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Like the German sports sedans it emulates, the M56 is a luxury sedan with sports car performance. This comes courtesy of an aluminum-alloy 5.6-liter V8 that puts out 420 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque. Paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission, the big sedan takes fewer than five seconds to make the 0 to 60 dash.
With a fully independent suspension, the M56 is surprisingly agile, though this comes at the cost of a fairly stiff ride. Fuel economy isn't bad, considering the car's large-displacement engine: 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.
The M56 seats five passengers and offers 14.9 cubic-feet of cargo space in the trunk. As is common in the class, leather-covered surfaces fill the cabin, along with wood trim and tasteful chrome accents. For 2013, Infiniti has made auto-dimming outside mirrors and a power trunk lid standard across the M range.
Advanced features like Bose audio and navigation systems are standard, along with a rearview monitor and rear sonar system to make parking a cinch. Furthermore, the navigation system is capable of relaying real-time weather information and three-day forecasts.
The M56 is equipped as a top-level model, featuring many luxurious options as standard equipment: 18-inch wheels with a 5-spoke design; bi-xenon headlights; fog lights; dual-zone climate control; push button ignition; front seats with 10-way power and 2-way lumbar support; and a 10-speaker surround sound system with a two-channel amplifier.
The optional Deluxe Touring package comes with a 16-speaker audio system and semi-aniline leather. The Sport package adds, among other upgrades, 20-inch wheels and a sport-tuned suspension.
Uses a modern turbocharged V8, but options can cause price to hike
Bigger interior with a softer ride, yet less powerful as well
All-wheel drive is standard, though it has no V8 option
Has a tight back seat, but strong V8 and nimble handling