Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Infiniti M37 Test Drive

We have all seen the M37. It's not new.
I drove the V8 version a while ago. And actually came out pretty impressed. Such a fast car. But it was also about $75 000. A price range with some amazing competition.

This time, the V6 version is of course a lot less. Starting at around $48 000.
Which could seem attractive compared a $54 000 BMW 535, or a $51 000 Mercedes E350, the $51 000 Audi A6 V6 and the $50 000 Jaguar XF V6.

But the M design, although just about 3 years old, looks invisible.
Nobody knows what it is. It could pass for a Lexus, Acura or even a big Nissan.
The other cars mentioned earlier are obvious. With a strong and clear image.

The Infiniti M has a sort of generic big Japanese car design.
Although I must say, the white pearl color on my test car didn't help in that regard .

Inside, things are very, very nice. Everything feels very solid. Plastics are of the best quality everywhere.
The car is very roomy front and back. Everything feels very solid and upscale.

The Bose stereo sounds great.
Although it is very hard to tell which version was in my test car. Since it had both the "Deluxe Touring package", which comes with a 16 speaker system.
And the "Premium Package", which comes with a 10 speaker system....
Really weird...

In my opinion, the big "faux pas" in the interior is the horrible airbrushed looking wood trim.
No matter how real the "Japanese ash wood trim" is (it even has "Genuine silver powder accents"!), it looks really tacky.

Another thing is the sunroof. Not only it is pretty small. But it is too far back. There is no way the front passengers will ever enjoy the benefits of it. This is a common  Nissan mistake.
I was actually surprised how fast and sporty the car was. Not much slower than the V8.

The M37 is rated at 18MPG City and 26 HWY.
No matter how slow I was driving, I was never able to get 18 in the city. the best I got was 16.
Which is actually OK for a big V6 with 330HP.
But I did get 30 MPG on the freeway. Without any problems.
Which is good news.

The bad news is that the ride quality, which is very, very stiff. My car came with the "performance tire and wheel package" which included really good looking 20 inch wheels.  For $1600.
They look great, but the ride does suffer. A lot...
Other brands seem to be able to use wheels that big and keep a nice ride. Somehow, Infiniti has not figured that out.
Which, on a luxury car, is a problem.

These wheels also disturb the steering. Which is affected by every single bump on the road. Driving on bad surfaces can be quite a handful...
Which again, might be OK in a Nissan Z, but not in a $62 000 luxury car.

Which brings us to the price again.
Yes, with all these packages, (Safety, Technology, Deluxe, Premium, Performance), the car was
$61 845.

Sure, you can get away with not ordering a couple of options and keep the price in the mid 50s.
But the point is, the Infiniti M is pretty much the same price as its European competition.
There is only about $2000 to $3000 difference.
Which is not good

As Infiniti does not have the same image as all the other brands mentioned earlier. At these prices, right or wrong, image does matter. It should still be much cheaper...


Dav said...

'G37"... Huh? - This is clearly an M37.

Personally... I find the Infiniti M-Series wood trimmed interior to be one of the best in class as the 'Japanese Ash' wood grain and genuine 'silver powder' lend it a very distinctively luxurious look.

Mobis21 said...

Vince based on your evaluation of this vehicle, it's a big FAIL in my opinion.

Les said...

The harsh ride is probably because the body structure isn't very stiff.

A Jello-like body acts like a giant spring. That means that the actual springs need to be very stiff to keep the car under control.

Ironically, a stiffer body means that the springs can be softer, keeping the bumps in the suspension instead of in the cabin.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your opinion of the car, I do think people should price out the replacement tires before ordering the excessive 20" inch wheels. I would not buy this car new I have seen a lot of 2011 same body styles with low miles for half the price, just my opinion

Anonymous said...

Vince, you mentioned twice the "G37", when this car is a M37 :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Vince you are reviewing the M37 and not the G37. Did you mix up the alphabet again? Geez!

Anonymous said...

FYI You call it the G37 in the article a couple times.

Matt said...

M37 or G37? You say G37 many times in the review.

Anonymous said...

Typos aside, clearly this is a great vehicle sans the sports package. Infiniti, and other car makers, does not know how to fit the right wheels for an upscale product. The M37 with base wheels ,or the G37, looks kind of dorkey. 20' wheels should be the minimum for this vehicle and the suspension tuned accordingly.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the wood. And the aluminum aroung the hvac & radio. But given the stiff ride & so-so handeling (for a $50kcar)--I'm glad I got a 5-series instead. I agree with you that the Japanese Companies STILL haven't got the performance handeling thing figured out.

Anonymous said...

I would recommend going for the base model M. Japanese Ash wood trim (none of this airbrushed buffoonery), cheaper than the competition, better ride with higher-profile tyres, and still the same awesome exterior/non-teutonicity.

Anonymous said...

Not surprising on the ride quality issues. Nissan is the king of unsophisticated, rock hard suspensions. I have a V6 Altima with only 17" wheels and if you even drive over a pencil in the road, you'll think you hit a 2x4. Nissan needs to 1) abondon CVTs completely 2) fire their suspension engineers and 3) focus on refinement across the board.

Anonymous said...

I have a V6 Altima with only 17" wheels

No you don't. Every time you bash the Japanese you end up owning a different car.

Anonymous said...


I'm sure this is a great car, but I just think it's ugly. Is that too harsh?

Anonymous said...

.....I'm sure this is a great car, but I just think it's ugly. Is that too harsh?

It is a great car and looks is a matter of taste. It is like telling you that you do not have good taste. Is that too harsh?

Anonymous said...

There's only one (1) car that costs over $30k and can have a ride this harsh and still be acceptable--the VIPER from 15 years ago. Even Dodge knows that in today's world, even having 500+HP is no excuse for a harsh ride. ESPECIALLY in a sedan. Not with a smoother-riding CHARGER SRT coming in at $10 LESS!

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the other impressions, I find Infiniti is the one Japanese mfr that really knows what a luxurious interior is...something Acura could take pointers from (to get rid of their tacky plastic craptastic interiors).

Anonymous said...

This car is a total disaster. Ugly, expensive, and a ride worse than Dodge Viper. Nissan has really lost their way and needs to make some major changes.

Anonymous said...

This car is wonderful. Beautiful, great value and a ride better than most cars out there. Nissan seems to have found its groove and needs to continue in the same direction.