- The Washington Times - Friday, April 25, 2003

Nissan North America, Inc. is on a roll with the introduction of appealing new products. Nissan’s luxury division Infiniti is on the same tack, debuting new vehicles with not only captivating visual magnetism, but with impressive performance credentials as well.
  One such vehicle, is the Infiniti M45 sedan for 2003 a striking combination of refined good looks and smile-generating performance attributes. The M45 is a four-door sedan with modest, clean lines and overall sculpted form that is deceptive in its initial impression. Further examination reveals that this is no ordinary luxury family hauler.
  The first clue may be the chrome alloy 18-inch wheels, shod with performance rubber and an available tire-pressure monitoring system. The wheels fill up the wells appreciably and provide a bold contrast when the exterior is finished in black. A stealth fighter plane comes to mind. The M45 is positioned between the Infiniti flagship Q45 and the new G35 sedan.
  Power for the M45 is generated by the same engine found in the Q45 a potent 4.5-liter DOHC, 32-valve V-8 mounted up front and pumping out 340 horsepower and 333 foot-pounds of torque. Power is transferred to the rear wheels through an electronically controlled five-speed, overdrive automatic transmission with a manual shift mode for the more adventurous driver. Vehicle dynamic control (VDC) is a standard stability-enhancement system.
  Styling inside and out is distinctive, if not radically emotional. The interior is sumptuous, and exceeds the level of exterior attraction (for me at least), with a pleasing ambience delivered by the full appointment of features and cues taken from the Q45. Passengers are provided with exceptional comfort, while the driver enjoys an enhanced level of control.
  The instrument panel includes a standard vehicle information display with a highly legible multifunction LCD screen along with dual climate controls. Active head restraints are standard fare as well. Available optional systems include: a DVD-based navigation system; a voice-recognition system (also shared with the Q45); climate-controlled front sport bucket seats (heated and cooled); and a laser-based Intelligent Cruise Control.
  The tested M45 sedan was finished both inside and out in black. The MSRP was set at $42,300, but the final tally was actually elevated to $51,695 after adding the Technical package, Premium package, traditional polished wood trim accents, sunroof, painted splash guards, trunk mat and rear spoiler.
  The Infiniti M45 is one mighty fine ride, though the Q45 is larger (along with its price), and the G35 sedan showcases a decidedly more dramatic exercise in its styling execution.
  In terms of performance characteristics, the M45 is stellar. Acceleration is rapid, with a firm and stable ride quality. Handling is quick and precise. The entire equation offers driving enthusiasts a “point-and-shoot” scenario.
  If the Q45 proves to be a bit beyond your financial means, and the G35 is a bit too flashy or compact, the M45 should provide the ideal recipe to properly satisfy your taste buds.



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