May 18, 2013
Written by Steven Macoy
Thursday, 06 October 2011 11:01
So you’ve settled on a new Infiniti G — a sensible choice, given this model’s high quality, value, reliability and style. Eight years ago, your choices were limited to the G35, a four-door sedan with a V-6 engine. But like a successful television show, the G has generated spinoffs. It’s now available as a sedan, coupe or hardtop convertible, and Infiniti offers a range of five V-6 engines maxing out at 348 horsepower.The G has long been our favorite among midsize Japanese premium sedans and coupes. For pure driving pleasure, Infiniti hasn’t yet caught up with BMW, whose 3 Series plays in the same league. But BMWs aren’t for everyone. The base model costs about $3,000 more than the lowest-priced Infiniti G, and BMW’s styling, controls and dominant personality aren’t for everybody. And if you’re a Consumer Reports magazine reader, as we are, you’ll observe that the G beats the 3 Series in two important categories: reliability and long-term owner cost.
We drove a pair of 2011 G’s in recent weeks, a G25 sedan and G37 coupe. The G25 won a unanimous thumbs-up thanks to its high fuel economy (we beat its 27-mpg highway rating), a modest price considering its luxury status ($35,825), its riding comfort and roominess, and the sense of security, if not excitement, generated by its 218-horsepower engine.
The G37 coupe, with the 330-horsepower V-6, came next. We usually favor base engines, but not this time. The G37, priced at $48,625 with about $9,000 worth of options, was a lot more fun to drive, and only a little worse (25 mpg highway) on fuel economy.
Among the features of the G37 we liked better, in addition to the engine performance, were the front seats. (The coupe’s back seat is strictly for pets, children and packages, and luggage capacity is just 7.4 cubic feet.) Maybe it was the power lumbar adjustment, not included with our G25, but we were much more comfortable in the G37 over long distances.
The G37 is nimble yet smooth-riding and quiet, with ample power and smooth performance by the seven-speed shiftable automatic transmission. Dash and cabin design are similar to the G25’s; our only complaint was the confusion resulting from the identical audio and climate-control knobs, placed an inch or so apart.
The coupe’s base price of $39,300 was inflated by all four available option packages, priced from $1,200 to $2,900, plus $600 worth of “interior accents.” The Sport Package cost $1,900, but we felt it enhanced the coupe’s athleticism in a big way. Unfortunately, desirable options like intelligent cruise control, power moon roof and navigation system aren’t available a la carte; if you want a particular feature, you have to buy a package that may include goodies you don’t need or want. Of course, the G37 is well equipped in base trim and a pleasing ride in all of its incarnations.
Engine: 3.7-liter V-6, 330 horsepower, 270 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: seven-speed shiftable automatic
Weight: 3,834 lb.
Suspension: Double-wishbone front, multi-link rear
Wheels: 19x8.5 inch V-spoke aluminum-alloy
Tires: 225/45R19 V-rated all-season
Seating capacity: four
Luggage capacity: 7.4 cu. ft.
Fuel capacity: 20 gallons
Fuel economy: 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway
Fuel type: premium
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