What is it?
The M35h is the biggest, fastest and greenest car that Infiniti makes. It has a powerful 302bhp V6 petrol engine but it's also a hybrid - an electric motor adds another 57bhp and propels the car on electricity alone at speeds of up to 60mph. That adds up to a total of 359bhp and the ability to hit 62mph in 5.5 seconds. It also means the M35h returns 40.4mpg and 162g/km - seriously impressive figures for a car of its size and power.
Is it any good?
It's certainly fast. All that power gives it tremendous performance and, although you won't see those impressive economy figures if you drive it hard, it's difficult to believe that a four-door saloon car of this size can be so rapid and yet so economical. The V6 engine makes a tuneful rumble all the time but the M35h is well insulated enough to drown out most other noise.
It's very quiet indeed when the electric motor takes over, which it regularly does when you're pootling along in town or cruising gently. Drive up a hill or accelerate harder and the petrol engine soon kicks back in, but the motor is very active and the transition is seamless. Infiniti has also engineered a variety of settings for the accelerator, one of which is 'Eco', which makes the accelerator pedal harder to depress. It works in that it discourages you from driving hard but it feels very unusual. You can override it by booting the pedal but we preferred to leave the M35h in Standard or Sport modes - there's also a Snow setting for icy days.
The styling is likely to divide opinion - we reckon it looks beefy and distinctive from the front but a bit bland and odd from the rear. Inside, you're surrounded by classy leather and wood and it's all very comfortable and swish. Only one or two tiny bits of trim let the side down, like the scratchy plastic steering column.
As for the handling, the Infiniti isn't quite as crisp as the competition. The steering is reasonably direct but it isn't as sharp as that of rivals like the BMW 5 Series. The ride can be bumpy, too, which isn't ideal for a big, luxury car.
Should I call the bank manager?
He might baulk at the idea of you spending £46,840 on a petrol-engined saloon car, but the Infiniti justifies itself with the amount of standard equipment it has. There's only one option - metallic paint - and the M35h has just about everything else you can think of as standard: satnav, a reversing camera, leather seats, a Bose stereo system - everything. Any rival with a BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Jaguar badge on its nose would cost nearer £60,000 if it had the same level of kit.
The only thing to worry about is the M35h's resale values. Big, petrol-engined cars never hang onto their value well and, even though Infiniti says the residuals aren't too bad, only time will tell.
You get a lot of car for the money with the M35h. It's big on power, equipment and luxury - and it's pretty huge on the outside. All things considered, it's impressive that it has the potential to be so economical. The sore points are what it's likely to be worth a few years down the line and the fact that it isn't quite as polished as mainstream rivals. Any Infiniti is an interesting and off-the-wall alternative to the likes of a BMW or a Mercedes, too.