2009 INFINITI M45 Review


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2009 INFINITI M45 Overview

While a number of Infiniti vehicles, including the G37 and M35 sedans, receive a boost in power and a nifty seven-speed automatic transmission for 2009, the highly capable M45 sedan soldiers on with few changes.

Power still comes in the form of a 325-hp, 4.5-liter V8 engine, which carries over from the previous year. The V8 produces an aggressive 336 lb-ft of torque, resulting in quick, smooth acceleration. But without newer technologies like Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) technology, which is included on Infiniti's newer engines and continually adjusts valve lift and timing to provide better fuel economy, the M45 with its current V8 manages only 16/21 city/highway mpg.

In addition, the M45 retains its electronically controlled five-speed automatic, instead of getting the new seven-speed automatic transmission showing up in some other models. The five-speed does include some cutting-edge features, like a Drive Sport mode for a sportier driving experience and a driver-adaptive algorithm, which senses the driver's style and makes adjustments to the shifting patterns accordingly.

Some reviewers speculate a new M45 (possibly redubbed the M47) may be on its way for 2010, which explains why Infiniti left the M45 virtually untouched for 2009. But those same reviewers consider the 2009 version of the M45 a solid, capable, and fun-to-drive automobile, even without all the upgrades many of its siblings are receiving. The V8 engine especially garners high marks and even rave reviews from drivers and automotive experts alike, who are impressed with its exhaust note, aggressive acceleration, and superb over-the-road power.

In addition to the rear-wheel-drive Base M45 trim, Infiniti offers the sedan in an M45x trim with full-time intelligent all-wheel-drive, which defaults to the rear wheels on dry pavement or 50/50 off-road, but adjusts torque automatically according to wheel slippage. Both trims come well-equipped with such standard features as leather seats, 10-way power-adjustable and climate-controlled front seats, a power moonroof, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, African rosewood interior trim, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, and a six-speaker audio system with a six-disc CD changer and MP3 connectivity.

Owners can also opt for a Sport Package on the Base M45 sedan, which adds a sport-tuned suspension, rear active steering, 19-inch alloy wheels, and sport-styled front and rear bumpers.

Other options include a rear-view monitor, a touch-screen navigation system with voice recognition, a Music Box with a 9.3-gigabyte hard drive that stores 2,900 songs, and a Lane Departure Prevention System, which warns drivers when they start to drift out of their lane.


Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in California.

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