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2011 Infiniti M Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Infiniti's Answer to the 5 Series by eme2011

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Reviewed: 2011 Infiniti M

4dr Sedan 330-horsepower 3.7L V6 7-speed shiftable automatic AWD

Why the 2011 Infiniti M?

Powertrain performance

This car is very fast. It's biggest drawback has been the 7 speed automatic; around town it always seems to be in the wrong gear (too low) and confused when you step on the throttle (major hesitation before downshift). Sport mode does not remedy the issue. However, after 2+ years of suffering, I believe Infiniti has finally corrected the problem with their latest software update. The car now downshifts more readily. It seems much "smarter" now. I drove the car for most of the last year in manual mode, which is absolutely phenomenal when coupled with sport mode. Repeat, the manual mode is excellent, not as good as having a third pedal, but still very satisfying. Lately I've been more than happy to drive the car in "D" mode coupled with the standard setting. I didn't feel safe doing that before, now I do.

Exterior styling

This car is sexy, and it knows it! Elements of Jaguar and Aston Martin styling are visible.

Front seat room

The footwells are very narrow for a car of this size. This is a side-effect of it being RWD. The "dead" pedal seems to be in the wrong spot, at least for me; it's too far to the right. On the plus side the air conditioned seats are great. It is possible to drive around in 90 degree weather wearing shorts, with the windows down, and feel comfortable.

Fuel economy

Fuel economy is abysmal around town. I guess that's the price you pay for going grocery shopping with over 300 HP. However, on the highway it's very possible to exceed the EPA mileage number.

Handling

Handling is good, for a car of this size. That being said, this car weighs over two tons and does not let you forget it. The car behaves well when cornering; I just don't find myself inspired to push/explore its limits. Definitely on the luxury side of sport.

Why Not the 2011 Infiniti M?

Powertrain performance

I wish the transmission had only 5 gears. Anything more than that is aimed solely at fuel economy, not performance of driver pleasure.

Quietness

I wish the engine sounded smoother; it's exhaust note can sometimes be annoying; my wife's Toyota v6 sounds much better under hard acceleration. It definitely takes some getting used to.rnrnThis car is a bigger G, whereas a car like the BMW 535 is a smaller 7 series.rnrnThis is definitely not an "old man" sedan.

Safety & braking

Brakes, while strong, do not perform in a linear manner. Too "grabby."

Front seat support & comfort

The fronts seats need more bolstering. The BMW 5 series has much, much better seats. If I could change one thing about the car, it would be the seats. Anyone considering this car should sit in the seat at least 30 minutes before making a purchase decision.

Brand reputation & image

I am very unhappy that Infiniti is rebadging its entire product line. The car will go the way of the Dodo after only three model years. Not good for resale value.

Conclusion

Overall this is a great car. It's not perfect, but it does grow on you. I got this car instead of a 535i and don't regret my decision one bit. It's much more of a "driving machine" than the current 5 series.

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