By on October 5, 2010

Whenever somebody asked me what I did for a living during the summer of 1994, I would tell them “I sell Infinitis”. That was a lie. My actual job was to lease the Infiniti J30 at $399/month to second-tier suburban wanna-bes and a wide variety of credit criminals. That was what paid for our owner’s impressive coke habit, and that was what earned me as much as three thousand dollars per month.

In the interest of strict factual accuracy, I should point out that we did, nominally, sell two other models. The 1994 Q45 was an overpriced brick with a Park Avenue-style facelift. Over the course of six months, we sold two of them, one to a former salesman who was simply in the habit of driving that particular car as a demo, and one to somebody who owned a 1990 example and was only vaguely horrified at the “updates” performed that year. Looking back, I think he used to snort coke with the dealership’s owner. It would explain a lot.

The other unwanted Infiniti, the G20, was the very definition of “showroom poison”. Everybody thought it was a jerked-off version of the Sentra. This was highly ironic, because the car which was murdering it in the segment was a jerked-off version of a Camry. Allow me to recapitulate for you the typical conversation I would have with someone unfortunate enough to be my “up” for the afternoon:

JACK: This is the G20. The European version of this car is commonly regarded as the best-handling FWD car in the world.

RUBE: You mean the Sentra?

JACK: Sir, this car shares nothing with the Sentra except the award-winning two-liter powerhouse nestled snugly beneath the bonnet. It was designed by a team of European Nissan engineers.

RUBE: So it’s basically a Sentra. And I don’t want to pay $25,500 for a Sentra. Hell, you can buy a Lexus for $25,000.

JACK: Sir, that car is nothing but a Toyota Camry with an aesthetically offensive, lopsided psuedo-badge conceived in a focus session to appeal to easily-impressed people whose parents, no doubt, attended community colleges.

RUBE: That’s a damn lie. Don’t look anything like a Camry. You must think I’m a fool, to buy this Sentra.

JACK: Sir, I do not normally mention this to any but the most elite members of the Dublin auto-connoisseur community, but we have a limited program for this particular automobile in which you can avail yourself of the many privileges of Infiniti ownership, from our bamboo-lined showroom facilities to the complimentary loaner-car program which covers the statistically nonexistent times during which your motorcar could potentially find itself in need of the most minor service imaginable, for the negligible sum of $249 each month.

RUBE: New Sentras lease for $149 at the Nissan place.

Can you believe it? The people at Nissan North America had managed to figure out a way for us to lease these sleds, stickering at $25,500 or more, for just $249 a month, 36/36,000, less than a G out of pocket, and we still couldn’t sell ‘em.

The sad part was that the Infiniti G20, particularly in “G20t” five-speed trim, was just a flat-out wonderful car to drive. It was fast enough, it handled beautifully, it was built with painstaking attention to detail, and it never, ever, ever broke. My brother received one for his 18th birthday, drove it for 40,000 miles around the jazz clubs of the Midwest without changing the brake fluid, tires, or engine oil, and never had a single problem. I wish I had the chance to buy a new one now, instead of that obscene-looking G37 thing with its truck engine and “Jersey Shore” cast of reprehensible owners.

You get the idea. People hated the car and you couldn’t even give them away. Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw a slight, meek-looking, distinctly professorial fellow examining our rather meager G20 inventory one Saturday morning. I nearly broke my ankle getting out to the fellow.

“Sir,” I said, “this is our G20, a European-designed…”

“Yes,” he replied, “it’s a Primera. I taught overseas and drove one as a company car.” We shook hands and I was impressed at the way his dislike of touching other people nearly matched mine. He didn’t even want to hear the lease pitch; the university credit union would be happy to cut us a check for, shall we say, sticker price less a $500 discount?

