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Infiniti Canada

Review and photos by Mike Schlee

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2013 Infiniti M Sedan

When the M luxury sedan was reborn two short years ago, it was the first Infiniti model to incorporate the new ‘Essence’ styling language and vaulted Infiniti’s mid-size luxury sedan from an also-ran to a frontrunner.  The M checked off many of the right boxes for a luxury car shopper and offered the necessary all-wheel-drive and sport packages.  However, for the past two years these two packages were mutually exclusive; in other words, it was not possible to combine the Sport and AWD packages.

2013 Infiniti M37x AWD Sport
2013 Infiniti M37x AWD Sport. Click image to enlarge

But, for 2013 that has all changed with the introduction of the Infiniti M37x AWD Sport that couples the Sport package to Infiniti’s AWD system for the first time.  This means all of the Sport model goodies like the 20-inch wheels, sport-tuned suspension, sport brakes, solid magnesium paddle shifters, unique front fascia, and sport seats with enhanced bolstering are included along with Infiniti’s Intelligent all-wheel-drive system. As well, for 2013 all Infiniti M models now include auto-dimming side view mirrors and an auto-trunk cincher.  Rounding off the 2013 additions, the premium package includes ‘Infiniti Connection’, the latest updates to the Infiniti Total Ownership Experience, and a rear sonar system.

Since my test M37x Sport came equipped with the premium package, I had access to the new Infiniti Connection.  This system uses a SIM card to connect you to a real live person that can assist you with items like navigational directions, which will then be inputted directly into the M’s in-dash GPS navigation unit.  Infiniti Connection also offers the usual safety items like automatic collision notification and drive zone monitoring. The safety wizardry on the M does not end there, as my test car also included crash detection warnings, lane departure detection, and blind spot warnings.  Working alongside these passive safety systems are three active safety systems: intelligent brake assist (IBA), blind spot intervention, and lane departure prevention (LDP).

2013 Infiniti M37x AWD Sport
2013 Infiniti M37x AWD Sport
2013 Infiniti M37x AWD Sport. Click image to enlarge

IBA will help bring the vehicle to a stop if possible if the system detects that a collision is imminent while the latter two systems will lightly brake one rear wheel to nudge the car back into your lane if you continue without listening to the warning indicators.  I tried wandering in my lane using this system and the amount of intervention is minimal, but noticeable.  The vehicle does begin to slow down slightly but is not overly intrusive.  This, however, is not a fool-proof safety net.  If the vehicle was already heading straight for a ditch, the vehicle will land in said ditch; this system will not self-drive the car, nor is it intended to.

When driven between the lines and not at other cars, the M37x Sport feels far more responsive than the power-to-weight ratio would suggest, and really begs the question whether the M56 is worth the price and fuel penalty.  The motivation behind the M37 is Infiniti’s 3.7L V6 producing 330 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque that sends power to all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. This may be the most muted VQ engine application I have experienced in a Nissan or Infiniti vehicle.  The engine noise inside the cabin is nearly non-existent, which seemed fitting for a luxury vehicle of this calibre.

The transmission and throttle mapping are adjustable via a rotating knob between four settings; Snow, Eco, Normal and Sport.  The Eco mode involves earlier transmission upshifts and an accelerator pedal that actually pushes back against your right foot if too much throttle is applied.  I found it strange how the pedal pushed back at me and could never get used to it; maybe it is the driver in me?  In Sport mode, I didn’t notice much difference compared to Normal mode when it came to vehicle responsiveness and found both produced the usual lazy downshifts I have encountered in other Infiniti seven-speed automatic applications.  Even when using the dash-mounted paddle shifters, gear changes were delayed.

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