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2011 Infiniti M37

2011 Infiniti M37 Reviews
Overall rating:  Product Rating: 5.0

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The new M37 proves Infiniti is still a contender for big body luxury in 2011


by bigtruckseries:      May 2, 2010 - Updated May 10, 2010


Product Rating: 5.0 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Feels fast and handles well. Offers more value than the M56.
Cons: Rear seats don't fold flat, some features/options are gimmicky or flat out unnecessary
The Bottom Line: Infiniti's feature-rich M37x offers plenty of luxury and feels perfectly powered. BRAVO!!!


I originally experienced the Infiniti M over a year ago. You can read the review I wrote about the outgoing model here:   http://www.epinions.com/content_416038555268 
I also made a Video Review on Youtube of the interior:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkDAr-c-vEs




INTERIOR

As far as interior quality runs, the M37 definitely looks and feels highly luxurious. The door’s are almost completely made of soft touch leather, with The only cheap material to be found at the top of the dashboard.  I believe it’s a high impact polyurethane foam only slightly softer than the equivalent material in a Chrysler 300.  

The wrap around wood paneling looks great and the numerous air louvers are well fitted into the design to alleviate the look of excessive cuts.  This car’s interior feels uber rich.  I’ll go so far as to say I liked the way it feels better than the new Mercedes E350 and the new BMW 5-series.  http://www.epinions.com/content_474159746692   Looking back at the E350 - I'm shocked at how much less plastic the M37 shows.
 
What I also noticed right away was how much better the Navigation computer and the radio button panels were designed than in the old M45 I saw years ago. The buttons aren’t cheap rubber anymore. They are hard plastic with chrome trim.  I played with the computer, set up a few destinations, and was happy with how easy it was to use.

The Touchscreen works very well and very quickly and also allows you to use the rolling dial instead of touching. In the bottom portion of the console, there is a knob that sets the car’s driving modes, flanked by easy to use twist knobs that activate seat heating and cooling. The seat temp controls are brilliantly designed and very intuitive.
  
I was enthusiastic about the interior space of the M37 because about a year ago, I’d been in a new body styled Nissan Maxima and was happy with its expansive thigh room, and accommodations for long legs. Like its cousin, the M37 does not disappoint the tallest among us, and will definitely be considered huge for people shorter than 6 feet tall.  The rear seats sit a bit higher than the front seats  so when you recline the driver’s seat way back, it does pinch off rear leg room for the back passenger.
 
Interestingly enough, there is a “touring package” which changes the regular seats with a perforated leather seat that is set slightly further back and offers a few inches more of leg space.  That package which is roughly $3500 changes the regular “Japanese Ash” wood to a wood with fragments of Silver powder. Both woods look good though so no one will miss out here.
 
There is a passthrough from the trunk to the cabin, but, the seats do not fold.
 
The only disappointment I had with the interior was that the door pulls felt a bit too far back and I’d have liked it if the wheel telescoped an inch further. Overall, I was highly impressed. Everything in it felt very natural and very organic. If the designers intent was to capture the brush strokes of Japanese Katakana, they've succeeded.
 
I personally liked the EXTERIOR of the outgoing M slightly more.
This car seems like a Maserati crossed with a Hyundai. Its not as polarizing as the Maxima’s fishhook styled light fixtures but it still makes an artistic statement I’m not willing to make.   I also noticed this car rides pretty high from the ground. Getting out, I had to take a long step before my feet touched Earth.  The roofline could have also been a little higher to make me happier.

 

PRICE/ OPTIONS
 
The 2011 Infiniti M37 is offered in two trims. The first is the  $46,250 “M37”  which features a Rear Wheel Drive 3.7L 330HP V6 linked to a 7-speed automatic.  The standard features include  Bluetooth,  rear-view Camera, keyless start/stop ignition,  powered front seats, and FM/AM/XM radio.
 
The  second trim is the $48,400 “M37x” which includes all the standard features of the M37 but adds All Wheel Drive.
 
As I mentioned, there is a  $3800“Touring Package” available  which gives you the Silver powdered wood, power rear sunshade, suede-like headliner,  higher quality leather soft touch materials for the doors and a higher end Bose speaker system with 15 speakers rather than 10.
  
There is also a $3650 “Sport package” which upgrades you from 18” wheels to 20” and Summer performance tires,  sport suspension with larger brake rotors and 4 wheel steering.  There are also metal paddle shifters and sport seats with larger side bolsters.
 
A $3000 “Technology Package” adds the finishing touches to the technological aspects of the car. Radar based cruise control,  Lane Departure warnings,  Break assisting, Blind spot warnings and adaptive head lights are just the beginning of the Cybernanny devices that you will hear *bling*, *beep* and *boop* you into a manic state of heightened arousal.   Is all this stuff necessary?  Fortunately, since you still get the Navigation system and rear view parking camera without it, I’d have to say fuhgetaboutit!

I was also able to use a different car on the lot to test Infiniti’s new “Forest Air” system (available in Sport or Touring packages)  which blows air intermittently from different air louvers to simulate the air effect you’d get running through a forest.  Simply put, it’s a gimmick. I tested it on 66 degrees with  A/C on full blast. Besides having a console button with trees painted on it to switch to “forest air mode”, you won’t miss it. The air flow of the base car is more than enough to cool the entire cabin, but, I must say that “forest air” was one of the features I saw in advertisements that I was most interested to check out.  Will you really want to spend an extra $3000 so the interior has a simulated breeze?  I doubt it. 
If it was a standard feature I wouldn't knock it, but its packaged cost is a bit high. 
 


