While it's easy to get blinded by the luxurious beauty of the new Infiniti Q and QX lineup, it’s only right to pay our dues to older models from the G-series, FX-series, and more.
To tell the whole story, we curated this complete history lesson on how Infiniti got to where it is today. Here are the 10 best old Infiniti cars you should know.
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What makes an old car great?
In 1989, Nissan decided to dip their toes into the luxury market. As a result, the Infiniti brand was born with hopes of bringing “more luxury, performance, and sophistication to the day-to-day vehicle that Nissan was already manufacturing,” according to the Nissan Motor Company.
With many old cars, greatness is defined by limited production, eccentric design concepts, or unnecessarily powerful engines. We prefer to look at old Infiniti cars in a different light.
In this best-of list, we will look at the most famous models that helped Infiniti become one of the top luxury auto manufacturers in a short 30-year timespan.
10. M30 (first gen: 1989-1992)
We couldn’t think of a better way to start this list than where Infiniti all began! The M30 was originally a Japanese exclusive car called the Nissan Leopard. The rebrand came in preparation for the American market.
Considering the 2-door coupe was already a couple of years outdated, it was by no means a show stopper. But, it did open the doors to the international market for Infiniti's luxury car lineup.
9. Q45 (first gen: 1989-1996)
Q45 was the more notable of the two models that hit American streets first. This spunky sedan spearheaded the “901 Movement,” which was Nissan's attempt to make the best-handling luxury car on the market.
This R&D investment made the Q45 fairly competitive in regards to performance, but it excelled due to its affordable price point. At $38,000, the Q45 was nearly half the cost of the least expensive Mercedes-Benz. This financial accessibility helped make Infiniti a household name in America.
8. J30 (1993-1997)
J30 was marketed as the “personal luxury sedan.” Over its lifetime, it sold 70,000 units, drastically cutting into the market share of luxury brands like
Acura. The success of this car is mainly accredited to it being one of the first four-door coupés that broke the traditional wedge design trend.
7. I30 (1996-2001)
At the turn of the century, the
I30 served as Infiniti’s annual top seller. Not as radical as the ground-breaking
J30 and cheaper than the
Q45, the I30 found its perfect niche right in between. As a result, it was commonly referred to as the flagship sedan for the masses.
But what made it so popular? Well, interior features like heated leather seats, a Bose stereo system, and wood grain trim made it a car everyone was proud to drive their friends and family around in. And if you wanted to show off a little bit more, the preppy 190 hp 3-liter V6 engine could get you up to 60mph in less than seven seconds.
6. QX4 (1997-2003)
QX4 was Infiniti's first SUV, and it was packed with innovative technology.
It was equipped with a state-of-the-art adaptive cruise control system that employed lasers to detect nearby cars and automatically brake if needed. Similar technologies are still being advertised as innovative breakthroughs 20 years later.
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5. G35 (2003-2006)
G35 brought home Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award in its debut year, in addition to the 2003 North American Car of the Year award and a spot on the Car and Driver Ten Best list in 2003 and 2004.
Critics and consumers alike loved the car for its customizability. For example, you could get a G35 in a sedan or coupe and equip it with a 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission.
Not only was it an excellent car for its time, but our team at Jerry identified the 2006 model as one of the
best-used Infinitis you can buy!
4. FX35 & FX45 (first gen: 2003-2008)
2003 was big for luxury SUVs—
Porsche debuted the
Cayenne and Infiniti launched the
FX45. These beasts were sleek and powerful, earning them the “bionic cheetah” nickname.
3. EX35 (2007-2013)
Infiniti debuted their EX crossover concept at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance charity event. The excellent feedback led to the production of the
EX35 in December of that year. Not only did consumers get access to the latest trend, but they also got a vehicle that had incredibly sporty handles and hi-tech interior accessories.
2. QX70 (2013-2017)
The discontinuation of the FX series left big shoes to fill, but the
QX70 stepped in seamlessly as Infiniti’s representative for the luxury mid-size SUV category.
It was the perfect balance of brawn and beauty. The aggressively sleek body allowed it to cut through the air with ease—in cooperation with its 325 hp 3.7 L V6 engine, of course. This was Infiniti’s last big stepping stone before arriving at its
1. The future of luxury
While it’s great to look back on old luxury cars fondly and with respect, they simply don’t match up to modern innovations in comfort, convenience, beauty, style, and technology.
Here’s the current 2022 Infiniti lineup, which honorably sits on the shoulders of all the models that came prior:
Q50: compact executive sedan
Q60: compact executive coupe
QX50: compact luxury crossover SUV
QX55: coupe-style crossover
QX60: mid-size luxury crossover SUV
QX80 full-size luxury SUV
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