2013 Infiniti M Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Infiniti M was new.


Performance: 8.5

While a few critics say that some competitors offer a more comfortable ride, the 2013 Infiniti M wins points for its athletic handling and quick, precise steering. One reviewer notes that the M comes with a more powerful engine than cars like the Audi A6, which makes it extremely fun to drive but has a negative impact on fuel economy.

  • "In terms of power and acceleration, the V6-powered M37 and V8-powered M56 will keep up with their German counterparts in a straight line. It's when the road begins to bend, however, that the Infiniti M pulls away." -- Edmunds 
  • "On the value front, the Infiniti M offers … more standard horsepower than its BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Lexus GS and Audi A6 competitors. Its ride quality may not exceed theirs, but that's a trade-off Infiniti accepted to ensure a dynamic driving experience." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "Out on the highway the car is well insulated from wind and road noise, except for particularly coarse pavement." -- MarketWatch
  • "I test-drove the M37x, the all-wheel-drive version of the V-6-equipped sedan. The car drove brilliantly and offered a slew of extra safety features." -- Mother Proof (2011)

Acceleration and Power

Two engines are available in the 2013 M. The M37 features a 330-horsepower V6 engine, while the M56 comes equipped with a 420-horsepower V8. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard in both models. The EPA reports that the 2013 M37 gets 18/26 mpg city/highway, which is less than the fuel economy of cars like the BMW 535i and Lexus GS 350.

Regardless of which model you choose, test drivers agree that the M’s powerful engine choices help make it one of the most fun-to-drive cars in the class. The M’s transmission also earns praise for its smooth, quick shifts, and one reviewer writes that the transmission works exceptionally well in both automatic and manual modes. However, another auto writer points out that other cars in the segment deliver better fuel economy estimates.

  • "All three powertrains offer the sort of abundant power and acceleration that makes them fully competitive with the M's BMW and Mercedes rivals." -- Edmunds 
  • "Unfortunately, all that great horsepower comes at a cost; EPA fuel economy ratings are only average for the category, and our real-world driving experience confirms both the M37 and M56 have a healthy appetite for fuel." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "A 7-speed automatic with ‘solid magnesium paddle shifters’ worked smoothly and 0-60 should check in near the six-second mark." -- MarketWatch (M37x)
  • "The lack of a manual option makes the M37S sound less like a car for enthusiasts than the 5-series, but the torque converter works so ridiculously well in manual mode and is so smooth when you let if shift gears itself that we actually prefer it to most automated manuals." -- Jalopnik (2011)

Handling and Braking

Some critics note that the 2013 Infiniti M lacks the plush ride quality of luxury large cars like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, particularly when equipped with the optional Sport package, which adds larger wheels and a sport-tuned suspension. However, they also write that the M is one of the best-handling cars in the class. A few test drivers say that the Infiniti M offers the agility of a much smaller car, while others note that quick, accurate steering makes the M exceptionally fun to drive.

  • "The 2013 Infiniti M is a big car, but drives smaller than you might think. Its steering effort weights up less abruptly than that of other Infiniti and Nissan sedans, and it exhibits a downright feline willingness to change direction." -- Edmunds
  • "If you're willing to have your luxury mid-size sedan give up some ride smoothness in return for sharp-reacting handling, you might find the Infiniti M's particular blend of performance, luxury and value tough to beat." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Handling is well above average for what at first blush appears to be a luxury car. The reason why is a nearly $3,000 sport package that includes 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels with all-season tires, a firmer suspension and beefed up brakes, sport seats and a few other minor additions. That made the M37 good fun on back roads but also resulted in a rather firm ride that may not sit well with some potential owners." -- MarketWatch
  • "The M's steering proved quick, linear, and communicative." -- Motor Trend (2011)

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