What's New for 2000
The G20 entry-level compact receives numerous mechanical improvements, exterior and interior enhancements and safety additions for 2000, including more horsepower, revised transmissions and a new muffler.
Infiniti's original G20 departed the ranks in 1996, leaving a hole in Infiniti's entry-level slot, and was followed to pasture in 1997 by Infiniti's small-but-luxurious sedan, the J30. With the badge-engineered I30 and the slow-selling Q45 flagship as Infiniti's sole passenger-car offerings, the company needed a quick fix to bring people back into showrooms. Last year marked the return of an all-new G20 that was designed to breathe some life back into the Infiniti lineup.
Infiniti aims its G20 at the young, affluent 25- to 35-year-old demographic that snaps up hordes of Audi A4s, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class models every year. This small Infiniti promises buyers a stimulating and luxurious experience. Because prospective owners were concerned last year by the fact that this entry-luxury model had the lowest horsepower and torque ratings, the slowest acceleration times, and one of the stingiest standard-equipment lists in its class, Infiniti has made some changes to the car for 2000.
Gaining five extra horsepower, the G20's improved 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve engine now makes 145 ponies. Two revamped transmissions are available: a new five-speed manual with revised first-, second- and fourth-gear ratios and a four-speed automatic with hydraulic control. Also new is a variable capacity muffler with dual tip outlets and a 100,000-mile tune-up interval.
Infiniti added anti-glare coating to the outside mirrors and an auto-off headlight function that turns the lights off 45 seconds after the key is removed from the ignition. For extra safety, Infiniti installed an engine immobilizer, revised remote keyless-entry transmitter with trunk release, and an optional In Vehicle Communication System (IVCS).
Inside, 2000 G20 buyers will find a power trunk release, one-touch up/down driver's window with safety reverse feature, retained accessory power for windows and sunroof, battery-saver feature, simulated wood trim, graphite-colored instrument panel, cruise-control activation switch moved to the steering wheel, and a newly shaped shift knob. This year, there are five options on the G20: an In Vehicle Communication System, power sunroof, leather/convenience package (for both base and touring models), and heated seats. The G20 is an attractive set of wheels and, with its many improvements for 2000, it may compete better against the Audis and BMWs that young up-and-comers are interested in. We know that the Infiniti dealer body is respectful and courteous to consumers, and that the warranty coverage at Infiniti is more generous than at Nissan, but we aren't completely convinced that better deals can't be found elsewhere.