• Jan 6th 2009 at 11:57AM
  • 43
2009 Infiniti G37 Coupe – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Infiniti G35 coupe showed that Nissan's U.S. luxury arm could compete with the likes of Mercedes and BMW. Being mentioned in the same breath as those storied brands is nice, but Infiniti isn't looking to be class competitive; it wants to lead. Ghosn's guys rolled out the new and improved G37 Coupe for the 2008 model year with more power and a vastly improved interior while also delivering an entry price that undercuts the popular 335i coupe by around $4,000.

The 330-hp 3.7L V6 introduced in the G37 Coupe was a big improvement over the also competent 3.5L it replaced, but the carry-over five-speed automatic was holding back Infiniti's jewel of an engine. Nissan has rectified this shortcoming for 2009 with an all-new seven-speed slush box that promises faster shifts and improved refinement and efficiency. We got our hands on a brand new 2009 model to see if it has what it takes to put the G37 at the top of the entry-level luxury food chain. Hit the jump to see how Infiniti's coupe performed during its time in the Autoblog Garage.

Photos Copyright ©2008 Chris Shunk / Weblogs, Inc.

Our Vibrant Red 2009 G37 Coupe tester tipped the sticker price scales at $44,715. It came equipped with the Journey trip package, a power moonroof, navigation system, 11-speaker Bose stereo system and a Sport package that includes magnesium paddle shifters and 10-spoke, 19-inch rims.

Some have called the exterior design of the 2009 G37 Coupe a step backwards from the previous G35, but this blogger doesn't see it that way. The G35 employed very clean lines with handsome proportions to win over buyers, and the G37 takes that a step further with more animated sheet metal. The wheel arches, belt line, hood and hind quarters are all curvier than they were on the G35, which gives the G37 a softer and sexier profile. Infiniti designers toughened up the front end with a more aggressive lower front air dam and non-functional side vents that accentuate the car's width. The new headlamp design is also a big improvement over the outgoing model, with the odd-looking vertical rectangles being replaced with obtuse triangles that reach back to the front wheel arches.

LEDs brighten up the view from the back and designers once again softened up the hard lines of the outgoing rear tail-lamps. One area that didn't change much was the greenhouse, as the beautiful, flowing lines of the original look good on just about any coupe. Overall, the G37 doesn't look too much different than the G35 it replaced last year, just enough to keep us interested.

Infiniti made lots of changes on the inside, which is also a good thing. The G35 was a bit rough around the edges, with questionable materials and an awkward, Nissan-looking layout. The newer G37 has a beautiful cabin with soft touch materials throughout. The cockpit-like layout is well thought out and requires minimum effort to find the button or switch you're looking for.

One significant drawback to reviewing cars is that it becomes difficult getting used to different nav screens, switches, radios and redundant controls every week. The G37 was this blogger's first Infiniti driven for any significant length of time, yet I was up to speed quicker than most cars that visit my Autoblog Garage. The redundant controls on the steering wheel are hit-you-on-the-head easy to understand and the navigation system presented zero challenges. The radio stations were even preset within a minute's time of initial contact.

Another area of delight are the well-bolstered leather seats. We found them far more comfortable than the BMW 3-Series with extra room for a wide frame. After about two days with the G37, our only complaint concerned the lack of thigh support. Then we noticed the painfully obvious seat extenders; what a cool option. The extender can pull out an extra five inches to provide more thigh support for the long legged among us.

We're fans of the G37's new cabin, but not nearly as much as we enjoyed flogging one of the best mass produced V6 engines of all time. Open up the throttle at any time and instant gratification comes your way. The 330-hp 3.7L VQ engine is responsive at any speed while also providing the kind of aural feedback that makes you want to stab the accelerator whenever possible. Some high horsepower V6 engines run out of steam when pushed too hard. The 3.7L unit hiding under the G37's hood felt more like a V8, with ample power across the entire rev range.

That power is now better transferred with the help of an all-new transmission. The new seven-speed automatic transmission is silky smooth around town, shifting seamlessly at a leisurely pace or quickly when you're in a big fat hurry. And when it's time to get down and dirty, switch it to manual and the paddle shifters reward you with redline acceleration and very respectable shift times. If you're not a big fan of paddle shifters, the ones in the G37 may change your mind. We found them more engaging than most wheel-mounted units with an easy to remember right-is-up, left-is-down setup.

A sublime powertrain means little if the underlying platform can't cut the mustard, so the Infiniti team rolled up its sleeves and improved upon the already respectable FM platform for this generation of the G coupe. The Nissan/Infiniti rear-drive platform already performed admirably in the G35, but the platform was lowered, widened and stiffened by 36% to give it the athletic ability to compete with the best of this breed. It doesn't take long to notice the improvement, either. It would take a far more competent driver than I to achieve significant body roll when diving into a hard turn on city streets.

Some sport coupes with stiff underpinnings reward on the track but punish your rear around town. The G37 doesn't fit that description. It's docile enough when running errands that it won't wear you out, though with this much power and poise at your finger tips, we can't promise that you won't be frustrated.

If it sounds like we like we really like the G37 coupe, you're reading the same review we wrote. It has the power, handling and luxury appointments to compete with pretty much any vehicle in the sport coupe market, which is saying a lot considering the German competition. The G37 coupe also wins points for anyone who wants their car to stand out in a crowd. It doesn't try to look like a Mercedes, BMW or Audi, and we think it's all the better for it. The G37 gives you most of the precision and power of the 335i for the price of a well equipped 328i, while also sparing you iDrive and the smallish seating surfaces. That's enough to make the G37 coupe a winner in our estimation.

