The 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid Review: In building its first hybrid car, Infiniti has figured out how to solve a big problem. Hybrids are usually too slow and too expensive. The added weight and complexity of its fancy drive train means buying a hybrid vehicle comes at a cost, both in terms of performance and money. But not this one ….
This is the M Hybrid, Infiniti's first attempt at cracking the market for fuel-efficient luxury cars. Unlike other hybrids, this one is shockingly fast and relatively affordable, at least compared to its more fuel thirsty sibling.
It makes 360 horsepower, an impressive number for any sports sedan but mind-blowing in a hybrid car. Car magazines have clocked its acceleration from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.1 seconds, which is nearly as fast as the V-8 powered version of this same car.
In other words, if you're thinking about buying a top-of-the-line M56 with a V-8 engine, don't do it. Take a look at the M Hybrid first.
A quick comparison: The M56 gets 24 mpg on the highway and 16 in the city, whereas the M Hybrid is rated for 32 on the highway and 27 in town.
And the M56 starts at $59,100, compared with $53,700 for the M Hybrid.
That means the hybrid version is an absolute steal for a flagship luxury car, saving you money when you buy it, and saving even more money as you burn less gas over time. It's not like you're sacrificing much comfort or performance by picking the hybrid version, either, which is the most remarkable part.
This is a car that screams luxury. Everything about it oozes with comfort, style and sophistication, from its sexy body to its distinctive wood trim, quilted leather accents and headliner, that feels like it could be made of lambskin.
Infiniti is known for piling on the electronic gadgets, and the M Hybrid is no exception. It's available with all kinds of interesting features, some useful, others gimmicky, including radar cruise control that keeps you moving at the speed of traffic, lane change indicators and blind spot sensors for safety, and a climate system called Forest Breeze that varies how hard the vents blow air.
It has everything you would expect from a high-end luxury car, including sumptuous passing power, making it seriously fun to drive. After driving the very disappointing Honda CR-Z last year, it's great to see a "sports hybrid" that actually deserves the label.
To be fair, the M Hybrid only reaches its full performance potential when you turn a dial to put it into "sport" mode, which hurts the gas mileage a bit, but gives it much faster reflexes and unleashes its complete power level.
You'll get better gas mileage in "eco" mode, which makes it respond slower. It's sort of like having two cars in one: an ordinary, fairly slow hybrid car in "eco" mode and an aggressive sports sedan in "sport" mode.
There's also a concession to practicality. The high-tech lithium ion battery pack and associated electronic gear eats into the trunk space. It holds a lot less cargo than its non-hybrid competitors.
As a whole, though, I couldn't be more impressed with this car. It makes gobs of power, coddles you on the highway, looks gorgeous, and still gets 32 mpg on the highway. It's just the best hybrid vehicle I've driven, hands down.
What was tested? The 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid with a base price of $53,700. Options on the test car: The Technology Package for $3,000, Deluxe Touring Package for $3,800, trunk net, trunk mat and first aid kit for $200, illuminated kick plates for $360, aerodynamic kit for $2,000, Premium Package for $3,350, and the 18-inch wheel package for $650. The total MSRP price as tested, including the $895 destination charge, came to: $67,955.
Why avoid it? The hybrid battery takes up some of the trunk space.
Why buy it? It's a stunning car with lots of strong points: fantastic performance, a luxurious cabin and a beautiful body. It costs thousands less than the V-8 powered M56 and gets great gas mileage, too.
By Derek Price © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid Bottom Line Review provided by:
Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
The Bottom Line: Infiniti's new 2012 M Hybrid looks athletic and sophisticated, a perfect match for the way this car feels. It makes 360 horsepower, drives like a thoroughly refined sports sedan, and still gets 32 mpg on the highway. Plus Infiniti pulled out all the stops when designing the M's cabin. It has materials that feel better than some of Lexus' best models and gets lots of technology to soothe and coddle its lucky passengers. This really is a good reason for you to “Drive one, Buy one, Today ©”
Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net - And remember: “ You Are What You Drive ©”
Column Name: The M Hybrid is a true sports hybrid
Topic: The 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid
Word Count: 913
Photo Caption: The 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid
Photo Credits: Infiniti M Hybrid Internet Media
Series #: 2012- 02
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2012 Infiniti M Hybrid
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2012 Infiniti M Hybrid