2003 Q45 New Car Test Drive
The Infiniti Q45 is an outstanding value among performance luxury cars. Its powerful V8 engine delivers excellent performance and makes a wonderful growl. Like BMW and Mercedes cars, the Infiniti Q45 uses rear-wheel drive for better handling. It's balanced well for driving on twisting roads and it's very stable at high speeds. Its ride quality is firm yet sophisticated.
The Q was completely redesigned last year (for 2002). For 2003, the Q45 gets a number of refinements, including a numerically higher final-drive ratio for quicker acceleration.
More standard equipment has been added to both Q45 models this year. Heated front seats, puddle lamps, and a full-size spare tire are now standard on all 2003 Q45s. Premium models come standard with satellite radio and climate-controlled front seats.
Infiniti Q45 comes with a 4.5-liter twin-cam V8 producing a very healthy 340 horsepower and 333 pounds-feet of torque. The transmission is a five-speed automatic with a manual shift mode.
For 2003, the Q45 is available in two trim levels: Luxury ($52,000) and Premium ($61,600). Both come with a high level of standard luxury and convenience features. All interior surfaces are covered in rich textured materials, including soft leather and genuine Bird’s Eye Maple wood.
The Luxury model comes with a long list of high-end electronics, including traction control (TCS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), tire pressure monitors, high-intensity xenon headlights, and Voice Control for the climate control system. The eight-speaker, 300-watt Bose stereo includes a six-disc CD changer. Heated front seats and a full-size spare tire are now standard as well.
The Premium version adds an adjustable sports suspension, 18-inch titanium-color alloy wheels, 245/45VR18 tires, a power sunshade for the backlight (rear window) and manual sunshades for the rear windows, climate controlled front seats with heating and cooling functions and perforated leather inserts, DVD navigation with a seven-inch LCD display, satellite radio, heated power-reclining rear seats with memory, rear controls for audio and climate and rear climate vents in the B-pillars and front seatback grips. Also included are the RearView Monitor and Intelligent Cruise Control, features we will explain later on.
Options include chrome-finished 18-inch wheels ($1600). The navigation system is available on the Luxury model as a stand-alone option. The new Journey Package ($4,000) includes the navigation system, Intelligent Cruise Control and sunshades, plus 17-inch run-flat tires (eliminating the full-size spare).