Infiniti M30d GT Premium: Road test review
The Infiniti brand has been around since 2009, but despite more dealerships, their cars are still a relatively rare sight in the UK.
The M saloon is possibly the company's most serious attempt at taking on established European rivals and this is the second Infiniti diesel - the M30d.
We spent a week with the £40,190 M30d GT Premium to see if the 5-Series and E-Class should be worried.
The Infiniti gets off to a bad start in the looks department. It is not that it is ugly, on the contrary, it is a sleek design with some neat styling cues, but we don't think it really stands out against the opposition. The black finish of our test car doesn't help either, as some of the design details are lost in the dark colour.
Still, the colour didn't stop the Infiniti attracting a lot of mostly positive attention wherever we drove it.
At the front, there are several Infiniti design cues including another version of the family grille, its 'wave form' bonnet and the swept-back headlights.
The M30d can be identified from the side by the curvy roof line and massive wheel arches. The smart 18-inch alloys fitted as standard to our GT-Premium specification test car look a bit lost in the arches though.
There's maybe a hint of both Jaguar and Audi in the M30d's rear styling, but it's still distinctive with the large taillights across the back of the car giving a smooth appearance, the humped rear spoiler and the slim-line rear exhaust pipes with chrome finishers.
The interior design of the M35d impresses. We like the way the dashboard, with its distinctive console, splits the cabin into two-halves; a design feature shared with all other Infiniti models. There's also a real feeling of quality to the leather and plastic finishes.
With the supportive seats and the multi-adjustable steering column, we found it easy to find a comfortable driving position.
The M30d GT Premium is well equipped, as you'd expect from a car costing over £40,000, with standard equipment including an HD navigation system, Bose premium sound system with 16-speakers, bi-xenon headlights, a heated steering wheel and a rear view camera.
Considering the size of the M30d, the biggest disappointments have to be the average interior rear legroom and 450 litre boot which is noticeably smaller than the BMW (520 litres) and Mercedes (540 litres). The rear seat doesn't fold either.
So what's the M30d like to drive? Well, like the FX, which is fitted with the same 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel, the M30d impresses by just how gutsy it feels with 406lb of torque. It's powerful too with 235bhp, a 0-60mph time of 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 155mph.
This engine is impressively refined considering it is a diesel too, the usual chug is almost absent and it sounds more like a petrol V6 when extended. Sadly, with all this performance the consumption and emissions will suffer and the 37.7mpg Combined figure and 199g/km emissions are no better than average.
The standard 18-inch alloys fitted to our test car might look a bit small, but equal a comfortable ride. In fact, it is almost too soft and not dynamic. Grip levels seem low too, with the traction control light blinking too often for our liking.
So should you buy an Infiniti M30d? Well, we like the fact it feels genuinely different from European rivals, is well equipped and a refined drive. Where the M30d falls down is in the disappointing fuel economy and questionable interior packaging.