2012 INFINITI G37 Coupe Review

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Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
February 20, 2012

A sexy, lavishly equipped luxury car, the 2012 Infiniti G37 Coupe has much of the vaunted performance feel of its primary German target.

Stylish and quick on its feet, the Infiniti G37 Coupe returns for another model year essentially unchanged, with all its poise and balance intact.

The G37 Coupe--even more so than its hardtop convertible companion--is one of the few two-doors that can rival the likes of the BMW 3-Series, maybe with a dash less of mid-life crisis. It looks mature in the right ways, with a tailored, neat appearance that blends elegance with sporty proportions and cues. It's built from the same platform as the shorter, more evocative Nissan 370Z, and it's a rare case where there's truly a lot of distinction between the cars, with the G37's extra length going to a real pair of rear seats, and its more sublime details going more for an upscale appearance. The cabin keeps pace with the exterior, with a sedate, well-finished cockpit, lots of lovely soft-touch materials, rich leather, and a choice of deeply stained rosewood trim or softly brushed aluminum. 

Performance borders on brilliant. The 2012 G37 Coupe rides on a version of the same platform that underpins the longer G37 sedan and the shorter Nissan 370Z, and all versions sport a 3.7-liter V-6. In the G37 Coupe, the engine makes 330 horsepower. The engine's enthusiasm is infectious, but it gets a little coarse as it winds its way to a 7500-rpm redline. We'd be satisfied with either the six-speed manual or the seven-speed automatic, though the throttle-blipping, paddle-shifted automatic seems a more natural fit for this Infiniti's mission. A 0-60 mph run of about 5.5 seconds is promised. The Coupe's confident rear-drive handling is highlighted by very good steering, though it may be a touch less communicative than that in the sedan. The ride's very well damped in standard versions; it gets a little choppy the 19-inch wheels of the Sport package are added. Overall grip is quite good, but all-wheel drive is an option, a rarity in the class. There's not much space between BMW's sporty coupes and those from Mercedes-Benz these days, but the G37 Coupe lands squarely in the middle.

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The G37 Coupe's deep front seats, hooded gauges and a high center console create a cozy driving space. We prefer the available sport seats, and their wider range of adjustability, and their more snug bolsters. The seating position is low, which cuts rearward visibility down to near zero--and moving the front seats back cuts out what little leg room exists for the small rear buckets. The rear seats are just barely passable for small children, and trunk space is very small, with just a roll-on bag's worth of space.

Safety scores aren't available, but the G37 Coupe does have some advanced features like adaptive headlights and adaptive cruise control. All coupes are built with automatic climate control, an intelligent key, and leather upholstery. Higher trim grades get upgraded audio; a dual-zone climate system; intelligent cruise control; a hard-drive-based navigation system; and four-wheel active steering. Options include a multispeaker Bose audio system that tunes its output to the car's top-down status; a climate control system that does the same; and heated and cooled seats. Sport and Premium packages toss in 19-inch wheels, Bluetooth, radar-based cruise control, and adaptive headlights—and again this year, the Sport package can be had in combination with all-wheel drive.

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2012 INFINITI G37 Coupe

Styling

Handsome and well-detailed, the 2012 G37 Coupe and Convertible are understated as sports cars or edgy as luxury cruisers.

In design, the G37 Coupe--even more so than its hardtop convertible companion--is one of the few two-doors that can rival the likes of the BMW 3-Series, maybe with a dash less of mid-life crisis.

It looks mature in the right ways, with a tailored, neat appearance that blends elegance with sporty proportions and cues. It's built from the same platform as the shorter, more evocative Nissan 370Z, and it's a rare case where there's truly a lot of distinction between the cars, with the G37's extra length going to a real pair of rear seats, and its more sublime details going more for an upscale appearance. In all, the G Coupe could be seen as either a softer, more understated sports car or a more edgy luxury coupe.

With thinner pillars and a little more oomph to its rear end (where the folding hardtop resides), the G37 Convertible has a voluptuousness that the Coupe doesn't have. It's by far the best-looking folding-hardtop convertible you can buy, with none of the squatness that affects everything from the Volkswagen Eos to the Ferrari California.

The cabin keeps pace with the exterior, with a sedate, well-finished cockpit, lots of lovely soft-touch materials, rich leather, and a choice of deeply stained rosewood trim or softly brushed aluminum.

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2012 INFINITI G37 Coupe

Performance

The 2012 Infiniti G37 Coupe has performance that borders on brilliant, with a level of driver involvement only rivaled by the BMW 3-Series; although not the same can be said about the G37 Convertible.

The 2012 G37 Coupe rides on a version of the same platform that underpins the longer G37 sedan and the shorter Nissan 370Z, and all versions sport a 3.7-liter V-6.

In the G37 Coupe, the engine makes 330 horsepower, and winds up to a 7500-rpm redline; while the engine seems to have infectious enthusiasm, it gets a little coarse in those upper ranges. We'd be satisfied with either the six-speed manual or the seven-speed automatic, though the throttle-blipping, paddle-shifted automatic seems a more natural fit for this Infiniti's mission. A 0-60 mph run of about 5.5 seconds is promised.

