In the middle of 1995, Infiniti decided to enter the near-luxury market of the automobile industry through the introduction of the I30. With its various luxury amenities and safety features, this vehicle line has inspired many automakers around the world. Although it had many similarities with the Nissan Maxima, the I30 still managed to reshape the world of luxury vehicles through its innovative design and superior performance.
1996-1997: First model
The first model of the Infiniti I30 was released in mid-1995 for the 1996 model year. It was built at the Nissan plant in Oppama, Japan. Also, the I30 was powered by a 3.0-liter VQ30DE V6 engine that could generate as much as 190 horsepower and 205 pound-feet of torque. What's more, the '96 I30 came with standard features such as power windows and door locks.
1998-1999: Second model
For the years 1998 and 1999, the I30 did not undergo many changes. It was still powered by the same engine, and most of the standard features were still the same. Also, its average MPG rating stayed at 21 in cities and 26 to 28 in highways. When it comes to transmission, this vehicle was available in 5-speed manual, but the 4-speed automatic with overdrive was a more popular choice.
2000: Third model
In 2000, the Infiniti I30 received some updates in terms of style and engine. From 190 horsepower and 205 pound-feet of torque, the engine of the I30 was upgraded to produce as much as 227 hp and 217 lb-ft torque. And because of the many complaints about the similarities between the I30 and the Nissan Maxima, this vehicle line was restyled. The '00 model was redesigned to have a gauge cluster design, variable capacity muffler, and different body style. The other notable changes for this model year were the installation of high-intensity discharge(HID) xenon headlights, a rear sunshade, and 17-inch wheels.
2001: Last model
In its last year, the I30 had further revisions in an effort boost its sales. It received an improved engine displacement from 3.0 to 3.5 liters. As a result, the VQ35DE V6 engine was able to generate 255 horsepower. Other significant changes that were made in this model year include the retuning of the vehicle's suspension system, installation of larger brakes, and restyling of the interior and exterior. Unfortunately, due to these changes, the name I30 was replaced by I35, therefore marking the end of the I30 line.