back to article Review: Infiniti M35h hybrid sports saloon

If you’ve got a little over 40 grand lying about and fancy a four-door hybrid sports saloon then Infiniti - the posh bit of Nissan in a relationship similar to that between Lexus and Toyota - would have you know that the latest M35h is not only the fastest, but also the cheapest car of its type. Tempting words. After all who …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Lexus copy but without the class.

  2. Steve I

    Is one Japanese 'We-changed-our-name-so-you-don't-realise-we're-Datsuns-in-disguise' car company more classy than another Japanese 'We-changed-our-name...etc, etc" car company?

  3. Dr_N Silver badge
    Coat

    Better than the British car company...

    ... oh, hang on, there aren't really any mass-market British car companies left.

    Whoops. My bad.

  4. spencer

    ..

    Surely the car's specs and performance should speak for themselves regardless of brand.

    I nearly made a comment about which fruity brand of computer you probably buy, but that would be immature.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: ..

    Surely a tin-opener review would be more appropriate at this point in the economic cycle .....

  6. JeffyPooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Top Gear

    "Hey, how's your Datsun?"

    Optionally, "...with a Renault engine?"

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I'd have one over a German 'We-changed-our-name-so-you-don't-realise-we're-Skodas-in-disguise' car company that seem to be overly popular, judging by many corporate car parks.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sir Wiggun

    I refer you to the opening of the article.

    >If you’ve got a little over 40 grand lying about and fancy a four-door hybrid sport

    Actually yes I do and no I don't which is why I drive a Skoda. I've never seen the point in wasting money on something which takes you, and from time to time various other bits and pieces, from one place to another and for most of the time just sits around doing nothing.

    A couple of links for you fro

    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/best-cars/14932/top-100

    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/best-cars/14928/best-manufacturers

    So even if a Skoda were to masquerade as an Audi, or VW it would probably still be a better buy than many other makes.

  9. Goldmember

    Re: @Sir Wiggun

    "Actually yes I do and no I don't which is why I drive a Skoda. I've never seen the point in wasting money on something which takes you, and from time to time various other bits and pieces, from one place to another and for most of the time just sits around doing nothing."

    If you're a 'gets you from A to B' kind of guy and not arsed about what you drive then why bother reading (and commenting on) a car review...?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: @Sir Wiggun @Goldmember

    The technology interests me, this is after all primarily a technology themed site, the car is secondary. I also love tinkering about with engines although nowadays I'd be hard pushed to change a spark plug. Neveretheless, I still drive about with a full toolbox (oo-er, no missuss, sit down) in the event anything should fail, just call it blind optimism.

    Now then, smartarse, does that answer your question satisfactorily.

  11. Chz

    Re: Top Gear

    It's a petrol engine. Renault mostly uses Nissan-designed powerplants for their petrol offerings. In return, almost all of Nissan's diesel engines are from Renault.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Re: @AC

    But I *like* Skoda...

    My point was that people were mocking Infiniti/Lexus for being rebadged Nissan/Toyotas, when VW group does the same, charges a premium, and company car parks are full of the 4-ringed things.

  13. Silverburn
    Coffee/keyboard

    A pretty car...

    ...this is not. No sirree.

    <-- That's not coffee this time...

  14. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Re: A pretty car...

    It's not pretty - but it's a lot better looking than Nissan's other cars which all seem to have more than a bit of amphibian in their genome. The Juke in particular could be used to scare children.

  15. Silverburn

    Re: A pretty car...

    Juke: Puke

    The GTR-engined version looks fun though...

  16. TheRealRoland

    Re: A pretty car...

    I'm driving the Nissan Altima (same shape, but not the shiny buttons, wood and cow inside).

    For a 6ft6 guy, this car is awfully roomy. When compared to other cars in this segment, the Altima is my fave. Cow and heated seats can be fitted after-market, even through your dealer.

    Unfortunately in the US, the latest altima (2013 model) has been slightly redesigned, taking away some of the headroom when sitting in the back.

    I did drive an earlier model altima hybrid - but wasn't impressed. Hybridness would only work once the car was warmed up enough, and then only when driving downhill both ways below 30mph.

    I will check this one out - I'm guessing that one of these will hit the price point of a well-equipped altima...

  17. TheRealRoland
    Happy

    Re: A pretty car...

    Looking at the usual sources -- this car is probably closer to a Nissan Maxima, rather than the Altima. Fun fact - can't fit in the Maxima, will fit in the Altima.

    Always a (luxury?) problem, having to physically try out different cars.

  18. jai

    meh

    if i'm spending 40k on a car, i'd rather spend the extra 5k and get a beamer.

    but in fact, i'd rather get the car 3 years later after it's depreciated a bit, and then i guess the cost difference between the two will be greater as i imagine the Infiniti will depreciate much faster than the beamer will.

