SUM UP (4 Stars)

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for M35h in 2013

All M models now have auto-dimming exterior mirrors and an automatic trunk ""cincher."" The Sport Package is offered with all-wheel-drive models, and the Premium Package now includes a rear sonar system and Infiniti Connection. Sport stone is now offered as an interior color for Sport models. A 20-inch performance tire and wheel package replaces the previous 18-inch wheel package...more

The 2013 Infiniti M35h is a high-performance hybrid luxury sedan that offers owners the best of two worlds: fuel economy and decent get-up-and-go power. In fact, Infiniti markets the M35h as the ""world’s fastest full hybrid"" after pitting it against a Porsche Panamera S Hybrid, which didn’t hold up to its speed test. The M35h can drive on electric power alone at speeds of up to 62 mph. While there’s not much ?bling? to talk about, the M35h does have a bevy of technology features. Safety features are state-of-the-art as well, including an accelerator pedal that fights back against aggressive driving. For buyers comparing hybrids to find one that is environmentally friendly with power, gusto, and luxury appointments, the M35h should be explored.

Exterior

The M35h’s sporty and luxurious exterior incorporates Infiniti’s signature double-arch grille that sits low, headlight clusters with a crystal-look, and a wave-like trunk stance that adds to the vehicle’s aerodynamic efficiency much like a spoiler increases downward force. Large aluminum-alloy wheels complement its expressive look. It’s obvious that Infiniti put a lot of time into making the M series as aerodynamic as possible with features that include rear-tire deflectors, an exhaust cover, and a rear diffuser. These may seem like minor attractions, but collectively these enhancers add greatly to the 2013 Infiniti M35h’s low coefficient of drag of just 0.26.

Interior & Cargo

While there are few interior details that would let owners know that they have a hybrid, there is little with which to find fault in the 2013 Infiniti M35h. The cabin is put together well, including the charge/power gauge in the cluster instead of an engine temperature gauge found in other M series cars. While other luxury hybrids make sure drivers know they are in a fuel-efficient vehicle by ways of blue back-lit badges or displays of green leaves, or EV mode buttons, the M35h does not bother with what could be considered as inconsequential tidbits. In fact, the navigation system, trim and center stack are no different than the others in the series, except for the built-in software specific to this hybrid.

Although there is an absence of hybrid-bred features, the M35h does come with the standard suite of technology and optional gadgets that the base M37 offers. Take a look at the standard iPod and USB with Bluetooth capability speakerphone, as well as the seven-inch infotainment screen that does it all with the exception of navigation. Infiniti’s signature six-speaker sound system makes listening to music or talk radio a delight, and the Sirius-XM satellite service and single CD player are nice additions. Music aficionados may want to spring for the $3300 Plus Premium package that offers Bose 5.1 channel surround sound, a speaker in the rear, and voice-control functions among other benefits. Although rear seating may be a bit snug in this four-door, the M35h is roomy overall. Its precision craftsmanship serves drivers well for those who want the best in comfort, luxury, and attention to their driving needs. Cargo space of 11.3 cubic feet is about 20 percent less than the rest of the M vehicles.

Safety

The latest safety features in the 2013 Infinity M35h give drivers confidence on the road. The collision warning and lane-departure warning features could help save lives as they alert drivers to possible hazardous driving. An accelerator pedal feature is another cutting-edge addition. This feature ?fights back? against aggressive acceleration by forcing the pedal back against the driver’s foot. This function is designed to kick in when it detects the driver is driving uneconomically or if it appears that the driver is following too closely to the vehicle in front of it. It will also deploy when its detection calculations determine the vehicle must be stopped immediately for some reason. For drivers with a heavy foot, this feature can be turned off. More traditional safety features include anti-lock brakes that sense when a tire has stopped rotating because of extreme braking, and in turn allows the tire to turn, giving the driver better handling and control. Stability control powers up when a driver causes the vehicle to exceed its handling limits, and then either reduces engine power or applies select brakes to help bring the car under control. Overhead, side, and front airbags help protect occupants in a crash, and anti-whiplash head restraints add another level of safety in reducing the chance of whiplash injury.

Driving Experience

The 2013 Infiniti M35h has a 5.5-liter, V-6, electric hybrid engine and 360 horsepower, making it a fast car while still being frugal when it comes to fuel consumption. Its superb balance, body control, and luxury interior make driving easy and comfortable. Fuel consumption is rated 27/32 mpg city/highway, taking the highway mileage capability well above others in the M series. The M35h can rev up to a respectable 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and cruise at speeds of 155 mph. Its rear-drive layout and seven-speed automatic transmission combine for an excellent drive, making it possible to forget it’s a hybrid.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Infiniti M35h

  • BMW 5 Series Hybrid
  • Lexus GS Hybrid
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class Hybrid

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