2006 M45 New Car Test Drive
Forget about the last Infiniti M45, it was a misfit. The all-new 2006 Infiniti M is modern sophisticated and stylish luxury sports sedan available with a V6 or V8 engine.
Unlike the previous-generation model, the new Infiniti M is no wall flower. Its styling fits in with the more expensive Infiniti Q45 and the less expensive Infiniti G35. The new Infiniti M looks aggressive but sophisticated. Inside is a luxurious cabin trimmed in leather and rosewood or aluminum with comfortable seats. Optional Bose Studio Surround turns the car into a mobile concert hall.
The M35 is fun to drive, particularly the M35 Sport with its sportier suspension tuning, and offers decent performance from its V6 engine. The M45 delivers exhilarating acceleration performance, benefiting from one of the most powerful V8s in its class. The all-wheel-drive Infiniti M35X is designed to offer more stable traction and handling in wintry conditions.
The new M shows that Infiniti has truly arrived on the scene in this ultra competitive luxury segment. We recommend checking one out before spending $50,000 on a luxury sports sedan. The new Infiniti M should prove to be a tough competitor to the Acura RL, Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Cadillac STS, Jaguar S-Type, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Lexus GS and others. All these cars use rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The new Infiniti M offers a choice of either along with a variety of features that make it a compelling choice in this class.
The all-new 2006 Infiniti M sports five models in the lineup (compared to just one model previously).
The Infiniti M35 ($39,900) is powered by a 280-horsepower V6 engine with a five-speed automatic transmission. M35 comes standard with a host of luxury items including requisite power features such as a 10-way power driver's seat and a six-way passenger seat trimmed in ultra-soft leather seating surfaces. Brazilian Rosewood trim accentuates the modernistic interior. The stereo features a six-disc CD changer with MP3 playback. Bluetooth connectivity is included for your cell phone. A power sunroof, an intelligent key with push-button ignition, a vehicle information system with seven-inch LCD screen, and voice activated controls are also standard.
The M35X ($42,400) is an all-wheel-drive version of the M35.
The M35 Sport ($42,700) is, as the name suggests, a sporty version of the rear-wheel-drive M35. The Sport adds a sport suspension with Rear Active Steer (RAS) and larger 19-inch cast-alloy wheels. Inside, aluminum pedal accents and genuine aluminum trim, in place of wood, gives it a sportier look. Front seats are climate controlled. It comes with auto-leveling high-intensity xenon headlights with the Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) that swivels the lights to see around in turns. The engine and transmission are identical to the other two M35 models.
The M45 ($46,750) is identical to the M35 except it is powered by a 335-horespower V8 engine in place of the V6. The M45 Sport ($49,550) is a V8 version of the M35 Sport.
Three option packages are available on all models: The Journey Package ($2,750) includes a Bose two-channel premium audio system with eight speakers, climate-controlled front seats, HomeLink universal transceiver, advanced RearView monitor (a rear bumper camera), advanced front lighting with xenon HID headlamps and automatic leveling, front pre-crash seatbelts and compass. As some of this equipment is already included in the Sport model the package costs less for the Sport model ($1,700).
The Technology Package ($4,200) includes items in the Journey Package as well as a DVD navigation system with a larger eight-inch LCD screen, Intelligent Cruise Control, Bose Studio Surround, Lane Departure Warning, and XM or Sirius satellite radio.
The Premium Package ($10,500) includes the contents of the Journey and Technology packages plus a DVD-based Mobile Entertainment System, heated and power reclining rear seats, power rear sunshade and rear passenger HVAC and audio controls with lockout.
Stand-alone options include XM or Sirius satellite radio ($350); navigation system ($2,000); DVD entertainment system ($1,500); wood trim for Sport models ($600); 18-inch chrome wheels ($1,000); aerodynamic body kit ($1,390); rear deck spoiler ($280).
Safety features that come standard include Nissan's Advanced Air Bag System (AABS), which includes dual front and rear side curtain as well as front seat mounted airbags and dual stage driver and front passenger seat airbags. Traction control (VDC) helps deliver the power to the road under all conditions. ABS allows the driver to brake and steer when trying to avoid an accident. Brake Assist helps ensure full braking force is applied in a panic stop. Electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) improves braking stability and helps shorten stopping distances. A tire pressure monitoring system comes on all models. Optional safety equipment includes the lane departure warning system, preview braking and pre-crash seat belts.