2013 Infiniti G37 Sedan

8.2
2013 Infiniti G37 Sedan

The Basics:

Among compact sport sedans, the Infiniti G37 and the BMW 3-Series--and perhaps the Cadillac ATS, if early drive reports hold their merit--remain the standard-bearers of the industry. And while the all-new 3-Series is perhaps the best-rounded offering in this class yet, considering its fuel-efficient new powertrains, enthusiasts might still find the Infiniti G37 Sedan offering the right kind of seat-of-the-pants thrills. With excellent steering, dynamics, and poise, the G37 Sedan can fill family needs, to some degree, while perhaps on the weekend delivering driver satisfaction at a level that's usually relegated to track-ready sports cars.

The 2013 Infiniti G37 offers some of the sensory thrills of a sports car, in a more practical sedan body style, although it's not as refined as other premium-brand alternatives.

The 2013 Infiniti G37 is now one of the older designs in this class, although its coupe-like profile, flowing sheetmetal and crisp details still look fresh. And we think it's one of the most handsome, timeless designs in this class. The G Sedan's coupelike profile, aggressive stance, and smooth contoured look add up to an sporty yet graceful form that's a pleasant departure from the lined sheetmetal in a number of other models. And inside there's really no trying to mirror German sport sedans inside; at least in the front seats, the G37 Sedan feels like a sport coupe in many respects

If you want a sport sedan that's responsive communicative, and fun to drive, the G37 Sedan remains one of the best picks. Even though several of its alternatives have recently been refreshed or redesigned, it holds the crown in sheer fun behind the wheel, due to its near-ideal weight distribution, precise and well-weighted steering, and a suspension tune that helps it feel fleet-footed.

With the G25 model discontinued, a 328-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 in G37 models is the only engine--available with manual or automatic transmissions and with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Engine power is strong whether you go with the manual or automatic, although we add a big asterisk for refinement; for a luxury car there's a surprising level of engine noise. But this is one of the best-handling sport sedans; brakes are stout and strong; and there's a balanced, seat-of-the-pants feel to hustling the G37 through the corners.

As much as you might expect the G37 sedan to feel like a luxury model--or even see it as one--it's hard to overlook all the noise, vibration, and coarseness, from the road and from the engine, that you hear and feel in the cabin. The upgraded front seats you get in the Sport model are excellent, but back-seat space is a little tight in headroom--due to that coupe-like roofline.

For 2013, Infiniti has dropped the G25 models, as well as the G37 Sport Appearance Edition and G37 Limited Edition from the lineup, leaving just three models: G37 sedan Journey, G37 Sedan Sport 6MT, and G37x Sedan AWD. Options include an audiophile Infiniti Studio on Wheels system by Bose, and a next-generation hard-drive-based navigation system with higher-resolution screen, XM Weather, XM NavTraffic, and live rerouting, as well as Zagat restaurant ratings and reviews.

The 2013 Infiniti G37 is now one of the oldest models in this class, although its coupe-like profile, flowing sheetmetal and crisp details still look fresh. And we think it's one of the most handsome, timeless designs in this class.

The G Sedan's coupelike profile, aggressive stance, and smooth contoured look add up to an sporty yet graceful form that's a pleasant departure from the lined sheetmetal in a number of other models.

There's really no trying to mirror German sport sedans inside; we'd point to real sports cars as the G37 Sedan's main influence. With a low seating position, low center console, contoured bucket seats, a strong beltline that wraps around to the doors, plus big, round dials in a hooded gauge cluster, the G37 sets a sporty tone that you won't forget. Top and center, a screen (and supplemental controls beneath)--about the only interruption to the very purposeful design--accesses audio and climate functions.

Last year's Sport Appearance Edition Package, which brought a blacked-out grille and slightly different look, has been discontinued for 2013.

If you want a sport sedan that's responsive, communicative, and fun to drive, the 2013 G37 remains one of the best picks. Even though several of its alternatives have recently been refreshed or redesigned, it holds the crown in sheer fun behind the wheel, due to its near-ideal front/rear weight distribution, precise and well-weighted steering, and a suspension tune that helps it feel fleet-footed. 

The smaller 2.5-liter V-6 that made its debut for last year in the G25 has already been discontinued. That leaves the 328-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 in G37 models as the only engine--available with manual or automatic transmissions and with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The seven-speed automatic transmission seems to have two personalities, we've noted. It's a little lumpy and indecisive in gentle driving, yet it becomes snappy and actually smoother under harder acceleration; it also includes magnesium paddle-shifters and a smart throttle blip for downshifts. The six-speed manual gearbox is also a good pick.

Engine power is strong in either case, although we add a big asterisk for refinement; the V-6 is a raucous engine, with a coarseness that enters the cabin and a surprising level of engine noise.

