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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Infiniti is a pretty strong upscale brand in the American Luxury Market. How important is that to you? As great of a car as the Q50 is, the pairing with the Infiniti badge is a major sale point, is it not?
Will you still purchase the car if it was a Mazda Q50 or a Dodge Q50?

This isn't a snob question, I'm actually curious how you guys view 'Brand Prestige'. To me the Infiniti Brand is strong enough today to the point where I can drive my Q50 right next to any BMW/LEXUS/MERCEDES/AUDI within it's segment and feel like I'm better or equal to all of them. The Infiniti Badge plays a big part in that.

I'm being brutally honest here when I say that if you give me the same car but put a Hyundai Badge on it, I might still get the car but will think about the decision a lot more.
 

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When you are paying over 50k for a car, I think it matters.
Nah, that's still a fuzzy area to me, IMO. It's almost a misnomer isn't it?

I mean, there are very few cars out there over $50k in price that don't offer legitimate brand appeal in general/on principle.

The only kind of car(s) that I can see really sticking out sorely to casual consumers might be something like a Kia K900 or a Hyundai Equus.
 

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I tried to run without my front grill emblem.
It's not that important to me I have infiniti emblems on my car.


I also think of Infiniti as the poor mans BMW/Mercedes.
That probably sounds terrible.

But I still enjoy my Q50. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I tried to run without my front grill emblem.
It's not that important to me I have infiniti emblems on my car.


I also think of Infiniti as the poor mans BMW/Mercedes.
That probably sounds terrible.

But I still enjoy my Q50. :)
This is not true at all. Brands like BMW/MERCEDES/AUDI/LEXUS have entire lineups. So it's really not fair to compare Infiniti to them since Infiniti doesn't have a ISF/M3, LS/A8/7/S equivalent yet. Our M's also isn't quite as strong as the GS or the 5 in terms of driving and performance.
But in the Q50 Segment, a segment that puts Infiniti directly against cars from Lexus,BMW,Mercedes,and Audi. Infiniti easily stacks up.

When people look at the Q50, they aren't thinking 'this Brand is good but nah they don't have a LS,7,S Flagship' or 'well this Brand only sells half the numbers that Lexus and Mercedes does'. They are thinking 'this is a expensive looking car and the engine sounds nice'

In California, the Infiniti reputation is actually a lot higher than some will say our Brand deserves. People already put us way above Acura and even above Cadillac(despite the fact all 3 Brands do around the same number in terms of sales)
 

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It's much worse for BMW and Lexus in my experience.

Mercedes fans seem the most agnostic FWIW.
Agnostic??? Does that mean that they are not sure that Mercedes is a god?:D
To answer the question: I bought the Q50 after having had five other Infinitis, and have been a fan of the brand's quality over the years. I also like the feeling of being the "odd man out" in the grouping of luxury brands. Personally, I also don't like BMWs(bland styling and reliability questions), Mercedes(for some reason, they have an "empty suit" image in my mind, and their styling doesn't do anything for me), Audis(styling and reliability), and Lexus(good cars over all, but styling! - the ES has always looked "fat" to me, and it still seems to be a gussied up Camry, and the IS is just "ricey" looking to me). However, as has been said here by many people, you have to go with what YOU like, and not rely on other people's opinions. Otherwise, we would have a lot fewer cars to choose from. And as far as driving a Mazda is concerned, why not? I had a 626 once, and it was a good car - and Mazdas have gotten better since then. Dodge? Now, THAT'S funny. I wouldn't touch a Chrysler product after all the misery I had with them in the past(I could go into detail, but my rant would make vbx sound like an Infiniti fanboy:D). However, given the improvement in their cars, I would have no problem buying a Hyundai/Kia, especially their upper tier cars.
 

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Badge of any car is like the cover of the book, what matters is the total value power, luxury, quality, looks, and experience. I think Infiniti has better total value than any other luxury car dollar for dollar. It's the public perception that drives the value of the badge.
 

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I don't care about the symbol on the car from the perspective of other people. If that was what mattered to me, I would have a Benz. Park a loaded Infiniti M (Q70?) next to a stripped C class and most people think the C class costs more and is more prestigious because of the 3 pointed star. I care about how the car drives, features that I want/need, and reliability. I think most people perceive the Infiniti badge as a step down from Mercedes & BMW or even Audi for that matter. Infiniti may be on par with Acura at this point but also perceived as a step down from Lexus. My brother just bought a used 2005 S Class in great shape. If we park next to each other most people think his car is a step above mine. It's just the way it is.
 

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Seriously considered cars like the Mazada 6. Name brand is not as important to me as things like features, reliability and valet pick up/drop off delivery for service.

I would be very happy with another brand if the offerings were as good. I view Infiniti as an upscale brand that typically eschews value with luxury. A smart person's car to compare to other, more expensive luxury brands.

The Q gets much closer to the 'feel' of a Mercedes or BMW but without the reliability issues (real or perceived) and it raises fewer eyebrows to people that might judge someone based on what they drive. I don't particularly care about being judged except for the fact that my business is based on referrals received from folks that may not view an expensive car in a positive light so I'm sensitive to that. Rolling up in a 750il would get me some glances and I'm not of the mindset that I want to worry about that.

Infiniti is a perfect blend of performance, features, reliability and the valet service so I'm very happy with it.

I do like touches like real wood vs. Plastic in the less expensive cars and, frankly, for $100 more in payment the valet service alone makes the step up worth it for me. I would go with something else if I could get the valet service. I just can't take days out of my schedule to drive to/from the dealership for service, nor can I afford to sit around a service department waiting for my car. Too busy.

If the differential is about $100/mo in lease payment I'm ok stepping up. Now when it gets to $200+ I really question the decision for myself.

Having owned a nicer car than the Q, I remember the first day I drove it home thinking 'well, it's just a car. It's nice but it's just another car'. Once you've had something nicer, it seems less important to have a nicer car. At least to me.

Not sure if that answers the question but figured I would share.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Great answers so far. Thanks everyone for sharing.

I also want to point out that perception is different with different age brackets too. A lot of students at my University will actually go with the Nissan 370Z or FR-S over a Mercedes C Class or Audi A4. I highly doubt any man or woman in their mid 30's will go with a FR-S over a Audi A4.

Also, Acura is not on par with Infiniti. I got nothing against Acura, they used to make amazing cars and their 3G TL was a heavy player in that price segment. Outselling all the other big brands with the exception of the 3 Series. But their quality and their Brand Image have taken massive hits over the last 5-6 years and their Sedans are honestly now competing against Buick and Volvo. Their SUVS though represent the Brand quite nicely.People don't really like to talk about 'Cross Over/SUVS' that much, but it's huge for the Brand to have a good SUV. It is becoming a major player.


Of course I wouldn't mind driving a Mazda(I did and it was fun). I was just asking if anyone here would be willing to pay that 42,000+ price on the Q50 if it was a Hyundai instead.
 

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Of course I wouldn't mind driving a Mazda(I did and it was fun). I was just asking if anyone here would be willing to pay that 42,000+ price on the Q50 if it was a Hyundai instead.
I say you are paying that $42-50K not just for the car itself, but for the history and innovation of the company.
 

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Of course I wouldn't mind driving a Mazda(I did and it was fun). I was just asking if anyone here would be willing to pay that 42,000+ price on the Q50 if it was a Hyundai instead.
Not many would. That's why it's an Infinti Q50. Not a Nissan Q50.

Hyundai has stepped up over the last couple years. Maybe they need to branch off with a Luxury Brand.

Hyundai has a 60k car called the Equis. That car is pretty sweet. Car is straight Luxury though. I'm looking for a Sporty car for my next ride.
 

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I actually was cross shopping a top trim Mazda 6 and a base G37. They are in the same price range now. Then got hooked by Q50. If M6 had a V6, I probably wouldn't look at Infiniti at all.

I don't care about brand if that can't be transferred to quality. Having said that there's some connections between the trust on certain brands and its quality, so no, I won't drop $40k on a Hyundai, whose image is "good on paper, bad in where you can't see" to me. (Latest CR has just confirmed this).
 

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Having said that there's some connections between the trust on certain brands and its quality, so no, I won't drop $40k on a Hyundai, whose image is "good on paper, bad in where you can't see" to me. (Latest CR has just confirmed this).
That sounds very strange to me. Where did you see this?

Volkswagen, Ford, Volvo, and Lincoln have had their own records with quality in the past but only in comparison to other manufacturers overall despite the fact they now come with established preconceived notions with their quality (at least recently anyway). Now, the last time I checked, Hyundai has been doing better than all of the aforementioned. Hyundai should be right up there with Buick and Nissan right about now. If a $40k Buick, Nissan, or Volkswagen sounds normal, I think Hyundai and Kia shouldn't sound off-putting either.

I feel that Hyundai's and Kia's relationship between public perception versus value versus quality seem to run the gamut. I'm curious if it's an apples and apples problem based out of Hyundai's marketing campaign.
 

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Seriously considered cars like the Mazada 6. Name brand is not as important to me as things like features, reliability and valet pick up/drop off delivery for service.

I would be very happy with another brand if the offerings were as good. I view Infiniti as an upscale brand that typically eschews value with luxury. A smart person's car to compare to other, more expensive luxury brands.

The Q gets much closer to the 'feel' of a Mercedes or BMW but without the reliability issues (real or perceived) and it raises fewer eyebrows to people that might judge someone based on what they drive. I don't particularly care about being judged except for the fact that my business is based on referrals received from folks that may not view an expensive car in a positive light so I'm sensitive to that. Rolling up in a 750il would get me some glances and I'm not of the mindset that I want to worry about that.

Infiniti is a perfect blend of performance, features, reliability and the valet service so I'm very happy with it.

I do like touches like real wood vs. Plastic in the less expensive cars and, frankly, for $100 more in payment the valet service alone makes the step up worth it for me. I would go with something else if I could get the valet service. I just can't take days out of my schedule to drive to/from the dealership for service, nor can I afford to sit around a service department waiting for my car. Too busy.

If the differential is about $100/mo in lease payment I'm ok stepping up. Now when it gets to $200+ I really question the decision for myself.

Having owned a nicer car than the Q, I remember the first day I drove it home thinking 'well, it's just a car. It's nice but it's just another car'. Once you've had something nicer, it seems less important to have a nicer car. At least to me.

Not sure if that answers the question but figured I would share.
That's a great response, and I'd like to point out that I'm a huge fan of the Mazda6 thus far. The new model not only drives like Nissan sedans used to (Altima and Maxima used to be viewed as poor man's BMWs, now they have moved closer to CamCord), but it's had excellent reliability right off the bat. Only Toyota has managed to do this with a recent redesign of their family sedan, and that may be because little has changed under the Camry's skin in 10 years.:D

The 6 is a steal. It also looks and feels like the Q50's slightly cheaper and less refined little brother. I compared its interior and general level of fit and finish to all the others in its segment at Chicago. It blew them away IMO. There is very little hard plastic, and the soft materials are frighteningly close in quality and texture to what lives in the Q50. And who bothers to wrap E-brake levers in a leather boot or cover the parcel shelf in carpeting at this price anymore? Only Mazda, which shows you how much other mainstream brands are ripping you off. The only weakness is the dated infotainment system, which I don't really care about (I'm drawn to Q50 for reasons other than Intouch, for examples). But it's solidly built and has materials that are at least one, if not two classes above its price point. How Mazda can do this is beyond me. Nissan used to do this in the 3rd and 4th gen Maximas, but not anymore.

My daily driver is a 2005 Altima. The 6 feels more like a much better version of that car than the new Altima, which is nice but is way more disconnected and has the **** CVT that you will never be able to get away with 200k miles on without marrying your s***y Nissan dealer.
 

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At a 50k price tag, I am paying more for 'just a car' ... brand/status/experience matters, in my opinion. If I de-badged it, I may as well be driving a Mazda 6!
 
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