Review: 2012 Infiniti G37 Sedan

The current Infiniti G37 is no spring chicken, having been around since 2007, with a mild refresh in 2010. So, you may ask, why are we here? It’s a well known fact that out of all competitors, Infiniti has come closest to the sport sedan against which all others are judged: the BMW 3-series. The Garage reviewed the new 328i over the summer, and came away impressed, but not head over heels in love. It only seemed fitting we spend some time with BMW’s rival from Japan. Is it unfair we pit a redesigned BMW against an aging G37? We’ll see.

The looks of the G37 hardly get’s your heart pumping. It isn’t that the car has any design fault, but it has retained a familiar look look since the first G35 arrived in showrooms a decade ago. The G is by no means antiquated, but the design is just so familiar by now it leaves no impact from the street. The beautifully styled 18″ alloys and dual exhaust pipes hinted at the performance potential, but finished in Moonlight White, our G37 generated as much visual excitement as a high-end white Maytag refrigerator.

As is the case with the exterior, inside the G37 Infiniti has been very cautious in the evolution of the car’s interior design. Fit and finish is superb, but while I find the G’s materials acceptable, it’s a little uninspired when compared to the BMW 3-series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. Controls are intuitive and easy to use, even with the plethora of tech features on our test car. Seats are perfectly comfortable, and I had no trouble finding an ideal seating position. But, like the exterior, the overall design, awash in contrasting beige hues offered little visual interest.

When it comes to the engine room, the G37 finally clears it’s throat and has a personality. Powering the G37 is a 3.7L V-6, cranking out a healthy 328hp through the rear wheels, as a proper sports sedan should be. The G37 is also available with all-wheel drive. However, Infiniti saved its hottest G37 sedan for The Garage, the G37S, with rear wheel drive and six-speed manual transmission. Acceleration was very strong, passing power exceptional. Some complain the G’s V-6 is not as refined as it could be, but I disagree. It may be a little rough around the edges at higher revs, but it has character, and that counts a lot in my book. Having a six-speed manual in a sport sedan was a joy in itself, and I am pleased to report the Infiniti’s gearbox was easy to use, with decent spacing between gears.

During our week with the Infiniti G37S, I drove my family up to the gorgeous historic town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire for a weekend getaway. The G37 was a brilliant highway cruiser. The suspension was perfectly taut but never punishing. The G37 is the total package, perfectly happy bombing down the interstate, carving up curvy roads hugging the Atlantic Ocean coast with multi million dollar mansions behind us, or slogging along traffic in the beachy boardwalk town of Hampton Beach.

The Infiniti G37S is at the top of the G37 family, and is fully loaded. Being a sport model, you do get goodies like summer performance tires, limited slip differential, quicker steering, and beefier brakes. Luxury and tech features abound, with leather seats, power and heated front seats, dual-zone auto climate control, power tilt/telescope steering wheel, GPS navigation with XM satellite radio, XMTraffic, XMWeather, Zagat restaurant guide, rearview monitor, rearview sonar, premium Bose audio, Bluetooth, HID headlights and LED tail lamps. Including destination, total charge for our test car rings in at $41,495USD.

For what you get for the money, that is one heck of a deal. To match that equipment on a BMW 3-series or Mercedes C-Class, add $10,000. The Infiniti has the power, handling and poise to match the competition. Yes, you give up some in style, flair and prestige, but at the end of the day, you have to ask is it really worth spending ten grand more? Unless you are hell-bent on impressing your neighbors, in spite of its tired looks, the smart money falls squarely on the Infiniti G37.

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