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Infiniti overview

Founded in November 1989, Infiniti is a luxury arm of the Japanese manufacturer Nissan. Four years earlier, the Nissan Motor Company members formed a secret team – ‘Horizon Task Force’ – to design the new brand and set out its mission. This mission was to establish a new form of luxury vehicle that would challenge Western manufacturers. The result saw the launch of the Infiniti Q45 sedan and the Infiniti M30 coupé in 1989.

Pronounced ‘uhn-fi-nuh-tee' in English, the manufacturer’s branding is stylised to represent both a road leading onto the horizon and Mount Fuji – the latter about its Japanese ownership.

Arriving in the marketplace in the late 1980s, Infiniti directly competed with other large Japanese manufacturers’ luxury brands. At a similar time, Toyota launched its Lexus arm, while Honda brought the premium Acura brand to market.

Infiniti has pitched itself as a luxury car brand since its earliest days. While it is more widely known in North America than in the UK, its reputation is one of premium design and high performance.

After several decades spent on various global markets, Infiniti made its way to the UK in 2008 with 14 of Europe’s 78 sales points. The official European unveiling took place at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, where four Infiniti models – the FX37, FX50, G37 and EX37 – were announced.

The brand’s presence in the UK saw a broad range of petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles. These ranged from the Q50, a luxury sedan model, to the QX50, a premium crossover SUV. Notable features across newer models include Infiniti’s Intelligent Key technology, which serves as a wireless unlocking device for the car door and allows drivers to start the car by simply pressing a button. Plus, Infiniti’s Direct Adaptive Steering, the first of its kind when it launched, allows drivers to choose alternate steering modes that can handle different driving environments. As a premium brand, its newer cars also include 360-degree viewing via four-mounted cameras and Forward Emergency Braking that monitors surroundings in case of collision.

In 2019, more than a decade after Infiniti was brought to the UK market, it announced the end of production across Western Europe. However, it was a year earlier than its chief executive, Hiroto Haikawa, announced the brand’s move towards producing only hybrid or all-electric vehicles, and as such, several hybrid models made it to the UK before production ceased.

Popular Infiniti models

Infiniti models are underrated in the UK market. Despite sales never hitting the heady heights of more well-known rivals, the premium nature of Infiniti models – including their driver assist technology and plush interiors – combined with sleek design and reliable production to craft genuinely desirable cars.

Both the Q50 and QX50 are notable examples of Infiniti’s most popular features, and the models were some of the bestselling vehicles for the brand in the UK. The Q50, a sturdy saloon, was produced from 2015 for the European market. With both diesel and hybrid options, its appeal came from its speed – hitting 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds – and its range of automated driver assist options.

The QX50, meanwhile, is more attractive to families or those seeking a roomy and well-designed SUV. Offering 270bhp it is also pacey, hitting 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds, a little over a second more than the Q50. The QX50 is Infiniti’s most sold car globally.


Manufacturer awards

There are raft of awards for Infiniti across its more than 30 years of production. These include EVO magazine’s Concept Car of the Year for the EMERG-E model. The QX60 listed in Autotrader’s Ten Best Luxury Certified Pre-Owned Cars for 2019.

Globally, Infiniti has seen recognition span countries. In China the Q50 won Auto Magazine’s Import Premium Car of the Year award in 2014. In the USA the M model won the 2010 Ward’s Auto Interior of the Year Award.


Infiniti frequently asked questions


Who makes Infiniti cars?

Infinity Motor Company makes Infiniti cars. Infiniti is a luxury arm of the Japanese manufacturer Nissan Motor Company.

Who owns Infiniti?

Nissan Motor Company own the Japanese manufacturer Infiniti.

Where are Infiniti cars made?

Infiniti manufacture the majority of their cars in Japan. They also has manufacturing plants in Turkey, the USA and Mexico. Until 2019, there were manufacturing plants across Western Europe – including in Sunderland, England. However, Infiniti ceased production in this area from 2020.

What is an Infiniti car?

An Infiniti car is a luxury vehicle that has been in production for more than 30 years. Infiniti cars come in all shapes and sizes, from saloons to coupés and SUVs.  Infiniti is luxury arm of Nissan.

What does IPL mean for Infiniti?

IPL stands for Infiniti Performance Line. This is one of the high-performance iterations of Infiniti models, alongside the Red Sport and Infiniti S. The IPL was only ever available on the Infiniti G37 – which was rebadged as the popular Q60.

How reliable are Infiniti cars?

As a luxury brand of cars, Infiniti cars are made from premium materials and are considered exceptionally reliable. Of course, all cars vary in terms of their overall reliability, but many Infiniti cars have earned a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, solidifying the brand’s reputation as a reliable manufacturer.

How to pronounce Infiniti?

The International Phonetic Alphabet spelling is iɰ̃ɸiniti.  Sounded out this is pronounced uhn-fi-nuh-tee in English.

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* MPG figures are obtained in laboratory testing and intended for comparisons between vehicles. Please be aware they’re not intended to represent real world efficiency.