There was one slight issue. We had the plain five-speed car in green (the car that would later on find itself being whipped along by my ungrateful brother, as a matter of fact) and a G20t “touring model” in black. He wanted the touring model in green. Not a problem; our sister dealership, down in Louisville, had the green one in stock. He signed a purchase order and I sent him home for the night in our black G20t. He asked me one question as he prepared to go home:

“How many miles do you suppose it will have on it?” Most of the cars on our lot had a few hundred miles on them from our spectacularly unsuccessful “24-hour-test-drive” program. I figured that, given my luck, the Louisville car would have every bit of 200 miles plus the long drive to Cowtown.

“It’s a long drive, but we use skilled professionals who follow strict break-in procedures. There is a possibility the car could have…” I thought about this for a moment. “…three hundred and fifty miles.” The professor’s face fell. “Not to worry,” I cheerily stated, “it will be in perfect condition.”

When the “skilled professional” arrived approximately two hours late the next day, unwashed, stinking to high heaven, and clutching a very suspicious-looking satchel which almost certainly contained hard liquor, I immediately grabbed the best of the lot attendants, a Chris Tucker lookalike named Chauncey, and slipped him twenty bucks to take care of the car, pronto. Chauncey got in the car and said,

“Baruth, you ain’t gonna believe this, this motherf***er got nine hundred and eighty-one miles on it!” Christ above! Nearly a thousand miles! On a brand-new car! With our lease customers we could simply swallow the mileage charge on the front end, in this case eighteen cents a mile, and allow them the full 36,000. But this was a purchase! I saw the professor pulling up and courteously parking his loaner in the line of lonely G20s at the back of the dealership lot. I ran in to tell our assistant sales manager the problem.

This assistant sales manager was a pixie-ish, insanely attractive woman in her mid-thirties who could manipulate middle-aged men without the slightest effort. This was a bad situation, but I felt good that she could work it out. I met the professor at the door and walked him in, explaining that his car was in “the final stages of detailing”. If you consider “removing distinct aroma of human feces by using WD-40 sprayed through a 36″ industrial fan and across the passenger compartment with all four doors splayed open” one of the “final stages” of any solid detailing job, this statement was true.

His first question was the one I did not want to answer. “How many miles did the car have?” For once in my life, my composure utterly failed me. I simply walked him into Miss Thing’s office, assured that she would know just what to say.

“Professor,” she purred, “your car is here. It’s not a problem, but your vehicle has more mileage than we expected, and we will compensate you for the inconvenience.”

“How many?” It was a direct question from a very restrained man.

“Approximately nine hundred. Now, you see…”

“HOW COULD THAT HAVE HAPPENED?”

“Well, as you know, you enjoyed our loaner vehicle last night, and it is likely that someone else enjoyed the car, perhaps a few people…” Oh my God, she is somehow equating the car to a woman that somebody else has gang-raped. I exited the room so as to not have to watch this particular sausage being made.

There were accusations; there were recriminations; I believe there were even tears, but in the end we sold this ragged-out hooptie, complete with a 4-inch scrape on the left rear quarter-panel and rash on the nearby alloy wheel, for invoice price minus all rebates, holdback, and incentives. As I recall, the final price was somewhere in the neighborhood of $19,500.

Our professor ended up being so satisfied with his deal that he told his neighbors. They came in two weeks later: quiet, unassuming, professorial as well. “We want to see the car Raymond bought for $19,500,” they said.

“Well,” I replied, pointing at the gleaming G20t on the showroom floor, “that was a very special deal, but it was similar to…”

“That looks like a Sentra,” the wife said.

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73 Comments on “Capsule Review: 1994 Infiniti G20 and The Nervous Professor...”


  • avatar
    Paul W

    I enjoyed reading that very much.

    • 0 avatar
      Mirko Reinhardt

      Oh yes, the P10 Primera. That was a very popular car in Germany. Too bad the Primera they made two generations later (P12) was an ugly unreliable POS. Nissan pulled out of the midsize car market after that.
      http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Primera_P12

  • avatar
    brettc

    Great story. I love reading articles from the car selling trenches.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    This season, the Phillies had to play a 3-game road series, in gray uniforms, with a DH, in Philadelphia. All thanks to the G20 Summit in Toronto. What most people don’t know is that it was actually a Primera Summit.

