Call it the poor man's Range Rover or the Grand Cherokee for people that only want one vehicle, the Infiniti QX4 had a brief but brilliant career.
Welcome to Forgotten Classics.
As demonstrated in the previous articles, the goal of this series of essays is be to bring cars that are getting no love back in the limelight. FC is also a thorough analysis of why such cars remained obscure and never got the praise they deserved.
This week is our Valentine day special, so we will be discussing a vehicle we all love, the 1997-2003 Infiniti QX4, a vehicle that was a true capable and reliable midsize luxury SUV.
Nissan have a great reputation for building awesome pick-up trucks, just think of the Nissan Hardbody pickup trucks. In the mid nineties, the SUV craze was in full swing, and back then, it was not about half-assed crossover, no sir, it was about rugged vehicle that could use a lift kit so you can hit the great of Africa to hunt some antelopes (African deers) but still look classy parked in front of your local Opera room.
A few examples are Jeep Grand Cherokee :
The Land Rover Discovery :
The Ford Explorer :
The Nissan Pathfinder :
The R50 Nissan Pathfinder (pictured above) was used as a base by Nissan's luxury branch, Infinti, for it's all new Luxury SUV, the Infiniti QX4.
The QX4 was a Pathfinder without the 3rd world turbodiesel engines (no-us) and cloth seats. Instead, it came with the mighty VQ 3.5 engine, leather all around, sunroof, wood, etc. In other words, it came loaded as a Range Rover at a fraction of the price.
The QX4 was a big success from the start. While the company was struggling moving their G20's, M45 and other I or J-something, the QX4 was selling like free hotcakes in a Gulag.
In 2003, Infiniti inexplicably decided to get rid of the midsize QX4 in favor of two models, the Murano-based FX softroader and and the full size pickup-based QX56, which still holds the record for the ugliest vehicle ever made.
Both new vehicles sold a good as the QX4, and Infiniti went back to its former status of marginal luxury brand. We will never know for sure what triggered that decision to kill the QX4, but my guess is that Nissan's design team was on a mission to design outrageous vehicles, and that the classy looking QX4 was declared too conservative.
There are still nice QX4 out there to get for cheap, do not hesitate, they are as good as Range Rovers and as reliable as your accountant's Camry.
Thanks for reading.