Simply put, we're fans of the M. All-new last year, it is a huge improvement over the previous iteration. Both the M37 and the M56 have bigger engines than their predecessors, the M35 and the M45. The M37's 3.7-liter V-6 actually has five more hp than the V-8 in the old M45, for a total of 330 hp. The top-of-the-line M56 now features a 5.6-liter V-8 that pumps out 420 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque, a massive gain of 95 hp and 81 lb-ft over the previous V-8. Even better? The M56, even with its enormous power gains, gets an extra 4 mpg on the highway versus the M45. But for truly impressive fuel economy numbers, look to the recently added M35h hybrid, which can drive on electric power alone at speeds up to 62 mph. That's some impressive technology, but we aren't enamored of all the available high-tech features on this car. We're fine with lane-departure warning, but the M also offers lane-departure prevention (the car steers itself back into its lane), which can be annoyingly intrusive. There's also available four-wheel steering that makes for slightly less predictable response than you get without it. Other advanced features work well, like Infiniti's easy-to-use navigation system and its helpful Around View monitor. The M cabin is lavishly trimmed with materials that befit a luxury car, but back-seat space is snug. We're willing to compromise rear-seat space a bit here, however, for the dramatic proportions and styling, which help this M stand out in a way that the previous version never did.
Drive: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel
Trim levels: M35h, M37, M37x, M56, M56x
Body style: Sedan, 5-passenger
Engines: 3.5L V-6/electric hybrid, 360 hp
3.7L V-6, 330 hp, 270 lb-ft
5.6L V-8, 420 hp, 417 lb-ft
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Passenger volume: 103.6 cu ft
Cargo space: (M35h/others) 11.3/14.9 cu ft
Infiniti's first hybrid system debuts here. It posts impressive fuel economy figures of 27 mpg city and 32 mpg highway yet still provides strong performance. The M37 and the M56 have new options, such as an eighteen-inch wheel package, a single sport package that's more encompassing than the previous year's, and the availability of the graphite interior for models equipped with the deluxe touring package, giving buyers a choice of four interior colors.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; and traction and stability control are standard. Blind-spot warning and intervention systems; lane-departure warning and prevention systems; intelligent cruise control with brake assist and forward collision warning; and precrash front seatbelts are optional.
EPA Fuel Economy
All: 16-27 mpg city/23-32 mpg highway
- Hybrid is fast and frugal
Superb balance, body control
You Won't Like
- Rear seat a little tight
Electronics can be intrusive
The continuation of the second-generation M, with a hybrid to boot.
If You Like This Vehicle
- BMW 5-series