Discover the Worst Used Infiniti QX80 Years to Avoid and Issues

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Are you considering purchasing a luxury SUV like the Infiniti QX80? While this sleek and impressive vehicle has gained a considerable following, not all model years are created equal.

It’s essential to know which years to avoid. Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll explore the model years of the QX80 that could be better and which ones to consider for a smooth and enjoyable driving experience.

So, let’s dive into the details and discover which QX80 model years to avoid.

infiniti QX80 years to avoid

QX80 Years to Avoid

When considering an Infiniti QX80, there are a few specific model years that you should be cautious about. The years to keep an eye out for are:

  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2011
  • 2014
  • 2019

I’ll investigate why you might want to avoid these model years.

2004, 2005, and 2006

During these years, the Infiniti QX80 was known as the QX56. Some owners reported engine problems such as cooling issues and timing belt or catalytic converter failure.

Although these models are relatively older, it’s still worth exercising caution when considering them.


In 2011, the Infiniti QX80 continued to experience some issues. The most prominent issues in this model year include more persistent engine problems, similar to the ones seen in the 2004-2006 models.

Knowing about these potential engine problems can help you make a more informed decision.


The 2014 Infiniti QX80 is another year to be wary of. It is known for having potential reliability issues compared to other years in its generation. Being educated about the 2014 Infiniti QX80 can save you from future headaches.


Lastly, the 2019 Infiniti QX80 is another model year flagged for caution. While there aren’t specific details about the issues affecting this model, it’s still worth considering other years when looking at a preowned QX80. The 2019 model is one to avoid.

By being aware of these troublesome model years, you can make a more informed decision when purchasing an Infiniti QX80. Remember these years, and carefully weigh your options while you shop.

TIPS: See our detailed comparison between Infiniti QX80 vs. Nissan Armada guide here.

Common Problems and Reliability

Regarding the Infiniti QX80, there are specific years to avoid due to common problems and reliability concerns. This section explores these issues by breaking them down into sub-categories.

Engine Issues

The worst year for engine problems in an Infiniti QX80 is closely tied between the 2019 and 2014 models. Some typical issues for these years are:

  • Rattling noise from the engine
  • High fuel consumption
  • Timing chain issues
  • Exhaust manifold cracks

These issues may decrease performance and costly repairs if not addressed promptly.

Transmission Problems

QX80 owners have reported transmission-related problems in some models over the years, such as:

  • Transmission shudder
  • Difficulty in acceleration

While these issues aren’t widespread, it’s crucial to be aware of potential transmission problems in the Infiniti QX80 models, especially if you’re considering purchasing a used vehicle.

Rust and Build Quality

Some owners have reported rust and build quality concerns in their Infiniti QX80 models. While not widespread, these issues can affect the longevity of your vehicle and the resale value.

Inspecting any used QX80 thoroughly before purchasing and looking for any possible rust or build quality issues when considering a model year to avoid.

Despite these issues, the Infiniti QX80 has a fair reliability rating of 3.5/5 from RepairPal. It indicates that you may not necessarily encounter significant problems, but it’s essential to be informed about the issues that could arise.

By being aware of these potential problems and choosing the right model year, you can reduce your risk of costly repairs and enjoy your Infiniti QX80 to its fullest potential.

Recalls and Safety Concerns

One major recall issue you should be aware of when considering Infiniti QX80 years to avoid is the issue with backup cameras.

This issue affected the 2021 Infiniti QX80 models. A software error may deactivate the audio/video control unit screen, preventing the rear-view camera from displaying the image, which could lead to accidents.

Another recall involving the 2020-2021 Infiniti QX80 models concerns their V8 engines. These vehicles experienced a fuel system-related recall, which could pose a safety risk. It’s essential to be cautious with these models for that specific issue.

You need to know all Infiniti QX80 models’ safety features like blind-spot monitoring, emergency braking system, and forward emergency braking system. Always double-check if these features function correctly on the car you’re considering.

Here is a short list of other recalls and safety concerns based on the models:

  • 2019 Infiniti QX80: Sensing System Recall
  • 2014 Infiniti QX80: Common problems with fuel system (2), sensing system (2), airbags (1), and equipment (1).

To stay abreast of any safety recalls or concerns for the Infiniti QX80, you should visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website to search for any recent or ongoing issues. If you encounter any safety or recall problems, contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

Consumer Reports and Reviews

You might be tempted by the attractive price tag and impressive features, but examining the vehicle’s reliability data is crucial.

For example, Consumer Reports has rated the 2023 Infiniti QX80 in terms of reliability. By analyzing their data and reading reviews about various model years, you can determine if it’s the right SUV for you.

If you compare the QX80 to other options within the same class, like the Lincoln Navigator, Audi, Acura MDX, Range Rover, or Lexus, you also want to check their respective reports. It will help you understand which brand offers the most reliable and convenient choice.

