In the executive saloon segment, diesel is king. But until now, the Infiniti M has been available only with a petrol V6. So, has the introduction of a 3.0-litre V6 oil-burner boosted the car’s appeal?
The new unit is extremely quiet on the move and, with 550Nm of torque available from 1,750rpm, offers plenty of mid-range thrust.
Below that, though – when pulling away from traffic lights, for example – the Infiniti can feel slow to react. Matters aren’t helped by the seven-speed auto, which can be ponderous if you up the pace. Still, with 235bhp the M isn’t slow, and it can sprint from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds.
It’s far cheaper to run than the thirsty petrol model, too.
Fuel economy has been improved by 10mpg over its stablemate, taking the total to 37.7mpg, while CO2 emissions have fallen from 235g/km to 199g/km.
Our S-spec car favours handling over the more comfort-focused GT models. That’s not to say the ride is harsh, though. Most lumps and bumps are soaked up comfortably, but the 20-inch alloys do make for jittery progress over small road imperfections.
In corners, the Infiniti is highly capable, with well controlled body roll. The active four-wheel steering makes it seem even more agile. Unfortunately, driver involvement is lacking, because although the steering feels direct, it is short on feedback; engineers claim the car’s buyers prefer this kind of set-up. Owners won’t be short on kit, however, because as well as sat-nav, heated and cooled seats and leather trim, our top-spec S gets plenty of hi-tech gadgets.
Highlights include Forest Air – which recreates a gentle scented breeze – rather than direct air-con, plus radar-guided cruise control, an active noise-cancelling stereo system to improve refinement and lane departure assistance.
The price for this range-topping M30d S is £47,680, but you really don’t need to specify any additional options. If the eye-catching looks are for you, then the M is a worthwhile alternative in this competitive segment.