    Joking aside, I always liked the G20. It had the same handsome, restrained design the Germans used to excel at.

  • avatar

    Awesome, awesome Jersey Shore reference.

    • 0 avatar
      fastback

      i’ts a shame the G35 has been tainted by it’s association with that market segment… I find it quite handsome!   These stories from the ‘sales trenches’ make me clutch tighter onto my 1990 Mustang and 1993 Corolla! 

      scary scary sh*t !   

  • avatar

    Great stuff, Jack, both this and the J30 piece. Infiniti offered a few interesting cars during it’s first 13 years, but nothing that sold well. I remember that the magazines used to rave about this one–proof that car reviews alone can’t sell cars. Seems they also have to look good and, if sedans, have reasonably-sized rear seats and trunks.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “Everybody thought it was a jerked-off version of the Sentra.”

    You’re lucky they sent you the Primera and not the Presea.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Great story, Jack. Hilarious.
     
    I’ve never heard anyone call a G20 a sentra, but I have heard “It looks like a Japanese Jetta for $10k more.” on numerous occasions. And in the spectrum of mid-90s car design, this was a pretty accurate statement.

  • avatar

    Great story.
     
    I always liked these little Infinitis.  Too bad they mucked up its successor.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Ahh, the car business. That story is the perfect encapsulation of the life of a car salesman: irrational customers, covering for ex-con, drugged out co-workers, slippery managers. I love it.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I’ve liked Infiniti’s too, but largely because of their huge depreciation.  Great bargain used.  New?  Never.

    I am fascinated by the sales only because of my own and my families involvement in selling things over the years. And I do enjoy all of Jack’s anecdotes, regardless of the subject matter.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Who in their life ever changes brake fluid unless the line(s) break?

  • avatar

    A friend of ours has one of these, inherited from a deceased grandma.  The car has some warped plastic but low miles.  Any “sentra” looks aside, it was built to an incredibly high standard, everything is tight, and it shows that small can be well built.  The engine runs well enough that I’d want to drive a manual version.
    Building a crappy car is intentional, as is building this swiss-watch.

  • avatar
    zbnutcase

    Why would anybody buy ANY Nissan product?

    • 0 avatar
      Lokki


      “Why would anybody buy ANY Nissan product?”

      Nissans were not always Renaults ( not ) in drag. 

    • 0 avatar
      Macca

      I’m not even sure if this is worth replying to, but if you think Nissan/Infiniti’s lineup has been and is currently devoid of desirable models, then it would seem that you’re terribly misinformed.  I’m not a blatant fanboy – they’ve had plenty of misfires, too.
      I’m just curious as to how you reached your assessment of the brand.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      Nissan USED to make some great cars, some with other-worldly reliability.  I see hundreds of 90s Maximas easily topping 250k miles and still going strong.  Try finding a 240SX with under 150k miles.  The Pathfinder had a reputation for going and going and going…

      Its only since the 2000′s they have gone downhill…

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      Uh, I own a current-gen Altima, and it’s been a great car so far.  The interior materials are (now) as good as any other midsize sedan, the CVT keeps the car in the perfect gear, and even with the four-cylinder, it’s capable of getting out of its own way.  I’ll never fall in love with it, but it’s one of the best midsize sedans currently on the market.

    • 0 avatar
      Macca

      Saying all Nissans have gone downhill since 2000 is tantamount to saying GM hasn’t made a good car for 25 years.  It’s just more complicated than a blanket statement can convey.

      For instance, I would agree that the sixth-gen Maxima was a disappointment and that the Sentra peaked with the B13 chassis (think ’93 SE-R) and is nearly irrelevant in its current form.  The Altima has seen steady gen-to-gen improvement, and it started out as a competitive product.  The G35(37) single-handedly turned the Infiniti brand around and the M and FX are great vehicles in their respective classes.

      If the steady move toward CVTs turns enthusiasts off, I don’t blame them.  I’m disappointed in the overheating issues in the 370Z and even more disappointed in Nissan’s obstinacy in not making right by their customers.

