Premium midsize car; Built in Japan
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $19,300 – $38,900*

2011 Infiniti M Front

2011 Infiniti M Rear

2011 Infiniti M Interior

2011 Infiniti M Profile

  • Acceleration
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Control layout
  • Handling
  • Visibility
  • Cargo room
  • Fuel economy
  • Ride (Sport models)
  • Turning radius

Infiniti’s M again leans toward the athletic side of the midsize premium-sedan market and goes even further when equipped with the optional Sport Package. Not surprisingly, Infiniti cites the BMW 5-Series as the M’s closet competitor. While the M’s ride/handling combination doesn’t quite match that of its German rival, it gives away nothing in power. M also handily beats the midsize BMW in cockpit layout. With less than a 10 percent share of the luxury new-car market, Infiniti still amounts to a “dark horse” in that field, but the latest M stands to give its competition a run for its money.


Nissan’s luxury division redesigned the M sedan for 2011, giving it freshened styling, more power, and new features. Dimensionally similar to the outgoing model, this premium midsize sedan slotted above the brand’s G37 in size and price. V6 and V8 engines were available, and models so-equipped were dubbed M37 and M56, respectively. The Infiniti M37 used a 330-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6, while the M56 got a 420-horsepower, 5.6-liter V8. Sole transmission for both models was a seven-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive were offered on both; AWD models were called M37x and M56x. For 2014, M sedan was renamed Q70.

Standard safety features included all-disc antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain side airbags, and front side airbags. Standard equipment included leather upholstery, heated front seats, a driver-seat memory, and (new for 2011) a rearview camera. A navigation system with a hard drive for storing digital-music files, ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel were standard in the M56, and optional for the M37. An optional Technology Package included adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning/intervention, blind-spot alert/intervention, and adaptive headlights. A Sport Package for rear-drive models included 20-inch wheels on summer performance tires, a sport suspension, stronger brakes, Infiniti’s 4-Wheel Active Steer, and specific trim. Models so-equipped were called M37S and M56S. No longer offered were a heated rear seat and DVD entertainment. The Infiniti M competed against the Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, as well as the Cadillac CTS and Lexus ES 350.

Yearly Updates

2012 M
Biggest news for the 2012 Infiniti M was the debut of a gasoline/electric hybrid model. Dubbed the M35h, this was Infiniti’s first hybrid. A 3.5-liter gasoline V6 worked with a battery-powered electric motor, producing a total of 360 horsepower. The rear-drive M35h could run on either or both power sources, to balance acceleration and fuel economy. Hybrid options included a navigation system, cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, blind-spot alert, and lane-departure warning. Like other M models, the M35h used a seven-speed automatic transmission. Apart from the new hybrid model, little changed for 2012.
2013 M
The 2013 Infiniti M37, M56, and M35h added auto-dimming door mirrors and a power trunklid closer to the standard equipment roster. The M56 also gained standard Infiniti Connection assistance system with various safety, security, and concierge services. The driver-focused Sport Package was newly optional for the M37 AWD model.
2014 Q70
Infiniti revamped its model names for 2014; all Infiniti cars carried a “Q” prefix. The 2014 Q70 was formerly known as the M37/M35h/M56, and was not significantly changed other than its new name.


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

In the M37, a 3.7-liter V6 engine developed 330 horsepower. M56 models got a 420-horsepower, 5.6-liter V8. A new hybrid M35h sedan joined the lineup for 2012, mating a battery-powered electric motor with Infiniti’s 3.5-liter gasoline engine. Total hybrid output was 360 horsepower. All M models used a seven-speed automatic transmission. M became Q70 in 2014 and continued the existing drivetrains.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.7/262
Engine HP 330
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 270
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
7-speed automatic



dohc V6/electric
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/213
Engine HP 360
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 457
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
7-speed automatic


dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.6/339
Engine HP 420
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 417
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
7-speed automatic



Road Test

M37 models have plenty of power, even in heavier all-wheel-drive form. The M56 ranks as a luxury hot rod, with terrific throttle response in the car’s Normal and Sport modes. The eco setting dials things back significantly. The seven-speed automatic transmission provides normal, sport, economy, and snow settings. Kickdowns are sometimes delayed; they seem to be quicker in the sport setting, but that holds a lower gear at any given speed, reducing fuel economy.

