Premium midsize car; Built in Japan
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $14,000 – $32,000*


2006 Infiniti M


2006 Infiniti M


2006 Infiniti M


2006 Infiniti M

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Passenger room and comfort
  • Quietness (some models)
  • Ride
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Cargo room
  • Fuel economy (V8)

This impressive sedan is a credible competitor to such class benchmarks as the Acura RL, BMW 5-Series, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Generously equipped in standard form, delivering convincing performance and available with all-wheel drive, the Ms are Best Buy alternatives to these and other rivals, at each price point on the premium midsize spectrum. Infiniti Ms hold their value reasonably well, so used-car prices tend to be a bit high.

Overview

Redesigned and billed as “all new” for 2006, these V6 and V8 premium midsize sedans were larger, costlier cousins to Infiniti’s entry-level G35 sedan and slotted below its flagship Q45. (A prior-generation M45 had departed after the 2004 model year.)

In its fresh form, the M35 held a 280-horsepower V6 and came with rear-wheel drive in base and Sport models, and as the all-wheel-drive M35x. The companion M45 used a 335-horsepower V8 and was rear drive only, offered in base and Sport models. Infiniti Ms competed against the Acura RL, Cadillac CTS, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

All used a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift gate. Also standard were antilock braking, an antiskid system, front side airbags, and head-protecting curtain side airbags. Sport versions had 19-inch wheels, the others 18s. Exclusive to Sports was Infiniti’s Rear Active Steer system, designed to improve handling via an electric actuator that steered the rear wheels slightly.

All Ms had leather upholstery, a sunroof, power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, and keyless entry/ignition. Sports got aluminum cabin trim; the others wood. Also standard were a hands-free wireless cell phone link, and voice control for some audio and climate functions.

Options included audible warning of unintended lane departure, a heated power reclining rear seat, and navigation system. Also available were rear DVD entertainment and a rearview TV camera that displayed on a dashboard screen with the car in Reverse. Steering-linked xenon headlamps were standard on Sport models, optional otherwise.

Yearly Updates

2007 M
Infiniti’s M changed little for the 2007 model year. A new Advanced Technology Package was optional.
2008 M
The 2008 Infiniti M lineup added the all-wheel-drive V8-powered M45x to the existing V6 M35x.
2009 M
The M35’s 3.5-liter V6 engine got a boost to 303 hp, an increase of 28 over 2008 . Rear-drive M35 models got a new 7-speed automatic transmission.
2010 M
The 2010 Infiniti M was largely unchanged for what was its final model year in its current design.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive

Two versions of the M were offered. The M35 held a 280-horsepower V6 and came with rear-wheel drive, or as the all-wheel-drive M35x. Infiniti’s rear-drive-only M45 carried a 335-horsepower 4.5-liter V8. Both engines drove a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift gate. For 2009, the M35’s 3.5-liter V6 engine got a boost to 303 hp. Rear-drive M35 models got a new 7-speed automatic transmission this year.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/214
Engine HP 280-303
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 270
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic
7-speed automatic
18/25

16.4

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.5/274
Engine HP 335
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 340
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic
7-speed automatic
17/23

16.0

Road Test

Acceleration impresses with either V6 or V8 power. A rear-drive M35 scurries nicely, delivering abundant around-town zip and highway power. All-wheel drive adds 180 pounds to car weight, but feels little different. Overall, the M35 is so adept that extra thrust of the M45 is not a compelling draw. That said, the M45 is fast by any measure; a test example accelerated to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds. With either engine, the transmission sometimes pauses indecisively on downshifts, but its manual-shift feature is quicker than most.

Fuel economy is about as expected in this league. A test M35 averaged 16.4 mpg in city/highway driving, while an M35x averaged 17.4 mpg with more highway use. Test M45 sedans averaged 16.0 mpg in city/highway driving, and 18.8 to 19.1 mpg in mostly highway use. Infiniti recommends premium-grade fuel for the M35, and requires it for the M45.

