In this overview, we examine Infiniti's history as a manufacturer of luxury cars and SUVs.
Infiniti is an upscale automaker from Japan. Though most of its products are related to those sold by parent company Nissan, Infiniti looks to achieve a premium status by infusing its cars and SUVs with spirited performance and additional luxury content.
The brand was launched for the 1990 model year. Its purpose back then, as it is now, was to create premium vehicles for America that wouldn't have otherwise fit in with Nissan's more mainstream image. This was the same tactic Honda used for the creation of Acura, and Toyota for Lexus. In its first full year, Infiniti started out with two vehicles, the Q45 sedan and the M30 coupe and convertible. The compact, entry-level G20 was introduced soon after.
As the 1990s moved along, Infiniti slowly added more vehicles to its lineup. The Q45 luxury sport sedan found its market. The car's 278-horsepower V8 was class-leading in its day. On top of that, the Q45 offered cutting-edge technology such as an active suspension system. By the late '90s Infiniti had rolled out the QX4, an SUV based on the Pathfinder. The sport-ute's truck platform gave it a leg up in off-road performance relative to competing car-based SUVs.
Although Infiniti's sales grew steadily, the marque still fell short of both Lexus and Acura in terms of popularity. The early 2000s saw Infiniti making a determined effort to sharpen its focus and upgrade its products. But it was the introduction of the entry-level, midsize G35 in 2003 that finally gave Infiniti the boost and identity direction it sorely needed. Based on the same platform underpinning the Nissan 350Z, the G35 coupe and sedan met with immediate sales success. The FX35/FX45 soon followed -- a crossover SUV that provided spirited acceleration and sports-car handling with the utility of a wagon.
Today, Infiniti's lineup has expanded to include the G (now a sedan, coupe and convertible) and FX as well as the midsize M sedan, the EX small crossover SUV, the JX midsize crossover SUV and the QX large SUV. Infiniti has also introduced the M Hybrid sedan, its first hybrid vehicle. No matter the model, shoppers will find Infiniti's latest vehicles to be focused on luxury, sport, quality and value.