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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2003 Infiniti Q45 Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2003 Infiniti Q45 Overview

The Pinnacle of Infiniti Luxury

The Q45 sails into its second year as the flagship of the Infiniti fleet. Though there are many new and exciting upstarts in the line, the big Q remains an omnipresent force within the luxury division and is still one very impressive piece of work. Not since our week long ride in the BMW 7-series have we had so much fun in a premium level sedan.

As we've said before, one of the most attractive features of the Q45 is that it doesn't look like a European luxury sedan clone. The Q45 has a muscular, imposing stance all its own, made more poignant by the Gattling gun-like front headlamps that feature new surround treatments and a revised wide-mouth grille. The Q45 also gets a new rear tail treatment that includes cleaner lines around the trunk and a larger chrome bar with the Infiniti name emblazoned across it. The entire car is set off by a massive set of multi-spoke rims that prove the old adage "wheels make the car" is still as true as ever. The Q45 is offered in two trim levels: Luxury and Premium. While the Luxury trim is designed for those who simply want to be pampered, the Premium adds a more sporting attitude that invites a bit more devilish behavior.

Infiniti clearly wants the Q45 to be equal to its competition without being redundant to it at the same time. Many luxury makers heap so much state-of-the-art technology into their cars, that it sometimes can overwhelm the driver. Technology by itself can just as easily ruin a good luxury car as make it. Thankfully, Infiniti has wisely made functionality, styling and convenience as high a priority as the technological wizardry that fills the Q45's cabin. You'll find a handsome dash with rich Bird's Eye maple artfully applied to the center console, doors and steering wheel. The Q's interior also features many earthly delights, such as supple leather seating, heated and cooling front seats, and a phenomenally good Bose audio system. The Q45's spacious interior is as accommodating from side-to-side as it is front-to-back; four full-sized adults will find little to complain about when seated—except possibly who gets to drive. Some of the many pleasant touches you and your passengers will experience inside the Q45 include 10-way power driver and 8-way power passenger seats, power reclining rear seat, rear-seat air conditioning and audio controls, climate controlled front seats that both heat and cool and rear and side sunshades to keep occupants cool. For 2003, a new audio system moves the CD changer to the center console and places the cassette deck in the glove box.

The Q45's navigation system places the LCD view screen high up in the center console, where it can easily be viewed without having to remove your eyes from the road for any great length of time. The system can be activated via voice command, as can the audio and temperature controls. If you grow tired of looking as though you are talking to yourself inside the car, the controls can be accessed manually via the touch screen monitor. While some people may like this system, we can understand that there are probably an equal number who will prefer a simple set of physical controls that do not require one to scroll through menus to access each function. This is, however, the future of the luxury sedan, so you should try to adapt now, because the systems are probably going to get more complex as time goes on.

A 4.5-liter V8 engine rated at 340 horsepower drives the Q45. For 2003, Infiniti has revised the final gear ratio on the electronically-controlled 5-speed automatic to deliver better off-the-line-acceleration and better passing times. The four-wheel independent suspension seems happiest when touring and is not well suited for aggressive driving. Infiniti offers an optional "Journey" package that includes luxuries such as a navigation system, R/V monitor and intelligent speed control. The entire driving experience is enhanced by an array of sophisticated controls including Vehicle Dynamic Control-a system that controls brake pressure and throttle input when it senses the car is understeering, oversteering or slipping out of control. EBD or Electronic Brake Distribution evenly distributes power to the brakes, based on the speed and load conditions and Brake Assist helps bring the car to a speedy stop in panic situations. There is even an adaptive cruise control that maintains a safe distance between the Q and the cars directly in front of it.

The Q45 also demonstrates an impressive array of safety and security features that include front-side impact airbags, a head curtain airbag and anti-whiplash head restraints. The Q also employs a novel rear camera that projects images to the LCD view screen whenever the car is placed into reverse, allowing the driver a clear view of objects or persons directly behind the car but out of view of the rear view mirror.

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