Photos Copyright ©2008 Chris Shunk / Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Love this car. Great review.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I cannot wait to get my hands on one someday, problem is I don't have any friends who have one yet. Bah humbug.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I like this car a lot. in it's segment of 2+2 grand touring coupes, this is at the top, up to about $40k, and perhaps even up to $50k.

      Styling. I LIKE the styling. But I can see why people like the G35C better. The rear quarter window termination was stricter, and harder, and more aggressive.

      The tail lights on the G35C looked more dramatic, ironically more like the G35/7 Second gen sedan.

      I like the headlights and the hood line on the front very much.

      I wish the grille weren't so convex. The M-sedan grille is much more attractive by being more straight-edged at the top and bottom, without going too far the other way, like the Maxima's cat-fish rectangular grille does.

      The lower part of the bumper cover doesn't seem aggressive at all to me. Actually the side intakes below the headlights look overly soft. This car could do with a much welcomed dose of aggression in the front bumper cover area.

      The driving experience sounds very nice from this and every review I've read.

      But one thing, which I mentioned on the previous Infiniti garage article...

      PUT THE 5.0 VVEL V8 IN THIS CAR!!! 6MT, or 7-speed auto, or even Dual-clutch RWD central-mounted gearbox... With a suspension, brake, and aero package, and sell it as a limited edition above the 6-cylinder variant, priced below the M3 coupe, or an optioned up Audi S5.

      Widen the fenders just a bit for more aggressive staggered width wheel fitment, sharpen the rear quarter window trailing edge corners, and innovate and sharpen the tail light shape a bit.... Black out the headlight housings around the fixtures... sharpen the grille lines... Standard formulaic upgrades... very do-able.

      Please DO IT, Infiniti!
        • 6 Years Ago
        definitely agree with you BoxerFanatic

        i feel a G50 coupe would be an excellent GT car. kind of like how the audi s5 is with its 4.2 v-8, or like a CLK 550. v-8 power, RWD, and $50k dont sound unreasonable, if they can get close to the interior levels of an s5, this would be a good competitor. with how the g35's interior looks compared to this (g37 is much, much better), i have faith that infiniti could build an even better interior.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well Nissan already has an M3 beater in the GT-R, while Toyota has yet to come up with anything more than the IS-F.

        I agree with Boxer though. The new car is too soft-looking, kind of like what I imagine the SC430 SHOULD have looked like. I think the new G could benefit, as you say, from a little Black Series - like inspiration. Or at least a few styling cues from the ER34. If the Z has round fender flares, give the G square blisters, it's a Skyline, right?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Judging by how well Infiniti does against the 335i in tests, I'd say they have a better chance than Lexus to create a competitor to the M3.

        I'd like to see it happen.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I really like this car except for one (design) feature: the taillights of the previous coupe look amazing, but the current taillights look stubby and tacked-on for some reason (that may just be me). Otherwise, it's an awesome car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      @ E92 Toronto - Maybe some people aren't that intersted in bimmers. Besides, the G37 is close to 335 performance at a 328 price. Thats not a bad deal in my books especially for something a bit different.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It looks too generic. A cookie cutter coupe. The Genesis Coupe looks far better exterior and interior wise. Personal opinion.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm with BoneheadOtto and many others that the production g37 ended up taking a step back from the g35. I didn't buy a g35 because i was waiting for the g37. then it came out and everything except for the rear looks better. its so much worse i think that it just turns me off of the car so much that i'm having trouble deciding to either buy the g37 or a used g35 and using the saved money on engine upgrades.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Did you mean to reword frustrated with something else or does won't need to be made positive?

      "...though with this much power and poise at your finger tips, we can't promise that you won't be frustrated."
        • 6 Years Ago
        i believe that it is correct, meaning that it most environments you will grow frustrated as you will be unable to fully enjoy the car, such as sitting in traffic in a Ferrari. You can only go as fast as the car in front of you... i can believe it to in a car such as the G37, i get the feeling driving my Civic Si, morons in their SUV's and buicks clog up the roadway and it is hard to enjoy a smooth, curvy road (rare around my home town) with a 2+ ton Expedition in front of you...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I had the old G35 before they went to the stumpy wing.... I personally like the changes to the front, but I would never buy this car for the back end....the lines are just not hard enough....

      Other than that, i loved my old car.... just wish it had a little more power. (The pop up Navi was a little annoying)
      • 6 Years Ago
      g37 has better value for money with a lot of options standard, although the BMW is the ultimate driving machine.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "g37 has better value for money with a lot of options standard, although the BMW is the ultimate driving machine."

        ...under 50k miles.
        • 6 Years Ago
        BMW service is way more expensive good point
      • 6 Years Ago
      This or the 335 coupe? It's tough.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's a shame they made this car and the altima coupe look so much alike.
        • 6 Years Ago
        not really a big deal. I personally like the look of the altima coupe a bit better, but the FWD kinda kills all its sporting intentions. Big honking engine in a big coupe all going to the front wheels? Thats like a total recipe for, as Clarkson puts it "Catastrophic Understeer".
      • 6 Years Ago
      The front fascia of the G35 was better executed.

      Never was much of a fan of the rear of the G35, but it still edges that of the G37 (which is too flat).

      However, the interior of the G37 is much improved.
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