With everything going on in most of our lives it is hard to find the time for a night out of the house with the whole family. So when the team from Infiniti contacted me to see if I’d be interested in taking the family to see Cirque du Soleil’s OVO in it’s Boston Premiere and to drive one of their cars to the event, I instantly said yes.
Now, I need to say up front that I’m not much of a car guy. While I can appreciate a good looking car and the power under the hood, I honestly don’t care that much about that stuff. If it gets me safely from point A to point B I’m happy. I do wish we had more environmentally friendly cars and all the progress we are making towards that makes me very happy. But, I am in no way a gear head or a “car guy.”
Infiniti has a long running sponsorship with Cirque du Soleil as their official car sponsor. They gave me for free an Infiniti M56x to drive for 4 days and tickets to the show for my family and four tickets to give away to our community in return for sharing my thoughts on the car with you all. Seemed like a very fair trade to me.
For all the car fans out there, here are the details of the car directly from their site:
- Powered by a 5.6-liter, 420 horsepower V8 engine with Direct Gasoline Injection, the all-wheel drive M56x is matched with a seven-speed automatic transmission with manual sport shifting.
- A variable valvetrain is included for improved power and economy; and Infiniti Drive Mode Selector and Hill Start Assist are there to help deal with varying road conditions.
- Climate-controlled leather front seats with 10-way power adjustment and power lumbar are standard. Safety features include six airbags, front seat active head restraints, individual tire pressure monitor, and rearview monitor.
- The M56x features Vehicle Dynamic Control stability control, traction control, advanced ABS brakes, Bose Premium audio, bi-functional (HID) xenon headlights, and a hard drive navigation system with XM NavTraffic.
- Available features include Bose Studio Surround Sound.
As you can imagine it is a fine piece of automobile machinery and plain and simple it is a LOT of fun to drive.
I’ve never driven any other luxury car so I can’t compare it to them. What I did notice right away when I sat down in the car was how it felt like I was completely engulfed by car. It is shaped to surround the driver in a very comforting way. I imagined that if I ever was in a crash that I would be safely protected. Everything is geared towards the driver with many controls directly on the steering wheel and all within easy reach without taking your eyes off the road.
And while it may not be the most important feature of the car, I’m a big time music guy so the sound system in the car is down right impressive. With speakers in the headrests, doors and all around, you feel the music as much as hear it. Crank something with a heavy bass line and you will literally feel it in your heart. I love that feeling.
Shown here you can see how there are several driving modes that you can switch the car between. When popping it into Sport mode you instantly notice how the car jumped off the line and hits highway speed faster than any car I’ve ever driven. This combined with the handling made for some fun times on the windy roads that lead to our house. The car handled like a dream around corners and over bumps. Thankfully we kept all four wheels on the road.
I’d be curious to see what the Snow button does. I’m assuming that it is similar to a setting I have in my car where it does not let the engine rev to fast and keeps it in lower gears to prevent sliding and spinning in icy conditions, but I’m not sure. The Eco setting keeps it from revving as much and gives better gas mileage and I found that I used this while driving around town. Kept me from getting in trouble when taking off the line at lights. *grin*
You’ll also notice that the M56x has both heated and air-conditioned seats. I can’t fully express how awesome this is. On a hot summer day, having the seats cooled might be the nicest feature I’ve ever experienced in a car. Ahhh….
From a family stand point, it easily held all four of us, but Emily didn’t like that she didn’t have too much room once I put my seat all the way back and she was behind me. Sure, there is room, but I guess she has gotten use to more of it in our current car. We were pleasantly surprised by the ample trunk room which we thought would be sacrificed on a luxury sedan, but was not. You can easily fit a weekend worth of bags and kid stuff without worry and it passed the grocery shopping test with flying colors.
One thing about this car that I fell in love with and would love to see adopted on all cars is the concept of key-less use. Instead of an actual key you get a little key fob that you attach to your key ring and keep in your pocket. Get near enough to the car with it and the doors unlock. Ready to go? Just push the start button and you are on your way. While this may seem like a novelty, when your arms are full of groceries (or kids) this is an instant life saver and I found that when I returned the car I missed having this.
Overall, the entire driving experience with the Infiniti M56x lives up the “luxury car” name. While I’ve never driven a BMW, Mercedes or Lexus, I now get why people love them. The smooth ride, excellent handling and overall wow factor is pretty damn impressive. While I’m still not sure I could ever justify the price of the car (the model we tested starts at $60,000) I do understand now what makes a car that expensive so nice to drive.
Of course, I don’t want to forget to talk about the other part of our night out and that was getting to see OVO. What did we think of the show?
That’s an easy answer. We LOVED it!!!
I had never seen a Cirque show under the big top and it is a totally different experience from when you see one of their big shows in a permanent location such as Las Vegas. You are so close to the action and there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. The kid’s mouths were open the whole time as performance after performance left them speechless.
As a bonus, I contacted a friend who works for Cirque, to see if Emily could interview any of the staff about the show. A week later we went back during the day and she got to chat with a woman from the costume department. You can watch Emily Explains It to see the interview.
The one thing I missed in this show was that the storyline was lacking and loosely put together. It was more a collection of performances around a rough theme than any concrete plot from start to finish. But, with that being said we all had a great time and I’m psyched that the winners from our contest could join us at the show. They all had a great time as well based on the conversations we had at intermission.
Thank you to Infiniti for making this night out possible. My entire family had a great time and loved being able to do this and fit it into our schedules. If you have a chance to check out OVO, it is a family friendly event that I promise you’ll have a good time at. If you get a chance to drive an Infiniti M56x, I can promise that is a fun time as well, but I can’t promise that it’ll be fun for your wallet since you may want to buy one as soon as you take it for a spin.