The Infiniti brand was created as Nissan’s premium division. As a Nissan branch, one would assume Infiniti to be as reliable as its parent company. But does the brand genuinely do justice to its proprietor’s reputation, especially regarding reliability?
Here, we assess Infiniti as a brand and product to see if it meets buyers’ needs. We also provide an in-depth review of the best Infiniti cars and a look at the potential issues you could face as a buyer or owner.
Infiniti cars have average reliability, though this varies from model to model. Nissan is responsible for production, and the company has earned a solid reputation for making reliable automobiles.
History of the Brand
After the success of Honda’s Acura and Toyota’s Lexus, Infiniti was established in 1987. Before Infiniti’s inception, the automotive industry had been driven by larger, better-known names like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Cadillac. Although it had been selling cars in America since 1960, Nissan eventually needed a luxury division.
Infiniti’s first two models, the Q45 Sedan and the M30 coupe, launched in the United States in 1989 and immediately became best-sellers. After creating a flurry of interest in Europe, Infiniti immensely attracted American consumers with its larger automobiles like the QX80, QX50, and Q50.
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Infiniti introduced numerous new vehicle models, body types, and designs to its line-up. These additions included crossovers, a body-on-frame SUV, and the G-Series series of luxurious sedans and coupes. Nissan and Infiniti have strong ties, with several shared vehicle platforms and features.
Reliability Statistics and Reports
Views on Infiniti’s reliability have been divided. It is primarily because the market contains various models, some outperforming others. The number of recalls, average repair prices, and frequency with which mechanical problems arise all affect how reliable different models are.
Regarding overall dependability, J.D. Power rates Infiniti as a 4 out of 5. However, the outcomes are inconsistent when we look at reports for individual models. For instance, while the 2010 Infiniti FX35 has received a perfect score for anticipated dependability, the 2011 Infiniti M37 has only received a 2 out of 5.
Infiniti’s Q50 was listed as one of the least dependable luxury vehicles on the market by Consumer Reports in 2014, reporting it to be 127% less than the average. Two recalls were issued for the hybrid version of the Q50 due to issues with the electric power assist system and the passenger occupant airbags.
In 2016, however, the Infiniti Q70 was ranked among the top five most reliable vehicles. They also found that the Infiniti Q70 was the most reliable luxury midsize to large automobile, placing Infiniti at number eight out of the top 29 brands.
CarComplaints reports that the majority of drivers are satisfied with their vehicles. The power assist system and the passenger airbags were the only areas that received a lot of criticism. Premature tire wear and issues with the master cylinder were the most common concerns about the 2014 Q50. Although most incidents date back over six years, drivers must still be cautious.
However, in J.D. Power’s 2020 Vehicle Dependability Study, Infiniti ranked 25th, higher than Dodge, Jeep, and GMC but less than Mitsubishi, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota. According to iSeeCars, QX50 is the most reliable and ranks the highest in its vehicle category, ranking at 7th place out of 29 Most Reliable Luxury Small SUVs. The QX80 and QX60 follow it.
Before we continue, it’s vital to remember that vehicles with more advanced technological designs and features may be more prone to reliability concerns. The more intricate the physical and internal design of the Infiniti, the more likely it is that the car will experience problems.
A Comparison with Competitors
Consistently ranked lower than competitors like Acura and Lexus but higher than BMW, Audi, and Mercedes in dependability, Infiniti automobiles remain popular. Mainstream companies like Honda, Toyota, and Mazda consistently score better in reliability, although this may be expected from such renowned brands.
That places Infinity somewhere in the middle. Choose a Lexus if you’re shopping for a high-end automobile because they’re exceptionally reliable. If you care about status symbols, there is no better choice than an Audi. Nonetheless, there is nothing wrong with considering Infiniti if you want a high-end vehicle but are content with one that is somewhat dependable and has a good design.
Features to Consider
Among luxury vehicles, Infiniti is renowned as one of the safest options. Nissan has been making reliable cars for almost 80 years, so they know what they are doing regarding road safety. Modern safety features, including blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and pedestrian detection, are standard on all Infiniti vehicles.
Every Infiniti vehicle sold in North America has been given a five-star overall crashworthiness rating by the IIHS and the NHTSA for keeping drivers and passengers safe before, during, and after an accident.
Throughout its history, Infiniti has made quality internal combustion engines. While diesel engines are less common today as Infiniti is entering the electric vehicle industry, certain older types with fuel-based engines may still be available. If you’re looking for increased fuel efficiency, there are a lot of solid hybrid powertrains to choose from.
