It had more bells and whistles than I knew what to do with. I’d suggest a thorough read of the manual and keeping it on hand in case you run into a challenge. My first problem with all this technology came for me while sitting in a parking garage in for over an hour trying to get the car to start. Although it is almost reflexive to put your foot on the brake while putting a vehicle into gear, hitting the brake while starting never occurred to me. And, even having the manual did not get me out of this one. I had to call my technology savvy brother to discover this quirk.

Once over that initial challenge, however, I found that the M45 has a smooth ride and, with the power the V8 engine offers, is fun to drive. Inside, the interior does not scrimp on style or luxury. It had black leather seats and a matching trimmed steering wheel. It gives drivers three ways to change the radio station or volume – the steering wheel, dash, and voice command. The DVD navigation system is a great feature in any car and I did, in fact, get lost while driving and the system put me right back on track. Rear back-up cameras should also come standard on many of today’s trucks and massive SUVs. The M45 does not really need this feature, but it did prove useful. The voice recognition feature, although fun at times, especially when my young niece was in the car, is unnecessary.

The sedan can be outfitted with a V-6 or V-8 engine, all with fivespeed automatic transmissions. Our car had the bigger V8 engine which I found excessive considering the car is not one you’d use for towing. The only thing the V8 engine provides, besides the obvious unnecessary power, is a costly bill at the gas station. I’d rather have the gas mileage than the power – the M45 only gets 23 mpg highway.

Base-priced at $50,550, options like the Advanced Technology package, which includes a Bose surround sound system, intelligent cruise control, lane departure warning system, XM radio, and audio/video input jacks added $2,500; aerodynamic body kit including front and rear lower fascias, side sills, and rear deck lid spoiler added $1,590; and the Technology Package including rear view monitor and navigation system tacked on $2,950; so the list price of our review car was $58,240.

— Julie Kalista

M45