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You are in the Infiniti M35/M45
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Infiniti M45, Infiniti M35
#4250 of 6008 Rear controls in Premium model
Aug 19, 2005 (11:54 am)
I don't know if this has already been asked, but I'm blurry-eyed reading through all of the posts...
I'm considering the M45 Premium, but noticed something I didn't like AT ALL about the rear controls. I'm wondering if anyone has seen a way around this:
It appears that the volume controls in the rear are simply an extension of the front controls. When the rear passengers adjust them, the front speakers follow suit. Is there any way to have the rear sets get their own volume level?
The same thing goes for temerature settings: when either rear passenger changes their A/C, BOTH front zones move up or down by the same amount (even if the A/C is in dual mode!!) I would expect the rear zone to be a third zone for the car - independent from the front.
I also have a few other quesitons:
1) Can rear-seated passengers truly watch a DVD on the flip-down screen (using headphones) while the driver listens to the radio (satellite or terrestrial)?
2) While driving, are any NAV funtions locked out?
3) Is it true that the AC voice commands are for temperature only (no fan)?
4) On the two models I test-drove, the dealer put on some demo DVD encoded to Dolby 5.1. Of course, it sounded awesome. But when I switched over to plain old radio, the speakers in the seat seemed to not work worth a darn. He mentioned something about needing to play 5.1-encoded CD's for best sound. WTF? My question is: are the speakers near your head actually putting out good sound with plain old CDs?
This car drives so well, I'm just put off by some of the half-baked features:
I need the entertainment package for the kids, but the drop-down screen blocks the rear-view mirror almost completely. The oddly-shaped M headrests taper in the back and therefore cannot accomodate LCD screens. I'm sure the unusual shape is due to the extra speakers.
Speaking of which...the seat-mounted speakers appear to be a gimmick, as they seem to be almost useless. (I hope your experiences differ with this.)
They have a ton of voice commands, but are missing some obvious ones.
The Premium package adds full luxury to the rear passengers, but the rear controls are simply satellites of the front console. For the extra cost, the rear passengers should truly have their own experience (as Infiniti promises). A single console-mounted anemic air vent just doesn't cool that rear area. And Jeez, for the premium option price, it should include ventilated rear seats.
Achingly absent are rear side sunshades, although they are available or standard on every one of the competitor's cars.
The Nav system is great as usual, but is missing real-time traffic conditions (which should be standard with any Nav/satellite system by now). Granted - only Acura has this now, but automakers must make this available very soon. Infiniti would be wise to offer it as an upgrade to current owners in the near future.
If some of the 'missing' features are actually there, but hidden in the owner's manual, PLEASE let me know. I really want the M45 to be my 3rd Infiniti to date. I hope that by the 2008 model, the following will be avilable:
* Rear side-sunshades (and rear power sunshade moved to Journey package)
* Real-time traffic conditions on NAV added to Tech package
* Rear seat coolers added to Premium package
* Better sound (or elimination of headrest speakers)
* Wider voice command library - standard
* Entertainment system removed from Premium package
* Front bumper radar parking sensors added to Tech package
* Additional air vents for rear passengers (mounted above doors - a'la LS430)
Now, wouldn't all of you M35/M45 owners find these to be icing on the cake? I know that would make the M more feature-laden than the Q, but does anyone actually buy Q's anymore? They seem like a whole lot less of a car for about 5K more than a Premium M45.
#4251 of 6008 Re: Rear controls in Premium model [brianfox]
Aug 19, 2005 (12:15 pm)
Because I have very young kids, I decided not to buy the Premium package so that they would *NOT* play (huh.. destroy) all the rear controls. So I can't comment on that. I also got my windows tinted, which look a whole lot better (IMO) than shades and are also kids-proof. For the CDs, some I have play extremely well, with very little distortion even with the volume almost to the max, with sound coming from the nearby speakers (the little they make is perceptible and improve the overall listening experience). Btw I wish they would also add radar sensors in the rear, because I may backup (slowly) while watching for cars on either side and I might miss a small moving object that jsut ran right behind me (like a kid on a bike).
#4252 of 6008 Re: M35/M45 Gas Mileage [worldski]
Aug 19, 2005 (12:37 pm)
I have an M35x that I've only put premium into, but I have the same question. I read the manual about the recommendations and it's very vague. What does loss of performance mean specifically? I'm far from a gearhead so I'm not sure I'd notice if it went down to 260hp from 280 or it took 6.5 sec to get to 60mph on regular gas as opposed to 6.3 on premium. As I understand it, regular gas won't void the warranty or anything, and it's not as clear as it is on my mom's mustang gt that premium is required.
#4253 of 6008 Some answers (maybe)
Aug 19, 2005 (1:26 pm)
On the two models I test-drove, the dealer put on some demo DVD
encoded to Dolby 5.1. Of course, it sounded awesome.
But when I switched over to plain old radio, the speakers in the
seat seemed to not work worth a darn. He mentioned something
about needing to play 5.1-encoded CD's for best sound. WTF?
My question is: are the speakers near your head actually putting
out good sound with plain old CDs?
