Used 2008 INFINITI M45 Sedan

2008 INFINITI M45
List price range
2008 INFINITI M45

Pros

  • Impressive V8 power, responsive handling, spacious cabin, abundant luxury features, available all-wheel drive.

Cons

  • Noisy highway ride, non-intuitive center stack controls.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Thanks to leading-edge technology and potent performance, the 2008 Infiniti M45 maintains its status as a luxury sport sedan front-runner.

vehicle overview

The previous-generation Infiniti M arrived with V8 power in 2003 ready to do battle in the highly competitive midsize luxury sport sedan class. But conservative styling and a lack of interior room hurt the car's appeal. To address this situation, Infiniti released the redesigned M45 three years later. A larger and much more stylish design, the M series (there's also a V6-powered M35) now competes more broadly and successfully against its Japanese and European rivals.

Now, a few years on, the 2008 Infiniti M45 continues to be a standout in terms of performance and cabin space, and has won wide critical acclaim. This year, the M45 receives all-wheel-drive availability for the first time. Similar to the AWD system on the M35 and FX crossover, the M45x AWD has a normal 50/50 torque split and can apply up to 100 percent of engine power to the rear wheels when needed. Other notable changes this year include revised exterior styling, new interior trim pieces and an upgraded Infiniti navigation system with real-time traffic and hard drive-based digital music storage and playback.

Overall, the M45 continues to be a great choice in the performance-oriented luxury sedan segment. Of course, the M45's main rival for sport-oriented shoppers is BMW's freshened and more powerful 5 Series. Those with bigger pocketbooks and a keener eye for comfort-focused luxury might be more pleased overall with the segment standard Mercedes-Benz E550. Also, the V6-powered M35 could save you money while providing similar features and more than enough power for most buyers. But for all-around competence in a generously equipped and fine-performing luxury sport sedan at this price point, it's hard to find fault with the 2008 Infiniti M45.

Trim levels & features

The 2008 Infiniti M45 is a midsize luxury sport sedan offered in two fully equipped trim levels: base and x AWD. The standard rear-drive M45 comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, leather upholstery, 10-way power and climate-controlled front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, wood accents, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a sunroof and Bluetooth. A six-speaker audio system with a six-CD/MP3 changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack is also standard. The M45x AWD comes with all-wheel drive, of course, and is slightly different in terms of standard and optional feature availability. For rear-drive M45s only, the Sport Package adds rear active steering, a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels, high-performance tires, a sport steering wheel and different interior trim and seats.

Other optional packages pile on more technology and luxury with amenities. The Technology Package includes an eight-speaker Bose audio system with a dedicated iPod interface and a hard drive-based navigation system with digital music storage, voice recognition, real-time traffic and a rearview camera. On top of that, the Advanced Technology Package adds a 14-speaker surround-sound Bose audio system, adaptive cruise control and additional safety features. The top-shelf Premium Package includes both technology packages and also adds power reclining and heated rear seats, rear audio controls, a rear sunshade and an entertainment system.

2008 Highlights

The 2008 Infiniti M45 gets optional all-wheel drive and the same subsequent "x AWD" nomenclature found on the all-wheel-drive M35. Notable technological upgrades this year include a new lane departure warning system and a switch to a hard drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic and digital music storage capabilities. There's also revised interior and exterior styling. Last year's Sport trim level has been dropped but a new sport package effectively takes its place.

Performance & mpg

The M45 features a 4.5-liter V8 that generates 325 horsepower and 336 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed transmission with manual shift control and downshift rev-matching transmits power to the rear wheels, or to all four wheels on all-wheel-drive models. In past testing, we hustled an M45 to 60 mph in only 5.7 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy for 2008 is competitive with its rivals at 16 mpg city and 21 mpg highway for rear-drive models. AWD models have a 14/20 mpg rating.

Safety

The 2008 Infiniti M45 includes standard antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length head curtain airbags and active front head restraints. An available advanced lane departure warning system alerts the driver of unintended lane drifting and, if necessary, automatically applies slight brake pressure to the wheels opposite the side of departure direction to help prevent the M from inadvertently drifting out of its intended lane. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, the M45 scored a top-ranked "Good" rating for both frontal-offset and side impact protection.

Driving

The V8-equipped 2008 Infiniti M45 offers plenty of torque, with smooth and abundant power delivery around town or on the highway. The firmly calibrated suspension provides a fine balance between ride and handling qualities, and the M also exhibits impressive braking performance and steering response. Although we generally find it to our liking, consumers with a luxury bias may find the steering and suspension feedback a bit harsh around town and over uneven pavement, especially in extra-firm Sport Package models.

Interior

The Infiniti M45's large cabin seats five comfortably and is well appointed with leather trim and standard rosewood accents. Its seats are firm, highly adjustable and comfortably bolstered, even in non-Sport Package vehicles. While past models weren't quite as elegant and thoughtfully refined as others in its class, the 2008 M features new electroluminescent gauges with "gear-like" detailing, a revised center console, updated trim and new color options that should help it better compete against even luxury-oriented rivals.

Shoppers focused on the sport side of the equation will feel right at home with the M's simple layout, especially in Sport Package-equipped models with their unique steering wheel and shifter stitching, exclusive front sport seats, aluminum cabin accents and bright-trimmed pedals. The layout of the center stack controls still isn't as clean and intuitive as we'd like; however, it is still friendlier than some of its German competitors' point-and-click interfaces.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 INFINITI M45.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Best car ever owned.
Joe Warner,09/30/2008
The 2008 M45x is one of the most luxurious and best handling sedans in this category. It may not be the best in every category but the combination of luxury, performance and features is excellent.
Not as flashy but just as nice
MTCS,02/17/2009
Traded in a 09 Maxima for the 08 Infiniti M45X. I test drove the 08 G37 and a 08 BMW 550. The G 37 actually drives better but I figured I would get the top of the line and go with the M. The car does not turn heads but as the other reviewer put it, you get pampered when you get inside. I had a Maxima prior to this so I understand all the gadgets. Everything is laid out well. It has great power, you will not get embarrassed on the acceleration lane and on a smooth road you cant tell the difference between 65 and 85. The surround sound is like a concert hall. Around town the ride is a little bouncy, you will feel most bumps in the road and the M goes through gas.
Love it and for the money....
sunpower,11/11/2008
I leased mine with a two year contract. At the end of the lease, I am very happy with the car. It has good acceleration, its comfortable and its stylish but not over the top. It doesn't attract too much attention but when I sit inside I feel pampered. Good features are ride and technology. Bad features are gas mileage and noise level.
Rear Clunk
M Ashley,10/17/2009
Love the car but I have a clunking noise coming from the rear of the car. Infiniti knows about this & it's been with the M series since 2006. They say its "unfixable". WHAT??? I am very displeased with the way Infiniti is handling this problem and plan to take it to the fullest, if it should come to that.
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Features & Specs

MPG
16 city / 21 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
325 hp @ 6400 rpm
MPG
14 city / 20 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
325 hp @ 6400 rpm
See all Used 2008 INFINITI M45 Sedan features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2008 INFINITI M45
Used 2008 INFINITI M45 Sedan Overview

The Used 2008 INFINITI M45 Sedan is offered in the following styles: 4dr Sedan (4.5L 8cyl 5A), and x 4dr Sedan AWD (4.5L 8cyl 5A).

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Should I lease or buy a 2008 INFINITI M45?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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