      It would seem, as others have mentioned however, that the Japanese Big 3 as a whole have cheapened their offerings over the past 10 to 15 years.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I tihnk you could argue that the Japanese cars of this era were built to a higher standard in both workmanship and material quality than most cars of today.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    This story is a perfect illustration of why capitalism works in a way that communism never did.  Here, we have a dealer, a sales manager, a salesman and a customer.  Everybody is playing with his/her own money.  Everybody has an incentive to make a deal and at the end of the day, the deal is made.   An imperfect deal perhaps, but deal nonetheless.  Another car has found a buyer and another buyer has found a car. All voluntarily.

    • 0 avatar
      blau

      What, you think old Lada salesmen don’t have stories just as entertaining as this one?

    • 0 avatar
      Acubra

      @Blau:
      There was no such a thing as a car salesman in Soviet Union. And it was buyers’ stories that are funny.
      I still vividly remember the purchase process in 1977. A huge lot full of cars. Folks would receive an invitation in the mail that they are allowed to come and buy.
      There was no such thing as option list, unless you regard a spare tire, a crappy toll kit and a AM-FM radio as such. But then again, these were MANDATORY extra-cost options.
      A “technician” was in charge of selection/acceptance process. By greasing his hand with a few extra rubles you would have an opportunity to take a look at several cars, rather than being handed over the one that the said “technician” pulled out from the storage at his discretion.
      And with wildly varying quality between the units that would be an investment worth every single “kopeika” (Russian cent) spent. My Dad went through at least five of them before he found one that did not have any obvious shortcomings and started right away.
      The car served us well, minor carb and cold start issues  (typical for its ilk) aside. It withstood tons of abuse, like thousands of kms on unpaved roads, laden trailers half the weight of the car and with no brakes, roof “racks” loaded to the point of 0 suspension travel with roofing panels and carrying full trunk and rear interior (with pulled-out rear seat) of bricks. We did not have pick-up trucks in the USSR and those still made were not sold to the public.
      The only thing that Moskvich had not seen in its 25 years’ service is snow. All winters it would spend in a garage on wooden blocks – to relieve the suspension and tires.
      It was sold in 2002 for 300 USD with 240 000 kms, still all original non-smoking engine, gearbox and 2nd clutch – when I finally installed Dad behind the wheel of a Corolla 4WD wagon.

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    I’ve always been a fan of mid-90s Infinitis. I currently own a nearly-pristine 1995 G20 base, no leather or Touring package, but an automatic (which, incidentally, I suspect will be the first thing to go, and which I plan to replace with a five-speed to fully realize the car’s potential). It has 206,883 miles as of parking it last night. I am the second owner, and have every service record stretching back to when the vehicle was new. The only things that don’t work as new on the car are some burnt out light bulbs in the climate control panel and the whip antenna that has replaced the notoriously finicky power retracting unit. It works perfectly, the SR20 idles and revs perfectly, and I average 24mpg almost entirely in town (millions of stoplights, not a flat area in sight). It handles absurdly well, and the original struts are still silent, somehow. It does have some small rust patches abaft the rear wheel wells, and there’s also some rocker panel rust, but it does absolutely everything I need it to do. The guy I bought it from (original owner) couldn’t sell it in a year of trying, I suspect due to its 200,600 miles at the time. I bought it just over a year ago from him (running, needing nothing, for $1000) and have had to add new oxygen sensors, a new windshield (cracked, needed to pass inspection), and new front brake pads ($22 from Advance). That’s it. I would drive it to California in five minutes and not worry a bit about it breaking down. They are so over-built it isn’t funny. I love the little car, and am gunning for 300,000 miles if the rust doesn’t bring me down first.

  • avatar
    honfatboy

    Always call to check for mileage before you do a dealer trade. Sheesh.

  • avatar
    Toad

    I had a 1994 G20, in black, and loved that little car.  Terrific the day I bougth it, and just as terrific the day I sold it.  If I had any sense at the time I would have kept it, but I was on the new/almost new car every 2 years treadmill.  I could have kept that car for 10 years and driven it happily, but I decided to re-enlist for more debt instead.
     
