Originally marketed towards the Japanese salaryman, the top model used the same engine as found in the R32 Nissan Skyline, a 2 litre turbo charged 6 cylinder engine capable of just over 200 hp (150 kW). Other variants came with other versions of the Nissan RB engine. Brand new, the Cefiro was slightly more expensive than the equivalent Nissan Skyline.
The model years of second and third generation Cefiros in Japan differ from those in the United States. The Cefiro was also a grey import that was popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and Russia. With each incarnation, the Cefiro was marketed more toward the executive segment, losing some of its sporty zeal.
Released in September 1988 to the Japanese Domestic Market, it ceased production in May 1994. The A31 series included many hi-tech features, such as HICAS 4-wheel steering, sonar-controlled electronic damping, automatic headlights, and an automatic electric rear view mirror, many of which were seen later on the R32 Nissan Skyline, released one year later in 1989.