Vital Stats

Engine:
2.5L V6
Power:
218 HP / 187 LB-FT
Transmission:
7-Speed Auto
Drivetrain:
Rear-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
3,549 LBS
Seating:
2+3
Cargo:
13.5 CU-FT
MPG:
20 City / 29 HWY
Better Fuel Economy At Any Cost



Brands like Infiniti built their empires convincing the world that the badge on the hood shouldn't matter nearly as much as the bones underneath, but Japan's cadre of luxury brands isn't the only group peddling bang for the buck these days. Manufacturers from Kia to Volkswagen now come with cabins packed with luxury amenities. Even the lowly Ford Fiesta can offer buyers high-quality leather seating and enough technology to put the subcompact into geosynchronous orbit. So why bother stepping up to the mid-level luxury league at all? What differentiates a nice car from a fine automobile beyond a little inflection and a lot of marketing?

European brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz happily prattle on about pedigree and superior engineering, but at the end of the day, a luxury machine simply has to feel special. Foodies often speak of the fifth flavor, umami. Directly translated, the word means "good taste" with an element of savoriness, and automotive luxury is built on that same intangible sensation. Perhaps better than either Acura or Lexus, Infiniti has become a master of that something special, offering its customers elegant style, well-crafted interiors, innovative technology and a superb driving experience. The 2012 Infiniti G25 looks to add superior fuel economy to that list, but can it do so without losing its luxury essence?
Catch a glimpse of the 2012 G25 on the street, and it's easy to mistake the latest addition to the Infiniti stable for its more powerful twin, the G37 Sedan. There's little to differentiate the two models aesthetically save wheel choices and two digits of nomenclature, and that's a good thing. Despite its age, the current G Sedan design remains fresh, attractive and clearly Infiniti. Buyers looking for all of the swagger of the G line with a lower operating cost will be right at home behind the wheel, and the rest of the world will be hard-pressed to know there isn't a 3.7-liter V6 under the hood.

2012 Infiniti G25 side view2012 Infiniti G25 front view2012 Infiniti G25 rear view

The same aggressive front fascia stays on for the smaller-displacement model as do the HID projector headlamps up front. The G25 even wears the same dual oval exhaust outlets as the G37, making for a convincing clone of the brawnier machine. Our tester came with the base 17-inch alloy wheels, and while the rolling stock boasts an attractive design, they look small under the rounded fenders and bulging haunches of the four door. The look does more to take away from the sedan's presence than the smaller-displacement V6 could ever do.

This is the most Nissan-feeling Infiniti cabin since the G20.

If only it were so simple indoors. Infiniti has made a name for itself by designing and executing some of the nicest cabins in the segment, at least on recent models like the EX35 and QX56. Unfortunately, this isn't one of them. Whereas the rest of the family offers dashboards covered in quilted leather, handsome wood and brushed metal accents as well as a refreshing dearth of plastic, the 2012 G25 misses the boat on all of those marks. While the gauges, climate controls and other switchgear are all lifted from the Infiniti parts bin, cheap-feeling gray plastic abounds along the center stack and elsewhere. It's as if the year 2002 sprung forward in time to come poison one of our favorite Japanese sedans. The seven-inch LCD screen mounted in the dash lacks a touch interface and boasts iffy graphics at best, and the six-speaker stereo doesn't have the punch we expect from a luxury manufacturer. As a result, this is the most Nissan-feeling Infiniti cabin since the G20. To be fair, the G is getting on in years and the G25's instrument panel is basically the same as the rest of the lineup, but the lesser trim bits and baubles really add up.

The G25 also greets the driver with a disappointing steering wheel. The cheap-feeling leather cover could pass as vulcanized rubber, and the leather center section is framed by impressive expanses of the same plastic found elsewhere. Likewise, the controls seem unnecessarily spread out across the wheel, requiring a second glance even after a week with the car.