On the road, all M sedans are firm and composed, but the base M35 absorbs bumps best. The all-wheel-drive M35x has tauter suspension settings. Sport models have stiffer suspensions than base sedans, plus low-profile tires that produce some jarring when encountering ruts, and jiggles on grooved pavement.

Confident and balanced handling is accompanied by minimal cornering lean. Sport models have impressive grip in fast changes of direction, though the effect of the Rear Active Steer system is hard to detect. Steering on all models is precise and secure on-center, but heavy and slightly unnatural feeling in turns. The M35x has rear drive manners on dry surfaces, with automatic transition to AWD upon wheelslip (50/50 front/rear torque split can be locked in via a console snow-mode button). Strong brakes on all models are easily modulated.

Quietness depends on the model and road surface. These sedans deliver fine supersession of wind rush and engine/exhaust note, but M35x and Sport models thump over cracks and bumps. Sport models roar and whine on coarse surfaces.

Bright, clear gauges greet the driver. Most controls are logically arrayed on a keyboardlike shelf, but are numerous enough to demand study. Some are a reach away, and sunshine neutralizes indicator lights. Closer to the driver are traditional audio knobs and buttons. Nissan/Infiniti’s navigation system is exceptionally easy to operate, and voice recognition responds accurately to command keywords. The available lane departure system beeps a lane-change warning unless the turn signal is used; it can be shut off, but may seem gimmicky to some drivers. Keyless ignition is a convenience, and the fob stows cleverly in a dashboard port (a “No Key” message flashes if the fob leaves the car while the engine is on). Trim of satin-finish wood or real metal, precision switchgear, and plenty of soft-touch surfaces creates an inviting cabin ambience.

Front space is generous, on supportive seats that are astutely bolstered. The power tilt/telescopic steering wheel helps fine-tune driver position. Thick pillars partially obscure over-the-shoulder visibility. Although the backseat is firm and nicely contoured, its cushion is not long enough for best thigh support. Knee clearance is fine, but toe space tight with the front-seat height lowered. The middle-rear rider straddles a tall driveline hump.

Trunk volume is ample, and lid hinges don’t intrude. However, a short aperture means drawerlike access. Inside the car, storage space is sufficient.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2006 Infiniti M35

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 7
70%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 8
80%
Steering/Handling - 7
70%
Quietness - 8
80%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 10
100%

Total: 70

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
114.2 192.6 70.8 59.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
14.9 20.0 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.6 37.8 44.2 37.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Brakes
Description: The warning lights for brakes, slip and dynamic control may all illuminate due to low brake fluid level caused by very worn brakes or a hydraulic leak. (2006-07)
Brakes
Description: Warning lights for brakes, slip indicator and VDC off on vehicles with intelligent cruise control, are cured by adjusting the brake switch. (2006-07)
Cruise control
Description: A voluntary recall was issued to repair problems on some vehicles with the intelligent cruise control when the sensor gets dirty and is fixed by reprogramming the cruise control module. (2006)
Engine noise
Description: A thumping or ticking noise from under the hood may be eliminated by replacing the fuel system damping hose with a redesigned unit. (2006)
Hard starting
Description: Engine may not start after a short trip followed by cold soak when the outside temperature is very low (below 10 degrees F) requiring replacement of the intelligent power distribution module. (2006)
Seat
Description: The driver’s seat may move when accelerating, stopping or cornering due to defective seat adjuster assembly. (2006-07)
Gauges
Description: The low tire pressure warning light may illuminate and the tire may be low due to a defective sensor seal. (2006-08)
Transmission problems
Description: There may be a harsh downshift from 4 to 3 coasting from 30 mph to 20 mph unless the transmission control module software is updated. (2009)
Brake lights
Description: The parking brake light may stay on with the brake releases due to a broken switch requiring replacement of the parking brake assembly. (2006-09)

Recall History

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.