2011 G25x New Car Test Drive
The 2011 Infiniti G lineup comprises G37 coupes, sedans, and convertibles, plus a new G25 entry level model. Built on a rear-wheel-drive sports car platform and equipped with suspensions tuned for handling, these cars deliver an enjoyable, enthusiast-oriented driving experience.
The Infiniti G25 is a new entry-level model using a 2.5-liter V6 engine in place of the 3.7-liter V6 used by all the 2011 Infiniti G37 models. Also new for 2011 are high-performance IPL coupes from the Infiniti Performance Line. Also new is the 2011 Infiniti G37 Coupe AWD Sport, an all-wheel-drive coupe with sports suspension and high-performance brakes. A new 2011 G37 Limited Edition convertible comes fully loaded and features unique trim.
All Infiniti G models get subtle styling upgrades for 2011 giving them the look of a sports package, while Sport models get an even more aggressive look.
The Infiniti G sedan, coupe, and convertible are easily distinguished from one another by their styling. But they all have similar exterior dimensions and an identical wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels). All share the same chassis, and their basic structure is shared with the Nissan 370Z, which has a shorter wheelbase.
The Infiniti G37 sedan, coupe and convertible models deliver performance comparable to the 370Z. Nissan excels at these V6s and the G37's 3.7-liter V6 engine is more powerful than what's found in the engine bays of many competitors. And it's calibrated for the response and excitement that enthusiast drivers prefer. The G25 isn't as fast as the G37, but we found it delivers similar driving dynamics at lower operating costs.
While the sedans offer five-passenger seating, the coupe and convertible models offer sex appeal. All-wheel drive is available for greatly improved traction in snow and rain, helping tame the power these cars can otherwise deliver to their rear wheels.
The Infiniti G shares many mechanical components with the Nissan 370Z sports car on a longer platform, so the sporting character should come as no surprise. Performance has never been an issue with the G, and the interior finish and refinement continues to improve.
All Infiniti G models come standard with rear-wheel drive, which delivers handling characteristics front-wheel drive rarely matches. The standard 7-speed automatic transmission available on all G37 and G35 models is tuned for sporting response, with available steering wheel paddles for semi-manual shifting. All models except the G25 are available with a 6-speed manual transmission, a feature that's increasingly rare in this class.
The Infiniti G has all the features expected in this category, including leather upholstery, superb audio, and HID headlamps. The navigation system monitors traffic conditions, provides restaurant advice from Zagat and includes a 9.3-gigabyte hard drive with a memory-card slot.
The four-door G is Infiniti's best seller, and a true sports sedan, reacting to driver commands in the fashion of a sport coupe. Yet it seats four comfortably in all circumstances, with easy in-out access and plenty of stowage space in the trunk. The V6 delivers 328 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque in the sedan.
The two-door Infiniti G37 coupe looks racier than the sedan. Rear-seat room is restricted, however, and adults will not be happy in the coupe's back seat for long. Instrumentation is first rate, and climate, audio and navigation systems are easy to understand and control. The coupe's engine delivers slightly more power (330 hp, 269 pound-feet of torque) and the convertible 325 hp.
IPL coupes add 18 horsepower, a more aggressive exhaust note and crisper handling relative to a G37S coupe. The IPL, or Infiniti Performance Line, is offered with both transmissions but not all-wheel drive.
The Infiniti G37 convertible looks a lot like the coupe until a button on the console is pressed. Then it becomes a wide-open cabriolet in about 30 seconds, its three-piece hardtop folding into the rear. The convertible features a Bose Open Air sound system that automatically adjusts audio levels according to vehicle speed and ambient noise. Its climate control system adjusts fan speed based on vehicle speed when the top is open.
The 2011 Infiniti Limited Edition models come loaded and include unique trim and features inside and out. An exclusive Monaco red leather is available only on a Malbec Black IPL coupe, which is painted a black-cherry metallic hue.
Infiniti G models compete with the Lexus IS, Acura TSX and TL, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, Saab 9-5, and Audi A4 and A5. The Infiniti Gs generally deliver better performance and handling or more equipment or both for less cash.
The 2011 Infiniti G is available as a four-door sedan, two-door coupe or two-door convertible in a total of 19 variations. All except the G25 are powered by a 3.7-liter V6 of 325-348 hp, with either a 7-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission; the G25 uses a 218-hp 2.5-liter V6 and 7-speed automatic only. All-wheel drive is available on G sedans and coupes.
