Watch your back Escalade.
Not wanting to waste a good thing, Nissan has spread the flexible bones of its Patrol SUV far and wide—festooning its rugged body-on-frame platform with different grilles, chrome, and flavors of sheetmetal that helped to extend its US market presence from the base Armada all the way to the luxurious Infiniti QX80. Thanks to unique looks and a price tag that undercuts much of the competition the QX80 has sold well here in the US, but Infiniti wants is keen on cranking out more units and getting them into customer driveways.
It’s for that reason, along with a discerning design department that wanted to fix previous stylistic errors, that Infiniti has revealed the facelifted 2018 QX80 to Car and Driver. And no, your memory isn’t failing you. It was only a couple of years ago that the QX80 received a facelift, but the reception that the QX80 Monograph SUV got upon its 2017 New York Auto Show reveal meant that Nissan’s luxury wing couldn’t leave fans waiting in anticipation for a delivery that would never come. The new look isn’t an a huge departure from the overall form of the previous model, but you wouldn’t know that from looking in your rearview mirror.
That’s because Nissan did most of the tweaking on the front end, where the QX80 adopted the Monograph Concept's more taut grille, sleek headlights, large air intake, and chiseled hood. The overall effect is to make the QX80 seem taller than it did before, and with its wide haunches already giving it horizontal girth, the redesign serves to pull off the impossible: making the SUV more of an attention-grabber than it was before. In this case, it relies on a design that flows more evenly so that bling factor and size aren’t its only two virtues. If that wasn’t enough, Infiniti modernized the rest of the SUV with new running boards, redesigned wheels, and taillights styled to compliment the more sophisticated headlights.
The changes made to the interior are more subtle but have the same effect of unifying the design. Interior decorators pulled this off by lessening the amount of interior trim to allow the contrast between the two-tone leather to permeate. New instrument panel lighting, black carpeting, and new stitch patterns on the seats and door panels help tie the look together while rear seat occupants will like the additional inch of screen real estate on the rear seat entertainment displays. Non-visual luxury add-ons come in the form of additional noise insulation in the door panels and behind the dashboard so that the 5.6-liter naturally-aspirated V8 can breathe without disrupting conversation. Keep an eye on Infiniti dealer lots this December to catch a glimpse.