2012 Infiniti G25 interior2012 Infiniti G25 front seats2012 Infiniti G25 gauges2012 Infiniti G25 audio system display

The good news is that the G25 retains the comfortable seating of the G37. The leather covers feel high-quality to the touch and remain serviceable even after endurance hauls of six hours or more. Buyers looking for a suite of power adjustments might as well look elsewhere, though, as the entry-level G relies on manual lumbar support, even on the driver's side.

It's what's under the hood that makes this sedan worth considering over its better-executed sibling.

From this vantage, the G25 simply appears to be a stripped-down version of our beloved G37, but it's what's under the hood that makes this sedan worth considering over its better-executed sibling. In the interest of full disclosure, we should make it perfectly clear that the 3.7-liter VQ V6 found behind the G37's headlights is one of our favorite engines on the planet. It makes all the right noises, puts down excellent power and remains endearingly gruff, so when we say Infiniti may have done something brilliant by yanking the larger six-cylinder from the engine bay, we want you to comprehend the full scope of our meaning. In an effort to stave off higher fuel prices and ever stiffer Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, engineers swapped the delicious 3.7-liter V6 for a smaller-displacement 2.5-liter unit.

With 218 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 187 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm, the engine falls short of the 3.7-liter six by 110 horses. That's a notable chunk in a vehicle that tips the scales at 3,549 pounds, and the shortfall is certainly apparent off the line. Still, the 2.5-liter V6 hardly makes the G25 a dog. Acceleration is more than adequate so long as the driver is willing to pin the machine's ears back and reach all the way to the 7,500 rpm redline. This engine makes its power in its upper octaves, and getting anywhere with a purpose requires plenty of time with the tach pointed at the passenger side.

2012 Infiniti G25 engine

That's just fine for scoundrels like us who don't mind beating on someone else's machine, but buyers familiar with the buttery torque of the G37 may have an issue with ringing their new car's neck at every onramp. The good news is that the reduction in grunt yields improved Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy ratings. The 2012 Infiniti G25 is good for 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, which is consistent with our time with the vehicle. A G37 Journey makes do with 19 city and 27 highway.

The reduction in grunt yields impressive EPA fuel economy ratings.

We covered a little more than 1,100 miles from Knoxville, Tennessee to Washington, D.C., during which time we saw as much as 33.4 mpg from the onboard mileage calculator as we slogged up I-81. After a lovely tour of all the wonders of traffic and construction the Beltway has to offer, including an hour-and-a-half stint in stop-and-go traffic, that number fell to 27.9 mpg by our at-the-pump calculations. Refreshingly, the in-dash display proved to be within .2 mpg of our figure.

On the highway, the cut in power is considerably less noticeable. Pop into the passing lane, introduce the accelerator to the carpet and the seven-speed automatic transmission quickly finds the appropriate gear to get the engine screaming. The run from 70 mph to triple digits takes surprisingly little time, and if anything, the gearbox is remarkable for its lack of drama. As in other applications, shifts are smooth and precise, helping to increase the smaller-displacement V6's livability by leaps and bounds.

2012 Infiniti G25 headlight2012 Infiniti G25 grille2012 Infiniti G25 wheel2012 Infiniti G25 taillight

Duck off the highway and the G25 provides the same level of handling prowess that makes the G37 such a sweetheart in our eyes. The suspension is firm without any harshness, and the neutral turn-in and slight tendency to oversteer make the sedan a playful dance partner should the mood strike. Unfortunately, engineers cursed the G25 with decidedly under-assisted steering. Manipulating the wheel at a stop or at low speed requires a surprising amount of effort for this class, and the story doesn't get much better once you're at apex-clipping velocities.