Luxury brands like Infiniti typically have the most cutting-edge equipment standard. You will find Infiniti to be more technologically advanced than the equivalent Nissan model. New vehicles and SUVs come with optional standard features that must be paid for separately in competing makes. However, it can cost more than the alternatives you compare it to.
The Infiniti line-up consistently delivers smooth rides, responsive handling, and potent engines. There is plenty of adrenaline to be had with some of the models, which are equivalent to sports vehicles. If you’re looking for something more family-friendly, you may discover that their SUVs are dependable and powerful.
After a certain number of miles, the car may begin to malfunction. Nissan claims their vehicle has a maximum mileage of over 200,000 miles with proper maintenance. Several Infinitis have been driven over 100,000 miles without a single problem.
Although they have some market value, it is not as much as high-end rivals like Lexus. A strong interest in Infiniti has helped maintain a high price, something for the customer to consider. When the Infiniti is well-cared for with regular servicing, it can last as long as 15 to 20 years.
When you invest in a high-end vehicle, the last thing you want is for the paint to flake off. The prevalence of these issues across specific Infiniti models has led to their declining popularity amongst auto enthusiasts. Most notably, this applies to QX56 cars from 2011 and 2012.
Almost every Infiniti comes standard with a luxurious interior that has been meticulously crafted. However, the quality of permanent components, such as the dashboard, is often overlooked. G37 owners between 2009 and 2011 have continued to complain about the dashboard breaking.
Electrical Power Loss
Customers have also reported that power can be lost entirely in some G37 models with no discernable cause. Driving a vehicle that abruptly loses power is dangerous because it increases the risk of accidents.
The camshaft positioning sensor, alternator, regulator, wiring, and on-off sensor have all been known to fail in Infiniti automobiles. Over 527 vehicles have experienced a system failure. Repairs for a faulty electrical system can cost as little as $300 but can easily exceed $1,000 if the issue is severe.
There have been complaints about the Infiniti InTouch infotainment system crashing, causing the system to freeze or even completely crash. Some parts of an infotainment system are notoriously delicate, resulting in expensive and time-consuming repairs.
Leaking Steering Rack
The rack and pinion steering system converts left and right steering wheel input into corresponding tire motion. Pressurized fluid in the steering rack’s passageways provides the “power” component of the steering system. There have been reports of leaks with Infiniti cars at roughly 60,000 miles; fixing them can be extremely expensive.
This is a significant and persistent concern for Infiniti drivers and passengers, as more than 11% of owners have reported it—the airbag’s indicator light typically malfunctions. Costing $100, airbag sensors are not cheap to replace.
Many Infinity owners have complained that the cooling fans in their vehicles are inaccurate and unreliable, with additionally reported hardware problems. This may be because Infiniti cars are built with a Japanese perspective that does not consider the more varied climates in many locations and nations where they are sold.
Buyers of pre-owned Infiniti automobiles share bad experiences of transmission breakdown at 70,000 miles, but this problem has not commonly occurred below that mileage mark. It seems that the vast majority of Infiniti models experience these problems.
Rust and Body
Driving an Infiniti in cold weather can accelerate rust on the car’s exterior, especially in regions where roads are heavily salted throughout the winter or in coastal areas with a lot of atmospheric salt. Rust formation on an Infiniti vehicle’s paint is accelerated by salt exposure.
The 84-month corrosion warranty on all new Infiniti models reflects the manufacturer’s confidence that its products will remain rust-free even after extended exposure to dampness. Nonetheless, there have been reports of corrosion in certain Infiniti models.
The 2007-2009 Infiniti G35 and 2009 FX35/50 SUVs often produce a clicking sound from the axles due to rust between the axle hub and outer CV joint. The exhaust and trunk edge near the taillight has been known to be susceptible to rust on a Q50 model.
Protecting Your Infinity from Rust
If avoiding driving during winter is not an option, take the following measures:
- Invest in a rust-proofing treatment.
- Wash the car regularly, particularly after exposure to extreme weather conditions.
- Repair scratches or areas in need of attention quickly. The exposed metal surface oxidizes first before rusting.
- During winter, try to keep the vehicle indoors where possible.