Fuel economy is about on par for the class. In Consumer Guide testing, an AWD M37x averaged 20.6 mpg, while an AWD M56x averaged 18.3 mpg. All Ms require premium-grade gas.

Base models, whether rear- or all-wheel drive, exhibit a firm yet reasonably controlled ride. It’s not uncomfortable, but the M never seems to fully settle itself, whether in the city or on the highway. At higher speeds, we’ve observed some crashing and unwanted vertical movements. Minor as they were, it was still too much fuss for a premium vehicle. Models with the Sport Package ride rather stiffly over even mild road blemishes, but stop short of being harsh.

Even base models exhibit a reasonably sporty feel, with good steering response and well-controlled body lean in fast turns. Sport-Package models feel downright racy, aided by their quicker steering ratio, lower-profile tires, stiffer suspension, and rear-wheel steering. A huge turning radius, especially on AWD models, severely hampers close-quarters maneuvering.

Wind noise is well muted at highway speeds. So is road noise, though it’s a bit higher in Sport models and becomes noticeable on coarse pavement. Sound from both engines is barely noticed except under acceleration. Even then, the motors produce a rich, refined note.

The M shines in controls and interior quality, at least when compared to most other cars in this class. Audio and climate controls consist primarily of buttons that are mounted high within easy reach; though numerous, they’re fairly easy to decipher and use. The redundant touchscreen is a nice addition, but accessing some functions requires a bit of a stretch. Unlike many cars, the navigation controls are largely separate and don’t complicate the audio and climate functions. For the most part, they’re handy and simple to use. However, some buttons controlling secondary functions aren’t optimally placed. Almost every interior surface is covered with padding, leather, wood, or metal that looks rich and tasteful. Only the standard fabric headliner falls a bit short of expectations, and that might be cured with the suede-like headliner that’s been part of the Deluxe Touring Package.

Even taller drivers can expect good front-seat legroom and ample headroom. However, those with long legs might find their right knee hitting the center console. Visibility is quite good in all directions–another M strength compared to some class rivals.

Riders over six feet tall may find rear-seat headroom insufficient, but legroom and foot space are only tight if the front seat is far back and down. A center passenger has to straddle a tall, wide driveline hump. Getting in and out of the back seat is fairly easy through large doors, unless the front seat is far back, which limits foot clearance.

The trunk lid opens wide on strut-type hinges. The trunk itself is wide at the back but quite narrow at the front, and not particularly deep. Rear seatbacks don’t fold, though a small pass-through can accommodate skis. Interior storage includes a decent-size glovebox, two-tiered console box, covered cupholders, a covered ash/coin tray, and small map pockets.


Model Tested: 2011 Infiniti M37

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.


Acceleration - 7
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 7
Steering/Handling - 7
Quietness - 8


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
Cargo Room - 3


Value - 7

Total: 64


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
114.2 194.7 72.6 59.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
14.9 20 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.1 37.3 44.4 36.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2011 Infiniti M 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Front Passenger Injury - 4

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


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

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

Trouble Spots

Description: The intelligent key may not lock or unlock doors. (2011-12)
Power seats
Description: The power seat(s) may work intermittently due to insufficient clearance for the switches. (2011)
Electrical problem
Description: The battery may die on some vehicles that are used seldom or for mostly short trips requiring reprogramming the software for the engine control module and transmission control module. (2011)
Navigation system
Description: The navigation system may malfunction and the carmaker conducted a voluntary recall to reprogram it. (2011)

Recall History

2011 Infiniti M
Description: Some bolts that connect engine oil cooler and oil filter to the engine may have been manufactured to below specification strength; as a result, bolt may break at oil filter attachment point and could cause oil leakage, which could lead to drop in oil pressure and possible engine seizure.
2011-14 Infiniti M Q70
Description: Fuel-pressure sensor may not have been tightened to the correct specification; as a result, sensor may loosen due to heat and vibration, causing fuel to leak.
2013-14 M35h, Q70 hybrid
Description: A software problem with the throttle control could cause irregular or unexpected acceleration that would increase the risk of a crash.
2014 Q70 hybrid
Description: Some transmission housings were damaged during manufacturing and could crack or fracture, creating road debris that could disable the vehicle and cause a crash.
2014 Q70 hybrid
Description: Faulty software could cause the electric motor to stop working while the vehicle is driven on electric power only. The car could stall.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


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.

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