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Expert Reviews 1 of 4
By George Moore
July 19, 1992
The personal car trend in today's automobile industry has brought about cars with a personality. Not to be left wanting, Infiniti Division of Nissan Motor Corp. has introduced a 1993 Infiniti J30 model that definitely has a personality all its
own.Many regard the new J30 as the best-looking Infiniti ever turned out by the division, and with good cause.Styled at Nissan Design International in La Jolla, Calif., the car's fluid, rounded form gives a clear indication of the company's view
of the future.Dealers say customers bought the predecessor J30 because of the quality of the workmanship and the amenities offered. These obviously have been retained' but a third dimension, a bold look, is playing an increasing role in attracting
purchasers.The '93 J30 offers a dramatic front view that is highlighted by twin projector-beam headlights and a broad aerodynamic stance. The body is a series of blended curves that provides a low coefficient of air drag and results in reduced wind
noise at high speed.The J30 sedan that David Holscher, general sales manager for Dreyer & Reinbold Infiniti, provided for a test car had an air of virtual mortuary silence about it. But the four-door was far from deceased.If it is true that
man does not live by bread alone, then it can be said that an automobile doesn't exist on styling alone. And the J30 doesn't.Technology has been mated with styling to produce a sedan that performs like a silken-gloved sports car while offering the
accouterments of a luxury four-door.Powered by V-6 engineThe Infiniti's power comes from a high-tech V-6. The 3.0-liter (180.56-cubic-inch-displacement) engine has four overhead cams and four valves per cylinder. It produces 210
horsepower.Four-cam, 24-valve V-6s are not all that uncommon anymore, but Nissan has gone a bit further with this one. The J30's engine is based on the V-6 in the Nissan 300ZX. It utilizes a valve timing control system that adjusts valve overlap in
response to engine load and engine speed.This enhances the torque in all speed ranges, as drivers will find when they drop the hammer for maximum acceleration. The J30 is a rear-drive with limited slip differential, and the rear wheels just keep
pushing all the way up the engine's speed range.Maximum horsepower comes in a 6,400 rpm and maximum torque at 4,800 rpm. The four-cammer is so smooth and quick revving that the sensation of speed is almost absent until you look at the instrument
panel.Performance enthusiasts may throw up their hands at the thought of the car being available only with an automatic transmission, but the shift points are high enough that the V-6 can flex its muscle.In order to shift smoothly but without
burning the clutch, engine power is retarded for an instant just prior to shifting. It all happens so quickly you never even know there has been a power drop, and full-throttle gear changes are made without a trace of a lurch.Today's thinking relative
ormance handling characteristics has shifted away from a ride that is about a stiff as a slab of cement. Now it's toward more supple wheel movement.2The thought is that for control it is better to have the wheels in contact with the pavement rather
than having the vehicle leap from peak to peak over a rough road surface.The J30's four-wheel independent suspension system rides on front and rear subframes, with the rear multilink suspension being similar to that of the bigger Infiniti Q45. The
ride is luxury-car easy without being soft, and there is high-speed stability and excellent cornering response.The sedan is not a dirt- track racer, so if you go into a corner hard enough there is a trace of body lean. But at no time do you get the
impression the car is going to play tricks on you.J30 has luxury priceAs with any luxury automobile, all this comes at price. On the test car it was$33,400.In return, the J30 will stand up with the best of the luxury automobiles
relative to accessories and appointments. Everything is standard -- all the expected driver/passenger power systems, stereo, climate control, tilt steering column, power sunroof and the like. There even is wiring for a cellular telephone.And a safety
feature not found in all luxury sedans was both driver-side and passenger-side air bags.I would have liked a telescopic wheel to go with the tilt steering column, because that lets the driver get way back from the pedals. But with eight-way power
front seats, it still was easy to find a driving position where I felt like I had hold of the machine. Seats 5 passengersThe J30 is a five-passenger automobile with exterior and interior dimensions to match. The rounded doors extending into the
roof made getting in and out easy, and there was plenty of legroom and headroom once seated behind the wheel.I also would appreciated a bit more rear-seat legroom when the driver or passenger seats were in their rear-most positions. But unless you're
the size of a Colts lineman, you won't find seating cramped.As personal luxury cars go, this new J30 is pretty personal. And it constitutes one of the better efforts by Infiniti Division.