Handling and braking were a complete surprise. Driving the car around town, it’s very compliant and forgiving over bumps. I figured the car would lean like a Weeble in the corners and brake-dive the same way under aggressive driving. Not so! Going up Highway 9, across 35 and down 84 (the local curvy-test), I was completely blown away by how capable it was – like a seasoned athlete.
I even detect a little GTR DNA in its handling. I could tell that the car’s suspension dampers had at two separate circuits in their compression damping. Definitely separate low speed and high speed circuits. It remained very flat in cornering and braking – even at an aggressive level of driving. I wish my sports car had this much composure when driving hard. Infiniti says it uses twin-tube shocks. I don’t know what all technology they are using, but you have to experience it to believe it and a ‘round-town test will not show you what it’s capable of. You can test its ability to fight brake-dive around town, but the sales associate may not be amused when you push the limits of its handling.
Styling can be summed up in one word; Fluid. Interior, exterior, everything flows continuously. The car looks like it’s moving even when standing still. The low front end of the car cuts silently through the wind and provides excellent visibility from the driver’s seat. The tall rear deck lid (which comes up to my chest) allows plenty of room for rear passengers and a generous trunk. The M56x really must be seen in person to appreciate it. Looking at two-dimensional photos doesn’t do it justice – inside or outside.
The M56X starts at about $60k. Add the technology package and deluxe touring package brings the price tag into the $68k range. That puts the car squarely into the BMW 5-series 550i x-drive and Mercedes E550 range. The Infiniti provides a host of options to put it on the same amenity level as the BMW and Mercedes; auto-leveling headlights that also ‘look’ around the corners at night as you turn the wheel, mirrors that tilt down in reverse, heated steering wheel, power rear-window sunshade which lowers automatically in reverse, 8-inch touch screen, voice-activated navigation system, back-up camera which outlines the car’s trajectory based on steering wheel angle, and the list goes on.
Then Infiniti adds a host of revolutionary technologies that push it over the top; Blind Spot Warning indicators (visual and audible), Blind Spot Intervention (activates brakes on one side of the car to help you avoid a blind-spot collision), Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention, driver-selectable transmission behavior, and more.
Who should buy it?
If you are in the market for a sport-luxury sedan, a segment which BMW used to dominate, the M56x needs to be on your list. Particularly if, like me, you are not happy with BMW’s recent interior styling trends – boxy and utilitarian. The Infiniti is a rolling work of art, inside and out. If you appreciate fine materials and thoughtful, artistic execution, do yourself a favor and take the M56x for a spin. If you live in inclement weather or like to take weekend trips to the snow, or otherwise have the need for a 4wd vehicle, this car has your name on it.
Ignore the technology and just drive it
Considering the tall list of technological features and acronyms that will make your brain tired trying to keep up with it all it may seem a bit overwhelming on paper, but get in the car and drive and the technology takes care of itself and provide you with a pleasant, seamless driving experience. The only place I detected technology intervention was in the drivetrain programming, but I am a sports car enthusiast. Most people would drive this car and not know what I was referring to. I’m hooked on this car. I really didn’t want to give it back. There should have to be a darn good reason to buy a BMW or Mercedes over this car – but I never found one – and I am a long-time BMW fan. The only X-factor might be resale value, but I’d keep this car for a very long time.
|MORE EXPERT REVIEWS|
|2009 Infiniti M45 Review
By Peter N.
“The M45 achieves the fine balance between road feel and ride comfort that vex many a luxury sedan. The M45 delivers the best of both worlds.”
|2007 Infiniti M35 Review – The “Value-Oriented” Luxury Sedan
By Kurt Gensheimer
“The sane instrument cluster layout, beautiful wood trim and comfortable leather seats make the M35 interior a real winner… The cavernous trunk is wiseguy approved for dropping associates off at the East River for their final fishing trip.”
|First Impressions: 2007 Infiniti M35 Review
By Twain Mein
“I have to say my eyes were opened. This is a very “pretty” car with luxury that would be a pleasure to commute in. But it’s also got the power and handling to make spirited runs rewarding.”
|The official website of Infiniti – www.infinitiusa.com|
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