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#9

in 2012 Luxury Large Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $30,775 - $30,775
Original MSRP: $53,700 - $53,700
MPG: 27 City / 32 Hwy
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2012 Infiniti M Hybrid Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The big news on the 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid is its powertrain, and as such, few reviewers have made extensive comments about the interior. The good news, however, is that the M35h basically sports the same interior as the non-hybrid Infiniti M. Reviewers generally appreciate the M’s comfortable front seats, high-quality materials and user-friendly electronics, but some think the gas-only M is a little short on back seat head room. These concerns will likely translate to the M Hybrid since the design, materials and most features are the same.

There are a few things the press has noticed, however. The interior is super quiet when the M is running on electric power alone, but the M Hybrid also has slightly less cargo space than the gas-only Infiniti M. This is common among hybrid versions of gas cars, since hybrid batteries usually end up in the vehicle’s trunk.

We’ll keep you updated on what the automotive press thinks of the M35h’s interior as more reviews are released.

  • "While cruising slowly, the hybrid system, with the gas engine on and the electric motor off, operates in near silence, the only in-cabin noise coming from the air conditioner.” -- Motor Trend 
  • "If you keep the M Hybrid below 62 mph, it can even whisk you along on all-electric power -- but that's contingent on a very delicate right foot. With the rumbly VQ silenced and nothing but muffled tire and wind noise to assail us, the M Hybrid becomes a pleasant luxury liner.” -- Popular Mechanics 
  • "Cabin tech features are solid in the M35h, but here it falls short of luxury competitors. The stereo system is the most advanced feature, offering many audio sources and well-balanced sound. Navigation works well, but only integrates traffic and weather for external data sources. The phone system is the weakest feature of the M35h, as its ability to download a paired phone's contact list is limited.” -- CNET

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Seating

Since the M35h is so new, the few reviews that have been published don’t mention the seats. However, the non-hybrid Infiniti M is equipped with the same seats, which are heated and 10-way power adjustable up front. The automotive press generally likes the front seats in the gas-only M, but some say the back seat may not have enough head room for taller passengers. Opt for Infiniti’s Premium Package and the front seats get upgraded with ventilation.

Interior Features

Infiniti has made a few minor changes to differentiate the M35h from its non-hybrid siblings. The gauge cluster features an efficiency meter rather than a temperature gauge and the tachometer has a redline that’s 500 rpm lower than the M37. Additionally, the center touch screen can display information and graphics that show where the M Hybrid’s power is coming from: the electric motor or the gasoline engine. Aside from that, it’s the same interior you’d find on a gas-only Infiniti M.

Reviewers haven’t commented much about the M35h’s interior features, opting instead to focus on the hybrid powertrain. However, they generally like the interior of the gas-only M, which features clear gauges and a high-quality interior dressed with leather, Japanese ash wood and metal trim. One reviewer comments that although the cabin electronics in the M35h earn points for being user-friendly, it loses points for its Bluetooth system, which wouldn’t download his phone’s entire contact list.

Standard interior features on the M35h include Bluetooth and USB connections, a six-speaker stereo with XM Radio, dual-zone climate control and push-button start. If you want navigation, you’ll have to add the $3,350 Premium Package, which also includes ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel and a Bose 10-speaker stereo with a 9.3GB hard drive.

  • "Climb inside, and plush leather awaits, covering nearly all visible panels as it does in other M iterations. A revised blue-hued instrument cluster shows battery charging levels, while the center LCD clearly indicates which systems are driving the wheels." -- Motor Trend 
  • "The car comes with the same navigation system Infiniti has used for some time. With maps stored on a hard drive, the system works quickly, and even shows some 3D building renderings, but the look of the maps is a little sloppy, far from the sophisticated offerings of BMW and Audi.” -- CNET 

Cargo

Like many luxury hybrid cars that are based on gas models, the M Hybrid loses some trunk space to make room for its batteries. Cargo volume is down to 11.3 cubic feet – 3.6 fewer cubic feet than the gas-powered Infiniti M. Still, the M35h boasts one more cubic foot of trunk space than its main hybrid rival, the Lexus GS 450h.

If you need a bigger trunk, but still want a luxury large car with impressive fuel economy, consider the Mercedes E350 Bluetec, which has 15.9 cubic feet of cargo space.

  • "A lithium-ion battery pack generating 1.3 kWh is located under the trunk's floorboard (which of course compromises cargo space).” -- Motor Trend 
  • "The battery pack eats into the car's practicality, as it takes up considerable trunk space.” -- CNET 
  • "The trunk is -- as you'd expect -- compromised as the batteries are stored in the wall behind the rear seats. There is no longer a fold-down seat option, or a pass-through, meaning long items must go directly into the cabin.” -- Autoblog 

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