Used 1998 INFINITI QX4

1998 INFINITI QX4
List price range

Pros

  • Built on confident Pathfinder platform. Unique full-time four-wheel drive system.

Cons

  • Little to distinguish this truck from the Pathfinder LE.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

It was only a matter of time. Acura jumped on the luxury SUV bandwagon in early 1996, closely followed by Lexus. Even Mercedes has introduced an SUV. It's no surprise, then, that Nissan decided to release a super-luxury version of its capable Pathfinder as an Infiniti last year.

Nissan took this same course when they decided to introduce a new entry-level sedan to the Infiniti lineup. Like the I30, which is mechanically identical to the Nissan Maxima, the QX4 has little under the skin to distinguish it from its down-market brethren. The QX4 is powered by the same 3.3-liter V6 found in the lowly Pathfinder XE, but in the Q it is teamed to a four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. The QX4 does have one item that stands out, however, and that is the Q's all-mode four-wheel drive that functions continuously without any input from the driver - a must for those who can't be bothered with locking hubs or shifting gears.

Most drivers won't care that the QX4 is so similar to the Pathfinder. For one thing, the Pathfinder rides on one of the best SUV chassis and suspension systems that we've ever experienced. Although most QX4 drivers won't venture far from civilization, it is nice to know that if they do they will be treated to a stable, sure-footed off-road experience. In addition, we must point out that the QX4's steering and on-road manners are unmatched by any other SUV on the market, even the vaunted Toyota 4Runner.

The other reason that drivers won't care about the QX4's mechanical similarities to the Pathfinder is because the QX4 doesn't look at all like the truck that it's based on. Dramatically different front and rear end styling render this SUV unique among a segment famous for look-alike products. Our staff offers mixed opinions about the QX4's styling, but none of us would call it conventional. This may be good or bad, depending on the amount of attention that you like to draw to yourself, but at least you can rest assured that you won't see the freeways cluttered with them on your daily commute.

The QX4's interior is quite comfortable, with supportive seats, excellent ergonomics (for a truck), good visibility and an easy step in. As befits a $40,000 vehicle, the materials are first-rate and the fit and finish is excellent. Additionally, Infiniti has made optioning the vehicle easy; there are only five non-standard equipment items to choose from the order sheet.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 INFINITI QX4.

Loved my QX4!
jan, 7/3/2010
I purchased my 1998 infiniti qx4 new replacing my 1993 pathfinder. The qx4 is light years nicer than the pathfinder! Qx4 is the most reliable, comfortable and trouble free vehicle ever! Bose stereo rocks! Scheduled maintenance and a small repair here and there in the 167,000 miles I drove it! Michelin xlt 100,000 mi. All weather SUV tires are awesome on qx4! So disappointed infiniti discontinued it! Just traded for a BMW x5 -- it was time -- although qx4 is still running beautifully and everything works perfectly! Amazing in all aspects! If you adhere to regular service schedule -- this is the best car ever! Love the 2wd/awd/4wd option - - never got stuck or slid on bad roads!
QX4 Years Later
Infinity Qx4 , 4/12/2008
Bought it used in 1998 with 40K miles. It is 2008 and it has 191,000 miles. I drive about 19K miles per year and it has been a great vehicle with the sunroof, Bose stereo and seat warmers. I started having problems about 3 years ago and rebuilt the transmission $2,500. I'm now looking at rebuilding again another $2500. The first transmission should have held up and now it is threatening to leave me stranded so I'm selling prior to keeping it with the high miles. Other problems included a bizzare rear-end problem that the dealer couldn't fix. Firestone finally fixed that, but the vehicle felt like it would roll or shake after an 18 wheeler prior to the fix. Perfect for a driver of less miles.
A Great Car!
jbr0180, 7/11/2006
We purchased the car new and it's only been the repair shop once (besides oil changes and brake pads) and we didn't have to take it in. The Battery died and they came to the house and replaced it. This was when the car was six! We’ve owned Mercedes, BMWs, AUDIs before and during the time we’ve owned this car but none have been as dependable. It’s eerily reliable! Only complaints are the Bose stereo isn’t of German quality and it’s not powerful like a German auto (you can tell when you are merging into busy freeways).
Most reliable SUV ever
frankwick, 5/24/2007
Over 120,000 miles and not a single repair required. ZERO DOLLARS SPENT on repairs. I have changed my oil every 3,000-5,000 miles and the motor hums like it did the day I bought it. It's now 2007 and the body is looking dated compared to newer cars like the FX and Murano, but this is still a solid car. We have had several snow and ice storms and the 4-wheel drive makes me feel very secure when the wife/kids areout driving. While others were stuck inside, we were out enjoying the day.
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Features & Specs

MPG
13 city / 17 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
168 hp @ 4800 rpm
See all Used 1998 INFINITI QX4 features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Marginal

More about the 1998 INFINITI QX4
More About This Model

"I like it," my husband declared with certainty as he admired the shiny, sleek black sport-utility vehicle sitting in our apartment parking lot.

