Reviews

2012 INFINITI G Introduction

The 2012 INFINITI G lineup includes INFINITI G37 coupes, G37 sedans, G37 convertibles, and a high-performance G37 coupe, all using the indomitable Nissan 3.7-liter V6. There’s also an INFINITI G25 entry level model with a 2.5-liter V6.

Built on a sports car platform oriented around rear-wheel drive and equipped with suspensions tuned for handling, these cars deliver an enjoyable, enthusiast-oriented driving experience. Inside, interior finish and refinement continues to improve.

The INFINITI G sedans offer five-passenger seating, while the INFINITI G37 coupe and convertible offer sex appeal. The INFINITI G sedan, coupe, and convertible are easily distinguished from one another by their styling. But they all have similar exterior dimensions and all are built on the same wheelbase. (The wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear wheels). All INFINITI G models share their chassis with the Nissan 370Z, which has a shorter wheelbase, so the sporting character of the INFINITI G37 models should come as no surprise.

The INFINITI G37 sedan, coupe and convertible models deliver performance comparable to that of 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 INFINITI G25 isn’t as quick as the G37, but we found it delivers similar driving dynamics at lower operating costs.

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. 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 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 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 sedan 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 G37 coupe’s engine delivers slightly more power, with 330 hp, 269 pound-feet of torque. The G37 convertible offers 325 hp.

IPL G 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 IPL Coupe’s unique exterior includes a front and rear bumper/fascia design with integrated fog lights and black finishers, sculpted side sills, rear spoiler and chrome exhaust tips and exclusive 19-inch IPL split 7-spoke graphite-finish wheels and low-profile W-rated Bridgestone Potenza RE50A performance tires. The IPL G Coupe is offered in just two exterior colors: Graphite Shadow and Malbec Black.

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 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.

There are no significant changes for the 2012 model year. The current-generation INFINITI G was redesigned for 2007, after being launched as a 2003 model. The G37 coupe joined the lineup for 2008, the G37 convertible for 2009. The G37 sedan replaced the G35 for 2009. The interior was upgraded once again for 2010. The G25 joined the lineup for 2011.

INFINITI G models compete with the Lexus IS, Acura TSX and TL, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, and Audi A4 and A5. The INFINITI Gs generally deliver better performance and handling or more equipment or both for less cash.

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