  19. c4m1k4z3
    Coat

    Re: meh

    you've clearly never owned a 3-5yo german car

  20. Magnus_Pym

    Re: meh

    "if i'm spending 40k on a car, i'd rather spend the extra 5k and get a beamer."

    First, If you are spending 40k on a car then you cannot buy the BMW it's costs more you see. Second no-one asked your personal preference especially as you have no reasoning to back it up. Remember this is a tech site not a group of 12 year-olds discussing what they will do when they 'are grown up'.

  21. MJI Silver badge

    Re: meh

    I owned a 4 3/4 year old German car 7 years ago, I still have it.

    The very large British bit is lasting very well, the steering and suspension bits though are consumables.

    I think some of the best German made cars used to be from Russelheim

  22. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Re: meh

    >Remember this is a tech site not a group of 12 year-olds discussing what they will do when they 'are grown up'.

    Specifically it's a tech site for 30/40years olds to discuss what they would do if they were grown up

  23. jai

    Re: meh

    First, If you are spending 40k on a car then you cannot buy the BMW it's costs more you see.

    First, if I'm splashing 40k on a brand new car, then I almost certainly have enough cash around to be able to stretch it to 45k. If 40k is all I've got to spare in the bank, then I'm not spending all of it on a new car. At the most, I'd buy a second hand car for much less to leave a few k in the bank for emergencies like the central heating packing up in the middle of Snow Week.

  24. Ed Cooper

    what's the point

    Of all that complexity and weight for 1.4kWh of stored energy, pathetic.

  25. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Re: what's the point

    Did you read the review?

  26. Jonathan Shaw 1

    Re: what's the point

    Indeed what is the point and what do you do when bits stop working in 4-6 years?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: what's the point

    "what do you do when bits stop working in 4-6 years?"

    Fix them to make the car last for ten, then flog it to a mug because you don't want to be driving a ten year old car.

    Most car safety systems that involve pyrotechnics (air bags, belt pre-tensioners) are only rated for ten years service (and would you want your life to depend on a firework that had been stored for over a decade?). But there's little chance of it being economically viable to refit these on a car of such an age. That's the price of better secondary safety, although the DfT haven't really cottoned on. When they do (particularly DfT) expect the MoT test to require replacement of safety related systems "when the makers recommend" with the obvious consequence.

  28. Slik Fandango
    Paris Hilton

    Wait for the Jag

    if you want class!

    They are known to be working on a number of hybrid options - the XF 3.0S (oil burner) can already average 45+ mpg even with a heavy right foot (according to a friend that has use of one).

    Paris - 'cos she would rather get in a Jag than a Nissan, sorry Infinti...

  29. MJI Silver badge

    Re: Wait for the Jag

    Actually as someone who needs a biggish car, the XF appeals to me.

    As my current car is nearly 12 - a British engined German car with French gearbox and a British badge I will want to replace it next year, now do I get a Discovery TD5 or Jaguar XF?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Wait for the Jag @MJI

    "now do I get a Discovery TD5 or Jaguar XF?"

    Mmm. Difficult. "Go anywhere when not being repaired in the garage" versus "Sit in opulence even when broken down". I think that makes the Jag the best bet.

    And even that "go anywhere" claim is a bit bollocks, to judge by the Rangey slip sliding along where my ageing X Trail cruised through the snow. Admittedly that's because he was still wearing the silly factory slicks that are supplied on top end Range Rovers.

  31. MJI Silver badge

    Re: Wait for the Jag @MJI

    Good post

    Someone at work has a Dakar kit car, Discovery chassis kit car, no issues in the snow.

    My main things are.

    Large (5 people), comfy, can tow, interesting, then either handling or can get places.

  32. TRT Silver badge

    Interesting transmission scheme...

    but that's an awful lot of work for one motor/generator to undertake, isn't it? Still, it shows some potentially interesting ideas.

  33. jungle_jim

    It was looking all so good

    Until the fuel economy.

    really liked the quoted acceleration and that it was RWD too!

  34. Wibble
    Holmes

    Small car please

    Would be great to see the fuel economy using that tech on a small car with a sensible engine power. Call me grandad, but I can't see the point of 300+HP when you only ever use less than the first 100. And why does one need a car that does 155MPH - which is 55MPH more than an instant ban.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Small car please

    "And why does one need a car that does 155MPH - which is 55MPH more than an instant ban."

    Simple, because this car is aimed at more than just the British market, and will also be targeted at the Autobahn lot.

