2018 Infiniti QX80 vs. 2018 Chevrolet Suburban

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The QX80’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Suburban doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The QX80 has standard Active Head Restraints (AHR), which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the AHR system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Suburban doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The QX80 offers optional Backup Collision Intervention which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Suburban doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The QX80 has a standard Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Suburban only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the QX80 and the Suburban have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The QX80 comes with a full 4-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Suburban’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 24,000 miles sooner.

Infiniti’s powertrain warranty covers the QX80 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Chevrolet covers the Suburban. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Suburban ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The QX80’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Suburban’s (7/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the QX80 has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engine in the Suburban.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the QX80 has a standard 780-amp battery. The Suburban’s 720-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the QX80 first among large premium suvs in their 2017 Initial Quality Study. The Suburban isn’t in the top three in its category.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Infiniti vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Infiniti 7 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

The QX80’s 5.6 DOHC V8 produces 45 more horsepower (400 vs. 355) and 30 lbs.-ft. more torque (413 vs. 383) than the Suburban’s 5.3 V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the Infiniti QX80 is faster than the Chevrolet Suburban:

 

QX80

Suburban

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

7.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.9 MPH

88.6 MPH

Transmission

A seven-speed automatic is standard on the Infiniti QX80, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Suburban.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the QX80’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Suburban:

 

QX80

Suburban

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13.6 inches

The QX80 stops shorter than the Suburban:

 

QX80

Suburban

 

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the QX80 has larger tires than the Suburban (275/60R20 vs. 265/65R18).

The QX80’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Suburban LS/LT’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the QX80 has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Suburban LS/LT.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Infiniti QX80 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Chevrolet Suburban has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The QX80 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the QX80 flat and controlled during cornering. The Suburban’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The rear suspension of the QX80 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Suburban, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The QX80 offers an available active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Chevrolet doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Suburban.

For better maneuverability, the QX80’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Suburban’s (41.3 feet vs. 43 feet).

For greater off-road capability the QX80 has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Suburban (9.2 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the QX80 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The QX80 is 1 foot, 3.5 inches shorter than the Suburban, making the QX80 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The QX80 has .9 inches more rear headroom and 1.3 inches more rear legroom than the Suburban.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the QX80’s middle and third row seats recline. The Suburban’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The QX80 has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Suburban doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Towing

The QX80’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Suburban’s (8500 vs. 6000 pounds).

Ergonomics

The QX80’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Suburban’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the QX80 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Suburban can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The QX80 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Suburban doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Consumer Reports rated the QX80’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Suburban’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The QX80 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Suburban doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the QX80 offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Suburban doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The QX80 has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely Winter days before the vehicle heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the Suburban.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the QX80 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the QX80 with a number “8” insurance rate while the Suburban is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the QX80 is less expensive to operate than the Suburban because it costs $198 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the QX80 than the Suburban, including $242 less for a water pump, $360 less for an alternator, $109 less for front brake pads and $174 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Infiniti QX80, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Suburban isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the QX80 second among large premium suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Suburban isn’t in the top three in its category.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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