Review: Infiniti M (2010 – 2013)

Rating:

Delivers superb refinement and luxury. Available with 3.0-litre V6 diesel. High-quality interior. Impressive level of standard equipment. Hybrid version followed in 2011.

Infiniti brand not as recognisable as other premium brands. Petrol is thirsty. Standard GT model is soft in corners.

Recently Added To This Review

22 December 2015

Complaint of failure of front ball joins on 2012 Infiniti M30d. To quote: " this car has had no end of faults." Read more

14 December 2014

Worldwide recall of various Nissan and Infiniti models over a fuel sensor leak. Affects 2012-2015 Infiniti M56 and QX56. Dealers will replace fuel sensors FoC. Owners should wait for official notification.... Read more

30 October 2013

Complete failure of the 'safety system' (Blind spot warning, lane departure and active cruise control) on a 7,500 mile 12 month old M30d with no prospect of a fix. Read more

Infiniti M (2010 – 2013): At A Glance

The M is Infiniti's executive saloon and a rival to the likes of the stylish Jaguar XF and the mightily impressive BMW 5 Series. In fact in terms of looks it's probably closest to the BMW with its smooth shape and imposing front end helping it to stand out.

And it certainly needs to get noticed. The big problem facing Infiniti is regnition of the brand in a market where most people are familiar with the established names including the big German three. Originally called the M, it was renamed Q70 in 2013, but that's unlikely to help it make an impact.

Which is a shame as it has the qualities to make a name for itself. The M is not only stylish, it's incredibly well built, very refined and comfortable, plus it's available with a new diesel engine - something Infiniti has up until now conspicuously lacked. It's this new 3.0-litre V6 engine producing 238bhp and 550Nm of torque - that will make up the majority of sales in the UK.

It's impressive in the M, providing effortless acceleration with low noise levels and decent economy too - although it's not quite a match for the BMW 530d or the Mercedes-Benz E350 CDI when it comes to efficiency with a claimed average economy figure of 37.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 199g/km.

There is also a petrol engine in the line-up which uses the same 3.7-litre V6 unit with 320bhp that's used across the Infiniti range (and can also be found in the Nissan 370Z albeit with slightly more power). But the most intriguing model is the M35h hybrid. This uses Infiniti's Direct Response Hybrid technology and is able to cruise to 50mph on electric power alone, combining a 306bhp 3.5-litre V6 engine with a 68bhp electric motor with CO2 emissions of less than 170g/km.

On the road the M is very smooth and refined, making it great for covering long distances effortlessly. Standard GT models can feel a little soft in corners, but S and S Premium models come with the impressive 4-Wheel Active Steer system and sports suspension, which results in much sharper and composed handling, making the M feel like the 'sports saloon' it should.

What does a Infiniti M (2010 – 2013) cost?

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Infiniti M (2010 – 2013): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4945 mm
Width 1845 mm
Height 1500 mm
Wheelbase 2900 mm

Full specifications

The cabin of the M is as good as anything else in the executive class when it comes to quality and finish. It feels impeccably built with great attention to detail and high-quality materials used throughout. Features such as the chrome door handles and the neat Infiniti analogue clock in the centre of the dash give it a feeling of class while the neatly styled multifunction steering wheel is good to hold.

It's perhaps not the most daring of designs but it's very user friendly with all the buttons and controls in obvious places. The sat nav system (which comes as standard on top Premium S models) is a familiar Nissan system and although it's not the slickest to use (for instance it sometimes struggles to work out what road you're on), the high-placed buttons mean it's easy to program, even when you're on the move. The simple instrument dials are a nice feature too with an unusual texture pattern on them.

In terms of the driving position, the seat could do with being a touch lower, but the seats themselves are some of the best around with great side and lower back support, plus all models get front seats which are electrically adjustable along with electric adjustment for the steering column. Rear seat passengers get great seats too along with plenty of legroom - more than any other executive saloon - and generous head space too so that travelling in the back of the M is a real joy.

It's also a very quiet cabin thank to Infiniti's clever Active Noise Control which is standard. Sounds of opposite phase are played through the speakers to create a noise cancelling effect - making the cabin an even more peaceful place to be. This adds to the already impressive levels of refinement and comfort.

Standard on the Premium versions and included in the Multimedia Pack option available for GT and S models, is a feature called Forest Air. This unusual feature has extremely fine temperature, humidity and pollution control and according to Infiniti is designed to 're-create the gentle breezes and subtle scents of an environment known to promote alertness and relieve stress: the forest.' The idea is that an aroma diffuser subtly scents incoming air with fragrances chosen for their 'drive-enhancing' qualities, for example tropical borneol tree scent which has a calming effect but also aids concentration.

