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.
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.
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 InfinitiUSA.com 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.