2003 M45 New Car Test Drive
The new Infiniti M45 is a great piece of equipment. It's very well engineered, and may be the highest combination of smooth and fast in a mid-size luxury car ever to come down the pike. BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar and Cadillac have nothing for the M45's silky 340-horsepower engine.
The 2003 Infiniti M45 plays its dual role well, but we have trouble deciding whether it is a luxury car or a sports sedan, Its styling doesn't help, offering little distinction.
There are no separate M45 models, so the powerful V8 with its smooth five-speed automatic transmission is what you get. But it's not all. For the base price of $42,300, more great features come standard: the same high-quality leather as in the flagship Q45, a 225-watt Bose premium sound system with satellite-ready AM/FM radio and in-dash 6 CD changer, Vehicle Information System with large LCD screen, skid control (VDC, for Vehicle Dynamic Control), dual-zone climate control, high-intensity xenon headlamps, 18-inch alloy wheels with W-rated tires, and last but definitely not least, front-door side airbags and four-door curtain airbags.
The Comfort and Convenience Package ($950) includes memory seats, electrochromic mirrors which are heated and reverse-tilting on the outside, the HomeLink remote system and a tire pressure monitor.
The Technology Package ($2700) includes the DVD navigation system and Intelligent Cruise Control, which uses lasers to maintain the distance from the car in front of you by controlling the throttle.
The Premium Package ($2200) includes seats that are cooled as well as heated, a sunroof, and voice recognition system for climate, audio and navigation control. Chrome wheels can be added to this package for another $1000.
Stand-alone options include the sunroof ($1000), natural maple trim ($300), rear spoiler ($540), satellite radio ($400) and all-season tires (no extra cost).