Let's talk about the DVD capability. The technology system is capable of playing back DVD-A in DVD-A format. It is also capable of playing back other format, including DTS, Dolby Digital (AC-3 is less ambiguous), etc. DVD's are multi-format when it comes to the audio tracks. The vehicle audio system should default to the highest "resolution" format possible for whatever disc you insert. If it was a DVD-Video it could very well be that AC-3 was the best it could do. If you played a DVD-A, you would get DVD-A ... This was the design of the system, but it does not take into account the possibility that some headunits with software bugs got into the field.
Now about the seat speakers. These devices are utilized for optimizing a number of things, including sound stage spaciousness and imaging, and they provide a capability for doing this that goes beyond what can be done with normal audio systems. This optimization is actually done differently for different signal sources. Why? One easy example is to compare CD to DVD. True discrete 5.1 (DVD-A) can have instruments, vocalists, and other things specifically and precisely placed behind you. The seat mounted speakers are used to help you hear those things with the right location and tonal balance. In contrast, CD's do not have specific music info that is supposed to be coming from only behind you. So the seat speakers are utilized in a different way because the desired sound stage is different. This is why you hear different amounts of sound coming out of the seat speakers for a DVD or a radio broadcast.
One other thing to remember. The seat speakers are not meant to be played so you distinctly notice that there is a little speaker a few inches from your ear. That is what you would get if you just stuck some speakers on the seats and cranked up the gain. It WOULD be unnatural. Instead, Bose uses several proprietary DSP technologies to help those close speakers create a large/wide/natural rear sound stage.
#4254 of 6008 Re: Steering wheels [varix]
Aug 19, 2005 (1:59 pm)
Personally - I've had wood steering wheels in my past 2 cars, and love them. No, they're not hot or cold, or hard to me, they feel great. I wouldn't want a car without at least some section of the wheel done in wood. I'm looking for a Q-45, which has barely some wood accents in the wheel - and I'm wishing they had finished the job.
#4255 of 6008 Re: Rear controls in Premium model [brianfox]
Aug 19, 2005 (3:36 pm)
Rear audio controls:
I let me my kids control the audio from the rear when it's their turn to choose the stations. It's very nice to let them switch around to their favorites without bothering me. When I take my my turn on the station choices, I disable the rear controls: There's a switch for that.
Rear climate controls:
This car is advertised as a dual zone climate control car. It's not a four zone car. I believe the Lexus works the same way. There are individual blower volume and directional controls on the rear vents. There's not much more you could do with a dual zone car. But I agree there's not all that much value in this feature. Those rear vents move a lot of air, IMO, and I haven't had any problems at all with the rear passenger comfort. And speaking of rear passenger comfort: I'm 6'1". I tend to sit with my seat way back. and I recently spent a week driving some friends all around the bay area, with a 6'3" friend right behind me. He said he's never been so comfortable in a rear seat, and we both had tons of leg room. No other car in this class could have done that.
No current Lexus, BMW, or Mercedes can enter destinations by saying the street address, as the M can. This voice command is the most complete system on the market, by a wide margin. (With the possible exception of Acura, whose voice system is comparable) It appears you can not adjust blower speed with voice command, but after all the blower speed commands are right there on the console.
Watching and listening to DVD while playing the radio.
I believe you can go to headphone mode and watch DVD and listen to the DVD on the headphones while others are listening to radio through the speakers.
Infiniti has signed an agreement with XM to offer this in the future. No word on such features from Germany, and lexus has yet to implement it, as well.
Go to: settings > Audio > Bose Center Point
There you can turn on center point to get surround sound on CDs etc. You can scroll down from Bose Center Point to CenterPoint volume to adjust that to your liking as well. As an ex musician, who's owned several Lexi including one with Mark Levinson, I'm totally blown away by the quality of this sound system. I do suggest turning the base way up for the best equalization.
Half Baked features.
IMO the features of this car are generally richer, better thought out and more user friendly than any competitor, by a huge margin. I can give you a very large list of comparative deficiencies on each of the competitors systems. I own a merecedes and have owned many Lexii including an LS430. Among the big advantages for the M, is best nav in the industry, Best Back Up Monitor, Best Voice command, Best Intelligent Cruise, a much heartier climate control than the most others , a logically arranged console with instant access to all every day controls (requiring hugely less digging through menus than any of the competition.), much more passenger room than any competitor, and countless areas with superb attention to detail. No system is perfect, the M is just a lot closer. AMHO.
#4256 of 6008 Re: Steering wheels [nvbanker]
Aug 19, 2005 (4:09 pm)
I never had a car with a wood wheel, didn't seem to make sense but you seem to like it. It wouldn't kill the M for you because it doesn't have one would it?
#4258 of 6008 Re: Steering wheels [nvbanker]
Aug 19, 2005 (4:28 pm)
I always liked the wood steering wheel as well. I thought it was beautiful on my LS430, and was disappointed when it was not available on the M.
Well after driving the M for a while, I have to admit that it really feels better without it. JMHO.
#4259 of 6008 Re: Steering wheels [pete_l_p]
Aug 19, 2005 (5:43 pm)
I think they look great, too. But when I am driving, I prefer the feel and grip of the leather.