1996 Infiniti Q45 with traction control 4.5 from North America


A very balanced, rewarding car to own


I've replaced brakes, struts, and had rear subframe bushings. I also replaced an idler pulley and belts. Pretty much just routine maintenance on higher mileage cars.

General Comments:

I purchased this car from an estate. At the time, Infiniti would allow you to print out the maintenance record from their service departments. The two previous owner's were meticulous in upkeep to say the least. This made me feel more comfortable in the purchase.

I have to say I've had many cars, but overall this is the best car I have ever owned. It is powerful, but I've had more powerful cars. It handles very well, but I have had better handling cars. In terms of comfort, I'd say it is the most comfortable car I've owned. I've had more reliable cars, but just barely when I consider the mileage. The value has been the deciding factor. I bought the car for $9,000 with 74,000 miles. It is now 120,000 miles and 7 years later, and I have only put about $2500 in parts. Of course if you can't do your own maintenance, they are very expensive to maintain at the dealer.

Now that I am looking for another car, I can't find anything to match it without spending way more money. I think I am going to keep it and see what happens.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th July, 2011

1996 Infiniti Q45 A V8 from North America


Make sure you keep up the maintenance!


Alternator died in first week of ownership. Had to get work done at a strange shop, had to same day the part in - $370.

Replaced all serpentine belts - $196.

Replaced front inner tie rods - $318.

Bad alignment (which probably caused the next problem) - free from friend of mine.

Power steering pump starting to go.

Weird crunching noise intermittently coming from rear brakes when I let the pedal up.

General Comments:


- Gorgeous car, even 13 years later. Still get thumbs up when I'm seen in it.

- I love the leather bucket seats, the rear defrost, the anti-glimmer rear view, and the Bose sound system.

- Not awful on gas, but you should give it at least Plus grade (89) gas half the time.

- Acceleration is crazy for a car this size - I've caught myself doing 90 and not feeling it.


- I didn't properly look it over before I bought it (love at first sight/drive), and all the problems listed above have happened in the first 2 months since I bought it. Hopefully after replacing the steering pump and finding the source of that noise, it will just need routine maintenance.

- I have a history with my mechanic and he helps me out with prices, but still - it's been almost $850 in repairs so far.

- Parts are expensive for this model and in most cases, will be NOS (new old stock - been sitting in warehouses for a few years). I've been looking for a stop light bulb for 2 months now with no luck.

- If you want to add a CD player, they'll need to rip the dash apart. But you can add a universal CD changer that will play through the FM stereo for about $200.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 8th November, 2009

11th Jun 2011, 19:26

Original poster here. After almost two years I can say the following about my Q: it's pretty OK.

Since posting, I've put easily another $1500 into maintenance and repair parts. I've also joined NICOForums, which has been an invaluable resource in at least finding out what the problems I have are before bringing it to a shop.

I have an approximately 30 mile round trip to work, and between that and MAYBE 30 additional miles driven during the weekend, I go through an average of $5 in gas a day. I currently pay $3.99 a gal for 93 grade gas.

Note that my original posting said you could get by with plus grade. It can't (unless you live in AZ or NM high country). I wound up burning out my post cat oxygen sensor, which cost $90 and three weeks of waiting for it to come from Japan, plus an hour of labor to string it from the post cat pipe to the engine bay. I also have a knock sensor code, which means I now have to make a decision about keeping this car. The knock sensor is a cheap enough part, however unless you're very handy, you're looking at $400 in labor to take the plenum off and put it back on. It's cheaper to have every wear part under plenum replaced at one time, which is easily $2000 total.

You also have to find a mechanic who has worked on this model before, or you might as well do it yourself because a lot of mechanics don't even know what it is. I had two mechanics mess a power steering fix up even worse than when I brought it in, and then tell me they didn't want to touch the car anymore.

But it's still a cool car. I still get envious looks from yuppies driving their new "luxury" cars that look like toasters compared to this beauty. Fast as all get-out and very solidly built. Just now starting to rustbubble through the paint on the wheel wells after at least a decade of Massachusetts winters. Sound system is sweet, I'm waiting until I go through this service (or decide not to) before adding a touch screen head unit to the car. Scosche makes a universal adapter for the Bose speakers.

I'll probably stick with this car. But be warned - never buy one that you're unsure of the service on. I got very lucky in the scheme of things. There are plenty of stories on NICOForums of Q's being bought, getting caught up with service by the new owner, but they just didn't do that ONE THING soon enough, and now they have a $5000 heap that they might get $500 for if they're lucky enough to find a buyer. Also, know that Nissan is killing off parts for this model slowly but surely, so if yours is due for any major service, get it done ASAP or sell it for something else before it becomes scrap.