May 21, 2013
Written by Steven Macoy
Thursday, 03 December 2009 15:25
We were positively enthralled with the Infiniti G35 when it debuted for the 2003 model year. Although we initially held the car at arm’s length because of its somewhat radical styling, we came to admire its exceptional comfort and handling, as well as its unexpectedly modest price. The G35 seemed well thought out, with no detail left to chance.
It proved to be a successful model for Infiniti, Nissan’s premium brand. Now known as the G37, signifying a slightly larger and significantly more powerful engine, the styling seems more conservative, but the performance is for the young at heart.Our 2009 G37 Sedan Journey’s $33,700 base price put it in the thick of the near-luxury category long ruled by BMW’s 3 Series. With options, the price zoomed to $42,135. Also available on this platform are rear-drive and all-wheel-drive sedans and coupes, and a rear-drive hardtop convertible, ranging in price from $33,250 for the base sedan to $43,900 for the Sport convertible.
Like its predecessor, the G37 is well thought out, as exemplified by a dash array that tilts with the steering column to keep all of the gauges in clear view in all positions. The audio, cruise and climate controls are within easy reach and simple to use. A multi-function control knob is standard.
Infiniti wisely has avoided the trap of dipping deeply into the Nissan parts bin to save money, so the personality and appearance of the G37 are quite unlike the similarly sized Nissan Altima.
Using the G37 mostly for short trips and moderate commuting around Western Connecticut, we were impressed with its smooth ride and taut handling. But we couldn’t help but notice Infiniti tuned the exhaust so the engine was usually audible, and even obtrusive under hard acceleration. But the 3.7-liter V-6 honors Nissan’s reputation for building exceptional engines, delivering 328 horsepower. Fuel-economy ratings are 26 mpg highway, 18 city, on premium gasoline. A 7-speed automanual transmission completes the performance package.
Support and cushioning in the front seats have been improved since 2003. But although rear knee room is adequate, the back seat provides insufficient head room for tall passengers, and the trunk, while well finished and conveniently shaped, is comparatively small at 13.5 cubic feet.
Each near-luxury sedan on the market has its own unique strengths, but the G37 distinguishes itself in two areas: its base engine’s horsepower and modest price. Among competitors such as the Acura TL, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus ES and Lincoln MKZ, none of the base models match the G37’s horsepower rating; some don’t even offer a comparable engine as an option.
Recommended by Consumer Reports magazine because of its high road-test scores and above-average reliability record, the G37 gets 5-star ratings in every safety category except for the front passenger in a frontal crash (four stars).
Simultaneously elegant and sporty, the G37 continues a tradition of high performance and quality in a competitively priced near-luxury sedan.
Engine: 3.7-liter V-6, 328 horsepower, 269 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: 7-speed shiftable automatic
Weight: 3,590 lb.
Suspension: Four-wheel independent, double-wishbone front, multi-link rear
Wheels: 17x7.5 inch alloy
Tires: P225/55R17 95V all-season
Seating capacity: 5
Luggage capacity: 13.5 cu. ft.
Fuel capacity: 20 gallons
Fuel economy: 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway
Fuel type: Premium
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