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Meh Automobile Monday: Nothing May Un-Meh The Infiniti G20

The standing of Meh Automobile isn’t a completely rational one. Meh-ness isn’t one thing you could all the time engineer out of a automotive, or one thing that’s even essentially based mostly on how the automotive performs or works. Meh-ness is a extra like a legendary, grey mist-dragon of cloudy disinterest, and as soon as it will get its clammy, bland, uninteresting claws right into a automotive, there’s nearly nothing a carmaker can do to set the automotive free. An ideal instance of that is the Infiniti G20.

The Infiniti G20 was doomed to be a meh automotive from its very begin as a result of it was based mostly on a totally meh idea: badge snobbery. For some cause, Infiniti determined they wished an entry-level automotive, though Infiniti actually had many, many entry-level automobiles: they’re referred to as Nissans.

The entire level of the Infiniti model was to provide Nissan a luxurious model, like Toyota has Lexus or Honda has Acura. You probably have a luxurious model and also you determine to make entry-level automobiles for that luxurious model though your organization already makes every kind of respectable, automobiles individuals might purchase at your deliberate luxo-entry-level worth, then the one cause you’re including an entry-level automotive is to draw individuals who solely take note of silly luxury-brand badges.

It’s from these individuals’s bodily wastes that the Dragon of Meh is born.

The Infiniti G20 was a re-badged non-U.S.-market Nissan Primera. The Primera was focused as a European-market automotive, which is why Infiniti marketed it as “Born in Japan, educated in Europe, obtainable in America,” and similar to many youngsters of diplomats who spent their lives in Asia and Europe, after which got here to America, it was far more boring than its cosmopolitan heritage would recommend.


Actually, it is senseless that the G20 ought to be so meh: the Primera was stated to be one of many best-handling FWD automobiles obtainable on the time, and Nissan raced them within the British Touring Automobile Championship sequence.

That racing pedigree ought to have rubbed off on the G20, proper? That ought to have saved it from terminal meh-ningitis, shouldn’t it?


Extremely, it didn’t. One way or the other, in that transition from Nissan Primera to Infiniti G20, all the pleasure of the automotive was extracted, changed with the half-ass luxurious of (non-obligatory) leather-based seats, some extra crap on the already-dated-looking dashboard, and the all-important Infiniti badges.

The G20 used the identical 140 (later 145) horsepower 2-liter inline-four SR20DE engine, the identical one used within the U.S.-market Nissan Sentra, which is why many considered the G20 as a tarted-up Sentra, which it wasn’t actually, however that hardly issues, as a result of it really was a tarted up non-U.S. Nissan and by that time everybody give up caring.

Certain, it was an honest automotive, and yeah, you possibly can get it with a handbook and it might deal with okay however, actually, no person was shopping for these to race, so for the overwhelming majority of patrons dealing with was simply one thing the salesguy talked about as soon as that sounded good.

It definitely didn’t assist that the G20’s seems positioned it on the sexiness/desirability scale someplace between an orthopedic shoe and a three-hole punch. The G20 reeked of such early ‘90s generic blandness that in case you caught a jar of sizzling sauce within the glove compartment, you’d pull a bottle of ketchup out an hour later.

The primary-gen G20 was constituted of 1990 to 1996, then Infiniti took a two-year breather from the automotive the place think about the corporate collectively leaned again of their chair, stared on the ceiling, and sighed for 2 years straight.

In 1998 the second-generation one arrived, with facelifted styling and a few modifications to the rear suspension. The automotive was made a bit higher, however the inside was much more dated, the automotive received even heavier, and the excessive worth made even much less sense, particularly when Nissan had higher, cheaper automobiles just like the Sentra SE and SE-R.


Hell, there have been greater, extra snug V6 automobiles Nissan would promote you for much less cash, just like the Maxima, if solely you possibly can let go of your idiotic grip on that Infiniti badge.

The advert marketing campaign for the G20 simply strengthened that this was a interval the place Infiniti actually had no thought what it was doing or who it was. Have a look at this industrial:

Oh, wow, that’s so boring it type of hurts, like being hit with a wad of plumber’s putty wrapped in a gray costume sock. Take heed to that tagline once more:

“It’s designed to provide you respiratory room and take your breath away, all on the similar time.”

That appears like a tagline the advert company had in its pocket and was purchasing it round to makers of maxipads, PDAs, and shampoos earlier than Infiniti lastly took the bait. That’s a tagline that claims even the main focus teams couldn’t give a shit about this automotive irrespective of what number of Blockbuster Video reward playing cards we gave them.


I can’t consider a greater instance to reveal Meh automotive could be a respectable automotive, too. The G20 was well-built, had some sporting/dealing with potential, and was snug and positively usable.

But it surely was all however unattainable to truly need, in any method that issues. You would lose it in an empty parking zone and never give it some thought once more the day you traded it in for anything.

Meh might be actually infinite.

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