.

Unfortunately, fuel economy figures are equally small. The EPA says the QX80 Limited is good for 13mpg in the city and 19mpg on the highway. It should be noted that the QX80 Limited comes standard with all-wheel drive, which subtracts 1mpg from both city and highway mileage compared to the rear-wheel drive QX80.

No one expects a vehicle as big as the QX80 Limited to be a nimble handler, but a trick suspension system helps to keep the SUV's heft in check around corners. All QX80 Limited models use a suspension system that can pump hydraulic fluid to the outside wheels during cornering, thereby reducing body roll. The system really does work well, but push the QX80 Limited too hard and there's no avoiding the laws of physics.

Steering in the QX80 Limited is light without much feel, but that effortless steering does match the SUV's posh ride. Infiniti softened the QX80's suspension by 30 percent for the 2018 model year, so the big SUV now rides like a proper luxury vehicle. The QX80 Limited's cabin is also extremely quiet.

Leftlane's bottom line

The base Infiniti QX80 is a fine vehicle, offering a lot of luxury features at a reasonable price (prices start around $65,000). But the Limited trim doesn't add a whole lot for its $90,000 price tag -- especially when you compare it to the competition.

2019 Infiniti QX80 Limited 4WD base price, $89,800. As tested, $91,950.

All-season package, $355; Premium paint, $500; Destination, $1,295.

Photos by Drew Johnson.

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