Home » How I’d Fix Infiniti

How I’d Fix Infiniti

2025 Infiniti Qx80 Ts
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Here at The Autopian, few things pain us more than a car marque not living up to its potential. After all, wouldn’t it be great if every brand succeeded? That would mean more choice in great cars for everyday drivers. One brand that’s still getting back on the horse is Infiniti, after a long period of corporate neglect. Between 2010 and 2012, American Infiniti sales crescendoed at more than 200,000 cars every year. However, that momentum wasn’t to last.

In 2015, U.S. Infiniti sales stood at just 133,498 cars, and while they’ve had their ups and downs since, the prevailing trend has been downward. In 2019, U.S. sales stood lower still at 117,708 cars, and even though 2023 was a post-shortage rebuilding year with a 40 percent increase in sales volume over 2022, that only totalled 64,699 cars. Mercifully, new product is on the way, but it might not be the product Infiniti needs. As Automotive News reports:

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A redesigned, six-figure QX80 flagship crossover arrives this summer, while a sporty QX65 crossover coupe comes in 2026 — the first all-new addition to the portfolio since 2021. A pair of battery-powered vehicles — a sedan and a crossover — will follow in the second half of the decade.

Under this strategy, there are no plans to replace the QX50 compact crossover that first went on sale in 2017, nor plans for entry-level products to get a new generation of luxury consumers aboard the Infiniti brand. Add in cooling industry sentiments on EVs and renewed interest in hybrids, and it seems like Infiniti’s still trying to find its feet. Not to worry, though. We’re here to help, and here’s what I’d do to revitalize Infiniti’s lineup.

The Naming Scheme Is Actually Fine

It’s been a decade since Infiniti fell victim to Johann De Nysschen’s prerogative of completely confusing consumers with entirely new naming schemes before leaving the building, and while some may argue that it’s still hard to remember models by name alone, enough time has passed that the old model names are largely irrelevant. Volvo’s claimed the EX prefix that was used on the QX50’s predecessor, the QX60’s developed a strong brand in its own right, and the Q50 has been around for that entire decade, so people know what it is by now. Does Infiniti have a great naming scheme? No, but it’s good enough, and if we’re going to do this, sticking with good enough naming is good for the bottom line.

A Qashqai By Literally Any Other Name

Nissan Qashqai 2022 1600 01

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Let’s start by addressing two gaps in Infiniti’s current lineup — it sells nothing smaller than the uncompetitive QX50 compact crossover, and nothing with a hybrid powertrain. However, there’s a way to fix that in one fell swoop, and that’s by disguising the European-market third-generation Qashqai e-Power series-hybrid small crossover as Infiniti’s own cooking. It already has massaging seats, a huge moonroof, quilted leather, and a 360-degree camera system available, and the top trim seems nice enough that it could be a legitimate Infiniti.

Nissan Qashqai 2022 1600 6c

Now, before it comes here, a few changes must be made. The front lights, front bumper, front grille, and tailgate stamping would need to be replaced with items that carry the Infiniti brand image, but I reckon Infiniti could get away with leaving most exterior parts unchanged. That’s a good thing, as lights are properly expensive, but once some extra interior glitz is added, the result should be a product just different enough from current U.S. Nissan fare that most people wouldn’t know the baby Infiniti’s humble roots, just big enough to find fans, and just nice enough to be a legitimate entry-level premium product. Hypothetically, let’s call it the QX40, because nobody wants to be reminded of the Mercedes-Benz GLA-based QX30 of a few years back.

What’s Japanese For Mopar?

 Infiniti Q50s 020.jpg

Congratulations! There’s now a hybrid in the Infiniti lineup, which means that something needs to be done about the aging Q50. Well, why not take a page out of Dodge’s handbook and give every trim level the Red Sport’s 400-horsepower twin-turbo V6 while keeping prices reasonable? Sure, it won’t move massive volume, but an extra 100 horsepower is one hell of a deal-sweetener, and should keep some volume of metal moving until a replacement can come.

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Leveraging Synergies To, Um, Keep Lexus At Bay

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Img 4052 Scaled

You know what’s hot right now? Compact crossovers and plug-in hybrids. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has a pretty kick-ass plug-in hybrid system, and since it’s built on the same platform as the Nissan Rogue, Infiniti might be able to get permission to dress it up into a convincing compact crossover. If there’s any theoretical product to go all-out on, it’s this one. We’re talking new stampings, molded exterior parts, and lights to make it look like a baby QX80, a plusher dashboard, softer door cards, deleting the third row and pushing the second row back for increased legroom, and retuning the suspension for ride comfort. Not only could this offer a compelling green alternative in the compact premium crossover space, it could scoop up would-be Lexus NX PHEV buyers who can’t get an allocation.

