Infiniti G Sedan Review

2012 Infiniti G Sedan G37 Sport Sedan Exterior

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Infiniti has come a long way in the span of a decade, and that journey is best seen in the Infiniti G Sedan. Originally, the letter G was attached to a humble, rebadged Nissan that got some leather trim and a few extra features to become an Infiniti. It wasn't a convincing luxury car and it was indicative of a brand that didn't know what it was.

Then the G35 came along and not only did Infiniti now have an entry-level model that could take on the world's finest luxury sport sedans, it had a basis for which to establish its brand identity -- fun-to-drive, and with ample high-tech features and eye-catching styling that didn't shy away from its Japanese heritage. Today, the Infiniti G Sedan is available in G25 and G37 models, both of which are among the best choices in the segment.

Current Infiniti G Sedan
The current Infiniti G Sedan is available in two models: G25 and G37. The numbers indicate their respective engines, one a 2.5-liter 218-horsepower V6 and the other a 3.7-liter 328-hp V6. A seven-speed automatic is standard equipment, but the G37 Sport 6MT model comes with a six-speed manual transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard on both G's, and all-wheel drive is optional (indicated by an x -- G25x and G37x).

Every G Sedan comes well-equipped, even in base G25 form. Bi-xenon headlights, keyless ignition/entry, power front seats and leather upholstery are standard items that are often options on other luxury models. Stepping up to a G25 Journey trim brings with it automatic headlights, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear-seat air vents, heated front seats, Bluetooth and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The G37 Journey includes all that, plus it's available with extra options like a Bose stereo and driver memory functions, along with a Sport package that includes a limited-slip differential, unique 18-inch wheels, summer tires, a sport-tuned suspension, bigger brakes, sport seats and design flourishes. The Sport 6MT model adds the manual transmission to all that.

The G Sedan's cabin features user-friendly controls, excellent build quality and a handsome design -- the latter highlighted by such items as the car's leather-accented magnesium transmission paddle shifters and Japanese "Shodo-brushstroke finish" aluminum trim (wood trim is optional). The front seats are comfortable and well-bolstered, and the available sport-styled seats offer even more aggressive bolstering, though they may be a bit too snug for larger drivers.

So it definitely has the luxury part of the equation down, but it's the G's ability to be a dynamic driving machine that has made it a standout among driving enthusiasts as well. Think of it as a world-class athlete in evening wear. The G's handling is praiseworthy, as it attacks curves with aggression and precision, yet remains poised and compliant when driven over less than perfect pavement. The G25's power should be sufficient for most drivers, while the G37's rapid acceleration is rarely bested in this class.

Overall, the Infiniti G Sedan stands shoulder to shoulder with anything in the entry-level luxury segment. Consumers in the market for such a vehicle would be wise to put it at the top of their to-drive list.

Used Infiniti G Sedan Models
The current-generation Infiniti G Sedan dates back to 2007 when it was only available as the G35. It then featured a 3.5-liter 306-hp V6 paired to a five-speed automatic. As today, it could be had with a six-speed manual, but we found this transmission to be unrefined and difficult to drive. Rear-wheel drive was standard, while optional all-wheel-drive models were indicated with an "x".

The G37, its accompanying engine and seven-speed automatic showed up for 2009. Other changes were restricted to subtle styling changes and some new navigation features for 2010. A rare number of G Sedans made between 2007 and '09 may include a four-wheel active steer system (4WAS) that was available for those obsessed with pushing the technological envelope. Reactions were mixed, though, with several drivers noting diminished steering feedback in so-equipped vehicles.

The third-generation Infiniti G Sedan was introduced as the G35 and was produced from 2003-'06. It looked similar to its successor, but was more angular and, more notably, had a less luxurious interior with lower-quality materials. A less powerful V6, different chassis tuning and a less stiff structure also make it a less advanced driver's car, but for the time, it was tough to beat and a true performance bargain.

Originally, the G35 was available in one trim level until the all-wheel-drive model arrived for 2004. Its 3.5-liter V6 initially produced 260 hp, but it was bumped to 280 for '05. If you got the manual transmission, it got pumped up to 298. It should be noted, however, that G35s produced for '07 and later have slightly lower horsepower figures, but this was due to a change in SAE testing procedures -- actual output did not change.

Other than the myriad engine changes, there were other noteworthy updates made during this G35's lifetime. It received a new hood, grille, bumpers, side sills and taillights for '05, although it was hardly a revolutionary aesthetic difference. Inside, though, it benefited from a redesigned instrument panel and improved manual transmission with a lower shifting effort. Bluetooth arrived on all Gs for 2006.

In our reviews, we were quite fond of the third-generation Infiniti G. The sedan was a bargain-priced alternative to the BMW 3 Series. If there was one area of concern, it was an interior filled with several cheap surfaces and some unintuitive controls. One feature that was welcome, though, was the optional reclining rear seatbacks, which made it a top choice for backseat comfort.

The first- and second-generation Infiniti G Sedans sold in the 1990s were completely different animals than the subsequent rear-wheel-drive, high-performance breed. These compact, front-wheel-drive models dubbed G20 were unimpressive rebadged Japanese-market Nissans and were produced at a time when Infiniti hadn't established its current knack for creating fun-to-drive, value-oriented luxury sedans.

Read the most recent 2013 Infiniti G Sedan review.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used Infiniti G Sedan page.


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