I like to think the people who invent terms for modern cars have a sense of humor. I can’t quite tell, but the Hydraulic Body Motion Control feature in the 2021 Infiniti QX80 could be slightly cheeky. I doubt it, but then again, they don’t know I’m the size of a football player.
Body Motion Control refers to the chassis (or “body”) on the QX80. I’ll let the engineers take this one. They describe it by saying it “isolates the cabin from irregular road surfaces, so vertical motion is reduced over bumps and potholes and passengers can enjoy a smoother ride.” They are not referring to my body, but they might as well. I noticed how the feature works when I drove over a pothole by accident, almost as though I was aiming for it.
I’ve mentioned this many times before, but after 10 years of car testing and over 700 reviews during that time, I always notice when something seems new and different. I’ve tested the QX80 before but maybe not during pothole season. It’s crazy. I didn’t feel like I was being jostled around, and the feature kept the vehicle nice and smooth like a magic carpet. I’m not exactly petite, so when there’s a bump in the road, it makes my long arms and legs poke out in all directions. I’ve even tested trucks in the past with a poor suspension and almost elbowed a passenger. (I won’t reveal too much about the mud-soaked road I was trying to plow through at the time, but suffice to say, I needed to buckle in for the ride and hold on to the handrails.)
Luxury vehicles like this are all about smoothing over any rough patches. I mean that figuratively and practically. The QX80 has an elegant look with leather seats that adjust in dozens of ways. The sound system rivals my home stereo. Yet, it’s that ride that made me want to keep driving. I’m not about to take the QX80 out on a 4×4 track but it would be an amazing ride.
So, about that suspension. I decided to test it in a few other conditions minus the muddy roads. I found a local mall with speed bumps and didn’t feel much of a change beyond the normal elevation change. I imagined holding a cup of coffee and not spilling a drop. I also found a gravel road with some loose patches and found the QX80 still drove as smooth as butter. What’s really happening here is that the shocks are taking the impact for you and making sure the vehicle stays as flat as possible, as opposed to tilting as you drive over bumps.
This is not a smaller vehicle. With six other passengers, I noticed all of us were equally unjostled (I just made up that word, editing team) driving over tough patches, potholes, and even a stray curb or two. I headed right for a pothole and everyone braced for impact, but you just don’t feel them as much as you do in lesser (smaller) vehicles. It helps that the QX80 has massive tires and the seats are so ultra-comfortable.
I’m looking forward to another Infinity test soon just to see if the ride is even in the same category as this high-end model from a company known for innovation in tech with lane-keeping and adaptive cruise. Add “no jostling for football players” to that list.