Suspension tuning is superb, however. This might just be the best-handling luxury sport sedan, and it's hard to fluster even when pavement surfaces are less than perfect; the quick-ratio steering unwinds predictably and it transmits some surface feedback; brakes are stout and strong; and there's a balanced, seat-of-the-pants feel to hustling the G37 through the corners.

The 2013 G37 Sedan remains hard to fault for performance; but shoppers focused on practicality might have trouble warming up to this sport sedan.

While the G37's interior is premium in feel and stylish in appearance, it's not necessary lavish. Front seats deliver good support and are nicely contoured (perhaps a little snug for some), while in back the accommodations are tighter; adults will probably find just enough legroom, though it's not the kind of place where most will want to be passing time--mostly because headroom is scarce due to the coupe-like roofline.

The G37 has a back-seat ski pass-through, but there are no folding rear seatbacks--a feature you do get in most other sport sedans this size. But trunk space is good, with a well-shaped cargo area.

As much as you might expect the G37 sedan to feel like a luxury model--or even see it as one--it's hard to overlook all the noise, vibration, and coarseness, from the road and from the engine, that you hear and feel in the cabin. Ride quality isn't jarring, but it can also be coarse and jittery. 

The 2013 Infiniti G37 includes a reasonably strong list of safety features, although its crash-test ratings don't at all stand out in this class, and that keeps it from being one of the better achievers for the security-minded.

Safety features include standard stability control, anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist, front side airbags, and side-curtain airbags that cover both rows of seating. The G37's poise, good steering, and excellent dynamics might also be considered an accident-avoidance safety asset.

Adaptive Front Lighting and the Intelligent Cruise Control are optional on Journey and up models. With those options you also get a Preview Braking safety feature.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given the G37 top 'good' scores for frontal and side impact, but in the roof-strength test it achieves a score of just 'acceptable.' Marginal scores in the seat-based rear-impact test (as of 2012) are also concerning.

For 2013, Infiniti has dropped the G25 models, as well as the G37 Sport Appearance Edition and G37 Limited Edition from the lineup, leaving just three models: G37 sedan Journey, G37 Sedan Sport 6MT, and G37x Sedan AWD.

Standard equipment includes leather upholstery, power seats up front, automatic climate control, and a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio. Journey models get Bluetooth, a rearview monitor, heated seats, heated mirrors, and dual-zone climate control.

If you're a driving enthusiast, you might head straight to the G37 Sedan Sport models; they're focused toward those who like mountain roads and plan track time, offering up more robust internals like a a Viscous Limited Slip Differential, bigger vented brake discs, sport-tuned steering gear, performance tires, bolstered sport seats.

An audiophile Infiniti Studio on Wheels system by Bose is optional, as is an optional next-generation hard-drive-based navigation system with a higher-resolution screen, satellite weather and traffic, and live rerouting, as well as Zagat restaurant ratings and reviews.

Gas mileage isn't all that praise-worthy for the Infiniti G37; and considering the discontinuation of the G25 models, the efficiency of the G Sedan lineup has actually fallen for 2013.

G37 models with the manual gearbox are actually the least fuel-efficient, at 17/25; models with the automatic get up to 19 mpg city, 27 highway.

Those who are concerned about fuel efficiency should consider the somewhat larger M Hybrid; it carries EPA ratings of 27 mpg city, 32 highway, while it's still quite sporty and satisfying to drive.

Buying Tips:

Keep in mind that no matter which 2013 Infiniti G37 Sedan you opt for, you should consider a set of winter tires.

Other Choices:

  • 2013 Acura TL
  • 2013 Audi A4
  • 2013 BMW 3-Series
  • 2013 Lexus IS 350
  • 2013 INFINITI M

Reason Why:

Among compact sport sedans, it's the BMW 3-Series that's definitely the top rival to the G37. And with the 3-Series redesigned this past year, it's tougher competition than ever. The latest 3-Series has a fuel-efficient turbo four-cylinder engine offering up to 34 mpg highway, yet its handling retains some of the expected sharpness (with excellent steering). A turbo six is also offered in the 335i models. The Audi A4 is another top rival. Its rear-biased all-wheel-drive system promises more driving enjoyment and it has top-notch cabin appointments, although it's quite tight inside. The interior of the Lexus IS 350 is also quite cramped, with a design that looks more dated, and it doesn't feel quite as sporty overall as the G37. The Acura TL, in its performance-oriented TL-SH guise, would make a good alternative to the G37 if you size up the G37 as just too cramped and noisy. So actually would be the somewhat larger, somewhat more refined Infiniti M sedans, which are still quite engaging.

The Bottom Line:

The 2013 Infiniti G37 offers some of the sensory thrills of a sports car, in a more practical sedan body style, although it's not as refined as other premium-brand alternatives.

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