Premium midsize car; Built in Japan
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $2,200 – $3,900*

1996 Infiniti I30t

1996 Infiniti I30

1996 Infiniti I30t

1997 Infiniti I30

1997 Infiniti I30

  • Acceleration
  • Antilock brakes
  • Steering/handling
  • Fuel economy
  • Rear-seat comfort
  • Rear visibility

With more standard features than a Maxima, the I30 is well-equipped and a good alternative to the more expensive Lexus ES 300–a superior road car for long trips.


Nissan’s luxury division introduced this new sedan as an early ’96 model. The front-drive 4-door I30 was based on the design used for the Nissan Maxima. Both rode a 106.3-inch wheelbase. At 189.6 inches overall, the I30 was two inches longer than a Maxima. Exterior styling was the foremost difference between the two, with the I30 wearing a more formal-looking body. Both the I30 and Maxima used the same 190-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6 engine with dual camshafts. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard and 4-speed automatic optional. Suspensions, components, and interiors also were shared. Standard I30 features included dual airbags and antilock brakes.

Yearly Updates

1997 I30
Changes were few this year.
1998 I30
Infiniti added standard front side airbags for 1998. Other I30 changes include new headlights and tailights.
1999 I30
Traction control was a new option for automatic models and a midyear Limited model slotted in between the base I30 and sporty I30t. Heated seats moved from the standard equipment list to the option list. I30 was all new for 2000.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Only one engine went into the I30 sedan: a 3.0-liter V6 with dual overhead camshafts, developing 190 horsepower. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard; 4-speed automatic transmission optional. Leather-Appointed sedans all had the automatic transmission.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/181
Engine HP 190
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 205
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic

Road Test

The V6 engine produces plenty of torque at low speeds, yielding quick takeoffs and brisk passing sprints. Accelerating to 60 mph takes about 8 seconds. Fuel economy is disappointing. Our test I30 averaged under 19 mpg, and premium gasoline is recommended.

The basic I30’s suspension is firm, yet soaks up most bumps easily. Rear-seat passengers actually feel bumps and tar strips more than those seated in front. Steering is firm and precise, offering good feedback. Stable front-drive competence lets an I30 take high-speed corners with little body lean and taut road grip. Because the I30t has a firmer suspension than other models, coupled with high-performance tires, its handling is more responsive–quite agile for a big car. The I30t also suffers a stiffer ride, however, as well as greater tire noise at highway speeds.

Gauges and controls are well-marked and easy to reach while driving. Visibility is good to the front and sides, but large rear headrests block the view directly backward. Interior space is ample for four adults. Rear-seat backrests are too inclined to suit some passengers. The trunk is spacious, and is augmented by a folding pass-through section.


Model Tested: 1996 Infiniti I30t auto

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 6
Fuel Economy - 4
Ride Quality - 5
Steering/Handling - 6
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 6
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
Cargo Room - 4


Value - 5

Total: 52


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
106.3 189.6 69.7 55.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
14.1 18.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.1 37.4 43.9 34.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 I30 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Front Passenger Injury - 3

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Rear Passenger Injury - 3


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 117
Injury 81
Theft 244

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: The original automatic-transmission (model F04) shift solenoids allowed slipping and premature wear. (1997)
Blower motor
Description: Humming and/or ticking noises from the blower are corrected with a revised insulator cover. (1996-2001)
Brake noise
Description: The rear brakes may moan or hum when released below 5 mph requiring replacement parking-brake cables and brake-pad retainers. (1996-99)
Dashboard lights
Description: Some cars with the California emissions package may ingest water into the evaporative emissions canister, which triggers the check engine light. (1996)
Engine fan noise
Description: The mounting flange for the fan (on the water pump) can come loose after service if the fan pulley is not installed properly during repairs. (1996-97)
Engine knock
Description: Spark knock or ping may result from a defective onboard computer. (1996-97)
Trunk latch
Description: The trunklid opens by itself from either the striker being out of adjustment or the driver accidentally hitting the release switch. The striker may be adjusted, and there is a revised switch to minimize accidental actuation. (1996-99)

Recall History

Description: Alternator diode may have been damaged when built, eventually resulting in failure and electric short that could melt plastic housing.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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