Good Bye Ol’ Paint – Infiniti M45 Off Lease
- October 12, 2006
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- Posted by George Peterson
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Unlike many media/analysts, AutoPacific and VehicleVoice staffers actually have their own cars. We actually go to dealerships and buy them just like normal folks.
Two years ago just as the lease was coming due on my 2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer I was driving through the local auto mall and rolled past the Infiniti dealership where they were having a fire sale on out-of-production first generation M45s. You remember the 1st M45. It was a Nissan Cedric/Gloria/Cima with “sporty” cues like a fast greenhouse and frameless door windows. The M45 had been put in the Infiniti lineup as a stopgap between the fading-fast I30 and the already faded Q45. Only a short-term proposition, Infiniti did what it could to differentiate the car and make it an “Infiniti” – did a pretty good job.
New Lease Chosen for Most Horsepower for the Buck
Frankly, I didn’t like the way the car looked, but the price was too good to pass up. Turns out I have gotten into the mode of leasing vehicles based on horsepower per lease payment dollar. The 340 horsepower for the M45 made the discounted lease they were offering a real deal.
The M45 was the 1st sedan I had personally had for ten years. The previous five two-year leases had been SUVs – one Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo and four Ford Expeditions. Just could not bring myself to get sixth SUV for this iteration.
On the upside, the Infiniti was very, very fast. The V8 sounded outstanding at full roar. Handling was OK. The seats with temperature controls interfering with your inboard thigh were among the most uncomfortable in the industry for few years. They were shared with the G35 and FX and thankfully they have been replaced by better seats for its most recent cars.
Infiniti Lease Turn-In Seamless
But this story is not really about the car, but about the end of lease experience. Outstanding! The lessee received four mailings from Infiniti beginning three months prior to the end of lease. The mailings provided opportunity to get information on new Infiniti cars and SUVs, detailed the turn-in process, gave guidelines on what was a chargeable boo-boo on the car at turn in.
Sixty days prior to turn in, Infiniti sent an inspector to the office to evaluate the car. He closely scrutinized the condition of the M45 including exterior and interior, tires, engine bay, etc. Took pictures and then wrote a summary report using the camera phone and laptop he had brought for the purpose. Slick. The car only had 16,500 miles on it (for a 24,000 mile 2-year lease) so it passed with flying colors.
The lease turn-in at the local Infiniti dealership took about five-minutes. No hassels, just completing a computerized turn-in form. Great experience.
By the way, if you can find that car, it is Twilight Blue and