Infiniti is the luxury automobile division of the Japanese auto manufacturer Nissan. It officially began production in 1989. Infiniti cars have earned a formidable name in the past 3 decades. Primarily being a Japanese brand, it has inherited the reliability genes.
Many people are arguing that Infiniti is a dying brand. Since 2017, Infiniti has seen a 50% decline in its sales. In 2019, Infiniti sold only 79,000 units in America as opposed to 275,000 of Lexus and 162,000 cars of Buick.
So, why the popularity of Infiniti cars has declined over the last few years? Are Infiniti good cars or not? Let’s take a look at actual facts.
Are Infiniti Good Cars?
Infiniti cars have good engines, but they have failed at providing the essential feel of luxury segment vehicles. In a survey by J.D Power, the brand scored a commendable 4 out of 5 score for reliability. This puts it ahead of lesser reliable German and other European brands. But it still lags behind other luxury segment cars from Japan and America.
The reliability of Infiniti cars has garnered mixed reviews. Some cars like Infiniti Q70 and Infiniti FX35 were ranked as the most reliable cars in their relevant categories. But on the other side, cars like Infiniti Q50 and Infiniti M37 have not performed according to expectations.
So, Infiniti cars are good, but simply not good enough to be among the top.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from an Infiniti Car?
Expect no less than 200,000 miles from your Infiniti car before it gives up on you. Infiniti as you have known comes from Japan. They have a reputation to maintain. Even the lesser reliable cars like Infiniti Q50 have been reported to last between 200,000 and 250,000 miles. Some even survived as long as 300,000 miles.
Infiniti cars were meant to be the BMW of Japan. The brand has done well since its early days and people admire it for being dependable and long-lasting. Their cars have proven to be life-long commitments. With an average life span of 200,000 miles, you can be sure that these cars will stick with you for 10 to 15 years.
Also read: Are Japanese Cars Good? Best in the World?
What are the Most Common Problems with Infiniti Cars?
Infiniti cars aren’t known to be problematic. But some extremely severe issues were reported with them. These included the following:
- Cooling System
- Electrical System
- Airbag Problems
- Power Train Issues
- Equipment Problems
- Cooling System: Cooling system problems were the most common issues reported with Infiniti cars. Sometimes the cooling fans didn’t work, and sometimes there were other hardware-related issues. Infiniti is designed with the Japanese climate in mind, so they are not able to hold well in tropical climates. The cost of a minor repair of the cooling system is less than $100. But a major repair can cost you between $500 and $1,000.
- Electrical System: Electrical system issues were second in line after the cooling system. Problems were reported with the alternator, regulator, generator, camshaft positioning sensor, on-off switch, and wiring. More than 527 cars reported electrical system breakdowns. A minor replacement of sensor or switch cost $200-300, but a major replacement like an alternator or generator may cost up to $1,500.
- Airbag Problems: This was the most serious and alarming problem. It directly impacted the safety of drivers and passengers. It was the most frequently occurring problem as well. More than 942 vehicles reported it. The most common of all was the bad airbag warning light. More than 11% of vehicles had this issue. It costed $100 to replace the faulty sensor.
Do Infiniti Cars Rust?
Infiniti cars have countered the rusting issue they were facing in the past. We can safely assume that Infiniti cars don’t rust anymore. Infiniti provides an 84-month anti-corrosion warranty without any restriction on mileage. The company is confident that its cars will not develop perforation even after being exposed to moist conditions.
Any local Japanese car doesn’t inherit the ability to fight corrosion because in Japan no salt is used to melt ice on roads. Salt itself doesn’t cause corrosion, rather it is a promoter. In the absence of that, automakers have one less thing to worry about.
But as Infiniti cars have a broader customer base outside Japan, they focus too much on external coating. Making sure that the buyer doesn’t require the extra paint job to protect his car.
Are Infiniti Cars Safe?
Infiniti are by far the safest cars for on-road driving. Many of its cars have been the top picks for safety by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Infiniti Q50, Q70, and QX60 have earned this spot in the most recent ratings. The forward emergency braking system (FEB) in these cars has been the highlight.
Most Infiniti cars have scored 5 out of 5 in safety ratings. They are equipped with modern safety tech that is known to be extremely effective during collisions and other damaging scenarios.
