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2006 Infiniti M

The 2006 Infiniti M Series

It is a little known fact the inventor of the Gatlin gun held a medical degree, but chose never to practice professionally as a doctor. A resident of Murfreesboro, North Carolina, Richard Jordan Gatlin opted instead to focus his attention on inventing weapons capable of inflicting considerable damage to opposing forces in war.

Patented in 1862, the Gatlin gun had six barrels that revolved around a single fixed rod. The weapon was mounted on a small carriage for greater mobility and could achieve an initial fire rate of 150 rounds per minute. A late arrival in the Civil War, it provided an outnumbered army with the upper hand on the battlefield, assuring them of at least a fighting chance of victory.

Infiniti M35x Tail Light

So how does any of this relate to a new car review? I mention it because the rear taillights of the new 2006 Infiniti M-Series bears a striking resemblance to a miniature version of the Gatlin gun. Although I am not sure Infiniti had this in mind when designing the new M35 and M45 sedans, it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that they did.

You see, the battle to be number one in the luxury car segment is a knock down; drag ‘em out, no holds bar war. To assume anything less is to underestimate the true value of the luxury car buyer to automotive manufacturers. Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz have all recently introduced new vehicles that aggressively attack this market. It should come as no surprise that Infiniti might have chosen to engage in a little psychological warfare as a means to help them secure the top spot.

The exterior of the new 2006 Infiniti M series builds on the aggressiveness of the taillights with a racy design featuring short front and rear overhangs. Similar in shape to the smaller Infiniti G35 sedan, the M-series takes the lean, sexy concept one step further by adding muscle and size.

The Infiniti M Sedan is available in five distinct models and offers two unique engine choices. Three models define the entry-level series of Infiniti’s latest high performance, luxury sedan: the M35, M35 Sport and the M35x AWD.

All M35 sedans are equipped with a 3.5 liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. This engine offers quick acceleration, sensible fuel economy and a solid track record of dependability.

The premium series M45 and M45 Sport increase performance to 335 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque with a 4.5 liter V8 engine. Fast and fun to drive, they both achieve reasonable fuel economy, although real world drivers will find it hard to keep their right foot from pressing firmly on the accelerator at every opportunity.

The M-series sedan is rear-wheel drive, the only exception being the M35x with intelligent all-wheel drive. In the recent past, rear wheel drive has once again found acceptance with consumers, as more automotive companies realize anew the many advantages of having the back wheels deliver power to the road.

Independent double wishbone suspension with coil over springs and shocks is standard in front, while out back an independent multi-link set up is similarly enhanced to provide optimum handling and ride comfort. Vehicle Dynamic Control, (VDC) aids in stability by gently applying the appropriate brakes if the car senses understeer or oversteer conditions.

Rear active steering and a sport-tuned suspension are also available on the Sport Model, providing even greater assistance in the attempt to apex a corner at full speed.

Handling is a specialty of the new Infiniti as a recent drive through Phoenix and Sedona, Arizona demonstrated. These cars long for the open road, devouring asphalt like a cruise ship vacationer at an all-you-can-eat dinner buffet. Cornering limits are high for a sport sedan, with excellent steering wheel feedback and tire squeal at the limit. Many thanks go to the engineers at Infiniti who know a thing or two about high performance driving and fast cars.

Infiniti M35Xx

Four-wheel disc brakes are standard, as are ABS, brake assist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, (EBD). Adaptive front xenon headlights track their course according to driver input and vehicle speed, keeping the light focused on the road ahead.

Research indicates that most, but not all, North American drivers prefer to let their automobile make the appropriate gear selection. The new Infiniti M responds with a 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission that also includes a manual shift mode. When the urge to take control is just too strong to ignore, sequentially selected manual gearshifts and downshift rev matching offer a true sport sedan experience.

Inside, the Infiniti M reveals it is as committed to driver and passenger comfort as it is to handling the road with athletic dexterity. Doors close with a solid resonance, while the quality and fit of each material used is superb. Rich, supple leather graces the surface of the 10-way adjustable driver’s seat and 6-way passenger front seat. To further encourage long trips, optional climate-controlled front seats heat up or cool down depending on your preference. Sumptuous rosewood trim tempts you to caress the jewel-like surface of the sculpted dash, while the available aluminum trim of the Sport model adds a serious tone to the business-like interior.

Rear seat passengers aren’t left feeling second class, as molded contours provide excellent leg and back support. Power heated reclining rear seats with both audio and climate controls are offered as an option. A rear 8” screen DVD entertainment system is also available on the new Infiniti M. Riding in the back has rarely been this luxurious.

Infiniti M35X Tail Light

A six-speaker AM/FM stereo system with a single-feed, in-dash 6-disc CD changer is standard, as is an MP3 player with WMA playback. Upgrades include a superb 2-channel Bose® premium audio unit or the “you won’t believe your ears” Bose® digital 5.1 surround sound system with 14 speakers.

Trunk space is efficient in design, but not over the top in size at 14.9 cubic feet. It allows for several golf bags or multiple suitcases depending on where the road takes you.

So what’s not to like about the new Infiniti M? Well in three words or less, not much really. It is still true that Infiniti tends to use interior trim pieces that feel a little too much like the hard plastic parts they really are. And, I am not convinced the flush mounted Infiniti Controller on the dash is a giant leap forward in ergonomics, but it works well and provides the car with a certain “coolness” factor. Other than that, it is very hard to find fault with this car.

I started out by saying the new M-series sedan is Infiniti’s latest weapon in the growing battle for the luxury consumer. While other carmakers have introduced excellent vehicles that compare in many ways to the new Infiniti M, the overall performance offered makes driving this car the most “civil” of the new breed waging war in the luxury car market today.

For more information visit the Infiniti website here.


2006 Infiniti M
Sports Sedan
Model options:

M35, M35 Sport, M35x AWD
M45, M45 Sport

114.2 inches
Overall length:
192.6 inches
Engine size:

3.5 L 24-valve V6
4.5 L 32-valve V8

5-speed automatic

M45: RWD

Power rack and pinion

4-wheel ventilated disc, ABS, EBD and brake assist

Air bags:
2 (fr) 2 (side) 2 (roof)
Fuel mileage city/hwy:

M35/M35 Sport: 18/25 mpg
M35x AWD: 17/24 mpg
M45/M45 Sport: 17/23 mpg


M35: $ 40,710
M35x AWD: $ 43,210
M35 Sport: $ 44,110
M45: $ 47,560
M45 Sport: $ 50,960