2020 Chevrolet Suburban vs. 2019 Infiniti QX80

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Suburban and QX80 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Suburban has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The QX80’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Suburban are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The QX80 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Suburban has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The QX80 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Suburban Z71’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The QX80 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Both the Suburban and the QX80 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chevrolet Suburban is safer than the Infiniti QX80:

Suburban

QX80

OVERALL STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

2 Stars

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

There are over 14 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Suburban’s warranty.

Reliability

The Suburban has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The QX80 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 19th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 11th.

Engine

The Suburban’s optional 6.2 V8 produces 20 more horsepower (420 vs. 400) and 47 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 413) than the QX80’s 5.6 DOHC V8.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Suburban gets better fuel mileage than the QX80:

MPG

Suburban

RWD

5.3 OHV V8

15 city/22 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

14 city/23 hwy

AWD

5.3 OHV V8

14 city/21 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

14 city/20 hwy

QX80

RWD

5.6 DOHC V8

14 city/20 hwy

AWD

5.6 DOHC V8

13 city/19 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Suburban’s fuel efficiency. The QX80 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Suburban has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX80 (31 vs. 26 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Suburban EcoTec3 6.2 V8, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the QX80.

Brakes and Stopping

The Suburban stops shorter than the QX80:

Suburban

QX80

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

148 feet

155 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Suburban’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the QX80 (285/45R22 vs. 275/60R20).

The Suburban’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the QX80’s optional 50 series tires.

The Suburban has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The QX80 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Suburban offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The QX80’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Suburban’s wheelbase is 8.9 inches longer than on the QX80 (130 inches vs. 121.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Suburban is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .8 inches wider in the rear than on the QX80.

The Suburban Premier handles at .77 G’s, while the QX80 AWD pulls only .71 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Suburban Premier executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the QX80 AWD (27.8 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

Chassis

The front grille of the Suburban uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The QX80 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Suburban offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the QX80 can only carry up to 8.

The Suburban has 2.9 inches more front headroom, 5.7 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front hip room, 1 inch more front shoulder room, 1.9 inches more rear hip room, 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.7 inches more third row headroom, 5.7 inches more third row legroom, .5 inches more third row hip room and 2.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the QX80.

Cargo Capacity

The Suburban’s cargo area provides more volume than the QX80.

Suburban

QX80

Behind Third Seat

39.3 cubic feet

16.6 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

76.7 cubic feet

49.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

121.1 cubic feet

95.1 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Suburban easier. The Suburban’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 34.1 inches, while the QX80’s liftover is 35.8 inches.

The Suburban’s cargo area is larger than the QX80’s in almost every dimension:

Suburban

QX80

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

31.6”/63.6”/100.3”

18.4”/48”/81”

Min Width

49.3”

49.8”

Height

34.9”

36”

The Suburban’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The QX80’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Suburban’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The QX80 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The Suburban has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The QX80 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The Suburban Premier offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The QX80 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Suburban and the QX80 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Suburban is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX80 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Suburban is less expensive to operate than the QX80 because typical repairs cost much less on the Suburban than the QX80, including $158 less for a starter, $11 less for front struts, $50 less for a timing belt/chain and $738 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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

The Chevrolet Suburban outsold the Infiniti QX80 by over three to one during 2018.

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

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