2008 Infiniti M Performance

2008 Infiniti M Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2008 Infiniti M was new.


Performance: 9.2

The M earns high marks as a driver's car, providing more than enough power and great handling.

Reviewers say the M is a satisfactory drive. Cars.com says that most drivers will be happy with the V6's power, adding that the M "exhibits all the handling chops of the successful, smaller G35, if not more," and concludes that you'll "have to keep an eye on the speedometer to have any sense of speed." Edmunds reports that "if performance and handling are your primary concern, you'll be happy with this Infiniti, which outdistances the competition when the rubber hits the road." For 2008, Infiniti adds available all-wheel drive to the V8 M45.

USA TODAY reports that both the M35 V6 engine and the M45 V8 engine, move the cars with "remarkable and joyous dispatch." BusinessWeek adds that having reviewed "a lot of cars in the past 15 years, and while Bimmer and Lexus fans may disagree, this Infiniti M is one of the best I've ever driven."

Acceleration and Power

The 2008 Infiniti M35, M35x AWD and M35 Sport all come with a 3.5-liter 24-valve V6 engine mated to a responsive five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. Edmunds says that the M35 has a "Muscular engine" and "outstanding transmission." Car and Driver says the V6 "pushes the car around with relative ease, never feeling overmatched, and its acceleration proves entirely adequate." Kelley Blue Book says the "five-speed automatic delivers quick, short shifts that, from a standing start, help launch the M with a sense of urgency rarely found in a large sedan." The 2008 M35 gets an Environmental Protection Agency estimated 16 miles per gallon in the city and 23 on the highway, and requires premium gasoline.

While the M35's V6 has good power, many reviewers say that the M45 and M45x, with a V8 engine, deliver top-of-the-line performance. According to Edmunds, the M45 has "explosive power" and is "as solid an engine as you'll find in this segment." The Arizona Republic reports the M45 "jumps and howls under throttle yet with a refinement that makes you think more of a corporate jet than a muscle car." The 2008 M45 gets an EPA-estimated 16 mpg in the city and 21 on the highway and requires premium gasoline. The new M45x, with AWD, has gets an EPA estimate of 14 mpg in the city and 20 on the highway.

Handling and Braking

Auto writers enjoyed the composed ride of the M. Automobile Magazine says that "even the base M35 delivers body control and steering feedback that are at least equal to those of the Audi and the Mercedes, which is to say quite good but a little soft, and the chassis is more tied to the task of hard driving than is that of the front-wheel-drive-biased Acura." Edmunds says M has "confident-handling." Forbes says the suspension delivers "crisp handling without an unduly harsh ride." Car and Driver concludes that the M35 "will commute and tour with a surprising degree of civility, offering a pretty compliant and quiet ride on most roads."

Reviewers praise sport models of the M35 and M45 for gripping corners and precise handling. Automobile Magazine says that the Sport suspension "stiffens the springs and dampers, adds spidery nineteen-inch wheels, and includes 'Rear Active Steer.' This system monitors vehicle speed and steering angle, then uses motors to alter the rear suspension geometry by moving the lower links, causing rear toe-in to vary by as much as one degree." Car and Driver says the M35 Sport "is a handy weapon in the twisties, and it plays along with good levels of communication." Finally, Consumer Guide reports the M has a "firm, composed ride."

The majority of auto reviewers say the M's brakes deliver sure stops. Four-wheel disc brakes, with electronic brake-force distribution, ABS and Brake Assist are standard on all models. Edmunds calls the braking performance "impressive." The Chicago Sun-Times says that the M's "Powerful brakes are controlled by easily modulated pedal and feature brake assist and electronic brake force distribution for panic stops."

All Wheel Drive

The 2008 Infiniti M35x AWD and M45x come with Infiniti's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, which reviewers find satisfactory. "The AWD system itself is not as smooth or seamless as those in some other luxury cars, like Audis. During hard bursts of acceleration, the front wheels can generate a front-wheel drive-style torque-steer effect, in which power from the engine twists the steering wheel in the driver's hands," reports New Car Test Drive. Cars.com says the M35x AWD "reacted quickly enough, transferring torque between the front and rear axles, that there was little slippage and practically no difference whether the VDC was on or off." Forbes finds that the AWD system "affords added grip on both wet and dry roads."

Performance Options


The 2008 Infiniti M35 comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers 275 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 268 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. The V6 is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode, is rear wheel-drive and has independent double-wishbone front suspension and independent multi-link rear suspension with engine-speed-sensitive variable-assist rack and pinion steering and four-wheel disc brakes.

M35x AWD

The 2008 Infiniti M35x AWD has all the same standard features as the base level M35 but is fitted with Intelligent All-Wheel Drive.

M35 Sport

The 2008 Infiniti M35 Sport is a rear-wheel drive sedan, with the same features as the base level M35, but with an added Rear Active Steer and sport-tuned suspension.


The 2008 Infiniti M45 has a 4.5-liter V8 engine that delivers 325 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 336 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. The M45 engine is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode, rear wheel-drive, engine-speed-sensitive variable-assist rack and pinion steering and front independent double-wishbone suspension and multi-link independent rear suspension and four-wheel disc brakes.

M45x AWD

New for 2008, the Infiniti M45x AWD has all the same standard features as the M45 and is fitted with Intelligent All-Wheel Drive.

M45 Sport

The M45 Sport has the same features as the M45 but with an added Rear Active Steer and sport-tuned suspension.

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