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The longtime standard-bearer among compact sport sedans remains the BMW 3-Series; but one of the other models that enthusiasts should put on their shortlist--and might actually end up liking better--is the Infiniti G37 Sedan. With excellent steering, dynamics, and poise, along with strong powertrain performance from its 328-horsepower V-6 and six- and seven-speed transmissions, the G37 can provide a sense of satisfaction that's usually relegated to track-ready sports cars--while providing enough practicality to pinch-hit for family duty.
With its coupe-like profile, the G37 remains one of the best-looking sport sedans, in any case. With clean sheetmetal and neat proportions, it follows a gently contoured look yet has an aggressive form. The new G25, which was introduced last year, is nearly identical from the outside, save some badging differences. Inside, both have a cockpit layout that's way more sports-car-influenced than other German sport sedans, with a low seating position and low center console between contoured bucket seats.
The 2012 Infiniti G37 is one of the most responsive, communicative, and fun-to-drive sport sedans in its class. Infiniti's 3.7-liter V-6 is a little too raucous for some luxury-performance tastes--and not nearly as smooth as BMW's excellent turbocharged six--but it has enough muscle to satisfy rabid performance enthusiasts. A base G25 model gets a 218-hp, 2.5-liter V-6 that's smooth, by most accounts, but doesn't give nearly as strong of a performance kick. Shift quality with the seven-speed automatic transmission in the G37 Sedan (the only transmission in the G25) is somewhat lumpy and indecisive in gentle driving, but it becomes snappy and smooth when accelerating hard. That said, 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. In particular, the G sedans manage to get steering feel just right; the quick-ratio system unwinds smoothly, loads evenly, and transmits some surface feedback, as a good sport sedan should.As much as performance and dynamics are a strength for the Infiniti G Sedans, their seating, cabin space, and refinement in general are all weak links. The G Sedan's interior feels sporty and premium but not at all lavish. Fit and finish are good, but there's a lot of noise, vibration, and coarseness, from the road and from the engine. The G Sedan rides more like a sport coupe, too, jittery but not downright jarring.
In addition to the three models of the 2012 Infiniti G37—Journey, Sport, and G37x AWD—the G25 is offered in Base, Journey, and G25x guises. With the G25 you drop 110 hp and lots of torque, but not much else. Across either model, standard equipment includes leather upholstery, power front seats, automatic climate control, a six-speaker audio system, and XM satellite radio. Journey models add Bluetooth, a rearview monitor, heated seats and mirrors, and dual-zone climate control. Adaptive Front Lighting and the Intelligent Cruise Control are optional and include 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.
- Top-notch steering
- Great handling
- Strong brakes
- Acceleration (G37)
- Firm, supportive sport seats
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- Hard ride
- Excessive road noise for a luxury car
- Lumpy shifts (automatic)
- Tight back seat