2020 model shown
Road tripping in a QX80
8 MIN READ
Our safest family SUV
Whether it’s getting around town in style or hitting the road with the latest safety tech at our side, luxury is what we make of it. And for many Canadians, it’s all of the above – the ability to work, play and explore without compromise. We recently sat down with an INFINITI owner who’s managed to find that balance. We were curious to learn how lived-in luxury feels on the open road, and whether it’s changed the way she and her family travel.
Love at first drive
Like a lot of people, Tammy wears several hats: business owner, mom, wife, blogger, and foodie.
A few years back, she and her husband found themselves behind the wheel of a QX56. They were on a fully-loaded family vacation to the east coast: four kids all under six, a trailer packed to the brim with everything they’d need for two weeks, and everyone’s bikes for good measure.
As they made their way through a remote stretch of New Brunswick, something dangerously Canadian occurred: a moose stepped out in front of them.
“Everything stopped on a dime,” Tammy says. “Even the trailer. After that, it was kind of like, ‘Okay, that’s going on our vision board because that’s the vehicle we want.’”
"We loved it. We loved the features. It was spacious, it was luxurious, it was beautiful, and most of all, it was super safe. That’s what made us fall in love with INFINITI.”
– Tammy, INFINITI QX80 Owner
It wasn’t long before they made the upgrade to a QX80, and they haven’t looked back since.
From trips to visit family in Northern Ontario to frequent stops along the hockey tournament circuit, Tammy and her family have driven a lot in recent years. But it’s because of all this driving, she says, that she and her husband have experienced many of their QX80’s features firsthand – something they’ve been grateful for on more than one occasion.
An SUV for the snow
A couple of years ago, Tammy and her family headed off to Vermont to do some skiing. Along the way, they ended up in a huge blizzard. Visibility was bad and the driving was even worse.
The roads were horrible,” she says. “If you’ve ever driven to Vermont, it’s not like the roads are on a major highway – it’s small town roads to get where we were going.”
While Tammy and her husband were busy navigating the narrow, snow-covered road, their QX80 was hard at work keeping them on it. The Vehicle Dynamic Control and Traction Control Systems essentially turned their QX80 into an SUV with snow mode, helping them correct their steering when they began to swerve. And whenever they hit a slippery patch, those same systems automatically applied the brakes and adjusted their speed to prevent them from spinning out.
“We were confident the entire time because we knew we were in our INFINITI.”
Sure enough, they made it to the ski resort without any incidents.
“When we got there, they told us it was the biggest snow dump they had in a decade or something,” Tammy says with a laugh. “Best skiing of our lives!”
Safety first – second and third
“We were going camping and we blew a tire on our trailer,” Tammy says, recalling another recent trip they took to Northern Ontario. “There was no safe spot to pull over, so we had to drive really slow. We had the kids, we had the dog – it was chaos. But [the QX80] handled it all really well. It was reassuring to know that any situation we’re in, it’s going to be safe and it has us covered.”
It’s situations like these that put the QX80 in the running for ‘Best Camping SUV.’ Down a tire in the middle of nowhere, safety tech like Blind Spot Warning & Intervention® and Predictive Forward Collision Warning act like extra sets of eyes. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, Tammy and her husband were able to keep calm and focused because their QX80 did what it was built to do: empower them.
“The confidence that it gives you to get from A to B safely is just... We don’t really think about it anymore. We just fill it up and go.”
– Tammy, INFINITI QX80 Owner
Interestingly enough, Tammy says some of the features that have impressed her family the most are the ones they notice the least.
“When you think about all the stuff it takes for us to get out the door – because we’ve got four kids and a dog – you know, if we’re going for a week and we’re going skiing, we’ll have the [roof rack and cargo carrier] up top, six sets of skis and boots, everyone’s bags and winter gear. But we don’t think about that because everything has a spot. Everyone knows where their seat is. As a parent, that’s a huge thing to know: to know we can go on this 17 or 24-hour road trip and we’re going to be okay.”
Tammy’s road trip tips
Leave before the sun is up.
Make the most of pit stops.
Stop to move.
“We’ve pulled over and built a fort before. When kids are really young, they need to burn off energy. If we didn’t let them run a thousand laps? Three boys? They would just get back in the car and drive us crazy.”
2020 model shown
Keep everyone engaged.
“Now that the kids are older, we put on an audiobook we can all listen to. It’s especially fun when the author reads it. The kids love that. As soon as we get in they’ll say, ‘Put the book on! Put the book on!’ It’s great because we can discuss things and learn while we’re driving.”
2021 model shown
The difference makers
Because drivers often look to each other for reviews, we asked Tammy to name some more QX80 features that have impressed her and her husband the most.
“The air suspension and hydraulics. My husband loves them. He says they give you a feeling of security and solidness.”
The Hydraulic Body Motion Control system he’s referring to was engineered to do exactly that: monitor force and distribute suspension pressure evenly, resulting in a smoother ride with noticeably less lean.
“For me, it was the first time I used the GPS. You know when you’re driving down the road and you miss your turn? Well it kind of puts your brakes on – just a little – to kind of remind you that, ‘Hey, you’re supposed to turn left here.’”
But what’s been most striking for Tammy is to see how competitor models compare to her decade of experience with INFINITI.
“Our older QX56 had some of the features that, today, the other guys are highlighting. I see the other brands advertising [Lane Departure Warning technology] and I just think, “That 10-year-old car was so ahead of its time!”
The next stops
While last year didn’t exactly cooperate in terms of travel plans, for Tammy, the desire to get back out there hasn’t gone away. If anything, it’s gotten stronger.
“It’s a right of passage,” she says, referring to a Western Canada trip they have planned. “You have to travel across Canada with the family. I never did it as a kid, so it’s really important to me that we get out and do that.”
So what is it about open road adventures that speaks to Tammy and her family so much?
“It’s always been a far more enjoyable vacation than just going to a theme park. These are the memories kids hold onto. We’ll find ourselves on a back road, climbing a sand dune or pulling over and going swimming – you know, the kind of things you don’t plan. Those are always the best part of the adventure. Just throwing a blanket out and having a picnic or doing something else completely unplanned, those are the memories that will stick with them.”
If that isn’t luxury, we don’t know what is.
The best road trip SUV
From the backwoods to the beach, the INFINITI QX80 was designed to offer the ultimate peace of mind. Thanks to its elegant design, World’s First Technologies and other top-tier features, you’ll feel at home everywhere you go.