2011 Infiniti M56: A More Sensible Alternative
March 15, 2011
Fuel prices these days have everyone second guessing their car-buying decisions. As I drove our long term 2011 Infiniti M56 last night, I tried to put myself in a buyer's frame of mind. If I was in the market for one of these cars, I would choose the 2012 M35h Hybrid instead. Here's why.
When we tested the M35h, the performance numbers were very similar to the M56. While the allure of a V8 is awfully tempting, I'm fine with sacrificing a few tenths of a second in track times in favor of significantly better fuel economy. The EPA estimates that the M56 will get 16 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in combined driving. The M35h hasn't been formally rated by the EPA, so I'm basing this on Nissan's estimates. The automaker says that the Infiniti M35h gets 27/32/29. This is a 53 percent increase in fuel economy over the M56 and still 38 percent better than an M37.
Here's something else that would appeal to me as a potential M buyer. The M35h's starting price is $4,750 less than the M56. From this perspective, the hybrid looks like a screaming deal. Yes, the M37 is still $6,650 less expensive than the hybrid, but if I had enough money to consider an M56, then the price wouldn't be the only deciding factor. I'd like to make a statement with my car, too. I'd want my buddies at the law firm to know that I'm into performance, but I don't have to be reminded of it at the gas pump every week.
As I take off my M56 loafers and spray them with Lysol, I'll ask you to put yourself in these shoes. If you could own any of the three, which flavor of "M" would you choose?
Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Associate @ 5,309 Miles
*UPDATE: Thanks to reader Mikes12 for pointing out that the EPA has formally rated the M35h.