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1997 Infiniti I30 Review
Entry-level luxury for all.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1997 Infiniti I30 is a luxury vehicle based on the same design as the Nissan Maxima. It is intended as an entry-level vehicle to the prestigious Infiniti brand. In essence, Infiniti took the already high-performance Maxima and redesigned the interior and exterior to allow it to compete with Acura A6, Lexus ES 300, and Mercedes-Benz C280. The I30 lacks all the features and options of the higher-end Infiniti, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz models, but it provides a well-designed, well-built vehicle of similar quality.
One of the toughest competitors to the Infiniti I30 is the Nissan Maxima. A fully-loaded Maxima offers a similar load and can be significantly cheaper. However, the Infiniti offers prestige and style that a fully-loaded Maxima cannot match. The Maxima can often be the more economic option, but the I30 is always going to be the more prestigious choice, regardless of how the vehicle is equipped.
Engines: 3.0-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Infiniti I30, Infiniti I30 Touring
The 1997 Infiniti I30 remains unchanged from the previous model year with the exception of several additional paint choices.
The 1997 Infiniti I30 is roughly the same size and shape as the Nissan Maxima. While not identical, it is quite clear the two vehicles share related designs. However, where the Maxima is a modern mid-range sedan, the I30 features a conservative, elegant aesthetic that fits well with its luxury-oriented market. The Infiniti style grill is the most recognizable difference between the I30 and Maxima.
The 1997 Infiniti I30, even with the base model, offers a wide range of luxury amenities. Standard equipment includes keyless entry, lighted entry, anti-theft alarm system, power windows, power mirrors, power locks, cruise control, power seats, leather trimmed tilt-steering wheel, air-conditioning, automatic climate control, AM/FM radio, cassette player, and a CD player. The Touring adds leather seating and steering wheel audio controls as standard equipment. Other optional features include heated seats, power moonroof, CD changer, auto-dim mirrors, and heated mirrors.
Performance & Handling
The 1997 Infiniti I30 has amazing performance, even compared to the highly competitive luxury sedan market. The three-liter six-cylinder engine is capable of delivering 190 horsepower, which allows it to accelerate quickly and reach a higher than normal top speed. The handling is similarly excellent with additional features significantly improving its capabilities in slippery conditions.
The 1997 Infiniti I30 features dual-front airbags, side-front airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, and traction control.
EPA Fuel Economy
Infiniti I30 five-speed manual: 19/24 mpg city/highway
- Smooth ride
- Side air bags standard
- Elegant, spacious cabin
- Anti-lock brakes are a standard feature
- Excellent handling
You Won't Like
- A Nissan Maxima with a higher price tag
Entry-level luxury for all.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Nissan Maxima
- Acura TL
- Lexus ES 300
- Mercedes-Benz C280