Acura has become complete and utter crap lately. Horrible reliability since the latest MDX/TLX redesigns with the disastrous FWD ZF 9-speed transmissions and (similar to Infiniti) a glitchy, half-baked infotainment system.
Lexus cars are ugly as ****, so much so that even the brainwashed people at Clublexus are complaining. To put that in perspective, they are usually about as critical to Lexus as the morons who listen to pundits on the AM dial are to the GOP-- which is to say, not at all! Their interiors are full of plastic and are cheaper than they've ever been, with the only light at the end of the tunnel being the very expensive LC and new LS.
In light of all these, I'm not surprised that Infiniti has gained. Infiniti still greatly disappoints me.
- Too-long model cycles
- Great new turbocharged engines are a decade late to the party
- Handling has not improved significantly since the old G35 days because they refuse to give chassis/suspensions full redesigns (Toyota did this with the Camry for 20 years until the press got pissed, then finally delivered the goods on the 2018 Camry).
- In a time when BMW has eviscerated its trademark steering feel to gain 1 mpg (WOW!) with poorly-implemented electric racks, Infiniti, when confronted with the possibility that they may have a huge competitive advantage.... went, "Nah, no thanks!" They followed BMW and destroyed its steering feel as well. Makes me wonder if BMW did this as a troll because they knew the JDMs would follow.
- Their prices have slowly crept to near-German levels due to asinine package requirements. The Red Sport is a glaring exception; you can't get a C43 or S4 as cheap as you can buy a 400 hp Infiniti. Those cars steer better and are better-built, though, and the savings with Infiniti is not $10k+ like it once was.
- Reliability is terrible. Consumer Reports only recommends the QX50 and Q70 (both old and designed before Ghosn had his way with putting ****ty components into Infinitis), and the '17 JD Dependability Study has Infiniti as the third-worst brand, beating only Jeep and Fiat. (Acura's not much better, to be fair).
- Run-flat tires seem even worse on Infiniti's range than they are with other brands (worse suspension geometry? Who knows). It is MANDATORY to change them out for better non-RFT when you buy a Q50. Many people on the org claim that the car handles better than their old G37 once you do that.
A few things are making me optimistic, though. Ghosn and De Nyscchen are gone; their war set Infiniti back a decade. The VR motors are, assuming they don't eat themselves when the warranty expires (that's a LOT to assume from Nissan/Infiniti these days), world-class V6 engines that are period-appropriate. Infiniti never cheapened their interiors after the Nissan 180 was complete. That looks even more impressive when you consider every Lexus inteiror below the GS-- they are garbage, and you can find better fit and finish in Hyundais and Volkswagens. Finally, there are some fairly exciting new models on the horizon, including new Q70 and QX70 designs, which would be my personal favorites if executed properly.
Did BMW take a massive dump last month, continuing their death spiral? I have to go check the charts.