Infiniti's midsize sport sedan comes in M35 and M45 versions, denoting the 3.5-liter V-6 and 4.5-liter V-8, respectively, that power them. The car comes in rear- and all-wheel-drive variants, the latter called M35x and M45x. This report specifically covers the M35 and M35x; M45 and M45x are listed separately in Cars.com's Research section. Competitors include the Lexus GS, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
New for 2010
There are no significant changes for 2010.
Infiniti promotes the M's "low, aggressive hoodline [that] flows into the anchored shoulders." The body has short overhangs and a long wheelbase. Lightweight body components include aluminum-alloy inner and outer door panels, hood and deck-lid panels. A rear spoiler is available. The optional Sport Package adds unique exterior trimmings, though it's only available on the rear-wheel-drive M35.
- Standard 18-inch alloy wheels
- Standard xenon headlights
- Standard keyless access with push-button start
- Optional Rear Active Steer angles rear wheels during turns to improve handling
The M sedan seats five in a well-appointed interior with textured wood or aluminum trim. Cabin features include:
- Power-adjustable front seats
- Heated and cooled front seats
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- Six-speaker, six-CD stereo
- Available eight-speaker, two-channel or 14-speaker, 5.1-channel surround-sound stereos, both by Bose
- Available backseat DVD player
- Available navigation system and backup camera
- Available heated and power-reclining rear seats
Under the Hood
The M35 and M35x have a standard 3.5-liter V-6, upgraded last year by 28 horsepower to 303. The M35 uses a seven-speed automatic, while the M35x has a five-speed auto. With either, a Drive-Sport mode allows higher shift points and more aggressive kickdown than regular Drive. Both gearboxes employ a clutchless-manual mode.
- 303 hp, 262 pounds-feet of torque
- Rear- or all-wheel drive
- Premium gas recommended, but not required
Infiniti's optional Lane Departure Prevention system applies individual antilock brakes to steer the car as necessary to keep it in its lane. The system uses a camera to recognize lane markings, and it calculates the vehicle's speed and distance from them. It can be switched off. There's also a Preview Braking option that scans the road ahead for potential obstructions, including rapidly slowing cars. In such situations, it pre-loads the brakes for sharper response and alerts the driver with an audio chime. Other safety features:
- Six airbags, including dual front airbags, side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for both rows
- Electronic stability system
- Traction control
- Active head restraints
- Adaptive headlights that swivel several degrees to illuminate oncoming turns