M45 Owners: How are you liking it?

Forum for Infiniti M35 and M45, and Nissan Fuga owners.
MattB
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M45 Owners: How are you liking it?

Postby MattB » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

I know there are a few M45 owners on here, and I'd like to hear their impressions of the car after having owned if for a few months. From what I've seen it looks to be a blast to drive, but I'd love to hear what owners have to say about it in terms of reliability, performance, and all around fun-to-drive factor. I can't wait until they come onto the used market so I can get one. I fell in love with the M45 the first time I saw it in a "coming soon" ad from Infiniti.


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Postby szh » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

There is no doubt in my mind that this is a wonderful replacement for the first-gen Q45. I have had a 1991 Q45, a 1995 Q45 and now the 2003 M45. Hands down, it handles better and is faster, etc. Less room inside than the new Q, but far sportier and fun to drive. Unique styling set it apart too!

Long-term reliability is an unknown, of course, at this point, but I am very happy with the purchase so far!

Z

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Postby MattB » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

Nice...I'm thinking of it as a replacement for my G20 in a few years.

russg
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Postby russg » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

Positives:

1. The engine. This trumps every other thing about the car and makes all the other shortcomings livable.

2. It handles quite well for a heavy 4-door sedan.

3. You don't see them at every intersection.

4. You can steal them, figuratively speaking.

Negatives:

1. The interior of this car is substandard in the way it is screwed together when compared to my four previous Infinitis. I've been chasing minor buzzes, squeaks and rattles since day one. Nobody else seems to notice them, but I do.

2. An embarassingly cheesey audio system for a car in its price category. Carlos needs to fire Bose with extreme prejudice.

3. Transmission software needs additional tweaking. The ECM reburn helped for a while, but eventually the trans fell back into its previous errant ways. If it's learning and adapting as it goes, it's learning all the wrong things.

4. The Intelligent Cruise Control is obviously early generation technology. Easily confused, much like the transmission. Needs additional software tweaking and some of the ridiculous restrictions on when and how it can be used need to be removed. Infiniti needs to put a leash on its legal department. Should be able to use the cruise control in either intelligent or standard mode.

5. Oddball OEM tire size. Almost no choices in the aftermarket for replacement tires in the OEM size.

6. Proximity searches with the navigation system are very poorly implemented. Again, more software tweaking is needed.

7. Wind noise when the moonroof is closed but the shade is retracted is much too noticable. This is not an air leak, but rather the sound of air passing over the glass in the moonroof. Never noticed it in any of my previous Infinitis. Glass too thin?

8. VDC needs a competive or sport setting in addition to On and Off. Off gives you no protection from your stupid self, and On doesn't allow for any tail-out fun. Other cars have a setting that allows the stability control to remain in the background until just before the moment of "Oh Sh*t".

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Postby dougs98Q45 » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

Great post Russ! That is valuable stuff and even tho I'm not in the market for an M, down the road who knows and that is all filed away..... Good to have when emotions start flying and the check book is in hand. Hopefully, the big office will address your points!

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Postby TxGuy67 » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

At 4300 miles this has been an awesome auto for me. I do agree with the substandard Bose and rattles. I finally traced one down to the rearview mirror which was driving me nuts. For some reason my mpg dropped to 18.5 city after my first oil change. Other than that I'm completely satisfied.

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Do consider teh G35 as well!

Postby szh » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

MattB wrote:Nice...I'm thinking of it as a replacement for my G20 in a few years.


If you are used to driving a G20, then you may find the M45 (or the Q45) too heavy a car for your tastes. The G35 (particularly the Coupe) achieves many of the same design goals as the M45 and is also an awesome car in its own way (although I am glad I have the M45 - you can find another thread from me in this regard).

Prior to the 1991 Q45, I had a Nissan 300ZX Turbo and the change from a two-door, two-seater manual transmission to a four door, four-seater automatic did require a bit of mental and driving habits adjustment.

I would definitely recommend lengthy test drives!

Z

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Postby ptm03m45x » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

Yes I agree with everything Russ said with my M. The interior is cheaply put together and that bothers me. It ain't no Audi!My trans also relearned the old patterns, so whut did that reburn do? Now I get a whopping 12 mpg in town.Intelligent Cruise Control doesn't work in Jersey, people here cut u off and trigger the beam cutoff. The car brakes, backs off violently and every clown behind you is up your tail. This needs work...The turning radius sucks period, try pulling into a tight spot....There are so many pro's though. Definitely not many out there, more features for the price, fast, fun to drive, comfortable and quiet. Did I mention fast? Excellent Voice Rec and Nav, heated and cooled seats. Need I say more.

