2013 INFINITI M Review

Consumer Reviews
0 Reviews
2018
The Car Connection
See the nominees and vote »
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
October 26, 2012

With sharp handling, scorching performance, and decent comfort, the 2013 Infiniti M sedans are bold and beautiful but not overwrought.

With their subtle yet gorgeous looks, truly great handling and performance, and plush, lavish interiors, the 2013 Infiniti M sedans are among the closest rivals to the German luxury sport-sedan establishment. And with their own charming character both with respect to styling and behind the wheel, they do it without mimicry.

It's been a few years since the Infiniti M37 and M56 sport sedans were completely redesigned, yet they still stand out as some of the most graceful and voluptuous vehicles in their class. Swelling fenders flow from the car's grille, and flex from concave to convex surfaces along its shoulder, ending in an abbreviated, sloping trunk. It sits a little tall on its tires, but at the same time that makes its stance a little more butch. Inside, the level of sensuality is a counterpoint to stark German luxury-car interiors; there's more wood trim here than a Jaguar XJ, plus semi-aniline leather that's Infiniti's best yet, as well as silver-dust-buffed wood trim.

Performance for these rear- or all-wheel-drive sedans is the true focus, and in any of their three flavors Infiniti hasn't forgotten that. The M37 is the more common (and more affordable) of the three, powered by a 330-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6. Meanwhile, the M56 has a 420-hp, 5.6-liter V-8 that delivers neck-snapping responsiveness and a brash exhaust note. Both engines pair up with a seven-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode, rev-matching, and available paddle shifters. In either version, the transmission is happy to pound out quick, unobtrusive gear changes at your command when the automatic’s moved to manual mode. There's also the M35h, with its performance-oriented hybrid system making 350 combined horsepower yet managing EPA ratings of 27 mpg city, 32 highway.

Review continues below

Otherwise, Infiniti nailed the calibration of the suspension in the M37 and M56. Both have great handling, quick, responsive steering, and ride quality that's not quite supple but definitely not harsh or too noisy. The steering has the right weight and turn-in feel, and the rear-wheel-drive chassis is balanced and responsive for such a long car. On either of the non-hybrid models you can add all-wheel drive (M37x, M56x), and it doesn’t dull the edge too much. Our preferred setup is the Sport package, adding 20-inch wheels, four-wheel active steering, sport seats and steering wheel, and aluminum pedal trim to rear-drive versions; and for 2013, the Sport Package is now offered in AWD versions, and a few more convenience features are wrapped in.

The 2013 Infiniti M sedans, while they may drive with close to the verve of the compact G sport sedans, have one very significant difference: They have usable back-seat space. The M37 and M56 also offer a smooth, refined ride, as well as top-notch interior refinement and a roomy trunk. One of the things that the M37 and M56 do have in common with the smaller G sedans is that there's a bit more road noise than you might expect in a luxury car--even though Active Noise Control is included in all models. The V-6 in particular seems vibration-ridden. M35h hybrids, on the other hand, use a version of the somewhat smaller, smoother 3.5-liter V-6

Just as much as the BMW 5-Series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the M sedans are a rolling showcase of some of the world's most sophisticated, radar-driven safety technology. Dynamic cruise control is available, along with adaptive headlamps, a blind-spot warning system, and lane-departure warning. The M models have received both IIHS Top Safety Pick status and a five-star overall rating from the federal government.

The base M37 sedans come with a lavish array of standard luxury features, while the M56 and M56x add Bose audio, a heated steering wheel, and ventilated front seats. They also get standard Bluetooth streaming, voice-activated navigation, XM traffic and weather with Zagat restaurant guides; a music hard drive, and an in-dash DVD player—all of which are available on the M37. Other options will include ventilated seats; a heated steering wheel; real-time traffic; a power sunshade; and an awesome Bose surround-sound system.

9

2013 INFINITI M

Styling

The Infiniti M models are smooth, expressive, and more voluptuous than most other luxury sedans this size.

It's been a few of years since the Infiniti M37 and M56 sport sedans were completely redesigned last year, yet they still stand out as some of the most graceful and voluptuous vehicles in their class.

The M sedans are a long, long way from their ungainly J30 ancestor, and there's a curviness in the sheetmetal that gives them quite the personality. Swelling fenders flow from the car's grille, and flex from concave to convex surfaces along its shoulder, ending in an abbreviated, sloping trunk. It sits a little tall on its tires, but at the same time that makes its stance a little more butch.

