Premium midsize SUV; Built in Japan
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $3,300 – $5,500*


1998 Infiniti QX4


1998 Infiniti QX4


1997 Infiniti QX4 interior


1997 Infiniti QX4 interior


1997 Infiniti QX4

Pros:
  • Build quality
  • Passenger and cargo room
Cons:
  • Engine noise
  • Fuel economy
  • Rear-seat entry/exit
  • Rear-seat room

Considered in terms of value, the QX4 does not look particularly competitive against such rivals as the Mercedes-Benz ML320, which is roomier and rides more smoothly; or the very carlike Lexus RX 300. In fact, a well-equipped Nissan Pathfinder delivers just about as much as the QX4 for markedly fewer dollars, either new or used.

Overview

Nissan’s luxury division entered the sport-utility segment during the winter of 1996-97 with the midsize QX4–a high-end SUV, based on the Nissan Pathfinder. Except for a more-sophisticated 4-wheel-drive system, the QX4 had the same mechanical specifications as the Pathfinder. External appearance also was similar. Inside, the QX4 got more standard features including leather upholstery and wood-tone trim. Otherwise, here too, Infiniti’s SUV exhibited many similarities to Pathfinder. Only one powertrain was offered: a 168-horsepower, 3.3-liter V6 engine and 4-speed automatic transmission, with Infiniti’s All-Mode 4WD. All-Mode had three settings, selected by a rotary switch on the instrument panel: 2WD (which routed power only to back wheels); Auto (which could distribute up to 50 percent of power to front wheels when the rears began to slip); and Lock (which split power 50/50 under all conditions). The Auto setting could be used on smooth, dry pavement, but Lock was only for use on slippery surfaces. A separate shift lever on the console activated the 4-wheel-drive system’s Low range. Dual airbags and height-adjustable front shoulder belts were installed, along with 4-wheel antilock braking. The short option list included heated front seats, a power sunroof, and limited-slip rear differential.

Yearly Updates

1998 QX4
No changes were evident for 1998.
1999 QX4
Side airbags were installed during 1999, along with a universal garage-door opener. A redesigned QX4 debuted as an early 2000 model, with a new V6 engine adapted from Nissan/Infiniti passenger cars.
2000 QX4
Limited 2000 models were produced as a heavily revised 2001 model arrived in March. One change of note, however is side airbags.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

Just one powertrain has been available: a 3.3-liter V6 engine that developed 168 horsepower, driving a 4-speed automatic transmission. All-Mode 4-wheel drive was standard.

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.3/201
Engine HP 168
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 196
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

15/19

12.5

Road Test

Claims that a QX4 drives like a car rather than a truck are essentially accurate. The luxury wagon’s firm suspension absorbs bumps better than many competitive SUVs. You also enjoy relatively low noise levels, plus confident cornering ability with good grip and little body lean. But don’t be misled: The QX4 does not ride like a luxury sedan.

Also, the V6 engine sounds and feels rough when worked hard. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what is needed to provide decent passing power. Acceleration is adequate in any case, aided by an automatic transmission that shifts smoothly, but sometimes hesitates to kick down into a lower gear for passing or merging. Gas mileage is not a bonus. We averaged only 12.5 miles per gallon in a mix of city and freeway driving, reaching a high of 15.2 mpg on the highway.

Step-in is high even with the standard running boards. Rear access is complicated by back doors that are narrow at the bottom and don’t open to an angle close to 90 degrees. Once inside, all-around head and leg room are adequate for four adults (but not five), though rear passengers have virtually no under-seat foot space.

Cargo room, on the other hand, is plentiful even with the 60/40 rear seat in place. Conversion requires swinging the cushion forward and removing the headrests, but the seatbacks then lie flat to create a long, wide deck.

The driver can expect good visibility and a convenient, easy-to-understand dashboard layout. Standard dual power front seats combine with a tilt steering wheel for easy tailoring of the driver’s position to suit just about anyone.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1998 Infiniti QX4

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.

Performance

Acceleration - 4
40%
Fuel Economy - 3
30%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
40%
Cargo Room - 6
60%

Other

Value - 5
50%

Total: 47

Specifications

4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
106.3 178.3 68.7 67.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
85.0 21.1 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.5 37.5 41.7 31.8
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 QX4 4-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

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

Collision 121
Injury 73
Theft 231

Trouble Spots

Air springs
Description: The vehicle may sit crooked because the left front spring compresses more than the right requiring a countermeasure spring. (1997-98)
Automatic transmission
Description: The manufacturer has approved the use of automatic-transmission fluid labeled “Dexron IIE-Mercon” although Dexron IIE is the preferred fluid which hard to find. (1997-98)
Blower motor
Description: Humming and/or ticking noises from the blower are corrected with a revised insulator cover. (1996-2001)
Brakes
Description: The brake pedal may be soft if replacement brakes are not sufficiently burnished. (1997)
Brakes
Description: The shifter may not move out of park in cold weather due to hardened grease on the end of the interlock cable near the ignition key lock.
Cold-starting problems
Description: The engine may be hard to start in cold weather unless the driver uses the proper procedure which involves depressing the accelerator pedal 1/3 of the way while cranking the engine. (1997)
Fuel gauge
Description: The fuel gauge may not read full, even after a fill-up due to a faulty in-tank sending unit. (1997-99)
Mirrors
Description: If the inside rearview mirror falls off, a countermeasure bolt is available to hold it in place more securely. (1997-2000)
Oil consumption
Description: Using the wrong lubricant in the all-wheel-drive final drive system could cause problems, and the only approved product (factory fill) is Pennzoil 4096 Limited Slip Differential Oil. (1997)
Suspension problems
Description: The rear end bottoms out over bumps when the car is loaded and revised springs and shock absorbers are available. (1997)

Recall History

1997-01
Description: Recall affects vehicles originally sold in or currently registered in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. The fuel filler tube may rust due to an incomplete coating process. In areas where road salt is used, the rust may perforate the tube, causing fuel leakage, increasing risk of fire. Dealers will replace the fuel filler tube with a new one with an improved coating process.
2000
Description: Improperly seated key-cylinder cap can disengage causing the steering wheel to lock.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

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.