Roadshow Video Reviews
2013 Infiniti M56Audacious lines, brutal power, and rapidly outdated tech define Infiniti's answer to the BMW 5 and the Lexus GS.
-With this, Infiniti goes after Lexus GS, BMW 5, Mercedes E and a bunch other tough competitors. The look is absolutely cutting-edge. The cabin tech not quite so much though. The driver assistance---- you decide. Let's drive the 2013 Infiniti M56 and check the tech. Now the first thing I'll tell you about the M56 in its current generation about 2, 3 model years now is it nothing else looks like this. These shapes and curves are unique in its category. No one's ever gonna say, "Oh, you got a new 5 series." No, this thing looks totally apart. Inside though, the cabin tech is a little more long in the tooth. Let's take a look. Okay you've seen much of what's in this car before, the familiar Infiniti controller, you turn, you push, you jog, 8-inch color LCD that map-style is evolve some but it's still basically what they've been doing for a handful of years. One thing I forgot to be honest in this car, that's a touch screen. I never think to touch it, it's too far away. So I use the controller a lot, but remember this thing is a touch and that's often the best way to get on these commands. And no matter which of these menu buttons I go to here, one thing you're not going to see, no apps. This is one of the last cars in the premium sector that doesn't have true app support the way so many others are doing these days. It's a dated head unit for that reason alone. By middle of this year by the time you see this video perhaps, the new Infiniti Q will be out, the Q 50. And that promises a completely new head unit. You may need to think about buying one of these until second half of 2013 if you really value the best tech here. I wanna mention the voice command in this car not because it's all of that advanced but it does work well. Here's what I mean. -Would you like to ask? -Navigation. -Navigating---- -Address. -Address what? -California. -California---- -San Francisco. -Showing the matching---- -One. -One. San Francisco. -Now, what I want you to notice there is how you have to [unk] which is kinda old school. In other words, one button push for city, another for street, that's old but the speed of recognition here is very admirable. Now all these 56 cars, the V8 cars come with a Boss audio system. We've got an upgrade through the sport package for some reason that puts Boss 5.1 various types of processing for noise and sound stage and speakers on the shoulders of the seats, 16 of them around the car. As far as sources go, you've got USB plus iPod, A2DP Bluetooth streaming satellite radio, optical disc, you're good to go. And let's look at some of the driver controls in here. This is the only shift you ever gonna see in this car. One choice only, 7 speed automatic, left side for a shifting gate with this or if you've got the sport package which we do, you get a pair of very long magnesium column mounted pedals. That's exactly where they should go and they should be nice and long like that. So pretty much wherever you are, there's a pedal under your fingers and they don't swing around and change their roll and their position. This button right here is what they called DCA, Distance Control Assist that's basically to keep you from running in to someone ahead of you. The car is always reading and applying the brakes and giving you a warning to keep you from bumping in to someone especially in slower traffic. Here is your cruise control on off and this button above it tells you it's adaptive cruise control. I've also got blind spot detection as well as blind spot screw up intervention. In other words the car will steer you away if you're about to drift into a car on the left or the right and do the same thing with lane drift. It has active lane departure technology. Okay, into the hood, welcome to the halls of tradition. This is the V8 and a big one, 5.6 liter hence the name of the car. That's kinda antiquated these days. I mean, the big displays with V8, unless you're in a car well north the 6 figures starting to feel like kinda like old thinking. No turbos, no blower, nothing. Just a dual-overhead CAM 5.6 V8 that gives you 420 horsepower here, 417 foot pounds of torque, mucho on both counts. This guy weighs nearly 4,040 pounds but still gets up to 60 in 4.8 seconds simply because of that big old motor. MPG is fine, it's 1624, given the weight of the car and how fast it can move itself. I'm okay with that. Oh, by the way in Japan, they don't even sell the V8 version of this car. They offer the hybrid as the high performance version. They're thinking a few years ahead of us. Now the first thing you noticed driving this car is prodigious power. But getting to it, I think in a really responsive way requires you, you shift it yourself. I didn't get a lot of satisfaction on even the sport mode on that mode control dial down here. It's still left the transmission to loopy and floaty and hunting. I had to go to the manual gate and then get here on the paddles. That I am more of how I got things the way I want it. But there are still some weird lags in there getting to the power. It feels like turbo lag which of course it isn't so I gotta believe it's processor lag. The suspension in the car is not active. It's, you know, springs and rods and bars. As a result it doesn't do enough to change personality between a comfortable mode and a sport mode regardless again of where that knob is. One thing I take away from all these Infiniti especially the big dollar models is I feel like I'm driving a computer with wheels. They have a very sterile high-tech feel. I think that's part of what Infiniti is going for. They really want that hi-tech message and there's an awful lot of processed feeling and feedback coming from this car's various interfaces. Bt I may not be for everybody especially in this price class and with a major power train like this. You may be looking for a more street fighter car. Okay let's price this guy, the 2013 M56 real wheel drive is about $64 grand admittedly well equipped but not fully CNET's style. On top of that you got to add about $3,000 for the tech package which is all that driver assistance stuff and adaptive cruise. Another $5,600 for the sport package, sport brakes, sport suspension, 4 wheel steering and that's all how you get those 5.1 and I hate when they link dissimilar stuff in a package like that. This car is an easy $71,000 ticket to go CNET style. You could push it to 75 and that's a little bit of a tough piece to buy off for the Infiniti brand.