The Coupe's confident rear-drive handling is highlighted by very good steering, though it may be a touch less communicative than that in the sedan. The ride's very well damped in standard versions; it gets a little choppy the 19-inch wheels of the Sport package are added. Overall grip is quite good, but all-wheel drive is an option, a rarity in the class. There's not much space between BMW's sporty coupes and those from Mercedes-Benz these days, but the G37 Coupe lands squarely in the middle.

One model that especially stands out from a performance perspective is the G37x Coupe AWD, which utilizes Infiniti's ATESSA E-TS all-wheel-drive system found on other Infiniti models. It's an excellent system that's proactive and helps maximize stability when cornering.

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2012 INFINITI G37 Coupe

Comfort & Quality

For the most part, the 2012 Infiniti G37 Coupe feels the part of a luxury car--although the harsh ride and noisy interior might be hard to overlook.

The G37 Coupe's deep front seats, hooded gauges and a high center console create a cozy--albeit somewhat tight--driving space, trimmed in expensive-feeling wood and aluminum trims.

We prefer the available sport seats, and their wider range of adjustability, and their more snug bolsters. The seating position is low, which cuts rearward visibility down to near zero--and moving the front seats back cuts out what little leg room exists for the small rear buckets. The rear seats are just barely passable for small children, and in convertibles it might as well be called a 2+2 as headroom is so scant with the top up.

Trunk space is very small--think a roller bag and a backpack, so you might end up using part of the back-seat area as cargo space.

Those who plan to cover long highway distances--or even those who have an urban commute on choppy roads--should beware: Just as in the G Sedans, the G37 Coupe and Convertible don't have a very luxury-like ride. Especially with the available 19-inch wheels, ride quality can be nervous and jittery, and there's even more road noise than is typical in a performance-oriented luxury vehicle.

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2012 INFINITI G37 Coupe

Safety

The 2012 Infiniti G37 Coupe and Convertible haven't been crash-tested in recent model years, but they offer some innovative safety features.

Safety scores aren't available for the latest G37 Coupe or Convertible models, but they do have some advanced features like adaptive headlights and adaptive cruise control.

Standard equipment on G37 models includes dual front airbags; side seat-mounted airbags; curtain airbags (roof-mounted in coupes, door-mounted in convertibles); stability and traction control; and active headrests.

The G37 Convertible comes fitted with twin pop-up roll bars for more rollover safety. And options include adaptive cruise control and "preview braking," which uses sensors to predict an impact and applies some brake force to limit impact speeds.

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2012 INFINITI G37 Coupe

Features

With plenty of convenience and luxury features standard, plus plenty of tech and entertainment upgrades, there's no disappointment here.

Although the 2012 Infiniti G37 models might not be up to luxury-car expectations in comfort and interior noise, their feature list leaves little to be desired.

Automatic climate control, an intelligent key system, and leather upholstery are included in all G37 Coupe models. Higher trim grades get upgraded audio; a dual-zone climate system; intelligent cruise control; a hard-drive-based navigation system; and four-wheel active steering.

Options include a multispeaker Bose audio system that tunes its output to the car's top-down status; a climate control system that does the same; and heated and cooled seats. Sport and Premium packages toss in 19-inch wheels, Bluetooth, radar-based cruise control, and adaptive headlights—and again this year, the Sport package can be had in combination with all-wheel drive.

We appreciate how the Bose premium sound system allows you to easily access music and playlists without fussing too much through menus; also, Infiniti's navigation offers a beautiful display, plus 3D "flyover" views at a higher resolution than you'll see in most nav systems.

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2012 INFINITI G37 Coupe

Fuel Economy

The 2012 Infiniti G37 Coupe isn't as fuel-efficient as some other models in this class; and Convertibles are particularly thirsty.

The 2012 Nissan G37 Coupe and Convertible aren't at all impressive for gas mileage--but then again, it isn't a priority for many two-door performance-car shoppers.

With EPA fuel economy figures of up to 19 mpg city, 27 highway, the 2012 Nissan G37 Coupe is less efficient than the typical mid-size V-6 sedan; but in all fairness, it's about the same on gas as six-cylinder luxury sports cars like the BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster. With turbocharged four-cylinders on offer for the new Z4 and SLK, though, this class is becoming more fuel-efficient and green; Infiniti offers a G25 sedan, with a lower-output engine that gets about 2 mpg more, but it's sticking to its guns and only offering the higher-output engine in Coupes and Convertibles.

The extra weight of the G37 Convertible also drags gas mileage down compared to the Coupe; the drop-tops average about 1 mpg lower with either transmission--for ratings as low as 16 mpg city, 24 highway.

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8.2
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Expert Rating
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Styling 9.0
Performance 9.0
Comfort & Quality 7.0
Safety 8.0
Features 8.0
Fuel Economy 6.0
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