February 6, 2013
2013 Infiniti M37x Sport. Click image to enlarge
Inside, the M37x offers a serene, luxurious and well-crafted atmosphere with precision-looking instruments and rich woodgrain trim. The materials and switchgear are all top-notch, and while Infiniti scatters a fair number of switches around the centre stack they are all logically grouped, and the Infiniti Controller menu system is relatively intuitive to use. My only negative comments are that the foot-operated parking brake seems a little old-school (either a handbrake or an electronically-actuated brake would be more in keeping with the car’s luxury-performance intent), and the bank of switches down by the driver’s left knee is rather difficult to find and operate when driving. Putting switches there certainly helps keep the dash uncluttered, and makes reasonable sense for occasional-use items like the parking warning beeper override and the stability control override, and even the trunk release (which should only be used when stopped). But I’d prefer to have the heated steering wheel and rear window sunshade buttons in a more visible, easy-to-reach location.
In terms of equipment the M37x Sport is very well kitted out: All M37 variants get dual-zone climate control, power moonroof, automatic HID headlights, rain-sensing variable intermittent wipers, intelligent key with push-button start, sequential welcome lighting, rearview camera, and all the expected safety features such as full airbag protection, traction and stability control, and ABS brakes. All M37s also get the expected conveniences like Bluetooth telephone connectivity, a vehicle information system with seven-inch display, power locks, power windows, and retained accessory power for the windows and moonroof. Unfortunately the audio system doesn’t get retained accessory power, so it shuts off as soon as you cut the engine, which rather encourages wasteful idling.
Additional equipment that comes with the Sport package includes perforated leather upholstery (instead of smooth leather), sport-bolstered climate-controlled front seats, heated sport-trimmed steering wheel, sport-trimmed shift knob, aluminum pedal accents, hard-drive navigation system, lane departure warning, blind spot warning and prevention (the car uses the rear brakes to help correct lane drift), distance control assist, and nice, big, column-mounted magnesium paddle shifters. I found these to be a pleasure to operate, and the car doesn’t force upshifts in manual mode (you can take it right up to the rev limiter) although it will deny early upshifts if it deems the road speed too low for the desired gear. When downshifting, it speed-matches the engine revs to provide smooth, seamless shifts.
The M37x Sport also gets a 10-speaker Bose premium AM/FM/XM/CD audio system with USB plug and MP3/WMA playback capability. I found the USB plug to be a little flimsy feeling and hard to access (it’s mounted in the console bin and isn’t backlit), but the audio system itself sounds fantastic, and even includes a small pair of tweeters in each front seatback.