Standard equipment from launch (November 2010):

GT is the entry-level trim level and is described by Infiniti as a luxury grade. It's certainly generously equipped with six airbags, xenon lights with Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), Infiniti Drive Mode selector with Normal, Eco, Sport and Snow modes, full colour central display with Infiniti Controller, a rear view parking camera, rain sensor and light sensor, cruise control, Isofix child seat mounting points in the rear seats, CD stereo and 2GB Infiniti Music Box, USB/iPod connectivity and aux-in, Bluetooth, semi-aniline leather seat facings, heated and ventilated front seats, 10-way power front seats with electric lumbar adjustment, power adjustable (reach and rake) steering column, I-Key with smart access, heated multifunction steering wheel, dual zone adaptive climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels, electric glass sunroof, LED rear lamps, Scratch Shield paint and front fog light. 

S is the sports trim and adds 4-Wheel Active Steer, sports suspension, 20-inch alloy wheels, opposed calliper brakes (4-piston front), sport design front bumper, black headlight housing, leather seat facings, sport front seat design, aluminium pedals and foot rest plus a black lacquer interior trim

S Premium is the 'technology' trim grade and has Dynamic Cornering Enhancement, the Dynamic Safety Shield package which includes intelligent cruise control, Blind Spot Warning and Intervention, Distance Control Assist, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention and Intelligent Brake Assist. It also gets the Eco Pedal (M37 only), a high resolution touch screen, 30 GB HDD Connectiviti+ navigation with voice recognition, Michelin Guides and 3D POI, Forest Airclimate control with Plasmacluster air purifier and Grape Polyphenol filter, a power operated rear window sunshade, Bose Premium Sound System with 16 speakers and Engine Harmonic Cancellation, 10GB HDD Infiniti Music Box with 1 CD/DVD reader supported by Gracenote music database.

Child seats that fit a Infiniti M (2010 – 2013)

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What's the Infiniti M (2010 – 2013) like to drive?

It's not surprising that most people will go for the only diesel in the range. The 3.0-litre V6 engine is quiet, smooth and pulls effortlessly thanks mainly to the fact it has 550Nm of torque on tap along with 238bhp. On paper it accelerates from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds - that's not as quick as a BMW 530d automatic but it's pretty much on par with the Audi A6 3.0 TDI.

What really stands out is how easily the M gains speed with very little fuss or noise. On the motorway it's very easy to realise you're going considerably faster than you think while on more demanding roads it's still impressive thanks to a quick shifting seven-speed automatic gearbox which comes as standard (S and Premium S versions also have steering-wheel mounted paddles for changing gear in 'manual' mode.

The diesel averages a claimed 37.7mpg on the combined cycle with emissions of 199g/km. That's not a bad set of figures but is put into context by the BMW 530d (with the automatic gearbox) which can return a claimed 46.3mpg and emits just 160g/km of CO2.

It's a better choice than the petrol though. While the 3.7-litre engine is smooth and sprightly, it lacks the in-gear grunt of the diesel and so has to work harder in certain situations, for instance when joining a fast flowing dual-carriageway from a short slip road. It is quicker from 0-62mph, managing the sprint in 6.2 seconds but the diesel feels faster in everyday driving. The petrol is also quite thirsty, averaging a claimed 27.7mpg with CO2 emissions of 235g/km.

Driving a GT model, you might think that this Infiniti is all about comfort rather than sportiness. Sitting on 18-inch alloys and with standard suspension it's very good on poorly surfaced roads and is quiet on the motorway. However, it's soft in corners and there's noticeable roll, while it can start to feel quiet wallowy on undulating roads - not pleasant for those in the back.

The S and S Premium models get a raft of mechanical changes including 4-Wheel Active Steer (4WAS) - a unique feature on a rear-wheel drive car. By varying the front steering ratio and adjusting the geometry of the rear suspension according to steering input and vehicle speed, the system is designed to enhance turn-in, maximise grip and boost stability. This is coupled with larger 20-inch alloys along with sports suspension and truly transforms the car. It's far sharper in bends, while there's less roll too, so it feels like a much smaller car on twisting roads with an agility that's impressive for an executive saloon.

S Premium models go one better with a system called Dynamic Cornering Enhancement (DCE). This essentially uses the brakes and engine torque to control the speed individual wheels. So it will brake the inside wheel on a bend to make cornering smoother and more precise. It can also uses the brakes to help create increased steering response when rapid changes of direction are required, such as in S bends or fast lane-change manoeuvres.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
M30d 38 mpg 6.9 s 199 g/km
M35h 41 mpg 5.5 s 159 g/km
M37 28 mpg 6.2 s 235 g/km

Real MPG average for a Infiniti M (2010 – 2013)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

88%

Real MPG

28–40 mpg

MPGs submitted

22

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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