On the road: Infiniti M37 S

We have Forest Air in this one.

On the road: Infiniti M37 S Meaning the speed of the airconditioning fans fluctuates, creating a light wind in the car similar to a natural breeze passing through trees. The aroma changes, too, alternating approximately every hour between Leaf and Fragrant Wood. These scents, created from the ingredients of green plants, are said to calm the emotions and may help to reduce fatigue. Aromatherapy on wheels. Actually, to be honest, I'm not sure I can feel the breeze or smell the Fragrant Wood. Maybe it is working, though, because I am feeling quite serene, but also alert; I'm a tiger, ready to pounce…

Put your foot down, and this car does pounce. The smooth 3.7-litre V6 engine produces 316bhp and gets you to 60 in just over six seconds. It's a big old car, but it doesn't feel big on a snaky A road; it's steady, balanced, grippy and relishes the bends. God, I do apologise about all that, but this one does bring out the inner Clarkson in a fella.

Infiniti is to Nissan what Lexus is to Toyota – the luxury division. You may not have heard of them because they haven't been in Europe for long. This one, their executive saloon, will take on the Germans – the 5 series Bimmer, E Class Merc, Audi A6. From the outside, I like it – it has distinctive lines, looks muscly and a bit retro. In black, with dark glass in the rear windows, there's something attractively shifty about it – like who knows what goes on, and with whom, in the back. If I was an executive with 45 grand to spend on a saloon, and wanted to stand out from my dull colleagues in the golf club car park, I'd consider it.

Inside, it's hit and miss. It's very comfortable and there's plenty of room, but some of the detail isn't good. For instance the rectangular analogue clock: it looks like an alarm clock your granny had in the 1970s (I can see the glass with the false teeth alongside). I think it's meant to be posh. It's not.

This car is loaded with gizmos. There are buttons to do things you didn't even know you wanted – heat up the steering wheel, say, or play a triumphant little you're-nearly-home-fanfare when you turn into your street. I can see these could be useful if you had Raynaud's disease, or if your Alzheimer's had got to the stage you'd forgotten where you live, but do the rest of us need them? More is more is the approach they've gone for, when sometimes less can be classier.

Plus the Forest Air thing, I'm not sure that's really necessary. You can get those Magic Tree air fresheners for about £1.50 from most garages, if you really want your car to smell like a minicab.

Infiniti M37 S

Price £45,000
Top speed 155mph
Acceleration 0-62 in 6.2 seconds
Consumption 27.2mpg
CO2 emissions 235g/km
Eco rating 3/10
At the wheel The Hoff
In a word Badass (well, a bit)

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Sam Wollaston, for The Guardian on Saturday 26th March 2011 00.01 Europe/London

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