The M56 is the performance flagship of the 2012 Infiniti M range, which in addition to the M56 also includes the base M37
and mid-spec M35h
Compared to the other two, which come with V-6 engines, the M56 is unique in that it features a V-8 powerplant, which means anyone considering similar V-8 powered luxury sedans such as the BMW 550i or E550 from Mercedes-Benz should also take a look at the Infiniti.
Under the hood sits a 5.6-liter V-8 delivering 420 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque. Matched to a sweet seven-speed automatic with paddle shifters, this engine will propel the M56 to 60 mph from rest in 5.0 seconds or less yet is still capable of 25 mpg highway gas mileage. The sound of the exhaust is also one of the most hellacious found in a luxury sedan.
As you may have guessed, the car’s city mileage comes in lower, in this case averaging about 16 mpg. Note, Infiniti also offers an all-wheel-drive M56x. Considering the almost identical fuel economy of this particular model, we say it’s well worth the upgrade due to the additional safety of its all-wheel-drive traction, especially in areas where winter driving requires you to change your tires.
Opting for the big engine up front doesn’t mean the M56 falters when it comes to handling. Just as with the M37, the handling of the M56 is great. The steering is quick and responsive, and the ride firm but nowhere near harsh. It's all an elusive mix in this field, and Infiniti's nailed it. Plus, with a big trunk and more back-seat space than is typical in mid-size luxury sedans, the Infiniti M is practical, too.
Swing open its doors and you’re greeted with an interior that’s punching well above its weight. Fine woods, supple leathers, and a tasteful layout all add up to an interior worthy of vehicles much more expensive than the M56. It also doesn’t hurt that the M56 features some very comfortable seats and ample room for five adults.
But that’s not all. Features are generous on comfort and luxury items, with plenty of opportunities for safety-tech and premium upgrades. Items worth mentioning include ventilated front seats, a nav system with live weather and traffic updates, and a host of safety monitoring systems.
For more on the 2012 Infiniti M56, including a close look at its styling, performance, quality, and safety, head over to our sister site The Car Connection
for the full review.