- Lots of smooth power
- A satisfying driver
- Comfortable interior
- Available all-wheel-drive (AWD)
- Not quite as sophisticated as Germans
- Requires premium fuel
- Lots of buttons
The 2008 Infiniti M Series has everything needed to be contender, no mistake.
The Infiniti M sedan lineup was completely redesigned in 2006, and so the 2008 model year is a carryover with few changes. The biggest change is that for Infiniti, 2008 is the year the company further expands the M with a new all-wheel-drive model, the M45X.
The 2008 Infiniti M mid-size luxury sedan continues to be available in two flavors. The M45 is powered by a 325-horsepower, 4.5-liter V-8, while the M35 uses the 3.5-liter V-6 with 275 horsepower. Both versions now can be ordered with an all-wheel-drive system (an "X" is then added to the model name). A five-speed automatic with manual/sport shifting is standard. This transmission is very sporty in its performance, and matches engine rpm with electronic throttle blips when it downshifts during aggressive driving. Especially with the V-8 engine, the Infiniti M's driving personality is engaging and accomplished, exhibiting good ride quality and steering feel. Its performance is also right up there with the best from Bavaria or other points on the globe, with 0-60-mph times for the M45 in the mid-five-second range.
Along with the new model, the M sedans receive a sheetmetal touch-up for the new year that includes new front and rear bumpers, new taillights, rear trunklid and fenders, and a new grille. The shape is handsome, and it's aging gracefully.
Standard features include leather seats, rosewood or aluminum trim, an electric sunroof, Intelligent Key with pushbutton ignition, Infiniti Voice Recognition and Bluetooth wireless technology, an in-dash six-disc changer with MP3 playback capability, and a Vehicle Information System with 7-inch LCD screen.
All models come standard with stability and traction control, anti-lock braking, and roof-mounted side-impact curtain airbags. High-intensity discharge lamps are now standard, as are climate-controlled seats and new instrument panel lighting.
A Sport package is available on either model; it includes unique trim, a Rear Active Steer system, and 19-inch rims. A DVD navigation system includes a 9.3GB Music Box hard drive; XM is available, along with its NavTraffic service. The new Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) system uses the existing Lane Departure Warning system and teams it with stability control to keep the vehicle in its lane.
All of this equipment adds to an already excellent sedan that editors at TheCarConnection.com count among their favorites. The M also features a number of electronic safety measures, including Infiniti's LDP system, which can actually gently nudge the M back into the lane if the driver drifts to either side.