Category Archives: Infiniti

2007 Infiniti M35 Review

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For the longest time I could remember, the third generation Infiniti M has always been my favorite luxury sedan. Funny thing is, I have never actually driven one. Its sporty looks and the fact that it was based off the same platform as the Nissan Z sports car gave it performance credibility. This generation was a Consumer Reports Top Pick, and it was well received by the press. The strange thing is that the M wasn’t always a luxury sedan. Rather, it was a two door in either a coupe or convertible configuration. In 1989, Nissan introduced its luxury division, Infiniti, to take on the Germans. As one of the first two models to be produced by Infiniti, the 1989 M30 Coupe and Convertible were a rebadged Nissan Leopard. Alas, it lasted only three years in production. According to Wikipedia, it is rumored that less than 12,000 M30s have been sold, making it the rarest Infiniti ever made. It was not until 2002 that the M was revived as a rebadged Nissan Gloria, this time as a luxury sedan. My friend Madison’s father had a silver M45 when I was little, and I remember being fascinated with it. The second generation M was long and narrow, and this gave it a futuristic appearance. The fact that it was powered by a 340 horsepower V8 which was a a lot back then added to its appeal. Sadly, due to its high price and unremarkable handling, it trailed the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Sales were so low that this generation only lasted for two years. This time, Infiniti wasn’t taking any chances. In 2006, it debuted an all new and redesigned M, again another rebadged Nissan sold as the Nissan Fuga in Japan. This time, the Infiniti M was based off the “FM” (front-midship which basically means the engine is pushed behind the front axle for better weight distribution) platform that underpinned the Nissan Z sports car as well as the sporty Infiniti FX SUV and G sedan. In addition to having a chassis derived from a sports car, the M also was powered by Nissan’s well-received “VQ-series” engines. I was both nervous and excited to review this car to see if it really did live up to my expectations.  Continue reading

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2005 Infiniti G35 Review

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Infinti’s G Series started with the very first G20. Launched in 1990, the G20 was Infiniti’s effort at tapping into the entry luxury market dominated by the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz 190/C-Class. As a rebadged Nissan Primera, the G20 marketed itself as a sport sedan with the tagline, “Born in Japan. Educated in Europe. Now available in America”. Despite receiving critical acclaim for its sporting pretensions and overall competence, the G20 failed to make a dent in the entry luxury market. Infiniti temporarily discontinued the G20 after 1996. After a two year hiatus, Infiniti revived the G20 as a second generation model. This G20 also failed to garner the attention of luxury car buyers, and it was discontinued. In 2003, Infiniti’s owner, Nissan, was fustrated, and prompted Infiniti to get serious in making luxury cars. The G35 debuted in 2003, and it was based off Nissan’s FM platform which underpinned the Nissan Z sports car and the Infiniti FX SUV. The FM stood for front midship which meant that the engine was pushed all the way back as much as possible for better weight distribution. As a rebadged Nissan Skyline, the G35 was Infiniti’s first serious attempt at stealing buyers away from the perennial favorite, the BMW 3-Series. Continue reading

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2008 Infiniti FX35 Review

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In the 1990s to early 2000s, Nissan’s luxury division, Infiniti, garnered a reputation as a stodgy automaker with its lineup consisting of rebadged Nissans. But this perception changed with the arrival of the 2003 G35. The G35 was actually a competitive rival to the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes-Benz C Class, and the public noticed as Infiniti set new sale records. The brand’s turnaround prompted a more competitive lineup. Replacing the QX4 (a rebadged Nissan Pathfinder), the FX debuted in 2003. This was before SUVs tried to be less like SUVs and more like cars. The FX was actually based off the Nissan 350z’s platform making it an SUV based off a sports car. Along with the Mercedes-Benz ML, BMW X5, Lexus RX, the Infiniti FX was one of the first luxury crossovers (a car based SUV that combines the height of an SUV with the driving performance of a sedan). In 2006, the FX received new exterior and interior tweaks. Continue reading

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2003 Infiniti Q45 Review

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Launched in 1989, Nissan’s luxury division, Infiniti, attempted to rival BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi, as well as competing with other Japanese luxury manufacturers such as Lexus and Acura. As one of Infiniti’s first two models, the Q45, inspired by the term “Q-Car”, meant to be a high performance car without the high performance looks. As such, the Q45 focused heavily on power and handling. It met rave reviews relating to its superb handling and fast acceleration. However, sales did not really take off due to the unconventional looks and a poor advertising campaign. Redesigned in 1997, the second generation focused more on luxury and comfort this time with reduced acceleration and handling abilities. Despite the effort, the Q45 faltered in sales behind its main rival, the successful Lexus LS. The Q45 was again redesigned in 2002, this time, the Q45 combined sharp styling with the performance of the first generation with the luxury of the second generation.

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2013 Infiniti QX56 Review

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For the review of the first generation of the Infiniti QX56 click here.

With Infiniti moving up in the luxury world, it took the Nissan Pathfinder Armada (later changed to just Armada) and spawned an Infiniti clone named the QX56. While it did reasonably well, it failed to entice buyers away from the Cadillac Escalade and Mercedes-Benz GL. It was cited for not having enough of the luxury factor and also because of its relatively harsh ride. Knowing this, Infiniti went to work at its replacement. Now no longer a clone of the Nissan Armada, the QX56 (As of 2014, it is now QX80) is based on the Nissan Patrol, an SUV not sold in North America. Boasting Infiniti’s latest design language and a more luxurious interior, the QX56 is aimed at the full size luxury SUV market. Continue reading

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2008 Infiniti QX56 Review

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Definition of infinity: a point in space or time that is or seems infinitely distant. In other words, Infiniti as a company goes beyond its limits. Conceived in 1989 by Nissan as a luxury division, Infiniti challenged the European luxury cars (Lexus and Acura were conceived at around the same time as Infiniti), but ultimately failed due to its lack of prestige and unusual styling which were unmistakeably Japanese. It was not until 2003 that Infiniti became competitive with the arrival of the G35. The G35 sedan and coupe garnered acclaim for its combination of driving excellence, sharp styling, comfort, and affordability. The G35 won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award when it debuted in 2003. As time passed, Infiniti cars became better. This QX56 is one of Infiniti’s competitive products. Originally, it was a rebadged version of the Nissan Pathfinder dubbed QX4, but it morphed into a clone of the Nissan Armada as the company’s status elevated.

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