One of the primary sources of information in Consumer Reports comes from a questionnaire filled out by subscribers.

This survey collects data on their experiences, including complaints, uptime, downtime, and more. Using this input, Consumer Reports can confidently rate these car brands with a considerable sample size – ensuring statistical confidence.

As you go through reviews and gather more information, be cautious about any exaggerated or false claims. It’s essential to verify the source’s reliability and ensure it has an adequate sample size to provide an accurate representation.

Lastly, remember that there is no such thing as a perfect car. Every vehicle may encounter issues during its lifetime.

Fuel Economy and Efficiency

When considering the Infiniti QX80, it’s essential to know its fuel economy and efficiency. This large SUV is known for its luxurious interior and smooth ride but has a few drawbacks regarding gas mileage.

According to the EPA, the 2020 Infiniti QX80 has a combined fuel economy of 16 MPG, with 14 MPG in the city and 20 MPG on the highway.

Unfortunately, this makes the QX80 less fuel-efficient than many of its competitors in the large SUV segment.

To break it down further, here are some key points regarding the QX80’s fuel economy:

  • EPA Combined City/Hwy MPG: 16
  • EPA City MPG: 14
  • EPA Highway MPG: 20

As a result, you may spend more on fuel due to the QX80’s lower gas mileage compared to other options in the market.

Another factor to consider when considering the Infiniti QX80’s fuel efficiency is its engine. The QX80 features a 5.6-liter V8 engine mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission.

While this setup offers power and performance, it may contribute to the lower fuel economy figures.

Interior and Comfort Features

Regarding the Infiniti QX80, interior comfort, and features vary among model years. For instance, the 2023 Infiniti QX80 has spacious seating in its first and second rows, although the third row might be cramped for taller passengers.

The QX80’s dashboard provides a user-friendly interface that helps you easily navigate its controls.

Climb behind the wheel, and you’ll find an efficient climate control system to keep you comfortable throughout all seasons. The center console offers storage options while providing plenty of room for your belongings.

One downside of the QX80, especially in older models, is the lack of USB ports. It may make it challenging to charge multiple devices during your drive. Visibility could also be an issue in some years, as it varies based on the model’s design.

If you stumble upon a used QX80 with 22-inch wheels, you might experience more vibration while driving. It is due to larger wheels translating more road feedback into the cabin.

However, the QX80’s wheelbase of 121.1 inches contributes to a comfortable and stable ride experience overall.

When looking at different QX80 models, remember that their fuel pump performance may vary. Some users report issues with the fuel pump, causing reduced fuel efficiency and potential vehicle stalling.

In summary, pay close attention to the following features when considering an Infiniti QX80 for your next vehicle:

  • Climate controls
  • Dashboard layout
  • Third-row space
  • Wheel size (22-inch wheels vs. smaller wheels)
  • Wheelbase
  • Center console design
  • Fuel pump reliability
  • Vibration levels
  • USB port availability
  • Visibility

Infiniti QX80 Competitors & Alternatives

This section will compare the QX80 with the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, GMC Yukon, and Nissan Armada.

Cadillac Escalade

The Cadillac Escalade is a popular choice among luxury SUVs. It offers a spacious and comfortable interior, making it suitable for families. The Escalade’s performance is remarkable due to its powerful engine and towing capabilities.

However, there may be better choices for budget-conscious car buyers as it can be more expensive than the Infiniti QX80. Common problems with the Escalade include transmission and electrical issues, so be mindful of these when considering this model as an alternative.

Lincoln Navigator

Another competitor in the luxury SUV market is the Lincoln Navigator. This car model provides ample space for passengers and their cargo, making it an excellent choice for families.

In addition, the Navigator’s V6 engine is not as thirsty as the QX80’s V8, and its added horsepower helps it accelerate more swiftly.

However, some Lincoln Navigator owners have reported issues with the infotainment system and suspension, so consider this when comparing models.

GMC Yukon

The GMC Yukon is another alternative for car buyers interested in luxury SUVs. Its performance and towing capabilities are similar to the Infiniti QX80.

However, the GMC Yukon offers more room for passengers and cargo, making it an attractive option for families. Based on owner feedback, common Yukon problems include transmission, brake, and electrical issues.

Nissan Armada

Finally, the Nissan Armada is a more budget-friendly alternative to the Infiniti QX80. Despite being nearly identical to the QX80, the Armada offers significant savings for car buyers.

The performance of the Armada is comparable to that of the QX80, and it also has generous space for passengers and cargo. However, some Armada owners have reported vehicle suspension and electronics issues.

As you compare your options, consider the differences and similarities between the Infiniti QX80 and these competitors. By doing so, you’ll be better equipped to choose the luxury SUV that best suits your needs and priorities.


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