DRIVING IMPRESSIONS
 
As tested, my  M37x  included  $165 splash guards,  $195 trunk mat/ trunk net/ first aid kit  and the $3350 “Premium package” which gives you  the hard drive based Navigation system with 9GB of storage for music,  Xm Navtraffic/ Navweather, A2DP Bluetooth  for streaming music from cellphones and  climate controlled front seats with heated steering wheel.  The sticker price was $52,975  which included a $900 destination charge.
 
The strongest point of the M37 was its acceleration. This car has so much power to its weight that it takes nothing short of a moderate pedal press to send you rocketing down the lane with its 269 pound feet of torque.  You’d have to test this car to actually feel how powerful it actually is. For a V6, the acceleration is incredible. 0-60 takes less than 6 seconds (depending on the mass of the passengers).   

The only other V6 I’ve used this sweet was in Lincoln’s $55,000 twin turbo Ecoboost MKS.  Both car’s are in the same price range, with the MKS being slightly more expensive (similarly equipped) but the MKS is plenty larger and weighs 447 pounds more.
 
But where the MKS failed (besides interior space and interior quality) was in handling, which is something I’m happy to say the M37 does very well.  The AWD system in this car is intelligent. It will activate a bias which sends more power (or all power) to the rear wheels for regular driving, but will only activate all wheels if it feels it needs to, based on what the electronic stability controller says. If there is rain -all the wheels activate.  If you switch the driving mode from “standard” to “snow” – all the wheels activate.   Never did I feel that the car’s mass was too great, or that the rear wheels were being  hampered by the torque from the front.
 
While I can’t comment on the "sport package" ride, I can say that the base M37 and the M37x drive better, and provide better acceleration than the outgoing M45. The suspension has been improved to make the ride less jarring over bumps, and on the nice flat pavement of the highway, this car moves swiftly and quietly. Far more than you’d expect from a V6 without turbo charging.

I was quite harsh on it in fact. I took off from each light as if I was a test pilot for NASA and burned through corners as if I didn't believe in Newton's laws. I sensed the dealer wanted to say something, but I think fear of the blurred windshield view kept him quiet. When I was finally done torturing the car, it begged for more...despite the fact you could literally smell the brakes smoking.

The Steering is very well weighted and offers great response.  Steering response is so quick that you may think you’re driving a smaller car.  How many of those in the target audience for this car really speed regularly and drive ultra aggressively? Not many I'd think. For everyday driving to and from your bank or medical practice,  M37x is excellent.  

But shouldn't I compare the M37x to the BMW 5 series? 
O.K. lets see:
-The M37 easily outdoes the BMW 5 in interior space.
- A BMW 5 series as equipped as my tester would have cost at least $4000 more and to top it off,
-the M37x generates more horses than the 230HP 528i xdrive and  300HP 530i xdrive(which weighs about 100 pounds more). 

If your stuck between the Beemer and the Infiniti, go with the Infiniti. 

 
Though I didn’t have paddle shifters, the car’s computers know when to upshift when its appropriate. Downshifts come a little less timely.If you choose “eco” mode, throttle response is decreased and shifts are computer managed to attempt to get the highest gas mileage.  "Sport" mode gives you considerably better throttle response and prepares the car for faster upshifts.  "Standard" mode should be avoided as the downshifting seems to be the worst of the bunch.
   
The dealer told me that regular unleaded fuel is O.K.  Considering thousands of gallons of spilled oil are currently making the Gulf of Mexico look like a black trash bag and insane summer fuel prices are right around the corner, this is a good thing. Naturally, you’ll have to buy premium to get maximum power output. As I saw it, regular unleaded seemed to move the 400 pound dealer and myself just fine.  Fuel economy on this car was sticker rated at 17mpg City and 24mpg highway  with an annual fuel cost of $2100.  The dealer was located in the suburbs of Long Island which is mostly highway, therefore, the trip computer’s estimates of 21.9 MPG seemed reasonable.  




BOTTOM LINE
 
What Infiniti has done is make this M more than just a bigger version of the G37. They've effectively given it character in addition to a kickass engine. Character was the main thing missing from the outgoing model.  I’m willing to give the M37x a strong buy recommendation. I liked almost everything about this car.   
The interior was high quality, the exterior looked sexy and the seats felt comfy with their cooling settings keeping my rear end frosty.
 
Why should Infiniti have to advertise gimmicky wood panels with Silver filings or "Forest Air" breezes?  This car looks good and drives great...they could just advertise on that!  
 
Why bother to spend over $12,000 extra for the $60,000 M56 and its 420HP 5.6 Liter V8?   The M37 offers plenty of power, plenty of speed and allows you to get in under $50,000. Granted, the M56 includes the Premium package along with all the features of the M37x, who really wants to spend so much more for Premium fuel if they don’t have to?

Can you love this car?   I think so. Its got pretty much every feature you’d need and plenty of optional devices in the “technology package” for those of you who love cybernannies.  



OTHER CARS


LINCOLN MKS - http://www.epinions.com/content_434429988484

LINCOLN MKS w/ Ecoboost - http://www.epinions.com/content_506248924804

HYUNDAI GENESIS http://www.epinions.com/content_438811790980

MERCEDES BENZ 2011 E350http://www.epinions.com/content_474159746692

BMW 750 - http://www.epinions.com/content_478005988996
Amount Paid (US$): 53,000
Condition: New
Model and Options: "x" all wheel drive with Premium Package
Product Rating: 5.0
Recommended: Yes 
Roominess:  
Build Quality  
Seat Comfort:  

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