    Very solid, tight, fast and willing..like a lot of the best things in life.  I can’t think of any current cars, particularly sedans, like it.

  • avatar

    THey should have just chopped down a J30… I still see them and think they look pretty nice. In fact I’d say the J30 should go on the curbside classic list.

  • avatar
    vvk

    I wasn’t crazy about the G20 when I test drove a new one in mid-90s. It was nothing like a European car I thought it was. Not a Sentra but no SAAB either…

  • avatar
    saponetta

    I don’t understand why you wouldn’t verify the miles on a dealer trade before securing the car?  I understand its a second tier brand selling commodity “luxury” but there is still a right and wrong way of doing things.  If I was discounting a papered deal because the salesman made such a stupid mistake I’d be paging him to come to my office and bring a box for his stuff.  This is part of the reason why folks in the car business have such a  bad name.  You had a reasonable customer who was easy to deal with.  All you had to do was do your job and let him know beforehand that he can have the color and trim he wants, but it will have 1000 miles on it. As long as it isn’t punched he still gets the full term of his warranty.  Instead it ends up a hairy, no money making, paperwork practice because people didn’t do their job correctly.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    I had a G20. It was a white 5-speed, 1995 (I think). Great car. I got it for well under $20,000 (I think around $16k), since they couldn’t sell them.
    Only car I have ever owned with an oil filter accessible from the top side of the engine.

  • avatar

    I think Jack gets carried away at one point. G37 Coupe is a great car. The wheelbase is a bit long, but a great performer otherwise, even with stock brakes. It was a great read otherwise though.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Nice story . . . quite the squirrelly place that you worked at.  I’ve always thought that the G20 was a nice car, with one drawback: as one car mag review put it, the engine had the “voice of Ethel Merman,” i.e. one inconsistent with the notion of a “luxury car.”

  • avatar
    Macca

    Great story.  I too used to own a G20, although mine was from the final model year, 2002.  As a kid reading car magazines, I read plenty of the praise for the G20/Primera.  My first car, a ’93 Sentra XE 5-speed coupe with the GA16DE engine, was a sprightly little thing and ran like a top, but I secretly wanted it’s ‘big brother’ the G20.  Long story short, I happened upon a low-mileage ’02 G20 when I was in college and just had to have it.  Aside from some changes to the suspension setup, the second-gen G20 received similar praise for its handling characteristics.  Unfortunately another change came in the form of a significant weight gain, with only a 5hp gain in 2000+ models.

    Stumbling upon what would become my G20 sparked my interest in these cars again and I was too impatient to look around for a 5-speed example, which was fairly hard to come by anyway.  The archaic 4-speed automatic in a nearly-3k lb car made for sluggish acceleration (nearly 10-second 0-60) that sapped the fun out of the car for me.  I sold it after two years of trouble-free ownership, and part of me wishes I had held on to it.  If I could snatch up a new version of the ’02 G20t with a stick right now, I’d jump on it.  I still think they’re handsome cars.
     

  • avatar
    Swervin

    Full Disclosure I am a salesman at a Nissan/Infiniti dealership. I  enjoy you’re writing Jack as well as Sajeev’s as I am a Ford fan with a 94 Thunderbird Super Coupe 5 speed. If you could do a capsule review of that car I would be curious of your opinion of it.

    What I can’t understand is as someone who drives and loves Porsche how you can complain about other marks clientele. What does the quality of the person who drives the car have to do with the quality of the car itself?

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    I owned a G20, I bought it brand new and loaded.  It was a wonderful car, very high quality.  I put around 80k miles on it without a single repair out of my own pocket.  It felt light years ahead of a Sentra, which my friend had.  I regret selling it, it was a great car to commute in.
    The problem was the engine was simply gutless.  It needed to have either a turbo or a v6.  Infiniti could have put either on this car and only raised the price by a thousand bucks, and they would have sold like hotcakes.

