Editorial: Infiniti in Australia – expensive, but still worth a look?

Infiniti Sebastian Vettel white

Infiniti in Australia is marketing itself as a premium brand and have set prices accordingly.

Many people, including myself, have been surprised at just how expensive these models are. When I first saw the pricing of the FX SUV I was shocked – I expected it to be about A$30k less

Overtime though, I have begun to see the value in the brand

Infiniti FX

The Infiniti FX – the initial Halo car for the Australian market

There are still many reasons I don’t think they are worth the prices being charged (see below), but here are five reasons why the brand is still worth a look

1. Service: Infiniti seem to understand that so much of the experience of buying a car is beyond the car itself. The brand appears to have spent a lot of time in order to get the right sales and service staff to support the entire experience. Add to this a four year warranty and fixed price servicing and it is clear the brand is committed to both pre and post sales service. I understand that Infiniti have been working closely with the Four Seasons hotel group to perfect the experience, so hopefully the attention to detail remains as the group begins to expand

Japan road flag

2. Built in Japan: Infiniti is owned by Nissan, a company not usually associated with luxury in Australia. But what this does mean is that when you buy an Infiniti you get Japanese build quality, and more importantly, only Japanese quality. Too many German marques trade off their name, while building their cars in the lowest cost location possible

Mark Webber Infiniti

Mark Webber wins the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix

3. Image: Overpriced or not, Infiniti already represents a younger image than Lexus. Combine this with their partnership with the Red Bull Racing team and there are many things to like about the brand already.

Sebastian Vettel sign FX

F1 driver Sebastian Vettel signs his version of the Infiniti FX

4. Current cars and the upcoming hatch: The FX and M are all worthy competitors in their respective classes. A few flaws aside, they are definetly worth a look (check out the reviews here). Further, Infiniti are preparing a hatch based on the same platform as the Mercedes-Benz A-class. If this is anything like the Benz, this model will probably be very good, affordable and will add enormous appeal to the brand (although we might not see it for a while).

5. Audi: Audi has gone through a renaissance over the last ten years, moving from also ran to market leader in many segments. A previous heavy at Audi has recently moved over to Nissan to run Infiniti. So can we expect to see the same performance at Infiniti? I am not sure, but at least we know what they are targeting

But of course it would not be a proper 5 reason reviews editorial without the negative – that is, why I think the brand is still a bit raw

1. Cost: No doubt that most buyers will find the cars overpriced – and that is because they are. The cars may be close in quality to their competitors, but the brand value is not there yet. From Infiniti’s perspective you can understand – you can’t build a luxury car brand with budget prices. Over time, as the brand establishes itself in Australia the prices will make more sense – but the key question for the prospective buyer is this – are you prepared to pay a premium now for a product that won’t give you the same status as something from Germany?

2. USA: Infiniti’s are still largely built and designed for the US market. This will change (and already is) but you can see it in the details. The Infiniti range still has many bad hangovers from US consumers, such as slightly trashy interiors and poor fuel consumption.

Infinitis previous mid 90’s effort in Australia

3. Will Infiniti still be here in five years? This is a risk, but not a huge one. The brand is supported now by the Sutton group (one of the biggest Auto distributors in Australia) and globally Nissan is very focused on the roll out of this brand. But Infiniti has been in Australia before and left and the last thing you want is to end up with an orphan car. Many Australian Rover owners can attest to this

4. Japanese: It will never be as fashionable as the Germans. BMW, Audi and Mercedes all dominate this luxury market and for those looking for something else there is the English. Infiniti may become the coolest Japanese brand – but it is unlikely to ever be cooler than Munich

Infiniti M body

Infiniti M – the 5 series competitor

5. Nissan: At the end of the day, Infiniti is Nissan and will always be Nissan. It is different from the VW Porsche and Bentley relationship as these brands existed before they were bought by VW. Infiniti was created by Nissan and it will always be its love child

Have you bought an Infiniti? I would love to here about your experiences either in the comment section below or directly here.  If you are interested in reading more Infiniti review please subscribe (in the side bar) to receive updates

Photo credits

Some rights reserved by mliu92

Some rights reserved by modenadude

What's your view?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: