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by Tim Beissmann

The Infiniti M sedan has been upgraded to a five-star NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) safety rating on the back of a change to the way the crash-test results are calculated in the US.

Rated only four stars as a 2012 model, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the US has bumped up the current 2013 Infiniti M sedan to the maximum score based on a change to the testing procedure that now takes safety assist technologies (SATs) into account.

The US-spec premium large M sedan was rewarded for its healthy list of optional SATs, which includes lane departure warning and prevention systems, blind spot warning and intervention, forward collision warning, intelligent brake assist and pre-crash front seatbelts.

There are no structural differences between the 2012 and 2013 models, with the M sedan still rated five stars in the side crash test, and four stars in the frontal crash test and rollover components, just like the 2012 model.

The Infiniti M sedan has not been tested by Australia’s ANCAP division or its European affiliate Euro NCAP, and subtle scoring differences between each organisation means the US scores are not directly transferable to an Australian score.

Infiniti launched the M sedan in Australia earlier this month, offering three variants – M37 petrol, M30d diesel and M35h hybrid – and three specification levels: GT, GT Premium and S Premium.

The entry-level GT is equipped with six airbags (dual front, side and curtains), electronic stability control and a rear-view camera, among other safety features. The GT Premium adds a number of SATs, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and prevention and forward collision warning, while the flagship S Premium gets the full suite, headlined by blind spot warning and intervention and distance control assist.

The Infiniti M sedan costs between $87,900 and $99,900 before on-road costs in Australia.