Vehicle Overview

The M sedan is Infiniti's flagship model, available as the V-8-powered M56 covered in this report and as the V-6 M37 model and M35h hybrid that are covered separately in the Research section. The M56 and M37 are available with rear or all-wheel drive, and the M35h comes only with rear-wheel drive. The M sedan was redesigned for the 2011 model year and competes with luxury sedans such as the BMW 5 and 7 Series, Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz E- and S-Class.
New for 2013
The optional Sport Package is available on all-wheel-drive models and includes a firmer suspension, stronger brakes, 20-inch wheels and a different front design among its features. The Premium Package adds rear sonar and Infiniti Connection, a telematics system that can unlock doors remotely among other things. A new Performance Tire and Wheel Package includes 20-inch rims, performance tires and larger brakes.
The M56's styling combines the taller presence of the previous-generation M with some of the curves seen on the current G37 sedan. A large grille sits low on the M's face, recalling the grille on the Essence, the concept vehicle that foretold the current model. In back, the tail rises slightly at the center. Exterior features include:

  • Eighteen-inch alloy wheels
  • Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights
  • Heated, power-folding side mirrors
  • Available 20-inch wheels

The M's dashboard falls away from the driver, resulting in a spacious, open cabin. A wide panel with controls for the climate and optional navigation systems sits closer compared with the prior M, while the transmission retains a short leather-wrapped gearshift. Upscale available materials include a suede-like headliner, faux-leather-stitched dashboard panels and wood trim with interlaced silver-powdered accents. Optional semi-aniline leather feels similar to a leather sofa, Infiniti says. Interior features include:

  • CD stereo with six speakers
  • USB/iPod connectivity and Bluetooth
  • Standard heated and cooled front seats
  • Leather upholstery
  • Power moonroof
  • Push-button start
  • Backup camera 
  • Available navigation system
  • Available Bose stereo

Under the Hood
The M56's 5.6-liter V-8 makes 420 horsepower and 417 pounds-feet of torque; it pairs with a seven-speed automatic transmission. A knob controller, dubbed Infiniti Drive, allows drivers to program drivetrain settings, including accelerator sensitivity and transmission shift points, to Standard, Eco, Sport or Snow modes. Eco mode provides accelerator resistance to the driver's right foot if it detects inefficient driving habits; it also includes a yellow-to-green gauge indicator to show how efficiently you're driving. Mechanical features include:

  • Available sport-tuned suspension
  • Available four-wheel steering (rear-drive only)

Blind spot and lane departure warning systems are optional, as is Infiniti's Lane Departure Prevention system, which uses light braking to keep the M56 from drifting into an unintended lane. Safety features include:

  • Standard six airbags
  • Standard active front head restraints
  • Standard antilock brakes 
  • Standard traction control
  • Standard electronic stability system
  • Optional Blind Spot Intervention system
  • Optional adaptive headlights 
  • Available collision warning system