The G20 is a compact executive car produced by Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti. Based on the Japanese/European market Nissan Primera, this entry-level luxury car was sold in the United States during most of the 1990s and into the early 2000. And just like the Primera, the G20 also offered higher levels of equipment. When it was first launched in 1991, Infiniti offered the sedan as an entry-level alternative to the Q45. To strengthen its luxury car image, the automaker launched advertisements that emphasized the G20’s European heritage. Its tag line was, “Born in Japan. Educated in Europe. Now Available in America.”
First generation: 1991 to 1996
The first-generation Infiniti G20 was completed on July 1990 and production went on until July 1996. It featured the first application of Nissan’s multi-link front suspension in a front-wheel-drive. This included an independent MacPherson strut setup in the rear. While the five-speed manual transmission was standard, the G20 also had a four-speed automatic transmission available as an option. Other choices included a leather interior, a power glass moonroof, and a sports package.
After the initial launch in 1991, several changes were given to the Infiniti G20. The most notable of these is the midyear refresh in 1993, which included the following:
- Dual airbags as a replacement for motorized seatbelts;
- Standard leather interiors with power front seats;
- Matte-black side molding as a replacement to body-colored ones;
- Conversion of the refrigerant from R12 to R134a;
- Audio system upgrade from previously standard cassette deck to six speakers with a CD player; and,
- Addition of remote keyless entry.
Second generation: 1999 to 2002
After a three-year hiatus, the Infiniti G20 came back for its second-generation in 1999 and underwent several revisions. The new sedan adopted the multi-link beam rear suspension that was very similar to the 1995-1999 Nissan Maxima models. The only difference, however, is that the G20 also had a continued use of the independent multi-link strut front suspension. Despite the Infiniti enthusiasts’ dislike for the new beam, several auto reviewers praised the second-generation G20. They said that the beam was a technically good method of avoiding lateral suspension movement, which would compromise handling, while still providing a compliant ride.
Aside from the new suspension, the updated G20 also grew in size. Its length increased by 22.7 inches and its height by 0.4 inches. This resulted to 1.4 inches more legroom for rear-seat passengers compared to the previous model.
After the 1999 Infiniti G20 was launched, some major changes were made as a refresh in the 2000 model year, such as:
- Implementation of the 145-crank horsepower roller-rocker variant of the SR20DE engine;
- Introduction of new automatic and manual transmission variations;
- Addition of anti-theft immobilizer circuitry;
- Standardization of anti-glare mirrors; and,
- Addition of a remote trunk release feature.
After 2002, the Infiniti G20 was discontinued in favor of the new rear-wheel drive G35. Nevertheless, the entry-level luxury sedan received several awards and recognitions in its lifespan for its value and customer satisfaction.