Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Generation Y34: 2003 Infiniti M45

The Y34 generation M45 was sold in the US market for the 2003 and 2004 model years only, and in very limited numbers.  The thing that made the M45 different from something like a BMW 540i, Audi S6 or Mercedes-Benz E500 is that it didn't have a basic entry model and was the only mid-sized executive class car offered from Nissan.  This means that if you own one, it will truly be the only one you see around town.  Find this 2003 Infiniti M45 offered for $4,000 in Apple Valley, CA via craigslist.  Tip from Ryan.

Gen Y did I buy this...

The Y34 M45 is sleek enough to blend into the background (most non car folks won't notice its not a LexusedesMW) and rare enough that car people will do a double take.  Only 7000 of these handsome sedans were built during the Y34 generation's two year production run and the only engine choice was the VK45DE V8.  The VK's 340 horsepower and 333 ft-lbs of torque is more than enough to toss around the big Nissan's 3800 lb curb weight.

Maybe if the pic is REALLY overexposed they won't notice that the car isn't in the middle of the frame.

See a cooler big sedan for your daily commute?


  1. This was part of Infiniti's wilderness years, when they couldn't quite figure out what Americans were going to buy.

    They'd gone through the first Q45, and it was a beautifully-made product but had some ergonomic gotchas. Then you had the next Q45, which was somewhat more conservative. Then this, which was really a door-frame-less version of that second-gen Q45 (it wasn't mid-sized, though they kinda priced it that way) and which went nowhere too.

    Nissan seems to have a handle on selling smallish, 3-series sized product, and they did reasonably well with some bigger SUVs though IMO they were pretty much all horribly ugly. But they never got the big sedans.

  2. Aways had an itch for one of these, but unsure as a daily buggy racking up hwy miles. i know mpg w/ the V8 is lousy but i still have that itch.

  3. A 370z weighs about that much, and has similar hp. Im sure this thing is a riot. My kids would love it.

  4. I had one of these before, was a fantastic car and a blast to drive. Unfortunately to get to 340hp, they used 'low friction' piston rings that failed early. A new engine under warranty saved the day, definitely sad when I eventually sold it.

    1. Wow, amazing what you can learn on DT. Thanks for sharing a real-world experience.

      Stuff like "low friction piston rings" are what makes me shy way from the high-tech wonder buggies, and towards simpler mainstream cars that stand a chance of aging well in the real world. I like driving as much as most folks here on DT, but I just can't live with a ticking time bomb sitting in the garage. Especially during a dead-of-winter cold start.

    2. Everyone uses low-tension piston rings these days, at least pretty much everyone I'm aware of. When you're chasing those CAFE numbers you need every friction reduction you can get. It's like automakers running 20-weight oil.

  5. I always thought this was Nissan's version of the Crown Vicky.

    1. It sure looks like a futurist study of a Crown Vic replacement and almost makes me not want one. But they are pretty slick cruisers and I have seen people get all wild fitting 240sx coilovers to these for a low and long cruising machine that gets close to the vintage Impala look with that long flat trunk.

  6. How can you not include the dash picture? I love the weird wood and the clock that appears to be angled toward the floor. Such a weird yet cool car.

  7. i think chevy forgot about low friction or high friction rings in my Vega GT. It sucked on dino lube every stroke.


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