Infiniti always seems to find a way to express extreme excitement while delivering a cabin wrapped in warm, soothing leather and providing amazing audio quality. The 2009 G37 gets it done in the near-luxury category about as well as any sedan in the class.
And that's no easy task.
The luxury arm of Nissan, Infiniti has a real knack for expressing sophistication while revving up an exciting and powerful ride. With a sultry profile and a more powerful 2009 engine boasting 328 ponies mated to a new seven-speed automatic transmission, the G37 is grace - with fire.
The G37 sedan is available in four trim levels: base G37, Journey, Sport and the all-wheel-drive G37x. While the standard configuration for the G37 is rear-wheel drive, I had the chance to test the G37x and its AWD system, which performed admirably in some terrible Chicago area weather conditions.
The star of the show, which sort of hides in the background, is this AWD system that takes the RWD platform and makes it an all-season sedan. That is nothing to dismiss if you come out of work to find 8 inches of snow on the ground.
The AWD system uses an active torque distribution system with a center clutch to optimize starts and traction. What that equates to is a solid start from a dead stop with slippery road conditions. Both RWD and AWD models are equipped with dynamic stability control.
On the outside, the G37 is a sleek and sophisticated looking sedan. There is no cladding or needless add-ons to distract the eye from flowing from the front grille over the top to the stout rear assembly. Everything flows gently and effortlessly. The front headlamp assembly is especially nice with a lens wrap that chisels it way across the front quarter and moves aft.
Standard 17-inch aluminum alloy rims make this a pleasing point of focus. My tester had 18-inch sport aluminum rims as part of a $1,100 sport package that also included sporty aluminum pedals, special fascia and side sill treatments as well as power sport seats.
Inside the cabin, my G37x offered a quiet space that felt a bit more like a sports car than a luxury sedan - and that was perfectly fine for my tastes. The optional sport-styled front seats are thoroughly bolstered and quite comfortable, though I could see them being a bit too snug for larger drivers.
Dash gauges are an easy read day or night and the center-stack 7-inch navigation screen is perfectly placed to allow quick glances from the road (I know, naughty-naughty). I thoroughly enjoyed the quality materials Infiniti uses and while there is not a lot of pomp and circumstance in the cabin, it is clearly a statement of luxury and refinement. However, I really hated the center cup holder design: too narrow and awkward.
Infiniti takes pride in the audio systems it offers and while I fully enjoyed testing the base six-speaker, six-disc audio system, my tester's $2,300 premium package included an uncompromising 10-speaker Bose premium system with an audiophile-quality, 24-bit Burr Brown head unit. An easy-to-use interface for the iPod is included. The premium package also had Bluetooth, power lumbar and tilt/telescoping wheel, huge moon roof, XM real-time traffic information and a 9.3-gigabyte hard drive.
Something that may make economic sense, not unlike purchasing a high-efficiency furnace that pays in savings for itself, the G37 offers a programmable navigational system. If you happen to have any speed cameras in your area (Who doesn't?), this amazing system allows you to enter the locations of each one into the system. An alarm will sound and a red light will appear on the dash when you are approaching one of the cameras. This one might very well pay for the whole car!
Under the hood of the G37 sedan resides the 3.7-liter V-6 from the G37 Coupe. This adds 22 horsepower to the previous model and variable valve timing for a total of 328 horsepower. Torque is at 269 pound-feet and you will enjoy its many levels of performance.
Prices for Infiniti's G37 sedans start at $33,250. My G37x sedan had a base of $35,750 and a final landing area about $42,985. This is right in the middle of the near-luxury price range; I thought the G37 delivered a lot more luxury than some others' wannabe refinements.
I averaged about 19 mpg over my weeklong test, so if you are concerned about fuel economy, this G37x is not your car. However, if you want luxury accoutrements sitting atop sports car performance, put the G37 on your radar. 2009 INFINITI G37X ENGINE:
328-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6 TRANSMISSION:
seven-speed automatic DRIVETRAIN:
all-wheel drive FUEL ECONOMY:
18 city/25 highway BASE PRICE:
$35,750 AS TESTED:
$42,985 WEB SITE: www.Infinityusa.com