The 2011 Infiniti M has already won a slew of awards, from best premium-priced interior (Ward's Auto) to Top Safety Pick (IIHS). So even if it weren't a massively updated, improved, and refined version of Infiniti's already impressive M sedan, the 2011 Infiniti M56 would deserve our attention for the Best Car To Buy award.
But it is all of those things--and when powered by the potent 420-horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque supplied by the 5.6-liter V-8 engine, it's a beast in the performance category as well. Mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission with manual mode, rev-matched shifting and available paddle shifters, the 2011 M56 is a solid driver's choice.
It'll swaddle passengers, as well, with immensely comfortable seats front and rear, ample room all around, and a plushly decorated and styled interior that rivals the classic marques for attention to detail and quality of materials.
Rather dramatic exterior styling may make for some love/hate dynamics, but any great car must take risks, and for the most part, the 2011 M56 succeeds where others play it safe. Aggressive fenders, a low-slung stance, and strong character lines down the sides all play together to give the M56 a more muscular look than your average gold-flecked luxury cruiser.
This is the last of our 2011 Best Car To Buy nominees, so look forward to our announcement of the winner from among this crop soon. If you've missed any of the previous nominees, you can catch up on them, as well as all of our Best Car To Buy coverage, from MotorAuthority, GreenCarReports, and TheCarConnection, at our 2011 Best Car To Buy page.