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September 9, 2009 > Auto Review: Infinity M45

Auto Review: Infinity M45

Infinity's M45 is a great way to comfortably move four people around fast. It is Infinity's mid-sized premium performance sedan that is fitted with a 4.5-liter V-8. If you don't want to go quite as fast, the M35 is the same car with a 3.5-liter V-6.

If you are looking for a moderately priced, luxury 4-door sedan that has many nice features and good performance you need to swing by your nearest Infinity showroom and take a look at an M series. The interior is wonderfully designed and the controls are convenient and easy to use. The voice activated or touch screen navigation system is easy to learn and has an option to see the map as if you were in an airplane flying over the area that you are driving. Ten-way power front seats can be heated or cooled and a memory system allows you to set your seat and control preferences. One option adds reclining (and heated) rear seats. The rear seat leg room is very good.

An optional Bose Studio Surround sound system uses 14 speakers to deliver the audio track to all the passengers equally. A power moon roof is standard on all Ms.

Lifting the hood reveals the business end of the M45. It's a 4.5-liter V-8 that utilizes double overhead cams and a variable length air induction system to pump out 325 HP and 336 foot pounds of torque. It is coupled to a 5-speed automatic transmission that can be manually shifted to add more fun to your trip. As I mentioned, a 303 HP V-6 is available in the M35.

You can order your new M45 with some fascinating options. One is Infinity's Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) system. This system uses a small camera to detect lane markers in front of the M45. It then calculates the relative position of the M45 in the lane and warns the driver visually and with a buzzer that the car may be drifting out of its lane. If the driver does not react, the system gently brakes one set of wheels to return the car to the center of the lane. If you use the turn indicator to signal, the LDP system is deactivated.

More than 55% of fatal auto accidents in the USA are caused by drifting out of the correct lane of traffic. This system can help M45 occupants avoid these kinds of collisions. The system worked well on the freeways. You can shut off the braking feature, but the buzzer stays engaged. So, on lightly traveled twisty roads (when you don't necessarily need to stay 100% in your own lane), the buzzer became very annoying.

Another engineering marvel is Infinity's Rear Active Steering system. Unlike the passive rear steering systems installed on some other high end cars, this system uses electronic motors to actively steer the two rear wheels. The computer system reads a large number of data points, calculates the M45's dynamics and steers the rear suspension's lower links to improve the handling while maintaining a luxury sedan's ride quality. This system is part of the Sport Package option.

As you would expect of a car in this class, all the M cars come with a wide range of safety equipment. The EPA testing produced 16/21 MPG for the M45 and 17/25 for the M35.

The M35 starts at $45,800 and the M45 starts at $52,150. You can add an all-wheel-drive system to the M45 for an additional $2,500. A Sport Package (including the active rear steering) adds $1,650 to the bill. With a number of options, our test M45 was stickered over $60K. That's not cheap, but I think the M45 is a strong contender in its class of motor cars.

By Dick Ryan
Freelance Automotive Journalist
Member of the Western Automotive Journalists

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