Infiniti's most popular model has fresh styling, larger dimensions, new safety features, and a stronger engine for 2000. Infiniti is the luxury division of Nissan, and the I30 is a dressed-up Maxima, sharing the same front-drive chassis, engine and other key components.
The roof is the only body panel the new I30 shares with its Maxima cousin, so the two have less resemblance than before. Styling on the I30 was done in Japan, while the new Maxima was styled at Nissan's California studio. The I30's new look features prominent hood creases, a chrome grille and flush-mounted headlamps.
The wheelbase is 2 inches longer at 108, and overall length has grown 4 inches to 194. The base model rides on 16-inch wheels and tires, and the touring model gets 17-inch rims and rubber.
The larger exterior dimensions give the I30 more interior room and 1.6 cubic feet more trunk space for a total of 14.9. New interior features include a split rear seatback that folds for additional cargo space, and a power sunshade for the rear window.
Leather upholstery and a 200-watt Bose sound system are standard. A classically styled analog clock in the center of the dashboard borrows a trademark feature from the Q45, Infiniti's flagship sedan. The interior has five cupholders, one for each seating position.
Under the Hood
The 3.0-liter V-6 engine that the I30 shares with the Maxima gains 37 horsepower to 227, five more than in the Maxima because of a larger exhaust system. The engine teams with a four-speed automatic transmission.
Side-impact airbags and active head restraints for the front seats are new standard features. The head restraints move upward and forward in rear-end collisions to reduce the chances of whiplash injuries. Anti-lock brakes are standard and traction control is optional.