In general, the price of a luxury vehicle will be more than that of a regular car. This means that Infiniti cars are out of the price range of most people. In contrast to many other premium manufacturers, however, the Infiniti portfolio is typically more affordable. When comparing prices among luxury cars, Infiniti may come out as the more economical alternative.
Maintenance and Ownership Costs
In calculating the total cost of ownership, it is important to consider how much money you will spend on things like gas, insurance, wear and tear, and repairs. Infiniti vehicles cost more to maintain than the average vehicle and also when compared to Nissan. The vehicle spends more time than necessary in the repair shop, even though most issues are minor.
Advanced technological features inside the car mean that there are a lot of complicated, intricate moving parts. Thus, there are a lot of things that could go wrong over time, and the subsequent repairs will be more costly.
Because of how much more expensive they are to purchase, insurance on them is also more expensive. Larger size, greater weight, and less fuel-efficient engines depreciate these high-end vehicles faster than other automobiles, reducing potential investment returns.
Most Reliable Models
J.D. Power Quality & Reliability Score: 83/100
The AutoPacific Car Satisfaction Award was given to the 2021 Infiniti Q50 in the regular luxury automobile category. Durability, handling, braking, acceleration, safety features, and front-seat comfort were notable standout attributes.
2015 Infiniti Q60
The 2015 Q60 ranks among the best among the brand’s highest-rated vehicles. Although the inside may lack the sophistication you seek, it will be dependable in every situation. It has a powerful V6 engine and dynamic handling.
J.D. Power Quality & Reliability Score: 77/100
Compared to rivals like the Lexus NX, Volvo XC60, and Buick Envision, the 2021 QX50 was deemed the best buy in its class by Consumer Guide Automotive for the third year in a row. It was the best compact SUV in terms of price, performance, reliability, gas mileage, and resale value.
J.D. Power Quality & Reliability Score: 81/100
According to J.D. Power, the 2021 Infiniti QX80 is the third-best large luxury SUV of the year. The 2021 Infiniti QX80 won Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own Award for the finest full-size luxury SUV.
2010 Infiniti M Series and M35
The M series continues to be a top seller. Spacious, responsive, and dependable, it all comes with an excellent powertrain. The interior is well-equipped with cutting-edge technology and user-friendly controls. The fuel economy isn’t the best, but with all the other features, that seems like a reasonable trade-off.
2000 Infiniti QX4
There’s also the option to drive the QX4. Many of these still function well and have many years of life left, even after 23 years. On top of that, the functionality is unmatched in older luxury vehicles of this era. With great gas mileage and a warranty that lasts up to 70,000 miles, drivers always rave about this model.
Less Reliable Models
The 2021 QX55 is a crossover coupe with a striking appearance, yet, critics have panned it for its sloppy handling and slow, low-resolution, dual-screen infotainment system.
2011 Infiniti QX56
With 2011 being the year of a whole overhaul, there were bound to be some problems for customers. Most of the concerns have been over the vehicle’s engine. Customers have reported several issues, including excessive vibrations and a lack of response to accelerator pedal pressure.
Despite its competent handling, it has been criticized for its lackluster dual-screen infotainment system, inadequate trunk capacity, and cramped rear seats, as well as for rival vehicles in its class providing more amenities at a lower price.
2009 Infiniti G37
It is plain to see that there are issues with the 2009 G37 that buyers would rather avoid. It would be bad enough to cope with a broken dashboard and a lack of electricity, but this model has additional issues, including malfunctioning airbags.
Is Infiniti a Good Second-Hand Car?
Pre-owned Infiniti automobiles are excellent choices. Stylish and technologically advanced, these premium vehicles are also extremely powerful. Most pre-owned Infiniti vehicles may also be found for a great price, considerably less than those from other luxury manufacturers.
On the other hand, you may incur greater expenses due to increased service intervals and higher part prices when you own an Infiniti. Prepare by doing some research. Future issues might be prevented by selecting a dependable model.
Future Aims of the Luxury Brand
Infiniti hopes to improve its reputation in the future by introducing a line of electric vehicles and a smart petrol engine with diesel-like fuel economy. This could help the company broaden its horizons across European waters, with the goal of convincing customers there that Infiniti is a good car in the same way that its competitors are.
The reliability of an Infiniti is extremely varied by model. Although it is normal for companies to produce various models, it can be challenging to evaluate reliability when it makes vehicles on both extremes of the dependability spectrum. Before deciding on an Infiniti, consider the model and your requirements. They are not flawless, but they’ll get you where you’re going safely and comfortably for a long time.