2012 Infiniti M35h
It's great that despite a sour economy, carmakers continue to produce entertaining sedans in all shapes, sizes, and colors. This is the 2012 Infiniti M35h: a large, rear-drive, luxury-sport sedan that also marks the brand's first hybrid. A full-hybrid, like the Lexus GS450h, the M35h adds its own twist to hybrid technology.
Infiniti's Direct Response Hybrid system combines the M35's 3.5-liter V6 with a single 50-kilowatt electric motor and a unique double-clutch 7-speed transmission. Power is stored in a compact, flat-celled lithium-ion battery pack. In car guy terms, this means 360 horsepower and 0-to-60 times of less than five-and-a-half seconds!
And even though the M35h runs like a scalded cat, its software allows all-electric driving up to 62 miles-per-hour and a distance of 1.2 miles, as well as stop and start the V6 engine during low load cruising. This earns Government Fuel Economy Ratings of 27 City and 32 Highway. That's 25 percent better than the Lexus, and we did even better than that.
And, the M35h is still very much a luxury car, offering all of the top drawer features we liked in our 2011 M test. Talk about the best of both worlds! And it's even reasonably priced at least by premium car standard. This innovative combo of speed, luxury, and hybrid fuel efficiency starts just a hair under $55,000.
Engine: 3.5-liter V6 single 50-kilowatt electric motor
Price: Starts at just under $55,000