Truthful, honest car, truck and van reviews from a unique Canadian perspective
March 4, 2016 By: Anthony Murdoch
The QX80 came to me on a snowy day which was perfect considering I had to take the kids to school and brave the elements, as it gave me the chance to test its all-wheel drive capability, as well as its heated seats and steering wheel, which I have to say were a really nice treat.
Packing 400 horsepower from its 5.6 litre V-8, the QX80 is old school, yet refined with a Japanese like elegance, which is to be expected from Nissan's luxury brand. I have to say I was very impressed with the build quality. It was simply superb and the materials were first rate. I loved the wood trim, the way the switches clicked. You get the feeling that if you were going to buy this vehicle, it will last. It has a solid feel about it and gives you a very good first impression, at least it's interior does. The big analog gauges were a welcome sight as well. I am not a fan at all of digital speedometers or tachometers, and I love that these gauges are so welcoming to the eyes and easy to read.
On the road the QX80 is quiet and refined, and my tester soaked up all the bad ruts and road bumps Calgary roads could throw at it. I have to say that I felt as if I was piloting a space ship at times, a whale like spaceship and let's be honest here, the exterior design is very proportionally challenged in some respects. My kids loved the design, and I have to say it did grow on me a little, but it still looks a bit odd.
During my week with the QX80, I averaged around 12.9 litres per 100 km in city driving. This is not bad considering it has a big honking V-8 and can tow 8500 pounds. It is better than my Ford Windstar, which sucks fuel at around 14 litres per 100 kms in the city. Really, technology has come a long way in helping heavier cars use less fuel.
The QX80 is a perfect vehicle for the family. It can seat 8 and comes will all of the features one ever needs. With a base price of around $75,000, it is not cheap. My tester rang in at just under $92,000. That is a lot of dough for a family vehicle, yet I think it is a good alternative to other luxury SUVs such as the big Mercedes G class and Lexus LX.
Overall, despite is quirky styling, the QX80 has all of the merits to get the job done. It is quick on its feet, and I felt the handling was pretty good considering its size. If it fits your budget, you cant really go wrong with it. I give it a solid 4 stars out of 5.