  • avatar
    sfdennis1

    Had a friend with a ’95 G20…Forest green with tan leather…I remember being really impressed with the car’s construction and quality, if not the styling or power. If you can find one now, all these years later, w/ under 100K miles, it’s an absolute dream of an inexpensive, comfortable commuter car.

    The early/and mid 90′s were really when the Japanese hit their high point in quality. You paid more initially, but it was always, always worth every penny in reliability and the long-term ownership experience. Can’t really say that’s the case anymore, as cost cutting and decontenting have taken a toll…I wonder how long the Japanese can coast on their ‘golden days’ reputations…methinks those days are coming to an end.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Yep, those cars were designed at the height of the Japan Inc. days of the late ’80s, and the absurd amounts of money and effort that went into them show up in all kinds of pleasant ways.

    • 0 avatar
      Gardiner Westbound

      Asian cars have been more reliable, less costly to maintain and repair, and longer lived than European and American ones. Sadly, there is abundant evidence the golden age of Japanese car reliability ended around Model Year (MY) 2000. Both our current cars were made in Japan. Wouldn’t buy a North American made one.

  • avatar
    eugmoon

    I’ve loved this car since my friend introduced me to it via the British Touring Car Championship circa ’92-’93. Almost bought one myself in the summer of ’99, but I decided I couldn’t live without AWD. (Which is why I currently am driving a ’00 Subaru Impreza with over 170k miles on the clock.)
     
    Just wanted to say that I was initially turned off to JB when I first started reading this site at the time when he was writing his series on maximum street speed, despite being an inveterate leadfoot myself.
     
    Well, this is my mea culpa. JB is one of the best things about TTAC, and I’m glad I was wrong about that.

  • avatar
    jaje

    Loved the G20 – great little car, great engine, great handling and good looking.  In fact I always think of it as Honda’s aim when they made the Euro Accord (our TSX – at least the 1st gen).

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    We had the hot Primera (the eGT) on the company fleet in the 90′s and I drove it a couple of times. 150bhp and lowered, hardened suspension. Fabulous car on the open road – really was a wonderful chassis.

  • avatar

    his dislike of touching other people nearly matched mine
     
    If we’re to believe prior published accounts of your exploits, it doesn’t sound like you dislike touching people with two X chromosomes.

    • 0 avatar
      H Man

      Yeah, like the time he slipped his [Mahavishnu Orchestra cd] into the regional sales-lady’s [front-load cd player] and kept the fellow hotel guests up all night shaking the walls in 19/8.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    Another great story.
    I remember these cars.  The Touring model could be had with a Torsen limited slip and a 5-speed.  In other words, a *really* nice SE-R.  A gently used example would be kinda cool.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I don’t recall seeing a lot of G20s back in the day, and I haven’t seen any recently. But the J30 seems to be immortal. I still see a number of them and they seem to be in good condition.

  • avatar
    Areitu

    I also used to think this car was a tarted up Sentra. I assumed it was because the ES250 and ES300 were obviously tarted up camrys.
    Just recently, I had thought about buying one of these because every time I went to my friend’s house, I’d see his landlord’s G20, with an engine swap, suspension & wheels, and think “That looks neat and wouldn’t be expensive to do.”

  • avatar
    CSX999

    Currently an owner of a 1996 g20t. 5 speed and the works. One of the best front wheel drive handling cars i have ever driven, due to the LSD and multi-link front suspension. Very neutral. Took out the SR20DE and replaced it with the rare , japanese homemarket, SR20VE. 190 stock horses but putting out 220 after bolt-ons. Bought this when i regrettably sold my  94 SE-R. Felt like i just lost my dog. Then i bought this used. Although about 350 pounds heavier, it is a better handler then the SE-R.Going to beef up the suspension, tires and rebuild 5 speed with shorter 4th and 5th from SE-R. Currently will do quarter in 14.3, top out near 150mph and gets 28 mpg.Show me a modern day, normally aspirated, 4 cylinder with these stats, easy maintenance( timing chain and self adjusting valves), and handling, all in one package. Although, brand new the T model cost approx. 27K. You can get a leather lined Maxima for about 23-24 grand during those times. Infiniti over-priced these cars.

