Infiniti’s M sedan offers buyers of large, executive sedans a good alternative to the usual German suspects.
Going up against popular nameplates like the Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, and Mercedes-Benz E Class, not to mention its Japanese rival, the Lexus GS, the 2012 Infiniti M manages to carve out its own niche in this crowded segment and is well worth the look.
The M comes in three different flavors, including the base M37 powered by a 3.7-liter V-6, the M56 range-topper, which comes with a 5.6-liter V-8, and an M35h hybrid model, which pairs a 3.5-liter V-6 with a hybrid drive system.
All three offer strong performance and decent economy for their class, including the M37, which despite being a base model still comes with a healthy 330 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The only transmission is a sweet seven-speed automatic with manual-shift mode, rev-matching, and available paddle shifters. We found the transmission quite happy to pound out quick in the manual mode, offering unobtrusive gear changes at the driver’s command.
While there’s only one transmission, customers do have the choice of either rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive configurations. If you live in an area where winter driving requires you to change your tires, we strongly recommend you opt for the added traction of all-wheel-drive.
Note, fuel economy in the rear-wheel-drive M37 is slightly better than the all-wheel-drive model, with the numbers coming in at 18/26 mpg city/highway and 17/24 mpg city/highway respectively.
When it comes to handling, we find Infiniti’s M range to be more tuned for sport than comfort. That’s a good thing if you like the odd spirited drive but those looking for a comfy cruiser may prefer something like the Lexus GS or Mercedes-Benz E Class. Yes, the M37 sacrifices some ride quality for handling sharpness.
Stopping power is good, too, with big, strong brakes coming as standard and offering lots of pedal feel. If you want things even sportier, a Sport package adds 20-inch wheels, sport seats and steering wheel, and aluminum pedal trim to rear-drive versions.
Inside, you get a good blend of luxury and technology. Lots of plush leather and polished wood surfaces are joined by a center console that stands out like a jewelry case and wears buttons for audio and climate controls. There are plenty of standard features, even on this base model, including a Bose stereo, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, voice-activated navigation, and Bluetooth connectivity.
For more on the 2012 Infiniti M37, including a close look at its styling, performance, quality, and safety, head over to our sister site The Car Connection
for the full review.