I can deal with the little issues, in fact no car is perfect, but this is the best car I ever owned!

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Postby Jesda » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

How does the Bose system compare to a 92 Q? Or a 94 Q?

I didnt use it much at all during my M45 test drive.

-Jesda

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Postby russg » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

Jesda wrote:How does the Bose system compare to a 92 Q? Or a 94 Q?

I didnt use it much at all during my M45 test drive.

-Jesda


Well, they're all Bose systems. The sonics of the system in the M45 is certainly inferior to the OEM system that was in my 2000 Q. It's been too long since I've listened to the one that was in my '94 Q to offer an objective comparison. But that's hardly the point. The issue is that the system in the M45 is significantly inferior to other OEM systems of current vintage in vehicles in its price category, and ridiculously inferior to what could be be achieved with even a moderate investment in aftermarket equipment.

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Postby MattB » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

ptm03m45x wrote:Yes I agree with everything Russ said with my M. The interior is cheaply put together and that bothers me. It ain't no Audi!My trans also relearned the old patterns, so whut did that reburn do? Now I get a whopping 12 mpg in town.Intelligent Cruise Control doesn't work in Jersey, people here cut u off and trigger the beam cutoff. The car brakes, backs off violently and every clown behind you is up your tail. This needs work...The turning radius sucks period, try pulling into a tight spot....There are so many pro's though. Definitely not many out there, more features for the price, fast, fun to drive, comfortable and quiet. Did I mention fast? Excellent Voice Rec and Nav, heated and cooled seats. Need I say more.

I can deal with the little issues, in fact no car is perfect, but this is the best car I ever owned!


The turning radius wouldn't be an issue for me...the G20's is probably worse. The G20 has a positively huge turning radius. I do like the idea of the uniqueness combined with the speed and power as well as the amenities. Coming from a G20 the M might seen big like szhosain said, but I've gotten used to bigger cars working for an Acura dealer and driving a 3.5RL demo around a lot. Plus I love the styling, especially with the factory rear spoiler.

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Postby russg » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

Matt:

I notice that you're from the Boston area. Perhaps you could shed some light on an issue that has puzzled me for years. Why would anyone who lives in an area that has a high probability if not outright certainty of receiving copious amounts of snow each winter consider buying any 2-wheel drive vehicle (especially rwd) as primary transportation?

There are so many good choices of AWD vehicles available today in just about every type of vehicle and price range, that I simply don't understand why one of those wouldn't be the obvious default choice for someone who lives in the northern climes. Certainly not an issue for me, and maybe not a major issue for Boston(?), but I always get a laugh when the local news shows video this time of year of people in the northern midwest sliding off the roads all higeldy pigeldy in their Buick LeSabres and Mercury Grand Marquis. It seems like driving a 2-wheel drive vehicle in those climates would be as logical as me driving a vehicle in Arizona summers without air conditioning.

I understand that AWD or 4WD isn't a silver bullet that makes one completely immune from the effects of snow and ice, but why not stack the deck in your favor? What am I missing?

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Postby Jesda » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

I havent had problems with FWD and RWD vehicles in horrid snow. I got my driver's license in Spokane WA. The day I did my drive test in 1997, there was an assload of snow on the ground.

I drove an AWD Chevy Astro around a bit during one winter, and of course it was fantastic in comparison, but I've had few problems in heavy snow with a Nissan Sentra, Mazda 929 (RWD), Mazda MPV (RWD), and a Chevy Nova (FWD).

Actually, my MB 300E was awful. Absolutely awful. No no, horrid. All the sandbags in the world didn't make much of a difference.

But smarts, awareness, and good tires are what really count.

The G35x is appealing...

-Jesda

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Postby dezm45 » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

Russ .. funny you should say that !! I've always had Front Wheel Drive and even one AWD vehicle, up here in NJ (since we DO get snow) .. and this is my FIRST RWD vehicle .. and it's basically only been driven 3 times in the last 3 weeks because of all the bad weather up here !! I've been driving my wife's little front wheel drive car to work every day !

