Buy/Drive/Burn: Large, Unpopular V8 Luxury From 2006

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
buy drive burn large unpopular v8 luxury from 2006

One of our trio is on its last legs, another is brand new, and the third option is near the middle of its life. They all share V8 power up front, driven wheels at the rear, and midsections full of luxury equipment. Most people avoided them when new, so it should be no problem finding one to burn.


The genesis of today’s trio came from Kyree Williams, over in the comments of the QOTD regarding oddball automotive outcasts. Combining said topic with large luxury sedans leads naturally to a Buy/Drive/Burn.

Infiniti Q45

Infiniti’s flagship Q45 sedan entered into its third and final generation for the 2002 model year. The new design went in a completely different direction from the second-generation model, which had been criticized for being too staid, too soft, and too like a Buick. Underneath this new sedan was the latest Nissan President, the company’s flagship domestic offering in Japan. The Q45 returned to its namesake displacement level, with the same 340 horsepower 4.5-liter V8 engine customers would find in the original M45 sedan. Power traveled through a five-speed automatic.

Known mostly for its HiD “Gatling gun” headlamp design, the rest of the Q45 looked like a big Altima. A styling refresh in 2005 brought it closer to its upcoming replacement, the second generation M35/45. That smaller sedan existed on lots with the Q45 for 2006, when the company’s old flagship was cancelled.

Cadillac STS

In 2005, Cadillac scratched the Seville name from its sporty sedan offering. Since 1998, customers could choose between the softer front-drive Seville SLS, or sportier STS. In its effort to rinse away the Old Florida Man image, both Seville and SLS went away for 2005. Styling was all-new, in alignment with the recent Arts and Science theme gliding over the rest of the brand’s offerings. In V8 format (3.6 V6 was the base engine) 320 Northstar horsepowers traveled to the rear wheels via a five-speed automatic. The STS received a styling update with larger grille for the 2008 model year, and would pack up entirely after 2011. It was replaced by the CTS on the smaller side, and the front-drive XTS on the larger.

Lexus GS430

Brand new for the 2006 model year, the third-generation Lexus GS stepped in to replace the aged 1990s styling of the prior version. The 3.0-liter inline-six and 4.0-liter V8 engines were replaced by a 3.0-liter V6 and today’s engine of choice — the 4.3-liter unit from the LS430. An even 300 horsepower traveled via six-speed auto to the rear tires. Wearing the new “L-finesse” design language, the GS replaced its V6 in 2007 with a 3.5-liter (becoming GS350), and visual updates in 2008 coincided with availability of the new 4.6-liter V8 from the LS460. The design wrapped up in 2011, and there was no GS available in 2012. 2013 brought the fourth-generation model that’s with us today.

Three V8s, three unpopular sedan outcasts. Which goes home with you?

[Images: GM, Nissan, Toyota]

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  • LDAJR LDAJR on Aug 11, 2018

    Buy: Lexus -recently shopped these; the GS400h gave you V-8 power for V-6 economy + O-60 of 5.6. But we're talking about the V-8 here, which, while conservative in both interior and exterior design is bullet-proof. Drive: Cadillac (the Rules say I'd be 'borrowing' the 'Drive' car and I'd have to give it back; let's just say I'll borrow it very infrequently Burn: Infiniti -while some posts have maligned the Lexus design, the Infiniti is by far the ugliest -I wouldn't be seen in it. Infiniti's SUVs are the only reason they've survived -and I'm a Nissan owner ('92 240SX) and fan...

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Aug 12, 2018

    Of those three I drove only STS and found it to be rather crude and cheap compared with E class (it was on GM event). Q45 looks ridiculous so it deserves to burn for eternity. I do not want to drive STS but apparently have to. Lexus should be boring but at least high quality car with refined drive, well I will buy GS - it will not depreciate at least.

  • ChristianWimmer Sunak has apparently done this because his political party has lost so much support. Once the brainless masses flock to his political party again the trap will spring shut and bam - the ICE ban will be attempted to get pushed through even quicker.Honestly, Europe right now is a complete CR** HOLE thanks to the EU.Did anyone hear of the EU’s plans to make driving even more unattractive? A French Green Party politician introduced some really perverted ideas under the guise of “Vision Zero” (Zero deaths from driving in the EU) and of course the climate hysteria…1) If you just received your driver’s license you can not drive faster than 90 km/h - basically you’re stuck behind trucks on highways or can’t even overtake them on normal roads.2) If you are 60 years old, your license is only valid for 7 more years. If you are 70 years old, 5 years. If you’re 80 years old, 2 years. You are required to “renew” your license (and pay for it yourself) which will also determine if you are still fit to drive.3) The standard B driver’s license here allows you to drive vehicles up to 3.5 tons in weight. Under this idiotic proposal from that French nutjob, those 3.5 tons will decrease to 1.8 tons meaning that you can’t legally even drive a Tesla Model 3…
  • ToolGuy I blame Canada.
  • Syke This is one of those days when you come up with an article that I just live to comment on. I'm retired from (but still working at three half days a week - retirement was boring) Richmond Honda House, a Honda/Yamaha/Can-Am/Sea Doo dealership. No, I'm not a mechanic. I'm the guy who handles all the recall/warranty claims. Which between the three major brands, and a couple of small Asian brands is enough to keep me busy for about fourteen business hours split across Tuesday thru Thursday. Yes, the Spyders are reliable, but when they do break down they can be a nightmare due to you have to have a laptop plugged into one to do most kinds of service. First hint: You absolutely do not want to do massive aftermarket sound system upgrades to a Spyder. We've had nightmares with them in the past. I swear half our original customers back in the 2008-2010 period bought theirs to turn into a three-wheeled boom box, which would invariably cause voltage fluctuations in the electrical system, thus driving the various black boxes wonky and causing all sorts of problems.Those of you who decry computerization in modern automobiles will find that the Spyder is even more so. I've noticed that the Spyder has gotten a lot better since Bombardier dropped the original V-twin engine (same one that Aprilia used on their 1000's when they first came into the country) in favor of the current triple. Mechanical repairs to the drivetrain have definitely gone down.Used? The more recent models seem to have good reliability. No, not as good as the current Gold Wing, or any generation Gold Wing for that matter, but definitely within acceptable parameters. The older ones, especially the original 2008-2010 models, I'd recommend staying away from. How bad? During the 2008 recession, when motorcycle dealers were desperately hanging on, my office at Honda House was the single best cash flow for the company, totally because of warranty claims and recalls from the original models. Yes, Bombardier has gotten an awful lot better.Oh yeah, the company itself it decent to deal with on a business and support level. From my office, they're my favorite of the three, slightly ahead of Yamaha, and a night and day improvement over Honda. All you have to remember is that you're not dealing with Canadians, you're dealing with Quebecois. Yes, there's a difference, I was married to one for thirteen years.
  • Sgeffe How does this compare to something like the Polaris Slingshot?
  • Lou_BC I just don't like the C - pillar lines. The rear window doesn't flow with the roofline.