Prior to the mid 1980s, Japanese cars were defined by the pedestrian brands of Datsun, Toyota, and Honda. All huge manufacturing keiretsu, all producing construction equipment, heavy machinery, even lawnmowers and motorcycles. When Honda introduced its luxury brand Acura in 1986 to compete directly with the European luxury brands, it proved an inspiration for the other two companies. 1986 had Datsun rebrand its American lineup under the Nissan identity, and in 1989 Nissan introduce Infinit as its luxury vehicle brand. 1989 also saw Toyota introduce the Lexus brand too.
During these last few decades the entire car manufacturing process has undergone dramatic improvements and even budget cars today are easily as well built as an expensive luxury vehicle of 25 years ago. But it’s a global vehicle market, so these three Japanese luxury brands also have their eye on European luxury brands like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
It’s no surprise I was curious to get behind the wheel of the 2022 Infinity QX55 Sensory AWD when they offered me the vehicle for the last week of 2021. Sporting a premium price tag, its delivery coincided with one doozy of a snowstorm, resulting in two days when I couldn’t even get out of the driveway. It was covered in snow and frozen, but once I cleared the windshield and made it through the snow-covered roads, I could finally enjoy…
Note: This article continues – with tons of photos! – at PlanetDave.com, the new home of my auto writeups, under the title Maxxed out Luxury with the 2022 Infiniti QX55 SUV.