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Expert Reviews 1 of 2
By Jim Flammang
September 26, 2003
Vehicle Overview Infinitis flagship Q45 sedan debuted in redesigned form as an early 2002 model and was packed with luxury and convenience features such as voice activation of the climate-control and audio systems. A rearview monitor that alerts the driver to obstacles while the vehicle is backing up is installed in all 2004 models. The Q45 transmissions manual-shift mode has been revised.
The current Q45 is still a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, and it resembles the inaugural 1990 model by displaying an elegant persona that some observers felt was absent from the second-generation sedan. A 4.5-liter V-8 engine develops 340 horsepower. An electronic key is said to be impossible to copy. An optional DVD-based navigation system uses a 3-D Bird View display. A radar-based Adaptive Cruise Control feature is optional.
Riding a 113-inch wheelbase, the Q45 is 199.6 inches long overall. An integrated front bumper and fascia that features a prominent Infiniti badge frames the big, titanium-colored grille. Large taillights sit past a raised rear deck. Large high-intensity-discharge headlights have seven individual lenses. Heated automatic-dimming outside mirrors include a memory feature and integral turn signals.
Standard aluminum wheels hold P225/55VR17 tires; run-flat tires and 18-inch wheels are optional. A low-tire-pressure monitor is standard. Power rack-and-pinion steering is speed sensitive.
Soft leather and genuine birds-eye maple highlight the five-passenger interior. The driver faces a hand-stitched leather and wood steering wheel and electroluminescent round instruments. A powered rear-window sunshade and manual sunshades for the rear-door windows are optional. Available powered rear seats have an adjustable backrest angle.
The Vehicle Information System has a 7-inch LCD screen; a 5.8-inch screen is used when the 3-D navigation system is not installed. A rearview monitor system uses the LCD screen to display an image of the area in back of the car while backing up. A trunk pull-down feature automatically closes the lid. XM or Sirius Satellite Radio can be installed, and the trunk holds a full-size spare tire.
Under the Hood
The 4.5-liter V-8 engine develops 340 hp and 333 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed-automatic transmission incorporates a manual-shifting mode. Infiniti claims that the Q45 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in approximately 5.9 seconds.
Standard features include vented antilock disc brakes, rear child-safety seat tether anchors, side-impact airbags, active front head restraints and side curtain-type airbags that deploy from the roof. A Vehicle Dynamic Control electronic stability system governs brake pressure and engine torque automatically on slippery surfaces or in demanding maneuvers.
The elegance of the first Q45 is back with a vengeance and augmented by sterling performance and satisfying handling traits. The Q45 is exceptionally easy to drive for a big car, and its also fun to maneuver. Acceleration reaches beyond energetic as the V-8 delivers its hefty output in an utterly civilized manner while maintaining refined noise levels.
The Q45 steers with a somewhat light touch, and it offers excellent feel and feedback by grasping the pavement tenaciously through curves. The suspension basically nudges aside nearly all imperfections.
Lushly cushioned yet highly supportive seats are covered with fine leather. Driver headroom is acceptable but not huge, while elbowroom and legroom are abundant.