May 25, 2013
Written by Steven Macoy
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 11:09
Infiniti’s midsize sedan has mellowed since we test-drove the debut 2003 model, the G35. While we weren’t enthralled with the aggressive styling, a departure from the bland G20 that preceded it, the drive did the trick. We were hooked.
Since then, Infiniti has expanded the G line. It’s now available as a true entry-level, near-luxury sedan, the G25, which starts at $32,000. Our all-wheel-drive G25 cost a little more — $33,950, plus $1,000 for a power moon roof and $875 in destination charges, for a total of $35,825.As always seems to happen when we’re provided with an Infiniti G, the open road beckoned. This time we wound up in New Hampshire and Maine, so we had plenty of time to renew our acquaintance with this well-regarded model.
The nicely appointed interior accommodated three adults, and even the one in the back seat had positive things to say about room and seating comfort. The ride was quiet and composed, with no sharp kicks when going over expansion joints and potholes.
Handling is as precise as you’d expect from a sedan whose platform is derived from the sporty Nissan 370Z. The G25’s road manners benefit from Infiniti’s innovative Front Midship design, in which the engine is drawn back toward the center of the car to improve weight distribution.
The 218-horsepower V-6 engine, the smallest available in this model, lacks the flair of the hotter V-6 used in the G37. Both engines require premium gasoline, a disappointing price penalty given the smaller engine’s modest power output. But our G25 sedan handily won the fuel-economy contest with a G37 coupe we drove a week later, 25 to 22 mpg.
The G25’s competition includes the BMW 3-Series, Lexus IS, Acura TL and Audi A4. The Cadillac CTS and Lincoln MKZ come in at a higher price point. Among the automakers in the upper end of the near-luxury sector are Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. Needless to say, a series of test drives preceding a purchase of one of these cars can be very gratifying.
Crash-test data on the G25 aren’t yet available. Owners can expect above-average reliability.
Among the standard features on our G25 were a seven-speed shiftable automatic transmission, xenon headlights, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, XM satellite radio, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and a long list of safety equipment that included a rear-view monitor. A feature we loved on the original G35 — gauges that are raised and lowered with the steering-wheel adjustment so they’re always in clear view — remains. Less pleasing were the identical knobs, inches apart, controlling the climate-control and audio systems. More than once, we fumbled with the wrong one while driving.
The G25 is not “the ultimate driving machine,” like BMW, and it doesn’t have a legendary name like Mercedes-Benz. But it has a competitive price, it’s easy to live with and fun to drive, and in the long term it delivers exceptional value.
Engine: 2.5-liter V-6, 218 horsepower, 187 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: 7-speed shiftable automatic
Weight: 3,746 lb.
Suspension: Double-wishbone front, multi-link rear
Wheels: 17x7.5 inch alloy
Tires: P225/55R17 V-rated all-season
Seating capacity: 5
Luggage capacity: 13.5 cu. ft.
Fuel capacity: 20 gallons
Fuel economy: 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway
Fuel type: premium
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