Infiniti M35h
Infiniti sports saloon - mean performance, soft on tax
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Infiniti M35h
Infiniti sports saloon - mean performance, soft on tax

 

Infiniti M35h GT Premium auto

 

Car review by Ralph Morton

 What is it?

WHEN car makers use the designation tourer for their cars, they usually mean estate car…but something not as practical or everyday. More ‘lifestyle’.

Infiniti is the upmarket sporting luxury brand owned by Nissan – and this is the brand’s executive saloon, a rival for the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6. But with an awful lot of standard equipment as standard.

The model has just received a little bit of tuning that sees its emissions fall below 160g/km, and therefore below the capital allowance tax break so businesses can claim a yearly 18% writing down allowance.

But that hasn’t dulled any of the car’s lightning performance – Infiniti says the the M35h is the fastest hybrid saloon with CO2 emissions below 160g/km – with 0-62mph dispatched in just 5.5 seconds. That’s the same as the new Porsche Boxster! So, despite the executive saloon outward appearance, the 3.5-litre V6 and electric battery make this a 359bhp flyer, but with fuel consumption of 40.9mpg. The new Infiniti M35h costs £46,840 – only metallic paint is extra.

What’s hot?

  • Wonderful dual character to the car
  • Sporting saloon with delicious hard-edged V6 growl from under the bonnet…
  • …or relaxed and refined luxury executive saloon
  • Delightfully quiet when you stop too…no stop-start cutting out and then thumping back in…
  • …but silence as everything cuts to EV mode. And then silence as you pull away
  • Number of toys and gizmos
  • More importantly, they are easy to work – Bluetooth phone pairing is a doddle
  • Sound system is excellent
  • Crafted interior finish is beautifully presented
  • Even the leather bound steering wheel is heated
  • Low emissions for a sports saloon capable of 0-62 in 5.5secs
  • And fuel economy of over 40mpg too
  • Low benefit in kind company car tax of 22%

What’s not?

  • Ride gets crashy over potholes
  • Boot space is limited by the hybrid battery
  • Central locking sounds tinny when it bolts shut – a clang rather than a subdued thunk
  • Styling not to all tastes
  • Residual values an unknown quantity

Infiniti M35h GT Premium auto – the low-down

P11D Value: £ 46,630
Monthly Rental: From £395 + VAT (3yrs/30,000 miles)
Tax Bands 2011/12 to 2013/14: 22%, 23%, 24%,
Benefit in kind 2011/12 to 2013/14: £10,233, £10,725, £11,191
Engine: 3.5 V6 petrol-electric hybrid
CO2 Emissions: 159g/km
Power/torque: 359ps/350Nm
0-62mph/top speed: 5.5 secs/155mph
Economy (official): 40.9mpg

Verdict

The Infiniti M35h really is a very satisfying car to live with. A hushed, quiet and relaxed executive saloon on the one hand, and a sporting saloon with real character on the other – no wonder Infiniti makes much of its association with the Red Bull Formula 1 team.

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