When it comes to fast luxury sedans, the Infiniti G measures up to the four-doors from the established German brands. The Infiniti G is the smart, subversive choice in the market, the one that makes its statement with an edgy 3.7-liter V6 engine instead of just an oversize grille. So imagine our horror when we heard talk of a G sedan with a smaller, more sensible 2.5-liter V6 engine. Would this be a discount special, an Infiniti with generic ingredients instead of the real thing?
Would it be like life without Starbucks?
Well, you can quit holding your breath. The 2011 Infiniti G25 still has the beans to get you going, even though it's a bit slower than the double-shot-of-espresso Infiniti G37 sedan. With the G25's 218-horsepower V6, you can pass more gas stations than you'd guess, yet it still has the energy you expect from a V6 engineered by Nissan. Meanwhile, the G chassis gives you the same thrill when it's heeled over in a corner and the same sense of pride when you see it in the parking lot. Besides saving you a little money at the gas pump, the G25 also saves you money up front, since its MSRP is $2,600 less than the Infiniti G37.
Think of the G25 as a single shot of espresso, not a sellout to decaf.
Among sporty sedans with luxury leanings in the Infiniti G25's market segment, the BMW 3 Series remains a perennial favorite. The entry-level BMW 328i is priced right there with the Infiniti, as is the Audi A4 2.0T. If performance isn't as important as comfort and features, the Hyundai Genesis or Mercedes-Benz C-Class will probably be more to your liking. Whichever way you might be leaning, we suggest a look at the 2011 Infiniti G25. You give up a little, but you get to keep the attitude.
Powering the 2011 Infiniti G25 is a 2.5-liter V6 that produces 218 hp and 187 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic is the only transmission offered, but buyers can choose rear- or all-wheel drive.
In Edmunds testing, our rear-wheel-drive G25 accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds. While this is 2.6 seconds slower than the more powerful G37 (something like a light-year in sport-sedan time), the G25 nevertheless doesn't feel weak by comparison. The 2.5-liter V6 has an energetic character and revs quickly, even as it offers a smoother feel than the 3.7-liter V6.
The G25 comes to a stop from 60 mph in just 109 feet, while it achieves 0.91g of cornering grip on the skid pad — both figures are comparable to the performance of the Infiniti G37 (one equipped with the optional Sport package, no less). It runs through our slalom test just a bit slower than the G37, registering 65.7 mph versus the G37's 69.2 mph.
As with most Nissan engines we've experienced, our exuberant driving style did no favors for the fuel economy, as the G25 managed to achieve only 19.6 mpg in mostly city driving. The EPA estimates 20 city/29 highway mpg and 23 mpg in combined mileage.
As a luxury sedan with sporty undertones, driving the G25 conservatively is an exercise in restraint. Despite having 110 hp less than the G37, this entry-level G sedan is no slouch. Power delivery is immediate, linear and very manageable. Handling and ride quality are also worthy of praise, as the G25 is proficient in aggressive cornering while also capable of delivering a smooth and compliant ride. Steering is direct and accurate with plenty of feedback, but the weighting can feel artificially heavy at times.
Overall, the 2011 Infiniti G25 can be described as firm, but not harsh. The car feels solid and well constructed. Imperfections in the road surface are felt but prove not at all intrusive. Likewise, wind and road noise are present, but not so loud as to be bothersome.
Drivers of various sizes should easily find their optimal position thanks to well-shaped seats and a tilt-and-telescoping steering column (the instrument panel moves with the wheel, ensuring optimum visibility). Rear-seat accommodations are roomy, with just enough head- and legroom for the average adult, though the seat cushions are mounted a bit low.
As with all current Infiniti vehicles, the G25 artfully balances high-tech capabilities with simple and intuitive controls. Even though there are plenty of functions at your command, there isn't an overabundance of buttons. Climate controls are self-explanatory and work in concert with the clear multifunction display atop the center stack. The same goes for digital music management, with most of the menus accessible via the steering-wheel-mounted controls.
If we were to find fault in regard to function, it would be the placement of the multifunction controller high on the dash. We'd prefer that knob and corresponding buttons between the center armrest and gear selector, much as we've seen with cars from Audi and BMW.
Outward visibility is as good as you'll find in the luxury sedan segment, which seems to be trending toward high beltlines and tiny rear windows. Perhaps as a consequence, the G25's trunk is smaller than average at 13.5 cubic feet. To its credit, the trunk's shape makes the most of the available cargo space and there are no intrusive hinges to restrict the size of your load. Golf bags and large suitcases fit without any jostling.
Installing a rear-facing child seat requires some wrestling, however. Once firmly anchored, ease of access to your precious cargo is about average for a midsize sedan. The front passenger seat needs to be situated uncomfortably close to the dash to keep from contacting the child seat, however.
Design/Fit and Finish
The 2011 Infiniti G25's pleasantly familiar exterior combines with modern details that seem appropriate for a vehicle that touts its high-tech credentials. Wraparound headlights and a contoured grille are Infiniti hallmarks, as are the muscular bulges on the hood. Inside the cabin, the design is slightly more subdued and austere. The rounded dash and a good portion of other surfaces in the cabin are soft to the touch and well grained. Elements are tightly fitted and devoid of squeaks and creaks.
Who should consider this vehicle
Unless power and performance are primary concerns for your luxury sport sedan decision, the 2011 Infiniti G25 is an excellent choice. There's more than enough power for the average driver, in a well-mannered package. Plus, buyers can save some cash up front, as well as down the road in fuel economy compared to the Infiniti G37.
The venerable BMW 3 Series is still the leader in this segment of sporting luxury sedans, yet the Infiniti G25 is worth serious consideration, much like the Audi A4 2.0T with its 211-hp, turbocharged four-cylinder engine — a car with which this Infiniti has much in common, from its power to its price. On the more luxurious side of the spectrum, the Hyundai Genesis, Lexus IS and Mercedes-Benz C-Class could be of interest, but most of these can't compete with the Infiniti's driver engagement or its agreeable bottom line.