As a result, the steering feels falsely heavy, which is constantly at odds with the four-door's fairly quick steering rack. The combination makes the G25 less intuitive to drive aggressively than its sibling. Of course, this model makes no real attempt to distinguish itself as a sports sedan, so comparing it to the athletic G37 may be a bit of a miscue. Rather, the small-displacement G serves as a fit contender for the Lexus IS250. With 14 additional horsepower, a more advanced gearbox and a lower MSRP, the Infiniti has plenty of checks in its column, though the Lexus manages 1 mpg better in both city and highway fuel economy. The 2012 IS250 also weighs in at 100 pounds less than the baby G.

2012 Infiniti G25 rear 3/4 view

Speaking of price tags, buyers can look forward to shelling out $32,600 for the 2012 G25, plus an $895 destination fee. Our tester came with just one option, a $1,000 moonroof, though the Journey trim threw in Bluetooth hands-free calling, XM satellite radio and dual-zone automatic climate control. That price puts the G25 under the $34,765 that Lexus asks for the 2012 IS250 with an automatic transmission.

But the truth is that the IS250 is graced with a much more upscale interior, and while we're in love with the 2.5-liter V6, seven-speed automatic transmission and capable handling found in the G25, buyers in the class rightfully expect the cabin to match the badge in the grille. Infiniti has done a smart job of building a more efficient G, but the sedan has lost much of the umami that separates the mid-level luxury line from its Nissan counterparts.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 83 Comments
      Tony
      • 2 Years Ago
      A 2.0 turbo would have probably been a more fuel efficient choice. Especially since Nissan had a really nice one over 15 years ago.
      Visnick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why anyone would buy a G without the 3.7l V6 is beyond me
      WillieD
      • 2 Years Ago
      Pretty sad fuel efficiency for such a small engine.
      RichardB
      • 2 Years Ago
      I drive a 2007 G35 sedan and absolutely love it. Bought in 2009 and compared against an '08 A4, '08 328i and an IS250. For the asking price the Infiniti was the clear choice. More power, nicer amenities (no navigation, but Bose sound and wood trim). For slightly more the Bimmer had full manual driver's seat and that cheap-feeling leatherette. All of the cars (all about the same price) were way down on power, and I'm still loving flooring it whenever I have room three years in. I drove a G25 as a loaner while mine was in for service. Liked the 7 speed auto compared to my 5 speed (downshifts on the older model always seem to happen about a second after you really want it), but definitely wouldn't want to live with the power shortage. The interior didn't bother me as the layout is sensible, and everything feels good (if not dripping with luxury). IIRC, part of the reason they brought out this model wasn't for the fuel economy increase, it's because a lot of drivers are afraid of too much power. If ~200hp wasn't enough, cars like the A4, 328i, c250, and is250 wouldn't sell as quickly as they do (didn't look up power numbers so forgive me if I'm a little ways off). Anyone who reads Autoblog and is looking for a car in this segment should steer clear of the 25 and look real close at a 37. Others, who knows (I've definitely seen a fair number around these parts)? Hey also, first comment on AB!
      Maddoxx
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not much MPG savings vs the 37 but it does lower the price point where leases can be very affordable to get new customers into the Infiniti brand.
      BG
      • 2 Years Ago
      "decidedly under-assisted steering" What is wrong with that considering the numb, mush steering you feel in most new cars? We used to criticize 1970s cars like the Ford LTD for mushy steering. Well, 30 years later the trend is back.
      AZTrafEng
      • 2 Years Ago
      The dealer I go to has half a loaner fleet full of G25's because they didn't sell and were turned into loaner cars. The G25 will utilized the 4-cylinder turbo engine in its next iteration and that will be the one to buy. This version just feels slow, clunky, and the 7-speed is constantly hunting for the right gear. You buy Infiniti for luxury performance at a lower buy in price. A G without the 3.7 just feels...wrong.
        Twittavelli
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AZTrafEng
        This car is certainly hurting the brand, and they are waiting far to long for the next gen reveal.
      BC
      • 2 Years Ago
