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2005 Luxury  Buyer's Guide

by Martha Hindes

2005 Infiniti Q45
2005 Infiniti Q45

Lights play along the surface of Infiniti's Q45 almost like a caress. They graze the deep, sculptured creases of the hood, then curve in an extended sweep along front fenders, up under the beltline, finally to fade into the rear fenders that frame a high rear deck. The changes throughout give a surprisingly lean, lithe look to this large, flagship sedan.

Grace and power are just two of the elements Infiniti built into the mid-cycle redesign of the Q45 for '05. Inside, with a roaring red among tantalizing grabber colors, is a decadent offering of luxury leather sport contoured seats, recalibrated five-speed automatic shifter with manual mode for improved response, restyled clusters and controls, and a standard high-rise DVD navigation system with available rear-view camera.

Infiniti adds other luxury, handling and safety enhancements. Performance-tuned active damping suspension with normal or road-sensing sport modes becomes standard. So do wipers that gauge rain or vehicle speed. Among amenities are Intelligent Cruise Control, plus sunshades and heated seats that recline for more rear passenger comfort. Night-piercing high intensity headlamps disburse light through seven individual lenses. And a high security key system is almost impossible to copy, according to Infiniti.

Models now include a meld of the previous Luxury and Journey packages, and a new Premium level model sporting authoritative, chrome-plated 18-inch wheels. Every Q45 rides on a powerhouse 4.5-liter, 340-HP V8, with continuously variable valve timing for smoothness and the guts and control to take curves and straight-aways in rear-drive stride. Prices in the mid-50s solidify its luxury status.

With new exterior colors of Lakeshore Slate (a medium blue) and Beryllium (a medium brown) offsetting the Premium's flaming Firebrick interior, we think it has to be called "cool sizzle."


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