2012 Infiniti M

Review: 2012 Infiniti M56x

We drive Infiniti's flagship sedan.

By: Tim Healey

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: March 2nd, 2012

Perhaps not coincidentally, the first big snowstorm of the year hit our Chicago-area office just one day after we were handed the keys to a V-8 powered Infiniti M56x. We were not going to let a little—or a lot—of white stuff slow us down, however. Especially since that "x" in the M56x designation signifies that the car has all-wheel drive.

Mother Nature may be nasty, but she can't keep a good car parked.

  • On The Road

    The 5.6-liter V-8 that gives the M56 the "56" part of its moniker howls like a high-pitched banshee when pressed, and we couldn't get enough of it, at least when the local roads were plowed. Horsepower is addictive, and the M56x provides a constant fix thanks to its 420 ponies. The car's 417 lb-ft of torque doesn't hurt, either.

    What you end up with is a car that's very motivated to get moving when the light turns green. You'll find yourself getting to the country club early in this ride.

    Ride and handling haven't been forgotten, either. The M's ride is on the sporty side, but we won't call it stiff, and it still coddles plenty for the investment banker's commute from mid-rise office to McMansion. The steering feels appropriately weighted for the task at hand, and the car takes a set nicely.

  • Features & Prices

    Speaking of investment bankers, you'll need a good job in order to afford the M—it doesn't come cheap. The base price clocked in at $61,600, including features like 18-inch wheels, the seven-speed (yes, seven) automatic transmission, wood trim, leather seats, 10-way power front seats, a power tilt/telescope heated steering wheel, an 8-inch touch screen, climate controlled front seats, a rearview camera, a navigation system, a 9.3-gigabyte hard drive, a moonroof, Bluetooth, a USB port, rain-sensing wipers, and more. Options were limited to the $3,800 Deluxe Touring Package (silver powder accents for the wood trim, uplevel audio, the Forest Air system, a suede-like headliner, a power rear sunshade, and more) plus aluminum alloy wheels ($650).

    With the $875 destination fee, the cash register stops wringing at $66,925. Good grief.

  • Swoopy Styling

    Infiniti has a swoopy, sporty theme going on, and the M is no exception. Some luxury buyers will take exception, but we find the lines handsome and fetching. We wouldn't kick the M out of the driveway.

  • Inside The Cabin

    Not only does the M offer plenty of features to keep us swaddled in technology and luxury, but it looks good inside, too. We especially like the creative background pattern on the back of the speedometer and tachometer. Oh, and the analog clock is cool, too.

  • Pain At The Pump

    Lest you think that our review is getting too glowing, here's the catch: This car will cost you at the pump. The EPA ratings are 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway, and we suspect that the most drivers won't quite achieve that, thanks to the V-8's tendency to influence operators to act heavy-footed. Not to mention the extra weight of the all-wheel drive system.

  • Wrapping Up

    The M56x will have its haters—the styling isn't for everybody, the price is too high, the V-8 is too thirsty—but you can't count us among their numbers. We agree that the price at the pump is painful, but we love the sleek styling, the V-8's performance, and the AWD system's stability in snowy weather. Nearly $70K is a steep price, but in this case, you do get what you pay for.

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• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2012 Infiniti M56, click here: 2012 Infiniti M56.