Excused the burden of objective comparison, the Infiniti M30d would score near full marks in this section, because its diesel engine delivers more than sufficient performance for almost all everyday situations, yet it is also suitably refined for an executive saloon.
This 235bhp, 405lb ft 3.0-litre V6 is a mighty first effort (with a little help from Renault), but that doesn’t change the fact that the M is stepping into a market packed full of talent.
We simply cannot forget the existence of BMW’s 530d, Mercedes’ E350 CDI and Jaguar’s XF 3.0D S. For the price of the diesel, it doesn’t compete hard enough in terms of outright performance – rivals are simply much quicker.
Similarly, those who have never experienced the competition would have little complaint with the M30d’s seven-speed automatic transmission; its changes, for the most part, are smooth and well timed. But when you have experienced those rivals, notably the BMW, the Infiniti feels just slightly second best.
The M35h hybrid is much more interesting (especially to company buyers) with a potential combined power of 359bhp and 457lb ft of torque give it a 155mph top speed and a 0-62mph sprint of 5.5 sec, while returning an impressive 40.9mpg combined with official CO2 emissions of just 159g/km.