The level of sensuality makes it a standout; there's more wood trim here than a Jaguar XJ, plus semi-aniline leather that's Infiniti's best yet, as well as silver-dust-buffed wood trim. The dash follows a two-tone, multiple-layered look; and sitting up prominently like a jewelry case, the center stack of the instrument panel wears buttons for audio and climate controls just under a large LCD display, positioned high in the line of sight.

9

2013 INFINITI M

Performance

Strong acceleration and a balanced, responsive feel distinguish all the M sedans from their peers.

The 2013 Infiniti M is offered in three flavors: M37, M56, and M35h. Among them, the M37 is the most affordable and top-selling from the lineup; it's powered by a 330-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6. Meanwhile, the M56 has a 420-hp, 5.6-liter V-8, and the M35h packs a V-6 and special hybrid powertrain to produce up to 350 combined horsepower.

The M37 has strong acceleration and is quite quick, but this engine, especially in the M, is too raucous and coarse-sounding for the personality of the car. On the other hand, the V-8 M56 has a brash, baritone engine note that's more fitting, accompanies by neck-snapping responsiveness. Both engines pair up with a seven-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode, rev-matching, and available paddle shifters.

No matter which of these versions you go with, you'll get a seven-speed transmission that's happy to pound out quick, unobtrusive gear changes at your command when the automatic’s moved to manual mode; it also rev-matches downshifts very effectively. And with four individual settings (Sport, Normal, Eco and Snow), you can change the way (and when) the transmission shifts and how the accelerator pedal respond to inputs. You’ll be fine leaving it in Normal almost all of the time.

The Infiniti M35h has a rather different powertrain setup; it gets a Direct Response Hybrid system that's performance-oriented and delivers more than 350 combined horsepower yet is rated at an EPA 27 mpg city, 32 highway. Unlike some other hybrids, it has a transmission with actual gears--seven speeds--and is easier to drive through curvy stretches than nearly any other hybrid. Its suspension is tuned a bit more softly than the other models though.

Otherwise, Infiniti nailed the calibration of the suspension in the M37 and M56. Both have great handling, quick, responsive steering, and ride quality that's not quite supple but definitely not harsh or too noisy. supple ride--are an elusive mix, and Infiniti's nailed it. The steering has the right weight and turn-in feel. The rear-wheel-drive chassis is balanced and responsive for such a long car.

On either of the non-hybrid models you can add all-wheel drive (M37x, M56x), and it doesn’t dull the edge too much. A feature called Active Tracing Control helps manipulate power levels and anti-lock brakes to help cornering feel a little more surefooted and balanced, and big, strong brakes on all versions come standard with lots of pedal feel.

To maximize that performance, there's a Sport package adding 20-inch wheels, four-wheel active steering, sport seats and steering wheel, and aluminum pedal trim to rear-drive versions. It's our preferred setup, as it's not too hard, yet not overly soft like a luxury car. Overall, this is a car that drives like a car that's one step smaller.

8

2013 INFINITI M

Comfort & Quality

The 2013 Infiniti M sedans have a spacious interior, but they're a little noisier and coarser than their luxury badge suggests.

The 2013 Infiniti M sedans, while they may drive with close to the verve of the compact G sport sedans, have one very significant difference: They have usable back-seat space. The M37 and M56 also offer a smooth, refined ride, as well as top-notch interior refinement and a roomy trunk.

Front seats are exceptionally comfortable in the M, with both the driver and front passenger get ten-way power seats. There's good head and shoulder room, too, minus a little width for the thicker center console. In back, the seats are really well contoured for adults in the outboard positions, although the tall doors and rear deck can give the rear occupants a closed-in feel. Overall, while the tallest passengers might find it a little light on headroom, the M sedans don't sacrifice rear-seat comfort for looks, as do the but the 2011 M doesn’t sacrifice rear-seat comfort for its looks, as do the Jaguar XF.

The M sedans have a relatively large trunk--even though the volume number isn't spectacular, at 14.9 cubic feet, because it's not all that long. Hybrid models do sacrifice some of that due to battery storage (they have 14.9 cubic feet). otherwise there's good cabin storage, with a shallow-ish console augmented by a deep glovebox.

