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2011 Infiniti G37 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Infiniti G37 was new.


Performance: 8.9

Although the G37 is one of the most balanced performers in the upscale midsize car class, there is a new motor in town that has to live up to the hype. With less power, reviewers still find the G25 as satisfying to drive as its big sibling. With the G’s sharp handling that critics consistently mention, you would expect the Infiniti to ride on an uncomfortable chassis, yet its suspension is soft enough to make a daily commute livable. It’s one of the few cars that can compete with the capabilities of a BMW 3-Series on the track, and the comfort of a Lexus in stop-and-go traffic. However, some critics think the G lacks the refinement of its German rivals due to its coarse motor and abrupt clutch engagement.

  • "The G37 convertible is a joy to drive." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "G37 lacks the overall ride composure of top German rivals. There's no bounding or float, but large bumps can resonate through the cabin." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The G's handling is also praiseworthy as the sedan attacks curves with aggression and precision, yet remains poised and compliant when driven over less-than-perfect pavement.” -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

With rivals like the BMW 3-Series, Lexus IS and Mercedes-Benz C-Class offering a choice of several engines, Infiniti knew it had to step up. For 2011, Infiniti makes available the G25, which has a 2.5-liter V6 that produces 218 horsepower. Although it can’t touch the G37’s vicious 3.7-liter V6 330 horsepower powerplant in terms of speed the G25 is still is able perform in the corners. While on paper the 3.7-liter seems merely average in its class, reviewers are in love with this engine and usually mention its well-tuned growl.

Although some buyers may be pleased with the standard G37’s motor, there is one more trim level for those wanting more: the IPL G Coupe. Using the same 3.7-liter V6, the IPL's engine is reworked to produce 348 horsepower. It isn’t a significant difference in power compared to the standard G37, so reviewers are mixed on if the IPL G makes sense. After all, the standard G37 is already so good.

A six-speed manual is available for G37 models, but some writers say the seven-speed automatic (with available paddle shifters) is a better choice since it smooths things out. Some reviewers complained that the manual-equipped Gs had an abrupt clutch that made it a little rough to shift. Convertibles, we should note, are a bit slower than their sedan and coupe counterparts – a consequence of their heavier weight.

The EPA estimates that both G37 Coupe and Sedan with rear-wheel drive should get 19/27 mpg with the automatic transmission and 17/25 with the manual. All-wheel drive G37 Coupes and Sedans should obtain 18/25. With its smaller motor, the RWD G25 drinks less by getting 20/29 while the AWD version nets 19/27.

  • "G37's eager V6 engine satisfies at any speed. Passing maneuvers are a breeze." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The good news is that the G25 delivers a very satisfying driving experience in spite of the 110 hp and 82 lb-ft of torque it cedes to the athletic G37." -- Car and Driver
  • "[f]or thrilling acceleration, we'd suggest the G37. We're not fans of the coarse noises it makes at higher engine speeds, but for the money, you can't beat it in this class." -- Edmunds
  • "The IPL would be more special if the G37 Sport weren't already so aggressive." -- Automobile Magazine

Handling and Braking

Infiniti designed the G with the goal of matching the vaunted BMW 3-Series in track testing. Some reviewers say they’ve pulled it off. Even base models of the rear-wheel-drive G hold their own against canyon-carving favorites like the BMW 3-Series and Audi A4. But available all-wheel-drive makes it one of the sharpest handlers in a sporty class. The good news is that unlike some performance cars, the ride on the Infiniti G is not overly harsh.

Convertible versions are a different story. The convertible’s three-piece collapsible roof  is heavy. When it is up, it’s in the center of the car and keeps the G37 well balanced. Down, it’s in the trunk – and reviewers say it throws off the car’s handling. However, that’s typical of other hardtop convertibles, like the Lexus IS.

  • “I did my standard 100-mph acceleration run on a secluded freeway on-ramp, one that requires some quick braking before a gradual corner, and the brakes seemed well up to the task, with good pedal response.” -- Automobile Magazine
  • "It still feels light and athletic, and thanks to the new suspension bits, the body stays as flat as Kansas when cornering." -- Car and Driver
  • "Dynamically, G Sedans are among the best in this class. These sedans are grippy and agile, with little lean in corners." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Steering feel is commendable, particularly with the Sport package's quicker steering ratio. This setup provides excellent feedback and a pleasant weightiness that builds progressively when cornering." -- Edmunds

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