2011 Infiniti M56: Fine Commuter, But Not Feeling It
June 06, 2011
There's no denying that our 2011 Infiniti M56 has an exciting engine once you get past the halting throttle response. The torque hits hard after that, yet the V8 likes to rev (and I like engines that like to rev), so assuming you have a big enough gap in traffic, you can just keep on going before easing up on the throttle and letting the transmission upshift.
Ride quality is pretty good without the Sport package, as the big sedan is compliant and forgiving over most surfaces, and road noise only gets excessive over the truly bad sections of freeway. So with the standard setup, the Infiniti M56 is up to par in ride comfort for a midsize luxury sedan.
Yet, I'd take the Sport package back if I could.
Because I'm a glutton for punishment? Yes... because I know how this car rides with 20-inch summer tires and the more aggressive spring and damper calibrations. But I miss how the M56S feels -- the more immediate turn-in response, the exaggerated steering feel. Nah, it's unlikely I'd really make use of the 3-mph difference in slalom speed between this M56 and the last M56S we tested during a commute.
But the M56S drives like a more interesting car -- it's the kind of car I'm motivated to take on a back road and, at this price level, what's another $3,650 for a sport package? I'm planning a road trip to Montana later this summer, and I'd choose an M56S for that adventure with no hesitation (it's a solo trip so no worries about others' ride-related discomfort). But the M56? It feels a bit too much like a Honda Accord with a V8 engine.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 11,115 miles