2011 Infiniti G37 Sedan - G25 Sedan

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2011 Infiniti G37 Sedan - G25 Sedan

The Basics:

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 Infiniti G37 Coupe and G37 Convertible wow with sexy exteriors and lavish interiors, along with excellent performance, but they don't always meet expectations for refinement.

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.

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. Top and center, a screen (and supplemental controls beneath) accesses audio and climate functions. A strong beltline wraps around to the doors, while big, round dials in a hooded gauge cluster set a sporty tone.

Carried over from last year is a 328-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 in the G37, with either a seven-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual. What's new this year is the 2011 Infiniti G25 sedan, which offers a smaller, 2.5-liter V-6, making 218 horsepower and hooked up only to the seven-speed automatic.

Our editors haven't yet driven the G25, which is being offered as both a price leader for the sport-sedan line as well as a slightly more fuel-efficient option, we've spent lots of time in the G37 Sedan. It's 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—and seems more at home when driving aggressively, with a satisfying throttle blip delivered when managing shift with the solid magnesium paddle-shifters (included on G37 Journey and G37x AWD models). Otherwise, the six-speed manual in the G37 is very satisfying.

The G is 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.

While the G Sedan has the looks and segment-leading athleticism, the weak link of the G Sedan's package might be seating, cabin space, and general refinement and ride comfort. The front seats of the G 37 Sedan are nicely contoured, but they can be a bit too narrow or snug for some. There's adequate legroom, though headroom is somewhat scarce. The backseat is hardly a place for adults to spend long periods of time—made worse by a shortage of legroom and oddly reclined seatbacks. In back, the seatbacks don't fold forward as they do in many sport sedans, but there's a pass-through for skis and such, and trunk space is decent.

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.

The 2011 Infiniti G37 has a lot going for it in terms of safety—including its excellent handling—but it's not altogether a perfect pick.

Stability control on the G37 is standard, as are front side and side-curtain airbags and anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist.

The 2011 G37 Sedan retains top 'good' scores for frontal and side impact from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but some might have some concern about its 'marginal' rating in the seat-based rear impact test, which could indicate a higher chance of whiplash or neck injury. As of this writing, the federal government has not yet tested the G37 in its more rigorous NCAP program introduced in 2011, but it previously scored four to five stars across the board.

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 trim adds Bluetooth, a rearview camera, heated seats, heated mirrors, plus dual-zone climate control. Adaptive Front Lighting and the Intelligent Cruise Control with a Preview Braking safety feature can be added to the Journey trim as options.

An audiophile-level Infiniti Studio on Wheels system by Bose is optional, as is an optional next-generation hard-drive-based navigation system with high-resolution screen, Zagat restaurant ratings and reviews, XM Weather and XM NavTraffic, and live rerouting. Inside air is filtered by an optional advanced climate control system that also closes shutters for outside air intake when it detects exhaust fumes, like in heavy. slow traffic environments.

Infiniti G37 Sedan Sport models are focused toward the most demanding enthusiast customers—and probably those who plan track time. As such, Infiniti loads them up with some track-friendly kit, like a Viscous Limited Slip Differential, performance tires, quicker steering, bigger brakes, and seats with larger bolsters and thigh extensions.

With respect to fuel economy, the G25 and G37 are about par in their class of sport sedans. The new Infiniti G25 models, in exchange for a less power from its smaller-displacement V-6, gain a mile or two per gallon, at 19 or 20 in the city and 27 or 29 on the highway. And the seven-speed automatic gets good numbers; models with the manual gearbox are actually the least fuel-efficient, at 17/25.

Buying Tips:

Infiniti fits G37 Sport models with summer performance tires. Those in more northern climates will certainly want to get winter tires for colder months.

Other Choices:

  • 2011 Acura TL
  • 2011 Audi A4
  • 2011 BMW 3-Series
  • 2011 Lexus IS 350

Reason Why:

The Infiniti G37's most direct rival is also one of the segment's most entrenched: the BMW 3 Series. The Bimmer is known for its near-perfect steering and dynamics, though we prefer the steering feedback and response offered by the Infiniti. That's not to discount the BMW, which has had more years to refine itself, making it overall a more livable proposition day-to-day. Also from Germany, the new Audi A4 and its rear-biased Quattro all-wheel-drive system promise enthusiastic driving enjoyment than its predecessor and Audi builds some of the best interiors on the market. If you value comfort over sporting athleticism, the Lexus IS is a perfect choice, but its interior is a bit cramped.

The Bottom Line:

The 2011 Infiniti G Sedans remain one of the top choices driving enthusiasts willing to sacrifice a little comfort for responsiveness and poise.

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