Style & substance in one luxurious package.
Move inside and you’ll be almost showered in comfy, almost couch like plushness. The silky brown synthetic leather seats look very inviting, as stitched leather in the upholstery with two-toned wooden trims and teardrop shaped handle arches.
The seats are very thick, with the front passenger seats even having 2 speakers near the headrest for some seriously immersive sound. Of course, what else would you expect from a 16-speaker Bose Studio surround sound system?
The rear passengers may not have a lot of legroom, expected in executive class sedans, but the seats themselves are pretty long and deep. My only complaint here would be that the rear passengers don’t get their own climate control system; just two vents down at the back of the armrest (of front console). While our test M56 was the ‘Sports’ version, the ‘Luxury’ trim has optional 7-inch displays for rear passengers as well.
Coming back to the front, most of the console area, along with the entertainment & navigation system is the same as the JX35 tested a few weeks back. The main touchscreen, while very responsive, clear and bright, is a bit further out from reach than I would’ve liked. The main manual controls below the a/c vents are a bit more approachable due to the center console extending out a bit, but that’s hardly what I’d call convenient.
It would have been better to have those controls behind the gearbox, where the drive setting knob is located (providing a choice from Eco, Standard & Sports modes). This would bring the usability of the navigation system in line with Audi, Mercedes and other premium car manufacturers.
Another slight pet peeve of mine if that despite having 12 buttons on the steering wheel itself, cycling through different info panels on the trip computer is done via a menu selection button on the right edge of the gauge cluster. I’m sure a little bit of brainstorming by the engineering team could have had this rather crucial feature accessible directly from the steering wheel.
Aside from that I’d like to mention how exceptionally quite the interior of the M56 Sports really is. So much was the effort to provide a comfortable ride that Infiniti used an ‘Active Noise Control’ system to pretty much eliminate the rumble you’d hear from a V8 at low RPMs. While it’s good for the luxury conscious consumer, I wish Infiniti would have done without this for, at least, the Sports version of the M56.
What you end up hearing is a muted struggle between the engine trying to scream, and with such an easily high-revving engine you definitely would wish it would scream, and the aggressive soundproofing of the interior cabin. Apart from longing to hear the engine, there wasn’t a single thing I could fault with the ambience or the comfortable ride the M56 Sports offered.