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While the longtime, no-brainer choice for enthusiasts looking for a satisfying sport sedan is the BMW 3-Series, the 3er's most formidable rival is the Infiniti G37 Sedan. In some respects, it feels like a true sports car, with excellent steering, dynamics, and poise, along with strong powertrain performance from its 328-horsepower V-6 and six- and seven-speed transmissions. And for 2011, Infiniti has added a lower-priced, somewhat more fuel-efficient G25 model that substitutes in a smaller-displacement V-6 but doesn't mess with a good thing otherwise.
The G37 is, to a wide range of eyes, one of the best-looking sport sedans on the market. Clean and nicely proportioned, with a coupelike profile, the G37 skips sharply creased sheetmetal in favor of a smooth, contoured look. The stance remains tasteful yet aggressive and sporty, and you'd be hard-pressed to find any difference in appearance between the G37 Sedan and the new G25 Sedan other than badging. Inside, the G Sedans keep with sport-sedan tradition, offering the cockpit feel of a sports coupe, with a full-length center console and rather low seating position.
Our editors haven't yet driven the G25, which gets a new 218-hp, 2.5-liter V-6 and is being offered as both a price leader for the sport-sedan line. In any case, the G37 is one of the most responsive, communicative, and fun-to-drive sport sedans in its class. Infiniti's 3.7-liter V-6 makes more muscle than some rival V-8s and provides enough thrust to satisfy most rabid performance enthusiasts, though it's a little more raucous than the former 3.5-liter and not nearly as smooth as BMW's excellent turbocharged six in the 335i. While shift quality with the seven-speed automatic transmission in the 2011 Infiniti G37 Sedan (the only transmission in the G25) is somewhat lumpy and indecisive in gentle driving, it becomes snappy and smooth when accelerating hard.
The G is also quite possibly the best-handling sport sedan, price no object. Even on less-than-perfect surfaces, the suspension is hard to fluster and brakes are stout. And with great steering feel and near-perfect dynamics, and that provides both reassuring safety and poise on the road, as well as thrills for those who pay for track time.
The weak link of the G Sedan's package for many might be seating, cabin space, and general refinement and ride comfort. The G Sedan's cabin has a feel that's more like that of a high-end sports car than a luxury sedan; it's sporty and premium but not at all lavish. But fit and finish are top-notch and trims have been upgraded in recent years. Overall, the G Sedan rides more like a sport coupe as well; while it's not downright jarring, a lot of road noise makes it inside. Additionally, the G37's engine is significantly more coarse—both vocally, and in terms of vibration—than other rival engines.
In addition to the three models of the G37—Journey, Sport, and G37x AWD—the new G25 is offered in Base, Journey, and G25x guises. Going with the G25 doesn't give up much, other than 110 horsepower and a lot of torque. Base models, whether G25 or G37, get standard leather upholstery, power front seats, automatic climate control, a six-speaker audio system, and XM satellite radio.
The Journey model adds a Bluetooth hands-free interface, a rearview monitor, and heated seats and mirrors, plus dual-zone climate control. From the Journey, you can add any number of tech options, including Adaptive Front Lighting and the Intelligent Cruise Control with a Preview Braking safety feature. An audiophile Infiniti Studio on Wheels system by Bose is optional, as is an optional next-generation hard-drive-based navigation system with higher-resolution screen, Zagat restaurant ratings and reviews, XM Weather and XM NavTraffic, and live rerouting. Also available is a new Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS), which purifies inside air and automatically shuts off outside air when exhaust fumes are detected.
- Top-notch steering
- Agile handling
- Awesome braking
- Strong acceleration (G37)
- Supportive sport seats
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- Ride trades a lot of comfort for handling
- Tight backseat
- Lumpy shifts from seven-speed automatic
- Excessive road noise for a luxury car