PRO’s: Beautifully styled, comfortable and sporty interior that’s loaded with tech. Strong V8 offers great performance.
CON’s: Vague steering, high price tag.
FINAL THOUGHT: A nicely appointed sports-sedan that offers plenty of performance and luxury with a image that’s a big departure from its German rivals.
When you think of a mid-sized performance sedan, the odds of a BMW 5-series popping into your head would probably be pretty good. However there is another vehicle out there that’s trying to encroach on the 5-series dominance. It’s imported from Japan and comes in the form of this – the 2013 Infiniti M56. On paper you’ll notice that all the correct bells and whistles are in place. It’s got a big V8, rear-wheel drive performance and thanks to the optional technology package, has just about every option you’d ever want. However, does all of this power and tech make for a good and sporty automobile? Click through to find out.
The M56 has remained virtually unchanged since its last redesign in 2011. One look will tell you that it’s decidedly Japanese. It’s lines are free flowing and possess a very organic feel, which is something that continues all the way through the cars interior. Under the hood lies a 5.6-liter V8 that produces 420 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque that’s put down through a smooth shifting 7-speed automatic transmission. This particular M56 was also fitted with the optional Sport Package. A $5,650.00 option that gets you things like 20-inch aluminum wheels, active 4-wheel steering, a sport-tuned suspension, better seats and a kick-ass 16-speaker BOSE audio system.
On the road the 2013 Infiniti M56 is almost as good as you’d expect from a $70,000 sports sedan. However it’s not great, which is really what I was hoping for. The suspension comes with two settings, STANDARD and SPORT. STANDARD does an “okay” job of soaking up road imperfections, however those 20-inch rims and low 40-series tires unfortunately still let a few bumps sneak through.
SPORT mode stiffens up everything from the steering to the suspension, however there was still a pretty noticeable disconnect and vagueness through the steering wheel. Throwing the car hard into bends meant putting your trust into the engineers as opposed to the car itself, something that is a bit hard to do when driving at the upper limits. Now don’t get me wrong, this thing does handle quite well, so take that comment with a grain of salt.
Acceleration from the 5.6-liter V8 is brisk and launches you to 60 mph in just a tick over 5-seconds. Very respectable considering the M56 weighs in at over 4,000 lbs. The brakes are equally impressive and bring the M56 down from speed with very little drama or nose dive.
Once inside you’ll see why the M56 has such a dedicated audience. Fit and finish is spot-on and all the materials used are of high quality. The center stack for instance looks as though it came directly from the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. Sitting dead-center is a nicely sized touch screen that can be activated manually through use of the control knob or via a simple touch. It’s not as intuitive as other systems out there, but it won’t take you a decade to figure out either.
The optional 10-speaker BOSE audio system sounds outstanding and will cut audio instantly in the event you receive a call via the hands-free Bluetooth system. Combine that with the fact that you can control all of the vehicles audio, navigation and communication options through the steering wheel and via voice activation, and the system becomes one that you’ll find yourself relying on constantly.
Other notable options like the heated and ventilated seats, heated steering wheel and paddle shifted transmission are also nice touches and things that you’ll become used to very quickly.
When it comes to comfort the M56 doesn’t disappoint. Driver and passenger are treated to wonderfully supportive seats, as are the passengers in the rear. Even the door panels are nicely sculpted and visually, help to truly enhance the overall feel of the M56.
And now for the answer to the question of: Is the 2013 Infiniti a true sports sedan, or simply a nicely appointed luxury sedan with sporty features?
Answer: The 2013 Infiniti M56 is a true sports sedan. It’s not as crisp or engaging as some other models out there, but all the right pieces of the puzzle are there and they do work well together. Therefore, if a new sports sedan is in your future, the 2013 Infiniti M56 is definitely a car you should check out.