2012 Infiniti M56x Review
If you could only use one word to describe the Infiniti M, it might be this: refined.
In the 2012 model, which we tested for a week, there were no improvements to the 420-horsepower V8 engine, no added luxury accoutrements, and no new interior changes. Yet, driving this luxury sedan for the first time (since we did not review the 2011 version) and comparing it against the Infiniti M37x (which we did review last year), there is a sense of refinement in how the car drives. Not quite as punchy as the BMW 5 series, or as tech-laden as the Mercedes-Benz CLS 63, the M56x has more in common with the Audi A7 in that some of the superior craftsmanship starts to reveal itself over time.
For starters, the M56x is not a blisteringly-fast car. In our tests, even in the sport mode, the 0-to-60 acceleration was right around 5 seconds, far off the mark set by the Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG we drove just a few weeks ago. In terms of handling, the M56x does not match the adaptive suspension in the Audi A8.
The exterior look of the M56x hints at being larger than the M37x, the latter of which has a more pronounced bubble shape and a longer wheelbase, but in fact they are the same size. The main takeaway we had from the car is that it provides an exceptionally smooth ride. Gliding over potholes is one thing, but the all-wheel drive felt sure on the road. (We only had one minor spin-out when we tried to get the rear wheels to lose traction.)
The interior is reminiscent of the M37x, but without quite as much of a cocooning feel, mostly because the vehicle is larger. There are similar cockpit controls for changing the drive mode (you can use the normal mode, sports, mode, snow, and eco) and adjusting climate controls and entertainment.
A few times, we reached for the drive mode selector thinking it was the controller for the entertainment system, since that is the staple of a Mercedes or BMW. The Bose surround system was clear and loud, but not nearly as pristine-sounding as the CLS 63 or as loud as the Cadillac CTS.
Space and handling
What this luxury sedan provides is space, an incredibly smooth ride, and power when you need it. There is plenty of room in the back for passengers, even when the front seats are shifted all the way back. Unlike many European luxury sedans, there is room for three passengers to sit comfortably in the back. Cargo space (at 14.9 cubic ft.) is more than adequate – we stuffed in several sports bags and have room to spare. Headroom is a notch better than the C63, which is geared for fast starts and tight handling.