Infiniti M review (2010-2014)
The Infiniti M is a rival to the BMW 5 Series and offers lots of kit for your money. There's even a hybrid version
The Infiniti M is the Nissan luxury brand's answer to the BMW 5 Series. In many ways it plays the same cards as the Lexus GS - lots of equipment as standard and the option of a hybrid engine. Unlike the Lexus, Infiniti also offers a diesel option. It's not as good to drive as its German rivals, or as well made, but it does offer something a bit different from the mainstream.
Our choice: Infiniti M30d GT
Engines, performance and drive
There are three engines to choose from - the M37, which has a 315bhp 3.7-litre V6 petrol, the 235bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel in the M30d or the M35h Hybrid, which has a 302bhp 3.5-litre V6 with a 67bhp electric motor. The M37 is quite fast (0-62mph in 6.2 seconds) when you rev it, but lacks low-end punch, while the diesel is gutsy (0-62mph in 6.9 secs) if a bit rattly and the hybrid is the quickest (0-62mph in 5.5 secs) and most refined of all. However, the standard seven-speed automatic gearbox is slow to react, even in sport mode. The same can be said of the way the M goes round corners. GT models are comfortable but a bit lethargic. You can step up to S spec which brings stiffer springs and four-wheel steering for greater agility, but its 20-inch wheels take the edge off the ride quality. All models are quite quiet, thanks to standard double glazing.
MPG, CO2 and running costs
All Infiniti Ms are expensive to run. The M37 claims a poor 27.7mpg and emits a whopping 235g/km of CO2, so doesn't come recommended. The M30d does 37.7mpg but is still very dirty, emitting 199g/km. By comparison, a BMW 530d does 50mpg and 149g/km. That shows you how inefficient the big Infiniti is, and why it would be hard to justify it as a company car. The M35 Hybrid isn't bad though, claiming 40.4mpg and just 162g/km. But then it does cost £47,000. The trouble is, while servicing should be okay - this is a large Nissan, after all - the market is unsure of the Infiniti name and second-hand values will reflect this.
Interior, design and technology
The Infiniti M is a handsome saloon with a bold grille and sleek lines. It certainly stands out next to an Audi A6, BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class, particularly in S spec, which adds huge 20-inch wheels. It's less impressive inside, with plastic and leather trim that doesn't quite match its German rivals. However, it's well equipped, with gadgets like a reversing camera and electrically operated heated and ventilated front seats. Premium models come with sat-nav, a Bose stereo and adaptive cruise control as standard.
Practicality, comfort and boot space
At five metres long, the M is a big car and there is lots of room for four adults. However, because of a chunky transmission tunnel, the rear centre seat passenger will be squeezed a bit. The 500-litre boot of the M37 petrol is on a par with rivals like the 5 Series, and the seats fold down too. Beware of the M35 Hybrid version, though - it has a 350-litre boot because the batteries take up some space.
Reliability and Safety
The Infiniti M is extremely safe, thanks to a host of hi-tech gadgets. It's available with adaptive cruise control, brake assist and low-speed collision mitigation, as well as blind spot warning and lane departure warning. In addition, there are six airbags, anti-whiplash front head restraints and traction and stability control. Reliability should be extremely good and, if you do have a problem, we'd expect Infiniti dealers to fix it quickly. One downside is that there are currently only six Infiniti dealers across the country.