2012 Infiniti G37 Sedan

7.6
2012 Infiniti G37 Sedan

The Basics:

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. Infiniti's entry in the segment provides excellent steering, handling, and poise mated with the performance of a 328-horsepower V-6 and its choice of 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.

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

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.

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 and handling to match. 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.

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. The lesser G25 is offered in Base, Journey, and G25x trims (the latter with all-wheel drive), while the more powerful G37 drops the Base trim and adds a Sport model between Journey and G37x.

With the G25 you drop 110 hp and lots of torque, but not much else.

With its coupe-like profile, the 2012 Infiniti G37 remains one of the best-looking sport sedans--even though it is now one of the older designs in its class.

All the G sedans wear a gently contoured look in an aggressive form, with clean sheetmetal and neat proportions. The new G25, which was introduced last year, is nearly identical from the outside, save some badging differences. The coupelike profile and smooth contoured look is a pleasant departure from the lined sheetmetal in a number of other models, and it all converges in what most will agree is a sporty stance.

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. Top and center sits the G37's infotainment screen, which allows access to audio and climate features via controls mounted below it. Sporty, large dials sit inside a hooded instrument panel cluster.

For 2012, there's a new Sport Appearance Edition package, which blacks out the grille (among other changes) to bring a somewhat different look. Color combinations have also been revised for the rest of the line.

The 2012 Infiniti G37 is one of the most responsive, communicative, and fun-to-drive sport sedans in its class. With a near-ideal weight distribution, a well-tuned suspension, and steering that even the most demanding enthusiasts will like, there's a lot to love here from a driver's perspective.

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; magnesium paddle-shifters and a smart throttle blip for downshifts when driving hard makes the combination all the more satisfying--though the six-speed manual is great as well.

Price no object, the G is also quite possibly the best-handling sport sedan. 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.

The 2012 Infiniti G37 is one of the most responsive, communicative, and fun-to-drive sport sedans in its class. With a near-ideal weight distribution, a well-tuned suspension, and steering that even the most demanding enthusiasts will like, there's a lot to love here from a driver's perspective.

Infiniti's 3.7-liter V-6 is a little too raucous for some luxury-performance tastes--and not as smooth as BMW's excellent inline 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. The seven-speed automatic transmission in the G37 Sedan (the sole transmission in the G25) delivers lumpy and indecisive shifts in gentle driving, but wakes up when pushed hard; magnesium paddle-shifters and a smart throttle blip for downshifts when driving hard makes the combination all the more satisfying--though the six-speed manual is great as well.

Price no object, Infiniti has possibly built the best-handling sport sedan on the market with the G. Even less-than-perfect surfaces don't fluster its stout suspension and brakes. 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.

 

 

There are plenty of safety features to build confidence in the 2012 Infiniti G sedans' occupant protection--in addition to its excellent handling and accident-avoidance ability--but its crash-test ratings haven't altogether been at the top of the class.

Electronic stability control is standard on the G sedan, along with anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist, front side airbags, and side-curtain airbags that cover front and rear outboard occupants.

The 2012 G37 and G25 Sedans get top 'good' ratings in front and side impact crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, the relatively new roof-strength test trips up the G sedan, leaving it with a less praise-worthy 'acceptable' score; and in the seat-based rear impact test it's rated only 'marginal.'

The 2012 Infiniti G25 is offered in three trims—Base, Journey, and G25x—while its bigger brother G37 adds a sport model between the Journey and G37x trims and drops the Base trim. Get the G25 and you'll need to make do with 110 horsepower less, and no chance of a manual gearbox; but otherwise, the feature sets are about the same.

Across either model, leather seating, automatic climate control, power front seats, a six-speaker audio system, and satellite radio are all standard equipment. Journey models add Bluetooth hands-free calling, a rearview camera, heated seats and mirrors, and dual-zone climate control.

Want to enjoy some track time in comfort? The Infiniti G37 Sedan Sport model is for you. It includes a Viscous Limited Slip Differential in addition to a host of track-worthy upgrades like larger vented disc brakes, sport steering gear, W-rated performance tires, and more aggressively bolstered sport seats with active head restraints and thigh extensions.

Adaptive Front Lighting and Intelligent Cruise Control are optional (provided you move up to the Journey model) and include a novel Preview Braking feature. Optional extras include an upgraded audio system called Infiniti Studio on Wheels (which is made by Bose), a hard-drive-based nav system with higher-resolution screen, Zagat ratings, XM Weather, XM NavTraffic, and live traffic rerouting.

The G25 and G37 are first and foremost sport sedans, with traditional underpinnings that prioritize their high-performance driving feel; so it makes sense that they're only about par in this class for fuel-efficiency.

Last year, Infiniti added G25 models to the lineup; while they don't deliver the straight-line performance of the G37 models, they do eke out an extra mile or two per gallon. For either model (the G25 is automatic-only), the seven-speed automatic returns good numbers; G37 models equipped with the manual six-speed gearbox are the least fuel efficient at 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway.

Buying Tips:

With any of the Infiniti G Sedans--even if you go for the G37x--you'll need some top-notch winter tires if you live in the Snow Belt and plan to drive this year-round.

Other Choices:

  • 2012 Acura TL
  • 2012 Audi A4
  • 2012 BMW 3-Series
  • 2012 Lexus IS 350

Reason Why:

The BMW 3-Series remains the top rival to the G37; it also has great dynamics and near-perfect steering, though our editors like the steering feel of the G37 best. On the other hand, the 3-Series is more refined, composed, and day-to-day livable—especially if you reside in a place with rough roads. The new Audi A4 is another top rival, with its rear-biased Quattro all-wheel-drive system promising more driving enjoyment, plus top-notch materials and a cohesive design inside and out. For those who want a sporty but comfortable choice, the Lexus IS would work; its interior is a bit more cramped and it doesn't feel as sporty overall, but otherwise it's comfortable. The Acura TL is a slight step up in interior space, and in TL-SH guise it can be a lot of fun to drive; however it's somewhat less racy-looking.

The Bottom Line:

Forget that the 2012 Infiniti G Sedans are somewhat practical four-door designs; they can provide all the sensory thrills and dynamic satisfaction of full-fledged sports cars.

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