Welcome to Depreciation Appreciation! Every month, your buds at autoTRADER.ca dig up an instance of how depreciation can make for an extraordinary used-car deal.
This month, we’ll take a look at another one of those once-seventy-grand cars that’s available in the used market today, with reasonable miles, for less than half that amount (or as little as a third of it!), all day long. The subject of this month’s feature is also very powerful, very roomy, and has a one-of-a-kind interior that’s lustrous and rich. She’s even got something called the Forest Air system for the climate control, which is all fancy.
What’s in a name? Infiniti’s flagship luxury sedan offered V6, hybrid V6, or V8 engine options, and we’ll focus on the last here today. With a V8-powered Infiniti M or Q70, you’ll find used copies at no more than six years old for as little as the price of a mid-line 2017 Honda Civic.
And, unlike that Civic, you get over 400 hp, all-wheel drive, a bevy of high-tech safety and luxury features, and a kick-ass Bose stereo system. If you’re after a big, comfy and powerful car that looks to be fairly solid and reliable as a used car buy as well, your $20,000 to $35,000 goes a long way with a few-year-old copy of Infiniti’s flagship.
This generation of Infiniti’s flagship launched here for model year 2011, packing a generous trunk, room to spare for a full complement of adult passengers, and an available Sport package for enhanced handling and braking, combined with three power plant options, two wheelbases, and a variety of optional equipment. Do you like selection? Because the top Infiniti model served it up plentifully.
Go for the big one with the big V8, and you’ve got a salivation-worthy deal on a solid-looking all-weather posh-rocket. The 5.6L V8 belts out 420 horsepower and nearly as much torque. Look for a seven-speed automatic with paddle shift, and all-wheel drive. This one gets off the line something fierce, too. Yahoo!
Depending on the year and model, look for climate-controlled seats, automatic climate control with Forest Air, which delivers random bursts of ion-freshened air to all on-board nostrils, advanced safety and hazard-detection systems, a full driver computer, memory seating, silver-dusted wood-grain trim, and plenty more.
Owners rate performance, styling, feature content, overall value and the lavish cabin most positively, with the punchy stereo system, monstrous V8 torque and all-weather confidence of the AWD system frequently receiving praise. A sense of solid and dense quality throughout the entire vehicle is commonly noted. Rear seat space in the more recently available extended-wheelbase models borders on excessive.
Approximate New Value
At its launch in 2011, the then M56x came with a base starting price of $68,700, with the sport-package equipped model (designated by an “S” in the nameplate), bumping that figure to $73,400. Pricing inflated over the years initially, with a 2013 M56 coming in around $70,000, and the Sport Package equipped unit commanding some $77,000. The gap between the base and Sport models closed from 2014, alongside the renaming of the model to Q70, with the base car, before optional packages, coming in from $76,500, and the Sport Package model pushing that up to $77,100.
The gist? The flagship Infiniti, when new, and when optioned out with V8 power, was, on average, about a $74,000 car.
Approximate Used Value
Deals incoming! Today, at a few years old, you’ll find deals on an M56x, like this one, or this one, each at just four years old, and with under 40,000 kilometers on the dial, for half of the original MSRP, with pricing in the mid-thirties.
Want to spend less? Here’s one example, and another, of 2011 units with well under 100,000 km of use, from the low twenties! That’s a luxury flagship, less than six years old, with 420 horsepower and AWD, for about a third of what its original owner paid.
That same amount of dollars dispatched towards a V6-powered unit will get you a similar deal on a slightly newer and lower-mileage copy of the top-dog Infiniti, if you’re interested. But trust us: you probably want the V8, because torque.
Test Drive Tips
Be aware that sporadic issues have been reported with broken door handles, dead batteries, dead radio amps, and bad motorized seat motors. These issues are reported infrequently, though shoppers are advised to check for the proper operation of each, several times, on their test drive.
With the money you’ll save accessing all of this luxury and horsepower, consider spending about fifty bucks on a battery trickle charger, and using it when you aren’t driving your new-to-you Infiniti for more than a few days. The reason? A weak battery charge can cause a plethora of issues ranging from non-functional features to warning messages to random alarm activation. Keep your Infiniti’s battery properly topped up, and you’ll avoid the most commonly reported issues with it.
Note that a small handful of owners have reported failure of the timing chain on the 5.6L V8 engine, typically at low miles and under warranty. A high-pitched whine when this engine is revved, while cold, is a telltale warning sign. Remember – this issue is minor compared to the volume of units sold, though worth investigating. Confirm that all oil changes have been completed on time, seek any service records relating to the timing chain, if applicable, from the seller, and opt into any extended powertrain warranty coverage available, where possible.
Finally, note that any clumsiness, difficulty finding the correct gear, or harsh sensations during gearing up or down can likely be addressed with updated software, though an Infiniti technician should confirm that this is the case. Transmission damage, or a “bad” transmission, though unlikely, could cause similar issues.
Finally, be cautious of modified Infiniti Q70’s or M56x’s. Upgraded wheels and tires should be scrutinized carefully for signs of damage and wear, and be sure to confirm that they’re from a reputable, quality brand. Avoid a model with non-factory suspension or engine parts, as these can cause headaches for the average shopper.
Most of the commonly reported issues with this car should be easy to detect on a test drive, and the majority aren’t serious or expensive to repair. Infiniti has a reputation for building a reliable luxury car, partly, thanks to proven powertrains, and the fact that they don’t run fussy German wiring. If you’re considering a comparable German flagship, we can confidently say that, in the long haul, the Japanese-built Infiniti alternative will probably give you fewer headaches. Get a check-up by an Infiniti technician, opt for any extended warranty coverage available, and buy confidently. Your used luxury sedan dollars go a long way towards power, performance and luxury with this one.