The G25 sedan ($30,950) includes leather upholstery, power front seats, aluminum trim, climate control, power windows/locks/mirrors, Intelligent key, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlamps, fog lamps and XM radio. The G25 Journey ($32,350) upgrades to dual-zone climate control, rearview monitor, auto on/off headlamps, heated front seats and mirrors, eight-way power passenger seat, USB/iPod, HomeLink and Bluetooth. A moonroof ($1,000) is optional. The G25x Journey ($33,950) adds all-wheel drive.
The G37 Journey ($35,050) has everything on the G25 Journey plus a 328-hp V6. The G37x ($36,650) adds all-wheel drive. Options include the Technology package ($1,200) with intelligent cruise control with preview braking, advanced climate control, pre-crash front seatbelts, rain-sensing wipers; the Premium package ($2,150) with Bose audio, moonroof, driver memory, power tilt/telescope, rear park sensors; 18-inch performance tires and wheels ($500); navigation ($1,850); Maple cabin trim ($600). A Sport package is available for the G37 ($2,150) and G37x ($1,150) that duplicates a G37 Sport model without manual gearbox.
The G37 Sport sedan ($39,450) is the only G sedan with a manual transmission, and it comes with sport-tuned suspension, upgraded brakes, revised steering, viscous limited slip differential, 18-inch wheels with high-performance tires, and more aggressive front end styling. The G37 Sport also comes with 12-way power sport seats, driver memory system, power-adjustable steering column, aluminum pedals, a moonroof, navigation, and the Premium package with Bose Studio on Wheels audio with 11 speakers and a 2.0GB hard drive, driver memory system, climate controlled front seats with a cooling feature and rear sonar back-up warning.
A G37 Sedan Sport Appearance edition ($39,200) adds a front chin spoiler, rear decklid spoiler, unique 9-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels, power moonroof, Infiniti Studio on Wheels Bose audio system and 2.0GB Music Box. The G37x Sedan Sport Appearance edition ($40,800) adds all-wheel drive.
The G37 Limited Edition ($43,400) and G37x Limited Edition ($44,000) sedans feature unique 18-inch alloy wheels, midnight-black grille, Monaco red leather, moonroof, Bose sound system, navigation, all the Sport model chassis and seat upgrades (including solid magnesium paddle shifters), and unique front trim and headlights.
The G37 coupe ($36,050) is equipped similarly to the standard sedan, though it comes with 18-inch wheels; there are no options. The G37 Journey coupe ($37,650) and G37x Journey coupe ($39,300) also mirror the sedans as do factory option choices; some packages cost more than the comparable sedan package and the Journey coupe offers an aerodynamic package ($3,950).
The Infiniti G37 Sport coupe ($42,400) gets the 6-speed manual and all the performance hardware described above for the Sport sedan and comes standard with the Navigation, Premium, and Sport packages. The aerodynamic package is an option.
The Infiniti G37 IPL coupe offers a choice of manual ($47,950) or automatic ($49,850) and features revised engine and exhaust tuning for 348 hp, stiffer springs and dampers, red stitching on seats and steering wheel, unique front bodywork, and 19-inch wheels. It's offered only in Graphite Shadow or IPL-exclusive Malbec black paint with dark gray or, on Malbec only, Monaco red leather. The IPL also gets special aluminum cabin trim.
The G37 Convertible ($44,500) has a power-retractable steel hard top that opens or closes in about 30 seconds and standard back-up camera. It's equipped and optioned similarly to G37 Journey coupe but offers options of a Bose Open Air Sound System that adjusts audio levels based on outside noise, vehicle speed and top position, and a spare tire. The Convertible Sport 6MT ($48,950) is equipped like the other Sport models and now come standard with navigation. The Limited Edition convertible ($56,750) carries exclusive pieces and Monaco red leather. There is no IPL convertible but a concept of such a car was shown at the 2010 Paris auto show.
Safety features on all models include two-stage front airbags, side-impact airbags for front passengers and front and rear side-curtain airbags on sedan and coupe, and door-mounted front-side curtain airbags on convertible. The electronic stability system is dubbed Vehicle Dynamic Control. The convertible has pop-up roll hoops behind the rear seat for rollover protection. All-wheel drive can enhance safety in adverse conditions with more stable handling.