With the redesigned I30, Infiniti is taking another step toward becoming a true luxury automaker by shedding some no-frills features.
The new I30, the division's best-selling car, went on sale Sept. 4.
The 1999 I30 started at under $30,000. But to buy at that price, a customer had to settle for such Spartan touches as cloth seats and a five-speed manual transmission. The redesigned 2000 model starts at $28,990, including destination charges. But it now includes a standard automatic transmission and leather seats that automatically adjust to memory settings.
Other features that are either new or newly standard include stainless steel door kick plates, a 60-40 split rear seat, one-touch power front windows, speaker system with subwoofer and a HomeLink communications system.
The I30 continues to share a platform with the Nissan Maxima, which was reengineered for the 2000 model year. The I30 is slightly longer, wider and taller than the 1999 I30. The suspension has been stiffened, the front brake rotors have been thickened and the performance of the 3.0-liter V-6 has been boosted.
Inside, the I30 receives thicker glass, a new backlit instrument panel, five cupholders, a rear power port, a foot parking brake and a 200-watt Bose sound system with cassette and CD players.