When talking about the Infiniti QX80, the flagship of the brand’s SUVs, it’s not uncommon to concentrate primarily on its size, luxury and technology. No question, it’s honking big inside and out. Cabins decked out in one of the available leathers complemented with real wood accents surround occupants is supple luxury. Infotainment has surged forward with the Infinity InTouch system. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
With so much going on, it’s easy to forget that at its core, the 2018 Infiniti QX80 is a big, comfy family mover. There are lots of family friendly touches, like nine cupholders, four bottle holders, plenty of storage cubbies, a larger center console, four 12V outlets, one 120V outlet and four USB ports. All of these features are of key importance to families, especially ones with an assortment of devices and the need to stay connected.
Additionally, though, product planners approached the QX80 refresh as an opportunity to address several areas that they thought could be even more family friendly. At the recent media first drive of Infiniti’s updated SUV in Charleston, South Carolina, we asked Anand Patel, senior manager of Infiniti product management and planning, to list five specific features that were enhanced for the benefit of families.
Stain-Resistant Seat Coating
Leather is typically easier to clean than cloth, but a stain is a stain. Every interior will come from the factory with a new stain-resistant coating that will not only make the leather on the seats, door trim, center console, instrument panel and rear armrest easier to clean, but the new hydrophilic coating will protect the treated surfaces from denim-dye transfer, staining and spills. It’s a sort of kid proofing, if you will.
Wider Running Boards
Running boards, or step rails as they’re sometimes called, are standard on every QX80. Models for 2018 feature a wider running board than last year. It may not sound like much, but Infinity added nearly an inch to the width. According to Patel, just that little increase eases entry and exit, particularly for children.
Capable of seating seven or eight, the QX80 is engineered to haul a bunch of people. The third row will get a workout by most families. In its newest iteration, the QX80 makes it more convenient to access the third row with the optional power fold-and-tumble inboard second-row seat feature operated from the driver’s seat. With the push of a button, the seat will fold and tumble out of the way, creating a pathway to the rear seat.
Most vehicles have tether systems for two child seats. The newest QX80 provides a third child seat tether in the third-row seat.
A number of enhancements highlight the QX80’s optional rear-seat entertainment system. Mounted on the backs of the front seats, the monitors have been enlarged from seven to eight inches. Each screen can play individual content, and resolution is increased. In addition to being able to source content through a USB input port, a new HDMI port can also accept content. Not only can audio be listened to though the supplied wireless headphones, but now each monitor has its own earphone jack to accommodate a listener’s personal earbuds or headphones.
Infiniti provided the front-seat occupants nearly a full override of the rear-seat entertainment system. Capable of pausing, playing and muting the audio, front-seat passengers can switch or lock out sources, and completely lock the rear-seat remote control.