Full 2013 Infiniti G Coupe Review
What's New for 2013
For 2013, the Infiniti G Coupe's base trim level has been discontinued, while a minor change to interior trim and colors also takes place.
Finding a balance between luxury and performance in a car is no easy task. Err on one side or another, and you run the risk of losing a good chunk of potential buyers. It's no surprise then, that true luxury sport coupes are a rarity, and among this small group you can include the 2013 Infiniti G Coupe. What the Infiniti lacks in some of the brand cachet of its German rivals, it makes up for with real driver engagement, a comfortable ride and all of the electronic features you expect from other cars in this class.
Based on the Nissan 370Z, the Infiniti G37 certainly has a sporting pedigree. With its stout 3.7-liter V6 producing at least 330 horsepower, the vast majority of drivers will find this car's acceleration to be plenty exciting. The same goes for the coupe's tenacious handling, which enables it to corner with aggression. There's even a pair of higher-performing models in the form of the G37 Sport and IPL (Infiniti Performance Line) that provide a slight boost in power output and sharper handling. To top it off, the Infiniti boasts one of the most user-friendly electronics interfaces on the market.
Of course the 2013 Infiniti Coupe isn't without a few drawbacks. In terms of everyday usability, the child-size rear seats and small trunk should give practicality-minded shoppers some pause. Also, with the elimination of the base G Coupe trim, the price of admission is higher this year. To compound matters, options are grouped into packages that often have to be ordered with other packages. This means you have to go all-in for some premium options. Finally, we're not very fond of the engine when it's revved to its maximum, as it sounds and feels a little harsh.
If refinement ranks highly on your must-have list, the stalwart BMW 3 Series may be a better choice, especially when you consider it provides similar, if not better, performance. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class leans more toward the luxury spectrum and would be a top pick for those who put a lower priority on driver engagement. Meanwhile, the Audi A5 splits the difference with an even better blend of luxury and performance than the G37. While the 2013 Infiniti G Coupe may not be top dog in its small class, we still contend it's an admirable choice and worthy of your consideration.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The four-seat 2013 Infiniti G Coupe is offered in four trim levels: G37 Journey, G37x, G37 Sport and IPL (Infiniti Performance Line). Infiniti also offers a G Sedan and G Convertible, which are covered in separate reviews.
Standard features on the G37 Journey include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlights, foglamps, heated mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated eight-way power front seats, a folding rear seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel (with an accompanying tilting gauge cluster), a center-mounted color display, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface. The G37x is identically outfitted and adds all-wheel drive.
The Premium package adds a sunroof, rear parking sensors, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, adjustable driver-seat lumbar support, driver memory functions and an 11-speaker Bose sound system. To that you can add the Navigation package, which includes a navigation system, a touchscreen interface, real-time traffic and weather, Bluetooth audio connectivity, voice controls, and video playback via DVD and USB.
To both of those packages you can add the Sport package, which includes 19-inch wheels (available separately), summer performance tires, sport-tuned suspension and steering, upgraded brakes, a limited-slip differential, unique styling, front sport seats with adjustable bolsters and thigh support, aluminum pedals and magnesium paddle shifters (for automatics). If you get all of the above, you can also tack on the Technology package that adds adaptive cruise control, a pre-collision seatbelt preparation system, automatic wipers and an advanced climate control system with an air purifier. This all-or-nothing options structure makes it difficult to select features you actually want.
The G37 Sport essentially includes the Premium, Navigation and Sport packages and adds a standard manual transmission. The sunroof and the Technology package are not available on this model. Opting for the IPL trim further ups the performance quotient with an increased power output, sport exhaust, more aggressive suspension tuning, front and rear aerodynamic enhancements and unique badging.
Powertrains and Performance
With the exception of the IPL model, all other Infiniti G37s are powered by a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 330 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic with manual shift control and rear-wheel drive are standard. The G37x gets all-wheel drive and the G37 Sport features a six-speed manual transmission.
In Edmunds performance testing, a G37 Sport coupe went from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds -- swift, but some rivals are quicker. EPA-estimated fuel economy with rear-drive and the automatic is 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. The G37 Sport with the manual transmission is rated at 17/25/20 mpg, while the G37x is estimated at 18/25/20 mpg.
The IPL G Coupe's engine squeezes out 348 hp and 276 lb-ft of torque while returning identical rear-wheel-drive fuel economy numbers for both automatic and manual transmissions. Despite the increase in power, 0-60-mph times in Edmunds testing yielded an identical 5.7 seconds with the manual transmission.
Standard safety features for the 2013 Infiniti G37 include antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. The optional Technology package adds pre-crash seatbelts that use the adaptive cruise control sensors to detect an impending impact and then automatically pre-load belt tension.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2013 Infiniti G Coupe its highest score of "Good" for frontal offset and side impact protection and its second-best score of "Acceptable" in roof strength tests. In Edmunds brake testing, a G37 Sport came to a stop from 60 mph in 110 feet, a distance which is typical for cars in this class with summer tires.
Interior Design and Special Features
The G Coupe offers excellent build quality and a handsome design -- the latter highlighted by such items as the car's available leather-accented magnesium paddle shifters and the Japanese "Silk Obi" brushed aluminum trim (or optional wood trim). We're also fond of the G's controls. The iPod interface is among the best available, while the audio, climate and navigation systems are easy to operate. The available Bose stereo is particularly impressive as well.
Most people should find the front seats comfortable and well-bolstered. The available sport-styled seats offer even more aggressive bolstering, though the seat bottoms may be a bit too snug for some 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 trunks in the Audi A5 and BMW 3 Series are significantly larger.
The 2013 Infiniti G Coupe's V6 serves up thrilling acceleration, but it comes with the price of coarse noise and vibration at higher engine speeds. The seven-speed automatic transmission shifts quickly 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, though.
Even so, it's probably a friendlier choice than the six-speed manual transmission, which suffers from a clutch with heavy effort level and abrupt engagement.
We can't complain about the G's handling, though. 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 heavy, yet commendable, particularly with the quicker ratio provided in the Sport trim or package.
For the few drivers who desire even more performance, the IPL trim will likely satisfy their urges. It's doubtful, however, that the typical driver would find the slightly harsher ride an acceptable sacrifice. Handling performance is marginally better than with the Sport-trimmed models, perhaps just enough to match the more aggressive exterior styling.