For 2005, Infiniti’s top-line luxury Q45 sedan undergoes a freshening-up, and a slimming-down from two models to one, now known as the Premium. The Sport model available in 2004 has been dropped in favour of this single luxury model. There is a new front fascia with restyled hood and grille, new headlights and integrated fog lamps. The rear fascia and trunk deck lid have also been restyled, and LED taillights and new fine-line chrome trim have been added at the rear.

Inside, there are new double-stitched sport contour seats, pure white metal cluster and soft-touch control cluster finish, an all-new metal-trimmed shifter bezel, and dark maple wood and chrome accents. The five-speed automatic transmission has been recalibrated, while rain- and speed-sensing windshield wipers, a DVD-based navigation system, a fully automatic trunk open and close function, and brake-operated “pre-crash” front seatbelts are now standard.

The Q45’s single trim line comes with a 4.5-litre V8 also used in the M45 and FX45. Standard features include 18-inch chrome finish alloy wheels; heated outside mirrors with memory, selectable left/right auto reverse tilt-down, puddle lights and driver’s side auto-dimming; seven-lens Xenon headlights; performance-tuned active dampening suspension; tire pressure monitoring system; dual-zone climate control; navigation system with 7-inch LCD screen and rearview monitor; heated and cooled front seats with ten-way driver and eight-way passenger adjust; heated rear seats; six-CD/cassette Bose system with eight speakers; voice recognition system; power rear and manual rear door window sunshades; and laser-based intelligent cruise control with preview braking feature.

Already a well-equipped car, the Q45 ups its content level to put it on par with its luxury rivals. With its active dampening system, and the dropping of the Sport model, the Q45 now aims strictly for the sport sedan market, although it tends more toward the luxury end of the scale than to the sport. The re-tuned transmission now shifts better than ever, with improved downshifts and acceleration. It’s a great car to drive, although there’s no shame in being relegated to the back seat, where optional rear-seat climate and audio controls and an optional power adjuster await you. It’s a lot of money, but then, this is a lot of car.

The Q45 is built in Tochigi, Japan.

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