The Infiniti M is priced from $85,900 and joins the Infiniti FX SUV as the two models being used to launch the brand in Australia in late August.
The M sedan is priced higher than established competitors such as the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, and Lexus GS that each starts at $77,900, as well as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class that kicks off at $79,900.
Infiniti says its strategy is not to undercut rivals but to offer more features and technology when specifications for each of its rear-wheel-drive M sedans is compared with direct competitors.
The Infiniti M is available in three trim levels – GT, GT Premium and S Premium – offered among three variants: M37, M30d and M35h (pictured).
The Infiniti M37 features the same 235kW/360Nm 3.7-litre V6 petrol as the FX37. It sprints from standstill to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds, officially consumes 10.2 litres of premium unleaded per 100km and emits 235 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
The Infiniti M30d, costing from $87,900, also shares an engine with its SUV sibling – a 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel with 175kW of power and 550Nm of torque. Its stats read 6.9sec for the 0-100 run, 7.5L/100km for fuel consumption and 199g/km for emissions.
The flagship $99,900 Infiniti M35h, however, is both the fastest, cleanest and most fuel efficient in the M range.
A hybrid drivetrain that combines a 287kW/500Nm 5.0-litre V8 with a 50kW/270Nm electric motor produces an acceleration figure of 5.5 seconds for the 0-100km/h run, while fuel use and emissions are rated at 6.9L/100km and 159g/km.
Each Infiniti M sedan has a top speed of 250km/h and features a seven-speed auto with downshift rev matching.
Entry-level GT versions of the M37 and M30d are generously equipped with a large list of standard equipment – a key part of Infiniti’s market strategy to try and steal sales from Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Lexus.
Features include 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, foglights, heated and electrically adjustable side mirrors, LED tail-lights, rain-sensing wipers, leather seats that are electrically adjustable up front, leather-wrapped gearlever and steering wheel, keyless entry and engine start, sunroof, 30GB navigation system, 8-inch colour touchscreen, 10GB music storage and playback, Bluetooth with audio streaming.
A so-called Infiniti Drive Mode Selector allows the driver to alter throttle response and transmission behaviour with modes including Standard, Snow, Eco and Sport.
Safety features include six airbags, electronic stability control, front and rear sensors and a reverse-view camera.
Infiniti is also offering a four-year warranty that is longer than those offered by the German luxury brands and similar to Lexus’s peace-of-mind offering.
S Premium carries a $12,000 premium over the entry M37 and M30d models but brings a sportier focus to the M sedan, adding sports seats, paddleshift levers, a sportier-looking steering wheel and gearlever stiffer suspension, 20-inch wheels, active four-wheel steer that aids both low-speed manoeuvrability and high-speed stability.
There’s also Dynamic Cornering Enhancement – Infiinti’s name for a system that can automatically brush the brakes on any of the four wheels while also adjusting the torque distributed between the rear wheels to help reduce understeer and push the M sedan around corners.
Both the S Premium and GT Premium of the M35h include several active safety technologies that can help prevent the M sedan driving into an occupied blind spot or driving into another lane unintentionally, warn of an impending collision with a car ahead and automatically brake if there’s insufficient driver response.
A Low Speed Following function is a spin-off feature of the M’s smart cruise control system that enables a driver to use just a single pedal, the accelerator, in heavy traffic while the car adjusts braking as necessary.
The Infiniti M35h is the only M sedan to feature a so-called Eco Pedal – essentially a set up that sees the throttle pedal resisting foot pressure if the car’s electronics sense the driver isn’t driving efficiently.
The Infiniti brand launches locally in late August, initially with the M sedan and FX SUV and followed in December by G37 coupe and convertible.
Infiniti M range
Infiniti M37 GT $85,900
Infiniti M37 S Premium $97,900
Infiniti M30d GT $87,900
Infiniti M30d S Premium $99,900
Infiniti M35h $99,900
Read CarAdvice’s full Infiniti coverage:
Infiniti FX: pricing and specifications revealed for luxury SUV
Infiniti aims to beat Lexus, steal from Germans