2006 Q45 New Car Test Drive
The Infiniti Q45 features new styling and more luxury equipment for 2005. It looks more aggressive than before, with new front and rear fascia, a restyled hood and grille, a new headlight design with integrated fog lights, a restyled rear deck, new LED tail lights, and new chrome trim.
Everything about the Q45 is smooth and easy. It's balanced well for driving on twisting roads and it's very stable at high speeds. Yet the ride is smooth, even on bumpy roads. Its powerful V8 engine delivers excellent performance and makes a wonderful growl. The Q45 uses rear-wheel drive, like a BMW or Mercedes-Benz, for better handling. The five-speed automatic transmission has been re-calibrated on 2005 models for smoother acceleration and more responsive downshifts. The active damping suspension, previously optional, is standard on all 2005 models.
Infiniti may not have the heritage of BMW or Mercedes, but it offers first-class appointments and craftsmanship. A DVD-based navigation system is now standard. A new system tightens the seatbelts during emergency braking, helping to optimize the position of the driver for emergency maneuvers and crash protection.
The Infiniti Q45 is a rear-wheel-drive sedan powered by a 4.5-liter twin-cam V8. This all-aluminum engine produces a very healthy 340 horsepower and 333 pound-feet of torque. The only available transmission is a five-speed automatic with a manual shift mode.
Q45 comes in one trim level ($55,900), and it includes everything you'd expect in a flagship luxury car, plus a long list of high-end electronics. Active safety features are among them: electronic stability control (VDC), traction control (TCS), anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), along with the electronically controlled active damping suspension. Also standard: tire pressure monitors, xenon high-intensity discharge headlights, DVD-based navigation, voice control for the climate control system, an eight-speaker, 300-watt Bose stereo with six-disc CD changer, heated front seats. The Q comes with P225/55VR17 all-season tires on titanium-finish cast aluminum wheels with a full-size spare tire. All interior surfaces are covered in rich textured materials, including soft leather and, for 2005, a darker shade of genuine bird's eye maple wood.
Options are few: The Premium Package ($5,800) adds climate-controlled front seats, power reclining rear seats with seat heaters, rear-seat audio and climate controls, perforated leather seat inserts, Intelligent Cruise Control with Preview Braking, XM or Sirius satellite radio, rear sunshades (power for the backlight, manual for the rear-door windows), and new 18-inch, seven-spoke alloy wheels wearing 245/45VR18 all-season performance tires. Opt for the Premium Package with Chrome Wheels ($6,800), and you get all of the above plus seven-spoke chrome-plated wheels. The only other options are a set of 17-inch run-flat tires ($400), satellite radio as a stand-alone feature ($400), and some port-installed accessories.