Full 2011 Infiniti G Coupe Review
What's New for 2011
For 2011, the Infiniti G Coupe receives a mild face-lift thanks to a new front fascia with relocated foglights. There are also a couple of option package and trim level changes, including the availability of the Sport package for the G37x and a new IPL (Infiniti Performance Line) trim.
Looks like someone in Infiniti's marketing department might be a fan of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, as the company has decided to call its various G37 model offerings G thangs for 2011. OK, not exactly "thangs." To be more specific, they're called G Coupe, G Sedan and G Convertible. And though Snoop might prefer to cruise around in a low-riding '64 Chevy Impala, we imagine consumers looking for an affordable luxury sport coupe would be pretty happy with the 2011 Infiniti G Coupe.
As with the other Gs, the G Coupe offers a blend of handsome looks, strong performance, high-tech features and enticing pricing. With its powerful V6 engine, communicative steering and athletic handling, the 2011 Infiniti G Coupe provides plenty of driving entertainment. But it's not just about going fast and looking good; it also provides a stylish cabin, user-friendly features and a suspension that's supple enough to take the edge off the bumps and ruts of the daily grind.
We do have a couple of minor quibbles about the G Coupe. For a start, the rear seats are fairly cramped and most of the optional features are grouped into expensive packages. Also, compared to the long-standing segment benchmark, the 2011 BMW 3 Series, the 2011 Infiniti G Coupe still isn't quite as connected to the enthusiast in terms of steering feel and feedback. Other desirable coupes in this class include the 2011 Audi A5 and 2011 Cadillac CTS. Yet even among this stellar group, Infiniti's G Coupe remains one of our top picks for its standout combination of performance, styling and comfort.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2011 Infiniti G Coupe is offered in five trim levels ? base G37, G37 Journey, G37x, G37 Sport and G37 IPL.
The base G37 comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, keyless ignition and entry, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, full power accessories, power driver and passenger seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker audio system (with a CD/MP3 changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack).
The Journey trim level adds automatic headlights, a rearview monitor, dual-zone climate control, heated seats/sideview mirrors, Bluetooth and iPod/USB connectivity. Stepping up to the G37x includes all that and adds all-wheel drive.
The Sport trim level brings a six-speed manual transmission and added performance features that include 19-inch wheels with high-performance summer tires, sportier exterior styling treatments, a limited-slip rear differential, upgraded brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, rear park assist, sport seats, driver memory functions, a power-adjustable steering wheel, an upgraded 11-speaker Bose audio system (swaps CD changer for single-disc player and adds 9GB music storage) and a navigation system (with Bluetooth audio, real-time traffic/weather and voice-activated controls).
There are no options available for the base G37. The numerous options for the other trim levels are typically only available via packages. The Premium package includes a sunroof, rear park assist, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver memory settings, Bluetooth, an upgraded Bose audio system and iPod connectivity.
The Navigation package (standard on the Sport) includes a hard-drive-based touchscreen navigation system (with Bluetooth audio as well as real-time traffic and weather), voice-activated controls, a 9GB music server and a rearview camera. The Technology package includes adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights and an upgraded climate control system. There's also a Sport package that adds most of the Sport trim's equipment to the Journey or x, 19-inch wheels and interior wood trim.
The G37 IPL (Infiniti Performance Line) essentially has all the Sport's features along with a more powerful engine, a choice of automatic or manual transmission, unique styling tweaks (front and rear fascias, extended rocker sills, rear spoiler, cast-aluminum wheels) and red accent upholstery stitching within the cabin.
Powertrains and Performance
Powering every 2011 Infiniti G Coupe is a potent 3.7-liter V6 that growls with 330 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque (348 hp and 276 lb-ft in the IPL). Base, Journey and G37x models come standard with a seven-speed automatic transmission featuring manual shift-paddle control and rev-matched downshifts. The Sport comes with a six-speed manual transmission while the IPL offers a choice between the automatic and manual. All G Coupes are rear-wheel drive except for the G37x, which has all-wheel drive.
In Edmunds testing, a G Coupe Sport with its traction and stability control systems engaged sprinted to 60 mph in a remarkably swift 5.7 seconds and completed the quarter-mile in 13.9 seconds. The EPA fuel economy estimates for the rear-drive models range from 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 22 mpg in combined driving for the automatic down to 17/25/19 for the manual. The G37x rates 18/25/20 mpg.
The entire 2011 Infiniti G Coupe line comes standard with stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active head restraints for the front seats. The optional Technology package adds adaptive headlights and pre-crash seatbelts that use the cruise control sensors to detect an impending impact and then automatically pre-load belt tension.
Interior Design and Special Features
The G Coupe offers user-friendly controls, excellent build quality and a handsome design -- the latter highlighted by such items as the car's leather-accented magnesium paddle shifters and the Japanese "Shodo" aluminum trim (or optional wood trim). The optional Bose audio system is excellent.
The front seats are comfortable and well-bolstered, while the available sport-styled seats offer even more aggressive bolstering (though they may be a bit too snug for larger drivers). As expected, the backseats are rather cramped and best suited for little kids or cargo. The trunk measures a modest 7.4 cubic feet but the rear seatbacks fold down if more space is needed.
The 2011 Infiniti G Coupe's V6 serves up thrilling acceleration, but we're not fans of the coarse noises it makes at higher engine speeds. The seven-speed automatic provides quick gearchanges via the shift paddles on the steering wheel, and downshifts are quickly executed with precise throttle blips to match revs. Upshifts aren't quite as smooth as we'd like, however.
We can't complain about the G's handling. This well-sorted Infiniti attacks curves with aggression and precision, yet it remains poised and compliant when driven over less-than-perfect pavement. Steering feel is commendable, particularly with the quicker ratio provided in the Sport and IPL. This sporty setup provides excellent feedback and a pleasant weightiness that builds progressively when cornering.