posted 9 years ago

New Infiniti M Saloon Review

Recently - and as it turns out unwisely - I mentioned the new Infiniti M saloon to a friend.

Recently - and as it turns out unwisely - I mentioned the new Infiniti M saloon to a friend. He responded with a puzzled stare and said, 'never heard of it mate, is that some kind of battery powered superhero toy?'. 'No', I replied with the patience of a saint, 'it is actually a worthy rival to the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and the mighty Jaguar XF'.

The Infiniti brand is the luxury wing of Nissan, much as Lexus is to Toyota. This is a great starting point as Nissan generally manufacture capable machines that last long enough to become family heirlooms. Japanese vehicles are also renowned for their high specification, so the Infiniti M has a colour reversing camera, an eco-drive indicator, heated steering wheel, and a reassuring tyre pressure monitoring system. That will do nicely, thank you.

This stylish seven-speed automatic is available with a choice of two engines, one diesel and one petrol. The 3.0-litre 235bhp V6 diesel, badged M30d, propels this gadget filled saloon to 62mph in 6.9 seconds and averages a respectable 37.7mpg. Alternatively, the 3.7-litre 316bhp V6 M37 rockets to 62mph 6.2 seconds and manages 27.7mpg. Now, this degree of fuel consumption may sound reasonable considering the vehicle's mass and performance, but the BMW 530d auto has similar acceleration and averages a more impressive 46.3mpg.

The new Infiniti M saloon's handling is highly accomplished, but – unlike some rivals - it feels more comfort focussed than sporty. That said, the steering is meaty enough to inspire confidence, body-roll is nicely controlled, and there is enough traction to assert yourself on the apexes should the need arise. So, this is a car that can be driven enthusiastically, but its instinctive character is that of a relaxed comfortable cruiser. That is fine by me.

The new Infiniti M saloon arguably lacks the prestige of its more established rivals, but this apparent weakness is also one of its greatest strengths. Virtually every street in Britain is overflowing with excessively familiar luxury machinery, and this new Japanese alternative is a welcome breath of fresh air. Well done Nissan.