Autos

Infiniti Tops List of America's Least-Liked Car Brands

Among the most carefully followed research on car quality, the Consumer Reports owner satisfaction survey comes out once a year. It is used by a large number of U.S. car buyers to make their new car selections. Infiniti, the luxury arm of Japan’s Nissan, took the bottom position this year. Its spot on the list almost certainly will cost it sales. It cannot afford that. It is already among the lowest-selling luxury brands in America.

The research covers opinions about 369,000 vehicles for model years from 2018 to 2020. The primary score is based on the answer to this question: Would you buy again? Other metrics include driving, comfort, in-car electrics, storage and value. All in all, it is as complete a list of criteria as that from any similar study.

The score on the study is based on a potential total of 100. Tesla ranks first with a score of 88. Infiniti, in last place, had a score of 48, just ahead of its parent Nissan, which had a score of 58. Infiniti received average scores for driving and comfort. Its scores for in-car electronics and value were at the lowest level possible.

Infiniti has fallen so far behind other luxury brands in the United States that it can never rise into the top tier based on sales. It sits behind Lexus, Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Acura, Cadillac, Lincoln, Land Rover and Volvo, as measured by unit sales.

Part of Infiniti’s disadvantage is its very limited number of models. It offers one sedan, one coupe and three sport utility vehicles. Nissan has made the decision to give Infiniti only the most modest support, or it would expand the lineup so it could be competitive.

Nissan’s short-term problem is that any future investment moves into headwinds of a terrible, widely followed review of Infiniti’s quality.