If you're a fan of midsize luxury sedans that are fun to drive, the 2012 Infiniti M37 Sport is right up your alley. BMW has historically been the leader in this category, but the new 5 Series is relatively soft and sedate, leaving the athletic M37 Sport almost unchallenged at the head of the class. This invigorating Infiniti is an all-around star, and we think it deserves more attention than it gets. Here are five reasons why no shopper should overlook the 2012 M37 Sport.
#1: Styling That Stands Out
Conservative designs have become the norm in this segment, but the Infiniti M refuses to follow the herd. Blessed with beautiful 20-inch alloy wheels and curves in all the right places, our M37 Sport test car had an exceptionally dynamic appearance. To our eyes, the M's styling is a seductive mix of exuberance and class.
#2: Upscale Cabin
Aware that its interiors have received less-than-sterling reviews in the past, Infiniti has made the M's cabin a showcase of the company's renewed dedication to quality. The dashboard materials are absolutely first rate, and the M37 Sport's exclusive performance seats provide superlative support. We like the Sport's other special touches, too, including stitched trim for the gauge hood, magnesium paddle shifters, aluminum pedals, and a sportier steering wheel.
#3: Fun to Drive with the Sport Package
Here's a fun Infiniti M fact: its underpinnings are closely related to those of the Nissan 370Z sports car. So no matter which M model you choose, you're getting a pretty capable sedan. But the Sport model steps up its game in a big way thanks to a firmer suspension, stronger brakes, and an unusual four-wheel steering system that can actually turn the rear wheels to improve cornering. The Nissan Maxima's nickname might be "the four-door sports car," but we think the Infiniti M37 Sport is even more deserving of that title.
#4: Strong V6 Power
Everyone seems to be downsizing in the engine department these days-everyone except Infiniti, that is. Eschewing the turbocharged four-cylinder fad, the M37 rocks an old-school 3.7-liter V6 that can really cook. Boasting 330 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, this battle-tested VQ-series V6 always feels like it's champing at the bit. We also love the seven-speed automatic transmission, which matches revs on downshifts like a professional racer.
#5: First-Class Back Seat
Given the M37's swoopy styling, you might think there's not much room for rear passengers. But surprisingly, the M has one of the most pleasant back seats in this segment. The outboard seats are amazingly comfortable, offering class-leading thigh support. It's cozy in a business-class kind of way back there, with just enough space for six-footers to feel pampered.