By Cars.com EditorsAugust 22, 2011
About the video
Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the 2012 Infiniti M56X.It competes with the Audi A6 and BMW 550.
<v Announcer>cars.com auto review. Hi, I'm Joe Wiesenfelder with cars.com and this is a 2012 Infiniti M mid-sized luxury sedan. Not a lot has changed since we reviewed the 2011, but that was an M37, which stands for the 3.7 liter V6.
This is an M56X standing for the 5.6 liter V8. Obviously we have some new impressions. Now naturally, V8 has more power, in this case, 420 horsepower instead of 330 in the V6. It goes like mad, especially because the X in M56X stands for all-wheel drive, so all the power goes to the road. It also sounds terrific. (car engine revving) Love it. When you jam on the gas from a standing start, it really goes. But my big complaint about this car is about the transmission. No manual is offered, this is a seven-speed automatic. And it has a bad case of indecision, we noticed this in the M37 as well. Sometimes you hit the pedal trying to pass once you're already moving and it stumbles it can't figure out what to do, it doesn't downshift through gears very quickly, I consider that a big problem. Now, in terms of general performance, I really like the brakes in this car. They're linear, the pedal feel is great. Steering feels good. In terms of general dynamics, this is not the best choice of all the M's because it has the big engine and all-wheel drive, the nose is the heaviest of the different versions, it tends to push wide in corners. But generally speaking, if you want the sporty version, you're gonna wanna go with rear-wheel drive, with that, you can get the sport package. I have to say, even though some competitors have adaptive suspensions and this one doesn't, they do a really good job of finding the compromise between sportiness and comfort in this car. With four doors and a pretty good size back seat, it's a versatile car for family use. I have the driver's seat in my driving position, plenty of room for my knees, I drove around with some adults in the back no problem. One shortcoming to this car and others in its class that have rear-wheel drive is, the big floor hump. Don't look directly at my ankle without eye protection. The M sedan's trunk is not real big on the grand scheme, at 14.9 cubic feet. But in this class, it's actually kinda normal, at least the opening is pretty big. No fold down rear seat, but you do get a pass through. The M56X with a starting price of almost $62,000 is actually not that cheap. The good news is you don't need the M56. You can save more than $9,000 if you get the V6, frankly, it has plenty of power, it's more efficient, even though I have issues with the seven-speed transmission, they do make it pretty quick off the line, et cetera. If you're considering buying an M though, you definitely have to pay attention to the way the transmission behaves before you make the move. <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog, kickingtires.net.