"I don’t like it," he countered ten minutes later, with the same level of decisiveness, as we drove to dinner. My sister and her friends had the same flapjack reaction the next day as we tooled around Boulder, Colo. After speaking with other editors, there seemed to be a consensus.

Looking at the Infiniti QX4 is a bit like poring over travel brochures of Jamaica: what you see are photos of a beautiful, elegant paradise that seems to promise nothing but pleasure and fun. Then, once you arrive, you realize it’s not so great: hurricanes have squashed the beachside burre you were planning to stay in, mosquitoes are rampant and poor natives are harassing you for money on every village street corner. Or, in the case of the Infiniti, the engine doesn’t deliver the power you were expecting.

On the outside, the QX4 looks every bit the luxury SUV it is marketed as: sleek, luxurious and hardy. Under the hood, however, it is identical to the Nissan Pathfinder—a rugged, good-looking truck that seems to have more umph than its luxurious twin because, without all the gadgets, it weighs about 200 pounds less. With a 3.3-liter V6 that makes 166 horsepower, the QX4’s engine certainly isn’t what you’d call wimpy. Yet that’s exactly how it feels when you’ve got the pedal to the floor, and that’s how it will stay until 1999 or 2000, when both the QX4 and the Pathfinder will get a much-needed power boost.

In their glossies, the manufacturer describes the QX4 as having "all the luxury and versatility you’d expect from Infiniti in a reasonably-priced luxury SUV." Well, the luxury part is right on, but for a sticker price just shy of $40,000, we also expect an engine powerful enough to catapult a car full of friends and gear up a steep mountain road. This engine can’t even catapult my husband and I down the boulevard to dinner without a struggle. They claim the truck has a 5,000 lb. towing capacity, too. Yeah, right.

Despite the disappointing engine, the QX4 does offer all the other bells and whistles you’d expect at this price point. Four-wheel antilock brakes, 16-inch alloy wheels, dual airbags, leather seats, integrated HomeLink transmitter, remote keyless entry, security system, All-Mode four-wheel drive and an automatic transmission come standard.

The niftiest piece of standard equipment is the All-Mode four-wheel drive system which allows you to concentrate on driving while the car analyzes the road. Switch into AUTO and the system instantly reads road conditions, automatically shifting between two- and four-wheel drive as road conditions change. Drivers can also select their own driving mode if they choose.

Styling is clean and sophisticated with flush-mounted fog lamps, halogen headlights and a wet-look finish, but the running boards are rendered useless since they’re only about a quarter of an inch lower than the actual floor of the truck and even I, at 5’2", could climb inside with no problem. Inside, the QX4 styling is as flawlessly put together as the outside. Leather seats are power adjustable, though the adjusters are set too far back, and the seats are comfortable for the long haul, unless you’re 6’5" tall like one of our editors who couldn’t finagle enough head or legroom.

While the QX4’s climate and audio control panels have more buttons than a double-breasted trench coat and almost as many gadgets as the Lincoln Town Car, the sport-ute’s instrument panel is refreshingly simple.

Infiniti didn’t cut corners when it came to outfitting their first SUV with a premium stereo, either. The 150-watt six-speaker Bose audio system comes with in-dash CD player and cassette, surrounding occupants with fantastic sound quality. It was frustrating at first trying to figure out how to use the CD player, though; I actually had to read the manual to learn how to skip to the next song. Plus, the CDs skipped twice in as many days while driving on smooth pavement. We thought the stereo should have been placed above the climate control panel and were disappointed that the Infiniti didn’t offer dual climate controls.

After pulling back the interior sunroof flap one day, we detected an unusually putrid smell emanating from above, but never could place it. The cruise control on/off switch was hard to reach and we thought the wood-toned plastic trim on the console, dash and doors was a bit chintzy considering the price of the vehicle.

The car-like emergency parking brake is a nice touch, but it uses up center console space that could have been saved for much-needed junk cubbies. There was nowhere to stash my trinkets like Chapstick or sunglasses except in the lift-up storage bin, which was already brimming with CDs, or in one of the two front-seat cupholders.

Front and rear visibility is excellent thanks to a fairly low cowl and large side mirrors. Side sight lines for changing lanes were interrupted, however, by the four huge, solid gray headrests on our test car, although the rear headrests were nice for backseat passengers. Three medium-sized adults fit comfortably in the backseat for cruising to breakfast, but for a long ride, forget it. The middle passenger said she needed a handle above her head to keep from bouncing into her seatmates over road bumps. Brian, another backseat rider, said the curved "oh sh—" handles were positioned perfectly and were a must. Our tallest editor, however, thought the handles were too skinny; his fingers could have circled them twice.

The QX4 turned out to be pretty fun to drive, once you got past the slow-pickup problem. Steering was tight, the suspension was abnormally smooth for a truck and the tires gripped the roads as well as any SUV on the market. With the sunroof open and the stereo cranked, cruising in the Infiniti QX4 was pure bliss.

Still, our list of complaints was longer than the wingspan of an albatross. Which is really too bad, because the vehicle certainly looked good.

Used 1998 INFINITI QX4 Overview

The Used 1998 INFINITI QX4 is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include , and 4dr SUV 4WD.

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