Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way: I’ve driven an Infiniti as my personal car for about three years - and I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit.
Last year the luxury brand unveiled a hybrid version of their M series, and it received glowing reviews. Now in their second year with it, the designers at Infiniti must’ve decided not to mess too much with a good thing. There are some cosmetic changes to the M hybrid, but not much.
The car stands out from the pack, though, because it combines a V6 engine with its electric motor system. This provides a real kick in the pants when it comes to get-up-and-go; there were times when I took off from a green light and forgot that I was behind the wheel of a hybrid.
At the same time, the fuel economy is very competitive. For all of that power and oomph, the M hybrid delivers an EPA average of 27/32, which ain’t too bad for a 4100 pound baby.
If there’s one negative to point out, it’s the fact that the car is rear-wheel-drive. That’s not a huge turnoff to everyone, but certainly a factor in any decision made in Colorado.
But just slip into the drivers seat and that hesitation might melt away. Infiniti does a remarkable job holding up the luxury side of the equation. The M pampers you with not only comfortable seats, but with a glassy-smooth ride. “Luxury car meets sports sedan” is usually a winning combination.
The interior is laid out well, with less of a reliance on tech gadgets than some of Infiniti’s competitors - and I consider that a good thing. The M is easy to drive and the controls are simple to operate.
Because it’s a hybrid, trunk space is compromised a bit. It’s not tiny by any stretch, but it can’t provide you with cavernous storage.
The M hybrid starts in the mid-50s, but it comes with an impressive menu of standard features: heated front seats, dual occupant memory (for seat position, mirrors, etc), Intelligent Key with push button ignition, power-folding/auto dim mirrors, and a nice sound system.
Start adding options, though, and the sticker price climbs rapidly. The test model I drove came with a technology package, deluxe touring package, and premium package; all told, that tacked on an additional $11k.
If you’re in the market for a fuel-conscious, powerful luxury sedan, it’ll be tough for you to beat the Infiniti M hybrid. Between its mileage, comfort, and gorgeous looks, it’s understandable why Infiniti didn’t tinker very much. They’ve known for a year that they have a winning hand.
Reviewed by Dom Testa. Vehicle provided by the manufacturer.