One of the things that the M37 and M56 do have in common with the smaller G sedans is that there's a bit more road noise than you might expect in a luxury car--even though Active Noise Control is included in all models. The V-6 in particular seems vibration-ridden. M35h hybrids, on the other hand, use a version of the somewhat smaller, smoother 3.5-liter V-6

9

2013 INFINITI M

Safety

Great crash-test scores and impressive accident-avoidance options make the 2013 Infiniti M a safe pick.

Infiniti uses the M sedans as rolling showcases for some of the automaker's most sophisticated, radar-driven safety technology, and that's what helps them stand out for the security-conscious--in addition to all the usual safety features, of course.

Top crash-test ratings from both U.S. agencies confirm that the 2013 M37 and M56 are among the safest luxury-sedan picks. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing, the M sedans have earned top 'good' results in every category, and they've also earned the Top Safety Pick accolade. They've also earned five stars overall in federal NCAP testing, including four stars for frontal impact and an excellent five stars for side impact.

In addition to dual front, side and curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; active headrests; and traction and stability control; parking sensors and a rearview camera are among the standard features.

The advanced safety options are where the M sedans really shows its safety strengths--by potentially helping you avoid an accident altogether. Dynamic cruise control and adaptive headlamps are available, while the optional blind-spot and lane-departure warning system is designed to alert the driver if another vehicle is detected in an adjacent lane during an intended lane change, then help assist the driver make an avoidance maneuver.
9

2013 INFINITI M

Features

The Infiniti M sedans are luxury sport sedans at the core, but you can focus on performance, luxury, and advanced-tech features with several major option packages.

The Infiniti M sedans come lavishly equipped, as is the norm for Infiniti models, and for 2013 there are several new performance options that highlight these sedans' sporty side.

At the base level, the M37 comes as well equipped as any car in this class, with all the traditional luxury features included--including heated leather seats, rain sensing wipers, Bluetooth, an Intelligent Key system, automatic climate control, among much more. M56 models add Bose audio, a heated steering wheel, and ventilated front seats; they also gets standard Bluetooth streaming, voice-activated navigation, XM traffic and weather with Zagat restaurant guides; a music hard drive, and an in-dash DVD player—all of which are available on the M37.

Other options include ventilated seats; a heated steering wheel; real-time traffic; a power sunshade; and a premium audio system with surround-sound speakers mounted in the front seats. The audio systems have stunning clarity.

The Sport Package has this year been expanded to M37x and M56x all-wheel-drive models, and it adds 20-inch wheels, sport seats and steering wheel, and aluminum pedal trim, plus solid magnesium paddle-shifters and upgraded brakes. And on M56 AWD models the 16-speaker Bose Studio Surround system, Forest Air system, and power rear sunshade have been added to the Sport Package. Separately, the Premium Package now adds rear sonar parking sensors and the Infiniti Connection system, and a new 20-inch Performance Tire & Wheel Package replaces the 18-inch one and comes with Sport Brakes.

7

2013 INFINITI M

Fuel Economy

The 2013 Infiniti M37 and M56 models aren't all that fuel-efficient, but the M35h takes a different tack with its fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain.

With their fuel economy ratings that range from 16 to 18 mpg in the city, and 23 to 26 on the highway, neither the V-6 M37 nor the V-8 M56 are all that frugal on gas.

All-wheel-drive models lose about 2 mpg, with the M56x at the bottom of the numbers, at 16/23—about the same as a large, three-row utility vehicle.

Gas mileage is 16/25 mpg with the V-8 and rear-wheel drive, 16/23 mpg for the V-8 AWD—decently improved figures for a car that weighs between 3858 and 4224 pounds.

What redeems the lineup somewhat is the M35h, an advanced hybrid sport sedan that achieves EPA ratings of 27 mpg city, 32 highway. And as we've found in a couple of extended drives, it performs nearly as well as the gasoline variants.

M37 and M56 models also get an "Eco Pedal" feature that gives haptic feedback when it senses the chance to save fuel.

Continue Reading

The Car Connection Consumer Review

Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
Browse Used Listings
in your area
8.8
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 9.0
Performance 9.0
Comfort & Quality 8.0
Safety 9.0
Features 9.0
Fuel Economy 7.0
Compare the 2013 INFINITI M against the competition
Compare All Cars
Looking for a different year of the INFINITI M?
Read reviews & get prices
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
See More Used