  • avatar
    Lantern42

    I own a G37 Coupe. I’d just like to go on record as saying I’m not anything like the Jersey Shore crowd.
     
    I always liked the G20t. I worked at an Infiniti dealership for a few years in 2003-2007, and no one who owned one of them ever wanted to trade it in. I think the brand could use a fun, lightweight car similar to those.
    Sadly, the brand seems to be heading in a different direction. (I’d feel better if the put the Essence concept into production.)

  • avatar
    Sugarbrie

    In 2004, I passed on buying a 1995 G20 with only 49K miles on it, for $6000 on an Audi dealer’s used lot.

    I always think back that I should have bought it. I’d probably still have it and it would still probably run like new.

    Of my three vehicles, that G20 would have been driven about 8,000 miles a year, so even now it would just be approaching 100,000 miles. Me thinks I screwed up. LOL

  • avatar
    FJ20ET

    A sadly overlooked car. I prefer the harder-edged earlier models though.

  • avatar
    CSX999

    I currently own a 96 G20T. One of The best handling front drive cars i have ever driven. As sweet as the sr20de is, i transplanted in a SR20VE (VARIABLE VALVE LIFT AND TIMING) from the japanese home market. Its pushing 220 with bolt-ons. Gets 28mpg in the process. The earlier versions are better because of IRS while the later ones had a beam axle and weighed 200 pounds heavier. All g20′s have low maintenance requirements ( timing chain and self adjusting valves). Great handling because of multi-link front suspension and LSD on the T models. Truly neutral handling.

  • avatar
    hurls

    “truck engine”
     
    how has that not torqued someone off as much or more than the jersey shore reference :)

  • avatar
    JJ

    I didn’t know the Primera was sold as an Infiniti as some stage. Here in Europe Primeras were actually quite cheap compared to their competitors as I recall. Also, those competitors were more of the Renault Laguna/Opel Vectra kind rather than a 3-series. A 3-series would have cost several thousands more.

    EDIT: just checked if there was still a Primera on sale today cause (and this says a lot about the beigeness) I wasn’t sure…Seems like they finally put it out of its misery and replaced it with a plethora of crossovers.

    • 0 avatar
      Mirko Reinhardt

      Yes, the Primera was way cheaper than a Passat or even a Vectra, but better to drive.
      The later model Primeras were a) ugly and b) unreliable. Production ended in 2007, with no replacement. Just like there was never a replacement for the excellent Sunny/Almera compacts, instead we’re now getting the Tiida/Versa.

  • avatar

    Why do so many car companies have different names for the same car in Europe, US, and Asia?  It seems like the European companies have consistent names, mostly, while Asian and US companies have totally different names.

  • avatar
    wstansfi

    I drove the base sentra when I was in Driver’s Ed in the early 90′s. That vehicle had trouble going up most hills – I was in the automatic so there was no downshift available. The vehicle was also light enough to move all over the road in moderate winds (driving in the northeast.) It’s hard for me to imagine that the infiniti G20 was anything at all like the sentra of the time…

  • avatar
    sizz813

    Recently purchased a mint condition 1993 G20, 5 speed. Having had a 1994 back in 1994, I don’t know why I would have got rid of it. Oh yeah it got totaled in an accident :(. I have owned about 5 cars in between, 1995 Acura Integra GS-R, 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T, 2003 Nissan 350Z, 2006 Ford 500, 2008 Scion Tc. The G20 has to be at the top of the list right next to the Integra. A previous poster made a comment about early to mid 90′s Japanese cars and how well they were made. Exactly on point. Great handling, gas mileage, very tight interior, all around good. Didn’t appreciate the car at the time (much younger then) but now I do. You can find great used examples out there for ultra cheap. Only bad side is the paint is going, one thing that I have noticed most 90′s cars share (unless you had a meticulous owner).

    Thinking of repainting the car, but don’t want to spend more on the paint job than the car is worth :). More good times to come I’m sure. Oh and BTW the 5 speed is a world of difference over the automatic that I originally owned.


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