2011 Infiniti M

Infiniti is known as the luxury division of Nissan. Primarily created to take on Acura and Lexus (which not quite coincidentally, are owned by Nissan rivals Honda and Toyota, respectively), they aim to produce high quality luxury cars that just about anyone would appreciate. Of course, in any luxury brand, they should have an elite level full size 4 door sedan. And Infiniti has one, the Infiniti M.

Exterior & Interior

Of course, first impressions are most often made from first looks. And its exterior, for better or for worse, is uniquely Infiniti. Some even say that it resembles the well received as the G, only that the M is larger in size. People like its sexy shape, and its organic and flowing curves are something that is appreciated by car nuts. And together with the 18 inch wheels (20 inch wheels are optional equipment), it is more than enough to create an aggressive stance.

The interior proves to be just as impressive as the exterior, as everything about it can satisfy even the most demanding of drivers. The quality of the trim is top notch, with wood and leather generously splashed on the car. The seating, even though some may find that rear headroom is a bit compromised, are excellent and supportive. There are a lot of electronics available, with the centerpiece being a much simpler user interface for functions such as navigation and entertainment.

Performance

As for the performance, this is where the Infiniti M shines. There are 2 engine options available for the M Series , a 3700 cc V6 (the same engine used for the Infiniti G37 sports car) that produces 330 horsepower, and the 5600 cc V8 engine (the same engine used for the Infiniti QX56 SUV) that produces 420 horsepower. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels, though 4 wheel drive comes optional.

There is only a single transmission offered for both engine options: a seven speed automatic gearbox with 4 modes: economy, normal, sport, and snow. Both engines have fuel economy that ranges in between 16 to 24 miles per gallon, depending on the driving situation. With a greatly sorted out suspension and brakes, it is expected to be one of the best handling cars in its class. But it can only get better once an optional sports package is equipped, which features among others: 20 inch wheels, a sport tuned suspension, larger brakes, and even 4 wheel steering.

The Competition

The M is designed to take on vaunted rivals such as the Lexus GS350 (MSRP $46,900; 19 city / 26 hwy) and the BMW 5 Series (MSRP $45,050; 22 city / 32 hwy), just to name a few.

Pros & Cons

There is a lot of positive feedback with regards to the Infiniti M Series. People have appreciated its sporty exterior, but it is more than matched by the stupendous performance credentials of this car. The V6 engine is claimed to be more than a match for this car, but the V8 engine provides this car with awesome performance numbers. Acceleration comes extremely quick, and because of its suspension settings, it can handle much better than most of its competition. The interior is also well received because of its spaciousness, the simplicity of its controls, and the build quality.

Of course, it has its limitations too. People claim that the 4 wheel drive system, while it enhances grip and stability, deducts points from the fuel economy and maneuverability standpoint. Also, the trunk is deemed to be just average, and the rear seats may not exactly be for everyone.

Overall Rating
86 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2011 Infiniti M sedans are on a mission: to erase some of the distance shoppers put between the German super sedans and Nissan's most luxurious and powerful four-doors.”Car Connection

“Even base models exhibit a sporty feel, with good steering response and well-controlled body lean in fast turns.”Consumer Guide

“The Infiniti M37x is truly a remarkable car, not only for the driving experience but for the available technology, which is second to none.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“Strong performance; engaging handling; many high-tech features; classy interior; hybrid model's high fuel economy.”Edmunds

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Sedan Base Price: $47,050.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 20 gallons (75 liters) MPG: 18 city / 26 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 194.7 in. (494.5 cm) Width: 72.6 in. (184 cm)
Height: 59.1 in. (150 cm) Wheel Base: 114.2 in. (290 cm)
Curb Weight: 3858 lbs (1750 kg) Ground Clearance: 6.0 in. (15 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 14.9 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: 3.7L DOHC 24-Valve V6 Displacement: 3696 cc
Horsepower: 360 HP Max RPM: 7000 RPM
Torque: 270 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm Transmission: 7-Speed Automatic w/ ASC
0-60 mph: 4.8 seconds Maximum Speed: 150 mph (241 km/h)
Available Trims & Engine
Option:2012 M37 MSRP: $47,700; MPG: 18 city / 26 hwy
Option:M37x AWD MSRP: $49,850; MPG: 17 city / 24 hwy
Option:M Hybrid MSRP: $53,700; MPG: 27 city / 32 hwy
Option:M56 MSRP: $59,100; MPG: 16 city / 24 hwy
Option:M56x AWD MSRP: $61,600; MPG: 16 city / 23 hwy