What is that you see? Three spoke wheels. Hm. The faceless face. Interesting. Tucked away door handles. Whoa. What is that mystery SUV, hailing from the height of the era? That’s the Infiniti QX4, a car for today.
That’s right. Infiniti made a version of the Pathfinder. I had forgotten that this thing existed, and I think there’s good reason for it.
It’s hard to come up with any good reason for this vehicle to exist other than “it was the ‘90s and we will do whatever it takes to put more SUVs on sale.”
Car and Driver was wonderfully dismissive of the thing, particularly once it got its refresh in the year 2000:
Infiniti claims that the reengined 2001 QX4 offers “everything you want in a luxury sports sedan plus everything you want in an SUV.” Could be —if that includes a jiggly ride, an uncomfortable back seat, rear drum brakes, and a plastic-wood steering wheel.
If that’s the case, well, we almost said, “Have we got a deal for you.” But the Infiniti QX4 isn’t a deal, since you can get pretty much the same thing, called a Nissan Pathfinder, for less money. (The top-of-the-line Pathfinder LE with leather and four-wheel drive starts at $33,897 vs. a comparable QX4 at $36,075.) Granted, you’ll have to wait in line at the service desk behind the woman with the rusty Sentra, which is why some buyers are happy to pay the premium.
But man is this thing a perfect encapsulation of the style of the time. I saw one down in the neighborhood next to mine just the other night and it stopped me and Jalopnik social editor Aaron Brown in our tracks.
It’s so good. We marveled. It’s so good!
I want one in two-tone, its V6 groaning away in front of me, Da Brat absolutely blowing my speakers to smithereens.