- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2001


MODEL: Infiniti Q45
TYPE: Four-door sedan
PRICE-AS-TESTED: $59,345
MILEAGE: 17 city, 25 highway

If the all-new 2002 Infiniti Q45 doesn't outsell all other upscale luxury sedans, there's only one reason: Potential buyers didn't take the time to check it out.
This car was a very pleasant surprise. Without doubt, the Q45 has won the horsepower race against others in its class. Hit the accelerator pedal, and the response is startling. The car does zero to 60 mph in under 6 seconds, which is in the range of an upscale high-performance sports car. The Infiniti people have equipped their new Q with a 4.5-liter, 32-valve V-8 engine that delivers 333 foot-pounds of torque generated by 340 horsepower.
Acceleration is only part of the story. First, the Q45 has attractive exterior styling, with a sculptured hood, raised rear deck and large taillights all working in unison. But if this car's looks don't catch your eye, its headlamps with their multilens projector of high-inten-
sity discharge will. They're the brightest I've ever seen.
When I opened the door of my test car, I got that come-hither feeling, created by beautiful leather seats and light-toned wood trim like nothing I have ever seen before. Inserting the electronic key into the immobilized ignition switch caused the seat to move forward into one of two preset positions. When I shifted into reverse, I could view clearly what was behind me from a seven-inch monitor in the middle of the dash panel.
After I shifted into drive, a message appeared on the monitor requiring that I accept an agreement not to be distracted while driving, or the navigator would not operate. However, the monitor contained so much information, I couldn't help glancing at the screen almost every place I went. I have never seen a better navigational system. It contained the names of every street, side street and development, including the names of shopping centers and locations of gas stations all with precise accuracy.
This same monitor also displays details about the automatic air conditioning, heating system and sound system. Want to know the tire pressure? Check the monitor. It gives exact pressure of each 18-inch tire. Curious about miles per gallon or the maintenance schedule? All available on the monitor, and then Infiniti won't allow the driver to use this monitor until he or she agrees not to be distracted. Ha, Infiniti's legal department pulled a real funny one.
The 300-watt Bose sound system is as good as I've ever heard. In addition to AM and FM, it accommodated a cassette plus six CDs. Again, all the tuning information is contained in the "don't distract me" monitor. Rear-seat passengers have their own seating controls, as well as temperature controls.
Speaking of the rear, the new Q45 is slightly larger than its predecessor, and rear seating not only provides more legroom, but also passengers in this dream boat have their own center console if the fifth seat isn't being used.
The ride, based on four-wheel independent suspension, is very smooth. But what was most pleasing to me were two qualities: comfort and performance.
No two ways about it, this car is capable of high performance of the caliber expected of a sports car. I drove the Q45 around a racetrack where I was able to appreciate how well it performs under extreme demands.
The quiet interior is as good as they get in all upscale-quality sedans. The base price is $50,500 for the luxury model, but with a load of very desirable options, it runs $59,345. For most buyers, that's a lot of money, but for this exceptional car, it's a steal.
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