So we got a 2011 Infiniti M56
The 2011 Infiniti M was launched earlier last week in the UAE, and displayed for the first time at the 2010 Sharjah Auto Show. Just before its launch, we asked for a test-drive whenever possible, and surprisingly got an answer that we can have it that same weekend. And so, here is a look at the GCC-spec Infiniti M56 for the first time ever.
Our tester came in a metallic dark-brown paintjob with more than 5000 km on the clock, so we’re seemingly not the first ones to test it. But this was the first time we did see this car on the road. And it looks stunning.
To compare the M’s looks to a Mercedes-Benz E-Class or a BMW 5-Series would be doing injustice to Infiniti’s designers. If anything, it competes with the “four-door coupes” such as the Mercedes-Benz CLS and the Audi A5 Sportbutt, and defeats them in a beauty contest.
Unfortunately, Infiniti still suffers from lack of brand recognition in the wild. While there were lots of curious glances, we were still being cut off on the roads of Dubai by RTA taxi drivers and Emirates Airlines limo drivers, as well as other random van and pickup drivers. Usually, these sorts of people don’t have the balls to cut across the path of Mercs and Bimmers.
The interior is easily the best in its class. It makes good use of premium materials, offers superb tech, and is styled like nothing else, making the Germans look ridiculously dull. Build quality is perfect, but small bits of hard plastics here and there could’ve been covered with soft-touch stuff instead to complete the upscale cabin.
This Infiniti is the first car we’ve tested that has dual speakers on the front seats. Whether we could notice them is another story. Check out the amazing detailing on the doors.
The front seats are moderately bolstered, powered and ventilated. Tons of space here, even with the low-slung roof.
Even more surprising were the rear seat accommodations, with abundant legroom and headroom. Given the “coupe-like” profile, it is good work by Infiniti to manage this much space back there. Facilities include covered cup-holders and rear a/c vents, but missing features include rear a/c controls, panoramic glass roof and split-folding seatback.
But the luggage boot is expectedly massive, with a luggage net and a pass-through to the rear seat for, well, skis and long stuff.
With pricing that matches barebones competitor models, the Infiniti M is bound to do better than the sleep-inducing old model. It is full of competitive tech, offers tons of power and handles like a sports car. However, the drive is missing a certain bit of interaction, something we’ll cover in the full review.