Are Infinitis luxury cars?
I’ve owned a few Infinitis: a 1996 and 1999 I30 and currently a 2014 Q50 in Liquid Platinum.
Established as Infiniti Global Limited, Infiniti is Nissan’s luxury division.
The Infiniti brand was introduced in North America in 1989, along with Honda’s Acura. And most notably Toyota’s luxury nameplate, Lexus.
Infiniti is headquartered in Hong Kong and sells its new luxury cars in 25 markets worldwide with dealerships in over 50 countries as of 2020.
The Infiniti brand is synonymous with comfort, style and performance.
Today, Infiniti is among the 32 most popular car brands in America, placing at number 13 on the The Trend Spotter.
But does that make Infiniti a luxury car brand?
What’s a Luxury Car
New cars are always exciting.
But there’s something special about the experience of purchasing a new luxury car, especially if it’s you’re first one.
Luxury cars symbolize quality and a vehicle that is constructed to a high standard.
Although the parent company is Nissan, Infinitis offer more interior features; premium leather and stitching options; and better stock features.
But premium Nissans like the latest Maxima in a higher trim level makes the prospect of splashing out for an upmarket Infiniti questionable.
The problem gets worse when you consider Infiniti’s latest woeful decision to become Nissan-plus. You know, like Mercury was to Ford or DeSoto to Plymouth.
Why is this a problem? When was the last time you saw a new Mercury or DeSoto?
When Did Infiniti Debut?
Although Nissan and Infiniti are both in the middle of their own identity crisis. For the time being they are two distinct car brands.
But Nissan’s financial troubles threatens to return Infinitis to being rebadged Nissans, like the I30.
Although Infiniti was launched the same year as Lexus, they haven’t followed the same trajectory.
While Lexus offers compelling cars built on new platforms with fresh tech like the IS. Infiniti cars are based on Nissan platforms.
For example, the Infiniti G35 was built on the Nissan 350z chassis. But this isn’t all Infinitis fault.
As you may know, Nissan has been struggling to stay afloat for over twenty years now.
Sadly, were it not for its partnership with Renault in 2000, Nissan wouldn’t exist today.
The quality of Infiniti cars is a result of the parent company’s woes – when all is said and done there’s just not enough capital and manpower left for Infiniti.
Even more alarming, sales for the Infiniti brand was down more than 25% for the first quarter of 2020. That’s the lowest market share since 2002.
What Kind of Cars Does Infiniti Offer?
Although Infiniti has experienced some ups and downs, the brand also has some memorable highlights like the original Q45 flagship along with the G35.
Infiniti now designates its cars with Q prefixes and its SUVs with QX prefixes.
The Q50 looks good.
Not as outstanding as the outgoing G35 and G37 models. But handsome, nonetheless.
While it looks athletic, however, it gets outclassed by competitors when it comes to performance.
And it’s the same story with the two-door version. I was seriously considering the Q60.
I remember the first time I saw it on a trip it was one of the most attractive coupes I’d ever seen.
But after doing some research it’s just not compelling enough to pull the trigger and buy one.
The QX50 is a compact luxury crossover in the same class as the Mercedes GLA.
But the exterior styling is lackluster compared to the early FX35 (which I’ve also owned). And it trails in performance against competitors.
Although its boldly styled, the company’s latest QX55 feels like an also ran.
BMW started this segment with the much better X6 back in 2008 when no one in the automotive industry thought it would take off like it has.
And the fact that it shares the QX50’s underpinnings doesn’t help.
image source: Car and Driver
A certain commercial plays fairly regularly celebrating the QX60’s makeover and new, even more luxurious interior. But like all the other Infinitis, it doesn’t offer enough to grab your attention.
Do I think that Infiniti is a luxury brand?
In all honesty, no.
The parent company is in big trouble. It laid out plans for model cuts as well as job cuts which include executive reshuffling.
The Infiniti brand stopped selling cars in Western Europe last year.
It’s flagship model, the Q70 was discontinued last year.
The same thing will likely happen to the Q50 sedan and Q60 coupe as cars aren’t selling quite as well as CUVs and SUVs.
Unless Nissan/Infiniti can pull something as exciting as the G35 did out of its hat, the company looks doomed to be yet another brand on the ash-heap of automotive failures.