It is very difficult for a car to score a 5-star rating. Since it has to pass through a series of rigorous testing. 3 Infiniti cars being chosen as the IIHS top pick for safety goes on to say a lot about how well-protected you are while riding in an Infiniti.
Do Infiniti Cars Hold Their Value Well?
Like other Japanese brands, Infiniti cars hold their values well. They offer more than 50% of their initial price even after 5 years of operation. However, the best period for selling an Infiniti car is 3 years, after which only 35% of its value is lost and 83% of its useful life is still intact.
On the depreciation scale, Infiniti cars have performed decently. Unlike other luxury segment cars like BMW, Audi, and Cadillac, they have shown resistance against a drop in their value. The long life of Infiniti has been a great help in this regard. When someone is buying a 3 or 4 years old car that they know is going to last another 10-15 years, then they are willing to pay higher.
How Good is Interior’s Quality in Infiniti Cars?
Infiniti isn’t quite the leader of interior designing among luxury segment cars. Their cars offer spacious cabins and roomy legs & headspace. But they have too much Nissan in them. Infiniti needs to have a clear distinction between interior designs of a budget-friendly car and one belonging to the luxury segment.
Infiniti cars offer decent interior quality. But they come no way near to matching the class of Audi, Mercedes, and BMW. Interior quality is one area where Infiniti needs to make progress. Infiniti QX50 has made waves recently for its finely crafted interior.
The most prominent feature was its twin-screen infotainment display. Infiniti is rising in the domain of interior design, but there is a lot that can be changed.
How Much Does it Cost to Maintain an Infiniti Car?
The average maintenance cost of an Infiniti car is $638. This is above other Japanese cars like Toyota, Honda, and even Lexus. But it is way lesser than a BMW or Mercedes that can cost as much as double. So, this puts Infiniti somewhere in the middle among luxury cars.
Due to the decline in sales of Infiniti, its service centers network hasn’t grown as rapidly as one would expect it to. This is the primary reason behind higher maintenance costs. It is not that Infiniti breaks down very often, rather it is the repair and parts that are expensive. So, even a lesser number of visits to a car mechanic can cost you more.
What are the Most Reliable Infiniti Models?
Q60 and FX35 are the most reliable models of Infiniti. These cars are equally good and they have encountered the least number of problems. The Japanese reliability is infused into these cars, making them immune to breakdowns and failures.
- Q60: Infiniti Q60 was loved by many due to its dependability and reliability. The car emerged as the champion of ratings and rankings. It was powered by a standard V6 engine and equipped with a versatile transmission.
- FX35: Infiniti FX35 scored 3.5 out of 5 for reliability and was ranked 4th out of 14 luxury midsize SUVs. It had a very low breakdown frequency. Even the issues reported were minor and easily fixed.
Which Infiniti Models Should You Avoid?
You must avoid buying Infiniti G35 & QX56 due to their high breakdown frequency. These cars are responsible for mixed reviews garnered by Infiniti. Otherwise, the Infiniti cars have a very respectable reliability rating.
- G35: Infiniti G35 posed the highest number of problems. The most common issues with this car were related to the engine, cooling system, and electronics. It was the worst-ranked Infiniti car ever in terms of reliability.
- QX56: 2004, 05, and 06 models of Infiniti QX56 were known to be the least reliable. Problems with service brakes, engines, and cooling systems were very common. It also had the highest number of problems reported during the first year of ownership.
Also read: Are Acuras Good Cars? ALL Pros and Cons
What are the Best Alternatives for Infiniti?
Infiniti cars appeal to the customer base of high-end luxury vehicles. The alternative to a premium car should be equally lavish. The best alternatives for Infiniti are extravagant machines produced by the likes of Audi, Lexus, Mercedes, and Cadillac. However, my top picks are going to be Audi A3 and Lexus GS.
- Audi A3: Audi A3 doesn’t come short in providing the luxurious experience that you would crave in a business segment car. It comes with sporty handling and an insanely powered turbocharged engine. A3 is the best small-sized sedan that Audi has produced. It has inspired a great deal of reliability as well.
- Lexus GS: You should look no further than the best Lexus out there to replace your Infiniti car. Lexus GS isn’t only the most reliable Lexus but the most reliable luxury segment sedan as well. We would expect nothing less of a Japanese-produced car in terms of reliability. When it comes to providing luxury and lavish experiences, Lexus GS goes out on a limb to make sure that you have all the necessary features and a full-on comfortable driving experience.