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Instead of applying it to images of the human form lets try giving an “X” rating to a car, like the 2011 Infiniti M37x that visited “Drive…He Said” this week.
An “X” for “eXotic“:
Both inside and out, Infiniti’s re-designed luxury executive sedan / saloon entrant has discarded anything resembling a tetragon for enough swishes to create a Nike ad. Filled out with curves in all the right places a new M37x strutting down South Beach could make any bombshell blush with envy. The swoopy design theme combined with high quality interior materials, from swaths of moisturized leather to Japanese ash veneers. Seats make ingress a cinch yet have just enough bolstering for your average American butt. Based on style and textures alone if the M37x were a magazine at the local 7-Eleven, it would be located on the “18 and Over” display behind the clerk.
“X” stands for “eXtreme“.
330 horses SAE are put to the ground through a rear-drive biased All Wheel Drive system. Not even Chicago’s December snow caked side streets can deny traction to the 4000 lb M37x despite being shorn with All-Season 18″ Michelins. The beefy 3.7L V6 engine, shared with Nissan’s fabled Z car, likes to rev all the way to a lusty 7000 rpm. Thanks to the rev-matching 7-speed auto transmission, in sport-mode, you can blip the throttle just like the pros do. The standard suspension set-up favors the sporty side of the ride compliance
equation. Yet ride is never jarring and most road imperfections are barely felt. Thankfully, sans electric assist, steering is quick for this segment and well weighted. However there is some numbness dead center and truck ruts in the pavement can produce a bit of wander. Frankly, upon sighting an M37x reeling in fast in your rear view mirror, one could do worse than move out of the way.
“X” can mean “eXcessive“:
As in 54, count-em, fifty-four buttons, switches and dials for the M37x driver to choose from. That’s not counting ones mounted on either the door or steering wheel. I now take back every slight which I have uttered towards BMW’s I-Drive. And then there is the panoply of “driving aids.” While a few like Lane Departure Prevention and Distance Control Assist do as their names suggest, who came up with the EcoPedal that is meant to goad the heaviest leadfoot into restraint? Fortunately the “uber-nanny” systems can be easily defeated.
Finally “X” as in the “UneXpected”:
In its stay with us the M37x returned a reasonable for class 20 mpg average over a 50/50 mix of city/highway driving with at least one attempt to reach rotation speeds. Despite seemingly excellent build quality that otherwise rendered the cabin near vault like, at 13,000 miles a squeak had developed where the windshield meets the dash. The driver’s door mirror needs to read “Objects in Mirror Will Appear Squashed and Stretched,” since both are the case. How about a more comfortable mid-location of the rear seat? And we’ve seen larger trunks in smaller cars.
Our fully optioned M37x sported a not insignificant as tested price of $59,960. Stacked against the pricier 5-series, E-class, A6 and XF, some may even find Infiniti’s eXecutive saloon an actual eXceptional value.
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