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.
The Infiniti Q45’s plush interior is swathed in Italian leather and warmed by Bird’s Eye Maple burl wood. Lots of glass, including a large sunroof that comes standard, lightens the cabin by day. Cool, functional electroluminescent gauges come out at night. The seats are luxurious, big and firm, with 10-way power adjustment including lumbar, great for long freeway trips. But there’s not enough bolstering to keep you from sliding around during the type of cornering the car is capable of.
The console is massive, thanks mostly to the navigation system, using switchgear that’s a combination of big black buttons and silvery dials. Big plush armrests and two sizes of concealed cup holders complement the big firm seats. There’s a hatch under the center armrest for flat things, below which lies another deeper compartment. Back-seat passengers are provided with plush armrests with cup holders. Side curtain airbags that deploy from the roof protect both the rear- and front-seat passengers. There’s an optional power sunshade in the backlight (rear window). Trunk space measures only 13.6 cubic feet, about two-thirds of what the Lexus LS430 offers.
The Q comes with a ton of interior features, some of them bordering on the fantastic. Infiniti put a lot of effort into making its navigation system more useful. Like most of these systems, however, there is a learning curve and it’s extremely important to avoid letting yourself get distracted while driving. A quick reference guide is provided and Infiniti designed the system so you can’t program it while the car is moving. You turn the display off by going into the settings menu, and selecting Display Off, but it would be easier if there was a button you could hit in one step. Infiniti’s system features a cool, three-dimensional bird’s-eye view, like looking down at an illustration of the ground from a hang glider. Like many navigation systems, it offers a choice of routes: shortest time, shortest distance, it can even point you to the nearest ferry, should you prefer to travel by sea. It will also tell you the location of the nearest ATM, hotel, restaurant or rest area. When running low on gas, it will ask you if you want it to find the nearest gas station, a feature we’ve found useful. The standard Vehicle Information System screen is a 5.8-inch unit, but that expands to 7.0 inches when you order the navigation system.
On Premium models, the navigation display also provides a view to the rear on the monitor. When you’re in reverse, the screen shows where you’re going, eyed by a tiny camera over the license plate. Unlike the video on shuttle buses, it’s in living color. the backup lights aren’t bright enough for the camera lens at night, and in the sunshine it’s hard to see the screen. Still, it can be useful for spotting children on tricycles and other objects that you want to avoid.
The climate control system responds to voice commands. Press a button on the steering wheel, wait for the beep, tell the dashboard what you want, and a woman’s voice replies in the perfectly efficient tone of a super-secretary, ‘Climate control temper-a-ture, six-tee seven degrees.’ We felt silly trying the use the system without knowing how. People begin to stare when they see you shouting commands at your car. The future will tell whether this becomes a desirable feature.
Infiniti Q45 2004 Design Interior Exterior Car