I own a 1994 Infiniti G20, the original p10 chassis version. I'll be the first to admit, it's not the nicest car in the world, nor the fastest or the best looking. However, the fact remains that it's mine, and that means you can expect some bias in this review. But we'll get to that a bit later; First, let's start off with the facts.
1. It's beige.
2. It has a 2 Liter, inline four engine producing 140 hp.
3. It's front wheel drive with a four speed automatic tranny.
4. Inside you'll find a fairly spacious and slightly sun-beaten leather interior (also in beige.)
When released in 1994, this was considered a luxury vehicle. However in reality, it was a Nissan Sentra with a dolled up interior and some alloys. Now that may not sound like a recipe for a great car, but... well, you'd be right in thinking that. It is however a good, if unremarkable one with a bulletproof Nissan Engine and a transmission that routinely passes the 200 K mile mark.
The one that I own was bought factory fresh in California by a friend of my Grandmother's, and cared for meticulously for the 10 or so years she owned it. Then it came into my grandmother's possession before, in April of this year, it became my first car. My dad and I flew to Pleasanton, California to collect it, and drove the 1,300 and some miles back home to Colorado Springs largely without incident.
For a car that's now 23 years old, the old girl's held up remarkably well. With the exception of a large dent in the left rear quarter-panel (put there by my neighbor's rear bumper) the bodywork has survived more or less undamaged. The paint is still in great condition, in marked contrast to the stuff you see so often on other Japanese cars of the same era. The interior, while slightly sun-worn, is whole and largely unblemished, and all the dials and gauges work without a hitch.
The heart of the G20 is the B14 Nissan engine nestled in the engine bay. It produced a modest 140 hp out of the factory, and probably a good bit less now. However, what power there is communicates well to the front wheels, which have carried me along comfortably at speeds that well exceed the limits. While a bit slow off the block, it has decent pickup all the way up to around 60 mph, whereafter you have to bury your foot in the aftermarket rubber matting to get much acceleration. The transmission shifts heavily, especially under heavy acceleration, but there have never been any real issues with it. Likewise, the steering is fairly heavy, but direct, and does it's job well.
In terms of driving pleasure, the best I can say is that I have no complaints. It isn't particularly fast, nor particularly nimble, but neither is it cumbersomely slow or clumsy. It's just a good, solid car that gets you from A to B without excitement or calamity.
The bottom line, I suppose, is that my G20 is a good but unremarkable car. And the fact that I love it is down more to the memories I've made in it than anything else. But in reality, that's not a bad thing. In fact, it's about as good as you could hope for from a 23 year old, $500 car.