      Do Infiniti configurations differ across the country? I look at the Infiniti configurator and there's no sunroof option on the $32,600 base car. Step up to the Journey and the sunroof is the sole additional option at $1100, plus delivery for a list total of $35,995--more than an IS250 with its standard sunroof but including more equipment that is optional on the base IS250.
        BG
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BC
        $36,000? For one of these? Are they serious?
      4gasem
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wait... 35,000 for what? THAT? Sorry, I'll take a 2013 Fusion Titanium over that, pay less, get stupid cool features and support and American company. (flame suit on)
        art
        • 2 Years Ago
        @4gasem
        Its a different class of car, one is a luxury car and the other a Aston Martin copy. One has a soft interior, the other is plastic. One is rwd, the other is fwd, this changes the steering feel. Also the suspension in the G is a lot more complicated with forged aluminiun double wishbone (something Ferrari uses) and multilink. The ford is a great car but the G25 is that much better to drive.
          fragmit50
          • 2 Years Ago
          @art
          The Fusion Titanium is AWD, putting out more hp, using a smaller engine. You're right about one thing, the Fusion is in a completely different class, I just think you got it backwards.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Making11s
      • 2 Years Ago
      The tradeoffs people are willing to tolerate in the name of having a car from a luxury brand astound me.
        Geekengineer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Making11s
        Making11s, you're absolutely right. Then again, it's all about choice - people can make all the dumb decisions they want. I, for one, would never consider this car, as a 3500+ lb. car will never get really *good* gas mileage, and that tiny engine just doesn't have what it takes.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Geekengineer
          [blocked]
      jtinsley06
      • 2 Years Ago
      This article gave me a lot of information on the differences betwen the G25, G35, & G37 which I was interested in knowing all about. I LUV MY INFINITY G35X SEDAN!!!!!!!! I WAS LOOKING AT THE "M" but its too expensive & I saw at Christmas 2011 there was a massive recall on the "M" b/c of faulty bolts in the engine block!!!!!!!! How could this be in such an expensive car???????!!!!!!!! I expect nothing but the best in ALL Infinities & expect the Infinity to always be the "it" car now & in the future!!!!!!!! I always hear people bragging about the Mercedes brand, Lexus, Volvo, Audi, Acura, & especially the BMW brand. I told them to go to an Infinity dealership & just take a test drive.......that test drive will change their minds!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What power the Infinity brands have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What comfort & control. As you can see, I could go on & on!!!!!!! I do have trouble keeping other cars away from my Infinity as they think it is "just some car." How wrong they are!!! Well, there's nothing like my G35X & I feel special everytime I get into my car. Let me know if you want me to drive around some of your newer models just to show them off. I prefer the sedans. ALSO, THERE ARE NO INFINITY DEALERSHIPS IN THE FREDERICKSBURG VA AREA!!!!!!!!!!!! I FEEL CHEATED!!!!!!! I DO NOT DRIVE TO THE RICHMOND OR NORTHERN VA AREA DEALERSHIPS. I SUBSCRIBE TO YOUR WEBSITES & CHECK OUT ALL OF THE COMMERCIALS ON TV. GO INFINITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SINCERELY, JUANITA TINSLEY jtinsley06@aol.com
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jtinsley06
        tldr; FYI, it is Infiniti, and you don't need so many exclamation points, and your caps lock key seems to be sticking.
        Snark
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jtinsley06
        Are you retarded, or off your meds?
        MikeInNC
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jtinsley06
        Infiniti, not Infinity. I'm sure you're a very nice person however, the punctuation in this post makes my head hurt. Of the brands you mention, I've owned Mercedes, Volvo, BMW and throw in a few Porsches and a Maserati. They all compare well in the premium segment. I currently own a G37 and it's been a great car but I don't hold it out any higher than others in the premium segment (okay, I do like it much better than Lexus and Acura but that's just preference). They're great cars. Enjoy yours but most importantly keep your options open when it's time to trade. All the premium brands have good offerings, why limit yourself :-)
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