For as brand that wants to make a big impression with its cars and customer service philosophy, Infiniti was brought back down to earth with a bump on the press launch for the M – the Rome airport authorities weren’t expecting our arrival.
Cue lots of flapping arms and a minor delay before we could leave the plane.
After an inauspicious start, it was a relief to finally get behind the wheel. The M sits squarely in the highly competitive premium segment occupied by the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-class, Audi A6 and Jaguar XF.
You can read my road test in full in the November 25 issue of Fleet News, but the summary highlights are these: plush interior, packed with the latest technical wizardry, excellent cruiser on motorways and A-roads, quiet and refined, but no match for the 5 Series when it comes to driver enjoyment.
It’s a cosseting ride but not sporty, despite the presence of a sporty drive option.
But a 199g/km 3.0-litre V6 diesel as the only option at launch for fleets (putting to one side the 235g/km 3.7-litre V6 petrol)? That’s a big ask for anyone looking to bring down emissions.
I’m more interested to see what the M35 hybrid version offers in six months’ time.
Day Two on Page Two