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Ever stared at something for years without realizing what it really is? I was writing up INFINITI‘s customer approval rating when I looked at the logo and realized it was a road running all the way to the horizon and then disappearing. I posted my realization to Twitter, because for some reason that seemed a good place to find out whether or not I am crazy.

Some commenters took the opportunity to point out how stupid I am. Others, with more nuance, corrected me that the logo depicts a “vanishing point” not a horizon. I guess my stupid brain thought the definition of a horizon was the point at which everything vanishes (I know, I know: it’s an art term).

I’ll come clean. I think I just glanced at the INFINITI logo and saw a stylized “I” in an oval. That reminded me enough of Lexus’ “L” and Toyota (which is at least reminiscent of a “T”), so I ignored it. Most Twitter commenters and reposters, like me, had never realized that the logo was a road. My post blew hundreds of folks’ minds. But here’s the kicker: INFINITI is changing its logo.

The oval-shaped INFINITI logo on a 1989 luxury car.
1989 INFINITI | Nissan Motor Co.

The INFINITI logo was always relatively simple: Since Nissan introduced the brand in 1989 the logo has been an oval with two lines meeting at its center. But in the modern world, automakers need a high definition version of their logo. Some take it too far (such as the new KIA logo, which may look great on a website but is unreadable on a car). But I think INFINITI nailed it. Its new logo keeps the border that gets thinner up top and thicker at the bottom, to add to the illusion of depth. It also features a slight gap between the two lines that create the road’s border. On a car it looks almost identical to the old logo. On a high-res website it probably looks better.

INFINITI took the opportunity for a full rebranding. It created a warm blue/yellow logo background that looks like the beginnings of a sunrise over a horizon. It also invested in a “sonic logo” (A taiko drum, wind chimes, and humming) and a signature scent (a mix of Japanese cypress, cedar, and citrus) that it hopes to use at dealerships and car shows to create an “invigorating new multisensory signature.” I’d say this new elevator music identity has as much personality as a lukewarm La Croix. But hey, I’m the guy who didn’t know what the logo was until today.

The 2023 redesign of the INFINITI logo and brand name.
“Evolved” INFINITI logo | Nissan Motor Co.

I also learned that INFINITI designs its fonts so its name features four perfectly straight lines. When written below the logo, this adds to that illusion of depth. And you know what, I normally hate when automakers insist we journalists write their name in ALL CAPS. But in this case, I’ll allow it.

Listen, all this “multisensory signature” stuff is great, as long as it doesn’t distract the automaker from building good cars (more on that later). Obviously, I’m the sort of journalist who is so focused on the actual cars that I can all-but ignore a logo for years. When a logo is unlike every other automaker and relatively recognizable, I just figure it did its job and move on.

So… on to the actual cars. The reason I was writing up INFINITI’s customer approval rating was that it had the absolute worst of 2024. When Consumer Reports polled owners of 3-year-old vehicles, 57% of owners said they wouldn’t buy their INFINITI again. Of 29 brands included, it was the only one with an approval rating below 50%. And I know life’s tough for INFINITI. In North America, it will always fight the stigma of not being Cadillac or Lincoln or German. But let’s be honest: both Toyota and Hyundai have hit it out of the park with Lexus and Genesis. These were two of the brands with the highest approval ratings in the CR poll.

Owners were asked about the number of repairs they’d completed, complaints they had, and to rate categories such as usability, driving experience, and ownership cost. INFINITI came in dead last in the “comfort” category. Consumer Reports didn’t ask owners how they felt about the logo–or if they even knew what it was. But perhaps INFINITI should focus its efforts elsewhere anyway.

I’m sure you’re eager to hear INFINITI’s signature sound, and you can learn all about it in the video below. Then, you can read about the fake family crest in the Porsche logo.