That was about the ONLY thing that almost made me NOT get the M45 -- the fact that it is RWD .. but again, I couldn't pass up the deal !

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Postby MattB » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

russg wrote:Matt:

I notice that you're from the Boston area. Perhaps you could shed some light on an issue that has puzzled me for years. Why would anyone who lives in an area that has a high probability if not outright certainty of receiving copious amounts of snow each winter consider buying any 2-wheel drive vehicle (especially rwd) as primary transportation?

There are so many good choices of AWD vehicles available today in just about every type of vehicle and price range, that I simply don't understand why one of those wouldn't be the obvious default choice for someone who lives in the northern climes. Certainly not an issue for me, and maybe not a major issue for Boston(?), but I always get a laugh when the local news shows video this time of year of people in the northern midwest sliding off the roads all higeldy pigeldy in their Buick LeSabres and Mercury Grand Marquis. It seems like driving a 2-wheel drive vehicle in those climates would be as logical as me driving a vehicle in Arizona summers without air conditioning.

I understand that AWD or 4WD isn't a silver bullet that makes one completely immune from the effects of snow and ice, but why not stack the deck in your favor? What am I missing?


For me it was a lack of AWD sedans that I wanted. I'm not a Subaru fan, and most Audi A4s and A6s were out of my price range when I bought my G20. However, I have had no trouble with my G20 in the snow. Just today I drove it home on largely unplowed roads with about 1/2" of snow. No problems. ABS prevented me from losing control under braking, and I got home without incident. AWD isn't a necessity, but RWD can be problematic. I had to give my friend a ride home today because his Lexus IS300 wasn't going anywhere. I'd still buy an M45 though in these climates...VDC, TCS, and ABS help a lot plus I love the car...

ptm03m45x
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Postby ptm03m45x » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

Its all about tires guys! All wheel drive is superior off the start, but thats where it ends. My last car was an Audi TT and I had an Impreza before that, both with all wheel drive. Last week I had to go to pittsburgh and got caught in a snowstorm that produced 8" snow. With unplowed roads and sportin 1 month old Dunlop Wintersport M3s I drove thru it with my M45 like an SUV, never sliding once or seeing the traction light go on. It was truly an amazing lesson for me after driving in our first storm here on those crummy MMX tires that came stock with the car. With the MMX's I nearly got stuck in just 2 inches of snow!

I too for years fell for the comfort off an awd car, but now I realize that I fell for marketing....the real deal is what you have hitting the ground!

Pete

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Postby yidal8 » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

M45 in the snow ? No problem at all . I keep it nicely tucked in the garage next to my Honda S2000 , and drive the trusty 91Q with snow tires . Like I said , no problems at all .

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Postby MattB » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

ptm03m45x wrote:Its all about tires guys! All wheel drive is superior off the start, but thats where it ends. My last car was an Audi TT and I had an Impreza before that, both with all wheel drive. Last week I had to go to pittsburgh and got caught in a snowstorm that produced 8" snow. With unplowed roads and sportin 1 month old Dunlop Wintersport M3s I drove thru it with my M45 like an SUV, never sliding once or seeing the traction light go on. It was truly an amazing lesson for me after driving in our first storm here on those crummy MMX tires that came stock with the car. With the MMX's I nearly got stuck in just 2 inches of snow!

I too for years fell for the comfort off an awd car, but now I realize that I fell for marketing....the real deal is what you have hitting the ground!

Pete


That's good to know...I've had some slight sliding problems with my G20 (FWD) recently, and now I'm pretty sure it's due to my crappy Akuret GTX tires (anyone ever heard of the brand?).

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Postby MattB » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

I figured I'd mention this too while I'm at it...over at G20.net we have a thread about the M45. Now, you're probably saying "Who cares?". This thread is HUGE. Like over 1500 posts huge. And it's mostly about the M45 and its design. We'd love to have more M45 owners post. I know Pete has posted in it and Russg has as well, but we always appreciate the input of people who actually own the car.

M45 Thread

TxGuy67
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Postby TxGuy67 » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

M45 Question. I've noticed recently that after some hard driving (like there's another way to drive an M) and shutting the engine off I hear a whine sound for about 5 - 10 minutes. On my ^%$%& VW the oil pump would run to allow cooling. Anyone know what this sound is?


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