New & Used Infiniti G: In Depth
2003 Infiniti G35Enlarge Photo
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Infiniti is changing its naming strategy for the 2014 model year, and replacing current model names EX, FX, G, M, and JX with ones starting with the letter Q. Read our story on the Infiniti naming strategy to understand these changes.
Before the G35 and G37 there was the G20. With front-wheel drive and a four-cylinder engine, the G20 was a completely different small car, more the size of the Volkswagen Jetta or Volvo S40. The G20 offered decent handling for a front-driver but never failed to catch on, probably because its coarse, hard-pressed 2.0-liter engine never provided acceleration or performance to match the Infiniti brand or the sport-sedan package.
The G35 model that replaced the G20 for 2003 was an entirely new model, on the same rear-wheel-drive platform that underpins the Nissan Z coupe and roadster, along with the FX crossover and larger M sedan. The model bowed with a strong, high-output version of Nissan's acclaimed VQ V-6 engine; depending on the year (and the transmission), the V-6 made between 261 and 298 horsepower and brought excellent performance with either the manual or automatic transmission. Small updates were made through the years, with upgraded interior materials for 2005, but the G35 went relatively unchanged through 2006.
Infiniti G35 models of this era are known for their excellent steering and handling, and for providing an especially satisfying driving experience with the manual transmission. But aside from the great seats the G's materials and controls can feel a step below those used in the BMW 3-Series. The G, like the Cadillac CTS, is a little larger than the BMW 3-Series but not quite as roomy as the 5-Series. You'll likely find the backseat a little tight for taller adults and adequate only for short trips.
The G was given a redesign for 2007 (2008 for Coupes), and while the changes to the exterior were mild, the instrument panel and interior trim was resculpted, with new materials throughout. For 2009 (2008 for Coupes) the G35 became the G37, and gained a 3.7-liter V-6, making 328 or 330 hp, mated to a new six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission—the latter featuring new paddle-shifters and rev-matching downshift capability. TheCarConnection.com raved about the G37 Sedan's performance, declaring that it "is quite possibly the best-handling sport sedan, price no object," but notes that it does sacrifice a lot in ride comfort and interior noise compared to other luxury sport sedans.
Across the entire run of G35 and G37 models, fuel economy has been criticized from a wide range of reviewers and owners. Those who drive their G37 in spirited fashion are likely to rarely see more than 20 mpg overall from the experience of TheCarConnection.com's editors.
For 2009, a new convertible version of the G37 was introduced, sporting a folding hardtop arrangement that manages to maintain almost the same profile as the G37 Coupe. The next several model years saw few changes to the G lineup, although Infiniti entered the tuner and performance-line realm with its IPL G Coupe, which pushed power to 346 hp and introduced a coordinated line of performance enhancements.
Infiniti also introduced a G25 Sedan for only 2011 and 2012 (it's discontinued for 2013). With a lower entry price and an automatic transmission only—plus 110 fewer horsepower than the G37—the G25 offers the same great handling and a package that, badging aside, is almost indistinguishable from its more powerful sibling.The 2013 model year marked a paring-down of the G Sedan lineup to just three models—G37 Sedan Journey, G37 Sedan Sport 6MT, and G37x Sedan AWD—in anticipation of an all-new model due for 2014.
2009 Infiniti G37 Sedan BaseEnlarge Photo