2008 G37 New Car Test Drive
The 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe is all new, a second-generation redesign, building perfectly on the G35 Coupe that was outstanding in its time (and still is). The chassis is stiffer, lower and wider, for an improved ride and handling. The engine has been increased to 3.7 liters, and uses the latest electronic valve systems to make 330 horsepower with improved fuel economy. The five-speed manual automatic transmission is superb and beautifully obedient, using downshift rev matching, meaning the throttle blips on its own when you downshift. The Sport Package doesn't make the ride too stiff, and offers bigger brakes.
The G37 has a full complement of standard safety features, including six airbags, a tire pressure monitor, Vehicle Dynamic Control that invisibly keeps you on the road, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, and crush zones in the front and rear.
The exterior styling has been freshened, and the interior has been totally redesigned as well. Perforated leather seating is standard. With little legroom in the rear seat, two adults will not be happy back there for long, so the G37 is no car-pool vehicle; but, up front, we loved the instrumentation, in particular the ease with which the navigation, climate control, and sound systems could be operated. The optional navigation and sound system have exceptional features; the nav monitors traffic conditions on the road ahead, and the sound system uses a 9.3-gigabyte Music Box hard drive with compact flash drive slot.
There are three distinctive models of the G37 Coupe: the Coupe, Journey, and Sport 6MT. Their biggest differences are in the styling twists and suspensions. They all use the same award-winning Nissan aluminum V6, redesigned for 2008 with 3.7 liters and VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift) camshafts, which boost it to 330 horsepower at 7000 rpm with a redline at 7600, and that's pretty awesome for a V6. The Journey is the touring version, and the Sport 6MT (stands for six-speed manual transmission) is the racy one, but under the hood they're all the same.
The Coupe and Journey come with a wonderful five-speed manual automatic transmission, having downshift rev matching, meaning the engine blips just before the car drops a gear; and Adaptive Shift Control, which sharpens the shifts when sensors say you're driving sporty. Paddle shifters, made of magnesium, are optional.
The 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe ($34,250) comes standard with leather interior and all the power things, an AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary audio input, seven-inch LCD monitor, HID bi-Xenon headlights, aluminum 18-inch wheels with all-season tires, keyless entry and starting, tilt/telescoping steering column with increased travel, illuminated glove compartment and automatic temperature control.
The Journey ($35,000) includes a six-disc CD player, eight-way power front passenger seat, and automatic headlights. Its styling and suspension are both a bit softer.
The Sport 6MT ($35,500) comes with a new six-speed manual transmission, lightened with aluminum. It has bigger brakes: ventilated rotors, 14.0 inches with four-piston calipers front, and 13.8 inches with two-pots rear. The suspension is tauter, riding on 19-inch, 10-spoke aluminum wheels and high-performance tires. There's also a Viscous Limited Slip Differential, for increased traction under hard acceleration. The Sport looks racier, with more aggressive front fascia and side sills, and sport-styled seats with aluminum pedals.
Options include the Premium Package ($3200) with a moonroof, 11-speaker Bose Studio on Wheels audio system with iPod connection, memory system for driver's seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, anti-glare rearview mirror with compass, HomeLink, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, and heated front seats and door mirror. The Navigation Package ($2200) is touch-screen and voice-activated, with user-friendly and detailed information on traffic ahead, using XM radio; the package also includes a 9.3-gigabyte Music Box hard drive with compact flash drive slot, and a rearview video monitor. The 10-spoke alloy wheels with 19-inch high-performance tires can be ordered separately ($650), and a bigger, body-colored and better looking rear spoiler ($550) improves stability at speed. The Moonroof is $1000, and African Rosewood interior trim is $450.
The Sport Package ($1850) for Coupe and Journey adds the Sport 6MT's tauter suspension, 19-inch wheels and tires, viscous limited-slip, bigger brakes, front fascia and side sills, sport-styled seats and steering wheel stitching, aluminum pedals, and paddle shifters (for the Journey but not the Coupe).
The 4-Wheel Active Steer Package ($1300) makes lane changes on the freeway steadier and safer, by altering the front steering ratio and counter-steering the rear wheels up to 3 degrees.
The Technology Package ($1150) is all about safety and includes Infiniti Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), which maintains the gap to the car in front, with Preview Braking, in which lasers measure the distance and closing speed to the vehicle ahead, and pressurize the brake system before the driver steps on the pedal, saving milliseconds. This package also includes Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS), in which the headlights turn with the car, and a pre-crash seatbelt system, which anticipates a crash and tenses the belts to prepare.
Safety equipment that comes standard includes a new advanced airbag system with two-stage front airbags, side airbags in front, and full-length airbag curtains. Infiniti's Vehicle Dynamic Control helps keep the G37 under control in the wet. The anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist is the same braking system used on the G35 Sedan. Also standard is a tire pressure monitoring system.