It all started in the late 80s, when Nissan established a luxury brand called Infinity, in order to improve sales numbers in North America. More than three decades ago, we still have these two brands on the roads of North America, but things have changed in some ways. Newer Infiniti models are characterized by a looser connection with Nissan counterparts. In the past, the relationship between models from two brands seemed to be much tighter and many wondered if Infiniti is a genuine luxury car brand. These days, things are pretty clear, as Infiniti models come with significant differences in various aspects, starting from the interior quality, better performances and overall driving experience.
Therefore, we will try to explain in this article the main differences between models from two brands.
Comfort and Interior Quality
This is one of the first things that comes to our minds when we want to make a difference between premium and economy cars. This is so typical thing in the automotive industry and the Japanese manufacturer is definitely no exception. Obviously, Infiniti models are characterized by a higher level of overall comfort. That wasn’t the case in the past when Infiniti models were criticized for cheap-looking interior and similar things. These days, things are much different and Inifiniti models come with upgrades in many ways, starting from more comfortable seats, leather upholstery, all kinds of power features etc. Also, Infiniti models are characterized by more stylish cabin designs, finer materials and superior noise insulation.
Here is another notable difference between Nissan and Infiniti models. Although the two brands share chassis in many ways, Infiniti models are characterized by notably better performances. Of course, there are some pretty amazing Nissan cars as well, such as GT-R or 370Z but generally, Nissan is an economy brand, so astonishing performances aren’t a common thing among its models. In most cases, Infiniti counterparts are equipped with more powerful engines and feature different suspensions setup. Moreover, it’s enough just to look at the layout and things become perfectly clear. While most Nissans feature front-wheel drive, almost every Infiniti comes with either RWD or AWD layout.
Naturally, a premium car is full of advanced technologies that often can’t be found in mainstream models. This refers to various aspects, starting from more advanced safety and driver assistance systems. Also, Infiniti models usually come with various kinds of advanced technologies in aspects like comfort, performances, efficiency, infotainment system etc. It’s not a rare thing to see Inifiniti models with better fuel economy compared to their Nissan counterparts, despite the higher output, better performances etc.
Differences Between Siblings
To get a clearer picture, here is a short comparison between Nissan and Infiniti models that are in a close relationship. Here are some of the most popular models:
Nissan Maxima and Infiniti Q50
These are some of the most popular sedans from Japanese manufacturers. Despite the similar size and proportion, the two models don’t have anything in common. First of all, they ride on different platforms, as the Maxima is built over the D platform, while the Q50 rides on the FM architecture. The most obvious difference is that Nissan features front-wheel drive, while Infiniti comes standard with rear-wheel drive and offers options AWD version. Also, a 3.7-liter V6 from the Q50 features 28hp more compared to Maxima’s 3.5-liter V6, which is good for about 300 horsepower. Interestingly, the 3.7-V6 marks better mpg ratings. Finally, we are talking about a 7-speed automatic on one and a CVT gearbox on the other side.
Differences are even more obvious in terms of styling and interior design. Naturally, the two models come with completely different aesthetics. On the inside, you can notice not just different look, but also a significant difference in terms of the quality. Finally, the number of advanced tech features and standard equipment, in general, is much bigger.
Nissan Pathfinder and Infiniti QX60
The aforementioned couple of sedans show perfectly that two models that may look similar are actually completely different vehicles. On the other side, differences aren’t that big when we compare Nissan Pathfinder and Infiniti QX60. The two mid-size crossovers share a lot of things. Of course, it starts with the platform, engine, transmission, proportions and the overall feel. However, there are also some quite notable differences between these two.
Of course, the first one that comes to mind is the styling, as each model follows the design language of its brand. Also, you can notice an obvious difference in terms of interior design. The QX60 features different dashboard design and comes with a much higher overall quality. Fine materials can be found all around the cabin, while there are also numerous features that you can’t get in the Pathfinder. Also, we should mention that the QX60 comes with a little bit more power and torque. Also, the luxury crossover comes with a drive mode selectors, something you can’t get in Nissan’s model.
Nissan Armada and Infiniti QX80
This is where differences between Nissan and Infiniti models are minimal. Despite we are talking about a pretty big price gap between the two models, things are essentially the same. Both models ride on the same F-Alpha platform and feature the same 5.6-liter V8 engine. Moreover, the driving experience is pretty much identical. Furthermore, the two models feature the same interior design, both in terms of aesthetics and passenger&cargo space.
Still, there are some notable differences. Obviously, each model comes with its own styling. Also, the interior may look the same, but the QX80 uses much finer materials and has notably better noise insulation. Finally, Infiniti offers a couple of features you can’t get in Nissan, particularly in terms of technology and comfort&convenience goodies.
Those would be some of the general differences, as well as differences between specific models. As you can see, things aren’t that simple, as some models are very similar in many ways, while others are completely different, despite the look quite similar in some aspects.