After spending about an hour taking back-to-back turns between our 535i and this M37, I have to agree with Phil. The BMW may still be the better car in technical terms -- the powertrain is smoother and the non-active steering is more communicative and predictable -- but the M37 is the sedan I think I'd rather own. The Infiniti's curvaceous yet restrained exterior should prove to BMW's design house that there is a happy medium between the uncompromisingly modern Chris Bangle styling of the last 5-series and the sober, ho-hum lines of the current one. It's the same story inside, where Infiniti matches BMW's quality but adds a dose of "wow" with its rich-looking wood inlays and dual-cove instrument cluster.
There are still a few areas for improvement. The active steering will never feel natural and is an option to avoid. The VQ engine, though tamed somewhat in its pairing with an excellent 7-speed automatic, can't match the refinement of BMW's inline-six. That said, the M37 is a pleasure to hustle through a corner. Great brakes, loads of traction, and more muscle than any sedan driver will ever need. Yes, the M37 would get my vote.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor