Premium large car; Built in Japan
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $3,200 – $6,200*

1997 Infiniti Q45t

1997 Infiniti Q45t

1998 Infiniti Q45

1997 Infiniti Q45 interior

1998 Infiniti Q45

  • Acceleration
  • Build quality
  • Quietness
  • Cargo room
  • Fuel economy
  • Price

Though impressive overall and appealing in a number of ways, bland styling and inadequate cargo room help make the latest Q45 a less-than-scintillating competitor.


The rear-wheel-drive flagship from Nissan’s luxury division got a major makeover for 1997. At 111.4 inches, the new sedan’s wheelbase was 2 inches shorter than before. Overall length dropped just half an inch, to 199.2 inches. Curb weight dipped from 4039 pounds to 3879, while trunk space shrunk from 14.8 to 12.6 cubic feet. Biggest changes went under the hood, as the previous 278-horsepower, 4.5-liter V8 gave way to a 4.1-liter V8 with variable-valve timing, which developed 266 horsepower. Two versions went on sale: the base Q45 and a Q45t touring edition. Standard on both was a 4-speed automatic transmission, limited-slip differential, antilock braking, dual front airbags, leather interior, and power sunroof. In midseason Infiniti, added side airbags to the Q45.

Yearly Updates

1998 Q45
New front safetybelt pretensioners were installed this year, and the mechanical odometer was replaced with a liquid crystal display unit.
1999 Q45
New standard features included a power rear-window sunshade, power trunklid pull-down, and high-intensity xenon gas headlights. The Touring edition (Q45t) gained dual-mode electronically controlled shock absorbers.
2000 Q45
New active front head restraints were designed to minimize whiplash injury in rear-end collisions. Rear child-seat anchors were new, as was one-touch open/close operation for the standard moonroof and all power windows. A newly optional navigation system with dashboard touch-screen replaced a simpler, nonvideo system. Available in limited numbers, a 10th Anniversary Touring edition had machine-finish wheels, special badges and upholstery, wood/leather steering wheel, and bird’s-eye maple interior accents. New platinum-tip spark plugs were good for 100,000 miles between tuneups.
2001 Q45
Body-color door handles, bird’s-eye maple interior trim, and a leather/simulated-wood steering wheel were the only changes for 2001.


longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

Only one powertrain was available: a 4.1-liter dual-overhead-cam V8 engine, producing 266 horsepower and driving a 4-speed automatic transmission.

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.1/252
Engine HP 266
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 278
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



Road Test

A test Q45 accelerated to 60 mph in a brisk 7.2 seconds. Midrange power is similarly ample, aided by a velvety-smooth, responsive and refined automatic transmission. Fuel economy is less inspiring. We averaged only 15.4 mpg in a driving mix that included a lot of rush-hour commuting, and 17.6 mpg in a session that covered more highway miles.

Compared to the prior Q45, the new standard model is less agile. Road manners are competent enough, but hardly sporty. This version also feels more roly-poly on tight, twisty roads–closer to the Lexus LS than to BMW’s 5-Series, for instance. Slightly numb on-center steering feel doesn’t help on this score, either. Suspension damping is soft enough to allow a fair amount of nosedive during hard braking. Otherwise, the brakes perform admirably. At the same time, you can expect something close to a “magic carpet” ride, with outstanding impact absorption. Body control is better in the Touring edition, however.

This “Q” is quiet, without question. Cruising is hushed, with little noise intruding from the road, wind, or engine. Passing over railroad tracks and other hazards generally produces a feeling of solidity. Though smaller outside than the prior “Q,” this one is a little roomier inside. Despite the dimensions, though, lanky back-seat occupants must ride with knees-up if a tall passenger happens to occupy the front seat. Head room in back is only adequate, too. Front seats are roomy and comfortable, with enough adjustments to accommodate occupants of nearly any stature. Visibility is good except over-the-shoulder, where wide rear roof pillars serve as obstacles. Although the dashboard looks somewhat uninspired, it’s orderly and convenient, though a few controls are cryptic or hidden. The sedan’s trunk is wide but not very long, offering space for about four medium suitcases plus a few odds and ends.


Model Tested: 1998 Infiniti Q45t

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 7
Fuel Economy - 3
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 7
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 6
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
Cargo Room - 4


Value - 4

Total: 53


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
111.4 199.2 71.7 56.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
12.6 21.1 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.6 36.9 43.6 35.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 Q45 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 126
Injury 60
Theft 142

Trouble Spots

Blower motor
Description: Humming and/or ticking noises from the blower are corrected with a revised insulator cover. (1996-2001)
Description: Brakes make a clunking sound and may also pulsate after the engine is first started, but this is a function of the ABS brakes, not a malfunction. (1997-98)
Hard starting
Description: May be hard to start in cold weather unless the preferred procedure of depressing the accelerator 1/3 to the floor during cranking. (1997-98)
Description: The car may not start if any other transponders (e.g. Mobil SpeedPass) are on the key ring. (1997-00)
Fuel economy
Description: Fuel economy may be lower after an oil change if the proper SAE grade (5W-30) is used. (1997-98)

Recall History

Description: Ignition key can be removed when engine is turned off, without placing transmission shift lever in “Park” position.
Description: Alternator diode may have been damaged when built, eventually resulting in failure and electric short that could melt plastic housing.
2000-01 vehicles with 17-inch alloy wheels
Description: Certain 17-inch alloy wheels were made with defects could result in the wheel falling off. Dealer will inspect and replace affected wheels.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.