    Plus if it "only" did the UK limit (+20-30) then it'd be open to accusations that it's slower than a Kia Picanto, which is a no-no for the people that would buy this kind of car!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Small car please

    Because at 65mph it's still got massive acceleration to get you out of trouble or safely overtake and isn't thrashing the engine to death to do it resulting in a quiet reliable machine unlike a noddy shopping trolley. It's potential terminal velocity is more an indication of other benefits.

  37. Steve Todd
    Stop

    Re: Small car please

    Then you're in the market for something like a Prius or Civic IMA hybrid instead. Just because that's what you want don't assume that everyone else does also.

  38. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Re: Small car please

    > the point of 300+HP .... 155mph

    Because only a few of us have the massively impressive man-parts to be allowed to drive a Smart, or a 1.2L Citroen AX diesel. Those of you with more inadequate bits are forced to buy these mechanical supplements

    Of course real super-men ride a bike - I've got 21gears and wear lycra in public ;-)

  39. J. Cook Bronze badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Re: Small car please

    > Of course real super-men ride a bike - I've got 21gears and wear lycra in public ;-)

    *dies laughing* Ah the smell of fizzy soda through the nasal cavities.

  40. Wibble
    Holmes

    Re: Small car please

    > Plus if it "only" did the UK limit (+20-30) then it'd be open to accusations that it's slower than a Kia Picanto, which is a no-no for the people that would buy this kind of car!

    OIC; having a powerful car like this means that you can overtake the Kia Picanto in the queue in front? Does it fly, or is it driven by Dave the salesman for whom queuing is optional...?

    For someone who drives in the south of England countryside, there's sod all space to overtake on our crowded roads. And then get snarled up on the M25.

  41. Steve Todd

    Re: Small car please

    >OIC; having a powerful car like this means that you can overtake the Kia Picanto in the queue in front?

    Yes, it does. You need a much shorter clear stretch of road to get past moving obstructions like this, and you can often safely get past 2 or 3 vehicles at a time. The ability to get from 40mph to 60mph+ quickly, smoothly and well under control is the big selling point for these sports tourers. As they say: been there, done that, got the T shirt.

  42. MJI Silver badge

    Re: Super men

    Do ride a bike.

    With a large engine and a three figure power output.

  43. Alan Edwards
    Mushroom

    Re: Small car please

    > And why does one need a car that does 155MPH

    Because it's nowhere near it's limits at 70, unlike something that tops out at 90.

    It's has brakes and tyres that can stop it from 155mph.

    It doesn't get completely foxed by a corner that tightens unexpectedly and spit you off into a field, because it was designed to corner at twice the speed..

    You don't need the length of the M1 to wind it up and can actually overtake things on a single-carriageway road. Would you rather spend 20 seconds on the wrong side overtaking an artic or 2 minutes?

    Just because you can doesn't mean you have to.

  44. 0laf Silver badge
    FAIL

    If I had £40k why would I spend it on something that looks like a Chinese copy of a Vauxhall Insignia?

  45. MJI Silver badge

    £40,000

    3 year old GT-R however

  46. Longrod_von_Hugendong
    Angel

    Well lets put this way...

    You got 33.6 mpg, i have a Jeep Grand Cherokee - probably the same cost-ish, its a V8, does 26 mpg, will go up the side of a mountain, drives on snow like its a dry tarmac road - why the fcuk would i buy that Datsun

    ??? or anything else that is not 4x4, i can never figure out why people have normal cars. In fairness I live on a farm, and i actually do use it off road.

    (Ok, ignoring the fact the Jeep has the worlds worse interior - which is admittedly bullet proof but feels stupidly cheap, and dont mention the fact it produces a *bit* more Co2 than the Datsun, but probably less than my boat did.)

  47. Silverburn

    Re: Well lets put this way...

    This post is wrong on so many levels.

  48. JDX Gold badge

    Re: Well lets put this way...

    Let's see...

    - 33.6 is a bigger number than 26

    - most people don't want to drive up a mountain

    - choosing a car for its snow handling when it only matters one week a year is asinine.

  49. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Re: Well lets put this way...

    - choosing a car for its snow handling when it only matters one week a year is asinine.

    To be fair you only expect a Jeep to be in working order one week a year.

    If you are really lucky then that coincides with the snow

    (smug owner of Subaru with snow tyres ;-)

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Well lets put this way...

    Smug owner of a Mercedes E-Class 4Matic (<- good all wheel drive) with hugely expensive Nokian (<- Finland) Hakkapasomethingorother snow tires that are also STUDDED (<- !!!). Full throttle starts on a greasy winter road typically results in seat-bending acceleration. It's a laugh a minute, leaves Jeeps in the slush, and makes winter driving an absolute hoot - at least up to 12-inches of snow where it begins to bog down a bit.

    It's a highly recommended approach*.

    (* Exact brand of AWD car entirely optional; as long as it has a large engine.)

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