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Infiniti M37 Review

Real time in a M37x

          - in-depth road test and review of Infiniti's next-generation M

For those who are not familiar with the Infiniti brand itself it is the upscale luxury brand of Nissan. Infiniti is to Nissan as Acura is to Honda or Lexus is to Toyota. When looking at Infiniti vehicles there are two things that should be known before taking any road tests: Infiniti vehicles are more aligned with sport luxury than other manufacturers and they only sell RWD or AWD platforms. More on this later. The Infiniti M is their upscale luxury sedan offering.

Current M Models
The current generation of the M comes in various forms. On the lower end there is the M37 which features a 330-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 engine (as if 330hp is chump change). At the top end you have the M56 which features a 420-horsepower 5.6-liter V8. Finally, for 2012, Infiniti is releasing a M35h Hybrid configured with a 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 combines, an electric motor and high-power battery that produces 360 combined net horsepower.

All M models come standard in a RWD configuration utilizing a 7sp automatic gearbox. Optional models include AWD, or "x" designation, and sport packages (sport not available with AWD). The upcoming M35h is only available in RWD. If you wish to further go over packages and offerings the,, or sites should be your destination of choice.

The Vehicle
The Infiniti M37 I received for this road test was a AWD model in black obsidian. From a options perspective it included the Premium package (hard drive navigation, Voice recognition, XM NAV options, Bose 10-speaker premium sound system w/9.3GB Music Box hard drive, climate controlled seats with heated steering wheel) and Technology package (Intelligent cruise control, Lane departure and prevention systems, intelligent brake assistance and collision warning system, blind spot warning system, active trace control to enhance cornering feel, Eco pedal, and adaptive front lighting system) 2011 Infiniti M37x Exterior
along with base options including rearview camera, Bluetooth hands-free phone, Intelligent key with illuminated push-button ignition, and Homelink.

This latest generation M's long front and short deck design, inspired by the Infiniti Essence Concept, features a low front end and sculpted fenders which results in a muscular and sporty outward appearance along with a front to rear wave appearance. The front features a large grille area, Bi-Xenon headlights and lower-fascia fog lights. The rear was reworked to match the sculptured fenders and thus receives a new tail light design. From the previous model the wheelbase is unchanged at 114.2 inches. Overall length is increased by 0.6-inch to 194.7. Vehicle width has been increased by 1.5 inches to 72.6. Track width has been increased 1.5/0.8 inches F/R respectively. Its lines are sleek and sexy without being awkward. Its also stylish, aggressive, and sporty at the same time. While I was a fan of the previous generation M I feel that Infiniti designers have done a stupendous job with this latest version.

2011 Infiniti M37x Interior Interior
The interior, while 1.6 cubic foot smaller than the prior model, is quite roomy. The wood trim actually looks like wood instead of something printed and plastic-coated. Aluminum accents were clean and not overly bright. The gauge cluster is clear and easy to read. Leather seats are supple, electronically controlled (seating position can be programmed to each intelligent key fob) and heated, which was nice on this cold Saturday. Steering wheel controls are somewhat small for
those who are used to older-style layouts but were quickly mastered. The center stack of the dash consists of a LCD monitor, Infiniti Controller system and the Bose system. The expected analog clock seems to be highlighted a bit more based on it's location in the M as compared to the Infiniti G37. While Infiniti spent a large amount of time working on the layout of the dash and position and size of the buttons, I found the slight swell of the dash to be a tad awkward. From "go" I could not easily select options and needed to make changes while pulled over or at stop signs or traffic lights. The layout of the controls seemed strange, complex, and a bit too segmented when compared to the Infiniti products I was used to. As I figured out functionality it became much easier to navigate on the fly. As with anything, use of the system would become second nature the more you utilize the vehicle. It does seem to be a much more intelligent and usable layout than other vehicles with half the technology.

While there was some initial distraction with the dash layout I can't thank Infiniti enough for the changes they have made to the controller itself. Instead of a knob with four directional arrows, the controller knob can be moved both vertically and horizontally which makes navigating the on-screen menu options much more refined. Additional kudos on the dual-control climate system which is top notch.

Besides the Nav system, Bose MusicBox, rearview camera, Homelink, and other systems which people are used to, I will be discussing a couple of the additional packages that this particular vehicle comes with as part of the Technology Package, namely the Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Collision warning system (FCW), and Blind Spot Warning system (BSI). Not utilized as part of this road test is the Lane Departure and Prevention system nor Active Trace Control. Additionally, the Intelligent Brake Assist system nor Blind Spot Intervention systems were put to any tests. For detailed information on these systems, please visit and view the online owners manual.

Adaptive Front Lighting System
AFS effectively utilizes motors to automatically adjust the horizontal light pattern of the headlights during a turn by 20 degrees. Speed must be above 16mph for the left headlight or above 3mph for the right headlight. While this system is helpful by giving additional light in the direction of a turn, it's also one cool gadget. People will do a double-take and think "did that light move?". I have this feature on one of my other vehicles and wish I had it on both.

Intelligent Cruise Control
ICC utilizes a sensor located in the lower grille area to sense reflectors on objects in front (maximum of 390 ft). With regular cruise control systems, if you have the speed set and a slower car is in front of you there will be a crash unless you take steps to avoid it. With ICC the system will automatically sense the vehicle and will automatically use up to 25% braking power to keep you at a safe distance. Once the "impediment" has moved and ICC no longer senses another vehicle it will automatically increase speed back to the set level. ICC supports speeds of 20mph to 90mph, should be used primarily on straight roads, etc. During testing on the highway I was able to set ICC at 70mph and it functioned as designed. In fact, as the highway speed dropped to 55mph I was able to pace the vehicle ahead of me at 55 until the speed returned to 70 at which point the vehicle came back up to the set speed. While at first I didn't think this would be a valuable option, I found it to be quite useful.

M37x AWD Review Page 2 , M37x AWD Review Page 3

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Information Copyright 2000-2011 by Matthew Moody
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