Infiniti’s Brand Benchmarks: Luxury Performance, Advanced Tech
Coming Soon— Leadership in Electrification
In 1989, a Nissan task force launched not just a new car, but a new luxury brand marked by peak performance to compete with the luxury models from both the United States and Europe. The Infiniti brand was symbolized with images of birds flying and a narrative about using nature as the inspiration to build machines for humans.
After the millennium, Infiniti’s focus was on making its vehicles both more sporty and more luxurious. Where it really shined, however, was in technological advances. It was among the first to debut laser technology cruise control, rearview monitoring, voice recognition control of climate, music and nav, lane departure warning and prevention, around view monitoring and blind spot intervention.
Not surprisingly, the brand continues to be known for its advanced tech, and for including a ton of standard features across its lineup. Luxury and performance remain a brand benchmark. The Q50 compact executive car is the only remaining Infiniti sedan still in current production. It, the Q60 coupe, and an SUV style coupe QX55, are in fact the only non-SUV/crossovers in the 2022 lineup. However, it now confirmed that a sedan is one of the 2025 model year all-electric vehicles being designed at Nissan/Infiniti’s Canton, Mississippi plant.
Our 2022 Q50 tester had a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine paired with a seven-speed automatic gearbox packing plenty of power with 300 hp. Ours was the AWD (the standard Q50 is still available in rear-wheel-drive) with new Saddle Brown leather upholstery, exclusive to the Sensory trim level. It featured a dual-screen center console and Bose16-speaker audio system. MSRP (as tested) was $49,800.
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SUVs first rolled off the Infiniti line in 1997, with the Infinity QX. The current lineup includes the QX30 hatchback, QX50, QX60, QX70 and QX80. We drove the completely redesigned 2022 QX60 three-row crossover and the full-size premium family hauler known as QX80.
The QX60 exterior design is all-new, and the cabin was reworked to get more interior space. Plentiful comfort and convenience features include a 12/3-inch infotainment touchscreen, a 12/3-inch driver instrument panel, a 10.8-inch head up display, power panoramic moonroof and Bose audio. Another significant change is the replacement of the previous models’ continuously variable transmission in favor of a conventional nine-speed automatic. Its 3.5L V6 boasts 295 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, giving QX60 a tow rating up to 6,000 pounds. Our tester had the optional All-Wheel Drive, tow hitch, trailer sway control and hill start assist. All in, the only extra on top of the$63,250 MSRP (as tested) was its premium Warm Titanium paint.
The QX80 has plenty of space for seven or eight passengers, and its powerful V8 engine gets 400 hp and 413 lb./ft of torque, rating the QX80 to tow 8,500 pounds. Our Sensory 4WD model proves capable off-road, while its host of standard features and quiet comfortable cabin uphold Infiniti’s reputation for luxury and technology. The interior was refreshed for the 2020 model year, and the 2022 model got a much-improved infotainment update with a two-screen set-up. MSRP (as tested) was $84,850. A roof rail along with illuminated kick and scruff plates and exterior welcome lighting added about $1,700.
If you’re waiting for more updates from Infiniti, stay tuned. Nissan/Infiniti is spending $500 million to upgrade its Canton plant into “a center for U.S. EV production.” Infiniti has already confirmed an electric sedan will be first and now teases that two new electric SUVs will follow as it and sister company Nissan pledge to become mostly electric by 2030.