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1998 Infiniti I30 Review
High-end luxury at a value price.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1998 Infiniti I30 provides a near-luxury vehicle based on the same design as the Nissan Maxima. It intended to sell as an entry-level vehicle under the prestigious Infiniti brand. In essence, Infiniti took the already high-performing Maxima and redesigned the interior and exterior to allow it to compete with near-luxury vehicles such as the 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 serves as a well-designed, well-built vehicle of similar quality.
The Nissan Maxima remains one of the toughest competitors to the Infiniti I30. A fully loaded Maxima offers a similar list of features to the I30 and potentially comes at a cheaper price. However, the Infiniti offers prestige and style that a fully loaded Maxima simply cannot match. The Maxima often provides the more economic option, but the I30 always makes the more prestigious choice, regardless of optional equipment.
Engines: 3.0-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Infiniti I30, Infiniti I30 Touring
The 1998 Infiniti I30 adds side-impact airbags as standard equipment. The headlights, taillights, and center console have been redesigned.
The Infiniti I30 looks roughly the same size and shape as the Nissan Maxima. While not identical, it seems quite clear that the two vehicles feature related designs. However, while the Maxima serves as a modern mid-range sedan, the I30 features a conservative, elegant aesthetic that fits well with its luxury-oriented market. The Infiniti grille highlights the most recognizable difference between the 1998 Infiniti I30 and the Maxima.
Standard features on the I30 include keyless entry, lighted entry, an anti-theft alarm system, power windows, power mirrors, and power locks. A power moonroof and auto-dimming mirrors remain optional.
The 1998 Infiniti I30, even with the base model, offers a wide range of luxury amenities. Cruise control, power seats, a leather-trimmed tilt-steering wheel, air-conditioning, automatic climate control, an AM/FM radio, a cassette player, and a CD player all come standard on both models. The I30 Touring also features leather seating and steering wheel audio controls as standard equipment. Heated seats, a CD changer, and heated mirrors provide optional equipment.
Performance & Handling
The Infiniti I30 delivers an amazing performance, even for to the highly competitive near-luxury sedan market. The three-liter, six-cylinder engine puts out 190 horsepower, which allows the 1998 Infiniti I30 to accelerate quickly and reach a high top speed. The handling feels excellent, as well, with the additional features of the I30 significantly improving its capabilities in slippery conditions.
Dual front airbags, front side airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, and traction control come standard on all 1998 Infiniti I30 models.
EPA Fuel Economy
Infiniti I30 five-speed manual: 19/24 mpg city/highway
- Smooth ride
- Standard side airbags
- Elegant, spacious cabin
- Standard anti-lock brakes
- Excellent handling
You Won't Like
- Essentially the Nissan Maxima with a higher price tag
High-end luxury at a value price.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Acura A6
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- Lexus ES300
- Mercedes-Benz C280
- Nissan Maxima
- Volkswagen Passat
- Volvo C70
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