Full 2012 Infiniti G Sedan Review
What's New for 2012
The Infiniti G Sedan is essentially unchanged for 2012.
Buying a sport sedan rarely comes down to getting the most bang for your buck. It's usually a matter of intangible factors that tug on your heart strings, like sleek styling, a Best Buy's worth of gizmos or the promise of being able to quickly lap a track in Germany. A fancy badge to impress the neighbors helps as well. Yet perhaps you're the sort of buyer who'd like a car that appeals to your head as well as your heart. The 2012 Infiniti G Sedan does this, taking into account all those intangibles while offering more power and more stuff for less money than its competitors.
Last year saw the G's value proposition improve even further when the new G25 model debuted. True, this model, with its 2.5-liter V6, has significantly less power on tap than the carry-over G37, but since 328 horsepower is overkill for most drivers, the lower price of the 218-hp G25 seems like a welcome trade-off. Several luxury goodies like navigation, adaptive cruise control and Bose audio aren't available on the lesser G, but there's still more standard equipment present than in any rival with a European badge.
Regardless of engine, however, the G offers an engaging driving experience matched by a scant few competitors. The Sport model enhances this athleticism even further, yet this added control while attacking the corners doesn't come at the cost of a comfortable ride around town.
The 2012 Infiniti G is a great sedan for driving enthusiasts and value-minded drivers alike, providing a sensible blend of performance, space, luxury, convenience and high-tech features that's difficult to match. Still, there are other sedans that come close. For the enthusiast crowd likely more attracted to the G37, the BMW 3 Series is candidate No. 1, with the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class also worthy of consideration. For value-minted buyers, the Hyundai Genesis could be an even bigger bargain, while the Acura TL, Acura TSX and Lexus IS 250 offer similar value.
Perhaps one of the intangibles will appeal when you select your favorite from this group of cars, but when it comes to simultaneously appealing to the heart and head, the 2012 Infiniti G Sedan is tough to beat.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2012 Infiniti G Sedan is a midsize luxury sedan available in G25, G25 Journey, G37 Journey and G37 Sport. The G25x and G37x are essentially Journey trims with all-wheel drive. The G Coupe and convertible models are addressed in separate reviews.
The base G25 comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, foglights, keyless ignition/entry, cruise control, automatic climate control, power front seats (eight-way driver, four-way passenger), leather upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel (with gauges that move with the tilting action) and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.
Stepping up to the G25 Journey adds automatic headlights, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, one-touch up/down for all windows, heated front seats, an eight-way power passenger seat, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone connectivity and an iPod/USB audio interface. A sunroof is optional.
The G37 Journey is identically equipped, but gets a more powerful engine and is eligible for additional options. The Premium package adds a sunroof, rear parking sensors, driver memory functions, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a 10-speaker Bose sound system. The Navigation package adds a navigation system, real-time traffic and weather, voice controls and Bluetooth streaming audio. The Technology package adds adaptive cruise control, automatic wipers and an upgraded climate-control system with an air purifier.
The above options are standard on the G37 Sport, along with 18-inch wheels, high-performance tires, sport-tuned steering and suspension, a limited-slip differential, upgraded brakes, unique styling elements, front sport seats with bolster adjustment for both backrest and seat cushion and a standard six-speed manual transmission.
The G37 Journey can be equipped with the Sport package, which adds all the above performance bits without the manual. When equipped with all-wheel drive, the Sport package is really only an appearance package with 18-inch wheels, unique exterior styling and sport seats. There is also the G37 Limited Edition, which essentially adds the Premium, Navigation and Sport packages along with special black paint and a Graphite leather interior.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2012 Infiniti G25 is powered by a 2.5-liter V6 that produces 218 hp and 187 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, but all-wheel drive is available on the G25x model. In Edmunds performance testing, a G25 went from zero to 60 mph in 8 seconds -- not quick, but on par with similarly powered luxury sedans. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg city/29 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. The G25x gets 19/27/22.
The 2012 Infiniti G37 gets a 3.7-liter V6 good for 328 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic is standard on the rear-wheel-drive Journey and all-wheel-drive G37x. A six-speed manual is standard on the G37 Sport. In Edmunds performance testing, a G37 Journey went from zero to 60 mph in a rapid 5.4 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19/27/22 for the Journey, 18/25/20 for the G37x and 17/25/20 for the Sport.
Every 2011 Infiniti G Sedan comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is standard on all but the G25 base. When equipped with the Technology package, the adaptive cruise control sensors will automatically trigger the seatbelts to pre-tension if an accident is deemed imminent.
In Edmunds brake testing, a G25 Journey came to a stop from 60 mph in an excellent 109 feet. The G37 Journey performed essentially the same, at 106 feet.
In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the G Sedan received the top score of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side-impact tests, but the second-best rating of "Acceptable" in the roof strength test.
Interior Design and Special Features
The G37 offers user-friendly controls and excellent build quality, plus the handsome design is highlighted by such items as the car's leather-accented magnesium shift paddles and the Japanese "Shodo" aluminum trim (or optional wood trim). Overall materials quality isn't exactly to Audi or Mercedes standards, but you are spending less money, after all. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, while the available sport-styled seats offer even more aggressive side bolstering, though they may be a bit too snug for larger drivers. The backseat offers respectable space for this class, with the exception of the narrow center seat.
The G benefits from Infiniti's user-friendly electronics. The iPod interface, standard on all but the base G25, is among the best available, while the myriad audio, climate and navigation controls are easy to decipher. The available Bose stereo is particularly impressive as well.
As V6s go, the 2012 Infiniti G25 revs with exceptional smoothness, charging toward its 7,500-rpm redline with none of the coarseness that has crept into the larger-displacement 3.7-liter V6. Acceleration should be satisfactory for many entry-level luxury sport sedan buyers.
However, for the most bang for your buck, we'd suggest the G37. We're not fans of the coarse noise the engine makes at higher engine speeds, but for the money, you can't beat it in this class. Handling is also praiseworthy, as the G attacks curves with aggression and precision, yet remains poised and compliant when driven over less-than-perfect pavement. Think of it as a world-class athlete in evening wear. 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.
The seven-speed automatic transmission is mostly faultless. In the G37, quick gearchanges are at your fingertips via the column-mounted paddle shifters, and downshifts are executed with precise throttle blips to match revs. In testing, however, we've noticed that upshifts, even when in Drive, aren't as smooth as they should be for this class of car. This is one of the few cars this size that can be had with a manual transmission, and this six-speed's shift linkage has a pleasing bolt-action feel through the gates.