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.

    1. 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?

      1. 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.

      2. JeffyPooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Top Gear

        "Hey, how's your Datsun?"

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

        1. 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.

      3. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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...?

            1. 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.

          2. 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.

    2. 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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ..

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

  2. Silverburn
    Coffee/keyboard

    A pretty car...

    ...this is not. No sirree.

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

    1. 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.

      1. Silverburn

        Re: A pretty car...

        Juke: Puke

        The GTR-engined version looks fun though...

      2. 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...

        1. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. c4m1k4z3
      Coat

      Re: meh

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

      1. 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

    2. 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'.

      1. 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

      2. 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.

  4. Ed Cooper

    what's the point

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

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: what's the point

      Did you read the review?

    2. 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?

      1. 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.

  5. 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...

    1. 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?

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. jungle_jim

    It was looking all so good

    Until the fuel economy.

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

  8. 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.

    1. 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!

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

        1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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 ;-)

      1. 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.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Super men

        Do ride a bike.

        With a large engine and a three figure power output.

    4. 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.

  9. 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?

    1. MJI Silver badge

      £40,000

      3 year old GT-R however

  10. 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.)

    1. Silverburn

      Re: Well lets put this way...

      This post is wrong on so many levels.

    2. 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.

      1. 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 ;-)

        1. 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.)

  11. MisterB
    Facepalm

    Amazon?!

    The 'Buy from Amazon' button in the summary box made me chuckle!

    Can I order one and have it delivered to my local McColls 'click and collect'?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Amazon?!

      "Can I order one and have it delivered to my local McColls 'click and collect'?"

      I need a new keyboard. Something for the web team to mull over; it's built into Reg Hardware reviews.

      C.

  12. Mad yakker
    Thumb Down

    RWD

    I'm assuming that you're not meant to drive it in the snow then?

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: RWD

      A lot better than wrong wheel drive thankyou!

    2. Silverburn

      Re: RWD

      News flash: RWD in the snow is actually ok....if you have the right winter tyres on. Which most UK drivers usually don't, and expect their summer tyres to perform miracles.

      1. Piro

        Re: RWD

        Yeah, I'm pretty sure you need a good set of winter tyres in that case.

        Summer tyres are useless in the winter, but as you say, people don't often think about getting appropriate tyres.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: RWD

        Last rear wheel drive car I had needed a a few bags of sand in the boot when it snowed and it wasn't a small car to start with.

    3. Steve Todd
      Stop

      Re: RWD

      I used to drive a 3.0 litre Jaguar S Type. Rear wheel drive, 225BHP, and the worst it would do in the snow was to fishtail a little if you cornered it too hard. Not a problem. It did have traction control to hold your hand, but even that didn't have to try too hard.

      1. Silverburn

        Re: RWD

        "Would you mind awfully helping giving my Jaaaaaaag a tow out this snow-filled ditch? I appear to have left the AA card at home..."

        What, no 'caddish jag owner' icon?

        1. Steve Todd
          Stop

          Re: RWD

          Tell you what, when you can match my NCD and can afford to run one then we can talk about its merits and faults. You'll also note that Mr Taylor's review speaks quite highly of the XF. Until then perhaps you shouldn't speak of something you know nothing about.

    4. JetSetJim Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: RWD

      RWD with whacking great big battery pack sat pretty much over the rear axle is probably ok for snow, I reckon.

      1. MJI Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: RWD

        Or a 70l gas tank full of propane.

        Yes my LPG ECU has blown an injector channel.

        <-- a red car, mine is silver but this is a car review

  13. MJI Silver badge

    More pretend brands

    I would rate the car better with a Nissan badge, it is not like they have a bad image, 370Z and GT-R provide a good image, but I would be too embarrassed to drive a Toyota Lexus or Nissan Infinti. Yet I would be proud of a GT-R

    1. Silverburn

      Re: More pretend brands

      Ahem...Nissan Sunny (particularly from 1985 to current date)?

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: More pretend brands

        Nissan Sunny

        What's one of those? Not a Z car is it?

        Does a search, 4wd 2l turbo - sounds rather good. And it has GT-R in the name.

        We used to have a member of staff with a Nissan and it was the most liked car in our company.

        SKYLINE

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Dainase
    Pint

    hmm, no likey cvt but....

    Alun, have to prod you a bit about the transmission. You say CVT has no place for a sporty vehicle but you have no objections to a 7-speed 'box, which regularly hunt between ratios to provide the optimum performance/economy/etc - something a half-baked rubber band setup does far better and gives better results.

