The people at Infiniti are deadly serious about making the brand a credible force in Europe, and the M reinforces their intent. It’s a thoroughly engineered car packed with gadgets and gizmos focused on safety and comfort. Although it’s an accomplished cruiser, and isn’t shy of corners, it doesn’t challenge for outright class honours. But for those tired with more conventional choices, the M37 S and M30d diesel are worthy of further consideration.
Meet Infiniti’s answer to the BMW 5-Series. Nissan’s luxury arm is moving into uncharted territory with its first executive saloon. But does the M have what it takes to tackle the Jaguar XF
, plus rivals from the German big three? We drove the top-of-the-range M37 S on UK roads to find out.
First impressions are good – it certainly looks the part. The bold face is complemented by sweeping lines, which provide the golf club car park appeal the newcomer needs to succeed.
Inside, there’s acres of space, front and rear. Legroom is generous, and although the swooping roofline does impact on headroom, the interior is no more claustrophobic than its competitors. There’s also a roomy 500-litre luggage area.
The driving position is a little high, but the M’s low waistline gives superb visibility all-round. What’s more, the large instruments are easy to read, and the build quality excellent. Even the base-spec M37, which starts from £35,150, is loaded with kit. Electric seats, double glazing, 18-inch alloy wheels and a heated steering wheel are all fitted as standard.
Car group tests
Our S model is the racy flagship of the range – similar to BMW’s M-Sport or Audi’s S line. It adds a number of extras such as active four-wheel steering, 20-inch rims, paddleshifters, sports seats and stiffer suspension.
The result is a car that’s firm, but doesn’t crash over bumps – something sporty German saloons are often guilty of. The standard GT spec should deliver a more relaxing drive.
Considering it’s nearly five metres long, the M37 S still feels agile enough to be regarded as sporty, and delivers plenty of grip. An engine mounted well back in the chassis and the four-wheel-steering set-up give it an appetite for corners that’s in keeping with other models in the Infiniti range.
Under the bonnet, the 316bhp V6 is silky smooth, remaining all but silent unless you apply full throttle, at which point it delivers a thrilling turn of pace. It’s just a shame the car lags behind the BMW 535i in terms of outright sprinting ability and fuel consumption.
Nissan’s luxury division looks to have delivered a real contender for a class that is notoriously competitive. But even with the M30d diesel in the line-up, it’s destined to remain a niche choice in the UK.