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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.
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.