    Minor gripe aside, ta for the review. Ignore the clueless badge snobs, Infiniti are not a bad choice in the upper medium saloon sector. And while it is far from beatiful at least the Infiniti doesn't begin to hit the bottom of the ugly barrel that Audi and BMW regularly scrape. Over the last few years, only one thing more astonishing than the eye wateringly bad styling work from Ingolstadt and Munich years is the number of people who actually fall for the smug marketing bollocks and buy such horrendous stuff.

    Beer as you need to have your grog goggles on big style to think they look remotely decent.

    1. Steven Raith
      Happy

      Re: hmm, no likey cvt but....

      The thing about sporty cars, is that you want to have a degree of control.

      I like manual boxes because I can blip it into second and drop-kick the car past some numpty doing 40 on an NSL road, bap-bap-bapping off the limiter as I pass (Yes, I'm a fucking child).

      A decent auto will let you manually select - and hold - gears, giving you the control to do this when you want, but giving you syrupy smooth changes when you just want to get to, and back from, Tescos after a long day.

      A CVT gives you neither of those control options to any degree that could be considered fun or sporting, hence has no place in a sporty car. That said, give it another ten-fifteen years, and that might change. People (not me...) are willing to accept the laughable concept that a turbo diesel with a 2000rpm powerband can be considered sporty these days, the nimrods.

      No, I dont care about your torque.

      I'll stick with my 40 litres of Super Unleaded, 6000rpm of usable power, and pops and farts on the overrun, thanks.

      Steven R,

      Ford Puma Millenium,

      North York Moors

      (Not my car, but same sort of noise... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B9450NnnJQ )

  15. MechaNikos
    Pint

    Pretentious brands or not..

    When it comes to build quality the Japs have nailed it. For the models that are built on their island at least.

    Admittedly, their stylistic approach ranges from silly to disgusting at times, but please do show me some 20+ yo german metal that runs as smooth as the tin boxes of their their ex-allies.

    Beer, cause there's always an excuse for one.

    1. Chz

      Re: Pretentious brands or not..

      As I understand it, Sunderland produces cars that are just as good as the ones made in Nippon.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pretentious brands or not..

        I'm running a Japanese made X Trail and a Sunderland made Qashquai. Assemby quality of both was excellent (if anything the boys from Sunderland did a better job), but both have been subject to problems caused by poor quality parts from third party suppliers. So (all under warranty) the X Trail had an intercooler and turbo fail, the Qashquai has had new shock absobers, new track rod end, new front discs, and a new fuel pump & sender.

        And when you do have to fork out for parts yourself, Nissan are a complete rip off - double or triple the equivalent parts price from Ford.

  16. Richard 116
    WTF?

    Why hasn't anyone mentioned the clock?

    What has been seen cannot be unseen.

    1. Dainase

      Re: Why hasn't anyone mentioned the clock?

      Ah yes, it does look rather like something my gran had next to her bed!

  17. All names Taken

    4 legs good, 2 legs better?

    Aha

    http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/

  18. darklord

    #pretty ugly

    Looks like an outdated hyundai Lantra. which ever way you look at it. 41 mpg no thanks my beemer diesel does more than that on a bad day and is quick enough for me at 7secs 0-62.

    This is back to american cars coming over here. Someone will buy it to be different then at trade in wonder why its only worth 300 quid. this thing will depreciate faster than a five yr old mondeo

    And the interior looks decidely yuck and typical; nissan/ renault. with lots of buttons and sticky out bits.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: #pretty ugly

      "my beemer diesel does more than that on a bad day (41mpg) and is quick enough for me at 7secs 0-62."

      "And the interior looks decidely yuck and typical; nissan/ renault. with lots of buttons and sticky out bits."

      'Giving up finally, the fox looked up in contempt and said as he walked away, "Those grapes surely must be sour. I wouldn't eat them even if they were served to me on a golden dish."

      My Infiniti is 8 years old. Only new tires, rear disk brakes, cam sensors replaced. All for about a thousand dollars in 8 years.. The G35 is one of the best handling 4 door sedans on the road today. Goes into a freeway transition at 70mph without braking, can accelerate 1/3 of way into the curve and will come out of it somewhere between 75 and 80. Too busy looking in the rear view mirror for the highway patrol to say exactly.

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