Leave The QX60 Alone

Infiniti QX60

I’ve driven the new Infiniti QX60, and I’m pleased to report that it’s actually pretty swell. Not only does it have a richer cabin than the Lexus TX, thanks to a proper ZF nine-speed torque converter automatic transmission, it drives leagues better than the old one. Good job, Infiniti. More like this, please.

Sure, Let’s Add An EV

Nissan Ariya 2021 1600 03

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It’s about time Infiniti had an electric vehicle, and with the QX70 nameplate sitting dormant, why not fancy up the Nissan Ariya? The Ariya already has a pretty nice cabin, but more is always more, so why not slather it on? Stuff like a quilted dashboard facing, a sueded headliner, crystal-like switchgear, more metal, more wood, a different steering wheel, thicker armrest padding, a full-length centre console with dual wireless smartphone chargers, and a dedicated climate control panel, bolder colors, all that jazz. Sure, this is a no-brainer, but it’s all just an idea for now.

Let The QX80 Run Its Course

Behind The Reveal: See How We Debuted The 2025 Infiniti Qx80 100 Stories Above Manhattan

With belt-tightening on just about everyone’s minds, Infiniti celebrated this year’s New York International Auto Show by unveiling an all-new QX80 full-size SUV with pricing that dives into six-figure territory as you ascend the range. Sure, it feels like Infiniti might not have read the room with the launch of this beast, but it’s set in stone now, so let’s just let it play out. Only time will tell whether or not the new QX80 is the product Infiniti needs right now.

How Would You Fix Infiniti?

So there we are, a theoretical top-to-bottom range that doesn’t involve starting from scratch, fills two holes in the lineup, dramatically updates one aging model, and gives the Q50 more bang for the buck. While we miss Infiniti’s days as a performance car manufacturer, I have a strong feeling that a lineup like this could be exactly what the brand needs right now. Then again, maybe not, which is why we’re turning it over to you. How would you fix Infiniti? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

(Photo credits: Infiniti, Nissan, Thomas Hundal)

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Marky Churro
Marky Churro
23 days ago

The brand needs a CONSISTENT spokesperson.

And, a Halo-car:
The Nissan GT-R should be rebranded as an Infiniti.

Dan Bee
Dan Bee
1 month ago

Offer a strong plug-in hybrid option for both the QX-80 and QX-60. What’s a strong PHEV? One with 50+ miles of range and a burley electric motor that moves the car in nearly any “punch it!” type of driving. CARB incentivized this starting with model year 2026 back in August 2022 under the “Advanced Clean Car II” rule.

And don’t worry Infiniti. If you don’t, Jeep already has announced they will.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
1 month ago

How about not having such ugly noses?
Sure, it sort of looks like a Citroën H Van but I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

Plesiomorphus primitivus
Plesiomorphus primitivus
1 month ago

Mostly they need to bring back Jonathan Pryce.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZNJjq5hjgs

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
1 month ago

Credit to Thomas, this is a well-thought out plan that would probably work in the short term.

The other thing Infiniti needs is profit drivers, and quickly. Infiniti should offer a very good stereo system as standard; they are a luxury brand after all. But if there isn’t an upsell, they’re not making as much as they can.

Premium options cost the brand a pittance, but they boost the sales price significantly. Things like seat massagers and premium stereo systems. Larger, sharper dash screens. The whole lot. And then a “ultimate interior” package that combines them all with more desirable upholstery.

They should review EVERY standard feature and option available in this brand with this mindset. They should provide more opportunities to upsell.

Theotherotter
Theotherotter
1 month ago

An Infiniti Qashgai wouldn’t be the first time a European-market Nissan was turned into an Infiniti, and thinking about that makes me miss my old G20t.

Accordian
Accordian
1 month ago

Hopefully Infiniti gives the Q50 one more chance with a new gen using their latest styling before it’s inevitably killed off and replaced with wagon-like EV on stilts.

Uberscrub
Uberscrub
1 month ago

I can’t think of a single Infinity I’ve found desirable – even interesting, ever. I’m not saying the brand is worthless, but I have no basis to form an opinion – yet here i am reading and commenting.

Cayde-6
Cayde-6
1 month ago
Reply to  Uberscrub

I got an Infiniti last year as a rental out of DCA, and let me tell you, I couldn’t believe that a luxury car manufactured in 2019 didn’t come with Android Auto or CarPlay.

Grey alien in a beige sedan
Grey alien in a beige sedan
1 month ago

We need something to fill the gap left by the G35/37 twins. While the Q50 is nice, it still doesn’t have the same caché left by the G’s.

Ryan L
Ryan L
1 month ago

Three cars – A rogue Hybrid with dressed up swoopy simple metal and luxury Interior for ~40k, a 400z with a hybrid drive train and a bit softer ride 45-50k, The big one ICE and about 65k. All available in only silver or black with black leather and orange interior lights.

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