2012 Infiniti G37 coupe Review

2012 Infiniti G37 coupe - IPL gives enthusiests cover and an edge.

By:

Vehicle Tested
2012 Infiniti G37 IPL
Base Price: $49,350
At-Tested Price: $50,445
Built in Japan.

Options
Trunk Mat
Trunk Net
First-Aid Kit

Engine: 3.7-Liter V6
Transmission: 6-speed Manual

Drive Wheels: Rear-Wheel Drive
2012 Infiniti G37 Coupe
By Mark Bilek

Adhering to the credo, "If you build it they will come," cars come in all shapes and sizes. Take the Infiniti G series for example. Alone it comes as a sedan, coupe and convertible. It also shares chassis and engines with Nissan 370Z, Infiniti FX crossover and Infiniti EX crossover. By my count, that's six different and uniquely positioned vehicles from a common chassis/engine platform.

The G's positioning as an entry-level sport-luxury car affords it the unique positioning to blend the best offerings of each of the chassis iterations into one vehicle. For example, it gets an available all-wheel drive system from the crossovers and the potent 3.7-liter engine from the 370Z. Add those features to a drop-dead gorgeous body and you get the making of a sales success.

Both the G coupe and sedan ride a 112.2-inch wheelbase, but the sedan seats five while the coupe seats four on front-and-rear bucket seats. The coupe comes in Base, Journey, Sport and IPL (Infiniti Performance Line) trim. Base, Journey and Sport come with a 330-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 engine. IPL gets a specially tuned version of that motor that makes 348-horsepower.

Base and Journey come with a seven-speed automatic. Sport comes with a six-speed manual. IPL comes with either the manual or automatic. All models come standard with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available only as an option on the Journey where it is called the G37x. Regardless of model, traction control is standard.

Standard safety features include antilock four-wheel disc brakes with brake assist, front-seat active head restraints, stability control, tire-pressure monitor, emergency inside trunklid release and dual-front, front-side and curtain-side airbags. Rear-view camera and rear-obstacle detection are available.

The Base lists for $37,800 and includes air conditioning with automatic climate control, interior air filter, tilt-telescope leather-wrapped steering wheel with radio controls, cruise control, leather upholstery, eight-way power front bucket seats with driver seat with lumbar adjustment, center console, folding rear seat, aluminum interior trim, power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, keyless entry, keyless access and starting, AM/FM/CD/MP3 player with satellite radio and digital-media player connection, trip computer, illuminated visor mirrors, variable-intermittent wipers, rear defogger, floormats, theft-deterrent system, HID headlights, fog lights, 225/50VR18 tires and alloy wheels.

The Journey lists for $39,250 and adds to the Base dual-zone automatic climate controls, heated front seats, heated power mirrors, USB port, Bluetooth cell-phone connection, rear-view camera, universal garage door opener, automatic day/night rearview mirror, compass and automatic headlights. The all-wheel drive G37x includes the Journey equipment and alls AWD for a sticker of $40,900.

The Sport starts at $44,200 and adds to the Journey limited-slip differential, uprated brakes, sport suspension, rear-obstacle-detection system, power tilt-telescope steering wheel, memory system (driver seat, mirrors, steering wheel), driver-seat power thigh and torso adjustment, navigation system with voice recognition and real-time traffic information, sunroof, Bose sound system, music hard drive and 225/45WR19 front and 245/40WR19 rear tires.

The IPL lists for $49,800 with manual and $51,700 with automatic and adds to the Sport the uprated engine, twelve-way power drive seat, unique interior and exterior trim and performance suspension.

Options include a Technology Package for the Journey that adds pre-crash brake assist and auto-tightening seat belts, adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, and upgraded interior air filter. All G37s are built in Japan and carry a $895 destination charge.

Get Up and Go  The "base" V6 is smooth and powerful and extremely responsive at any speed. Infiniti doesn't quote a 0-to-60 mph time for the G coupe, but it's easily less than 6.0 seconds--more likely about 5.5. When mated to the easy-to-shift six-speed manual transmission the engine has plenty of punch off the line and exceptional passing response.

The "tuned" V6 in the IPL is downright nasty--in a good way--as it snarls to unleash exceptional, shove-you-back-in-the-seat acceleration. The IPL is similar to the Lexus IS-F in this respect, it's surprisingly quick and sounds great getting up to speed.

The automatic transmission is impressive for what it isn't rather than for what it is. It's not intrusive. Step on the gas and it upshifts smoothly and downshifts promptly. It also doesn't hesitate between gears when downshifting in passing situations.

The beefy manual transmission is too notchy to speed shift but the clutch has a well-defined pickup point and is appropriately heavy.

Speaking of fuel economy, the IPL is EPA rated at 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. Those numbers aren't outstanding given the car's size, and Infiniti requires that all G models be fed more-expensive premium-grade fuel. In around town driving and typical highway commuting expect to average about 20 mpg. Straight highway driving is likely to net about 24 mpg.

On the Road  The G37 coupe sports a very firm ride. That means there is little float or bob on wavy roads but also a fair amount of road feel--especially on uneven roads or broken pavement. The suspension does a good job of filtering large bumps, but it softens rather than removes. The Sport and IPL models, with their 19-inch tires and sport suspension, have the firmest ride, so firm that it might not be to everyone's liking.

The hard ride is never harsh or jarring, but isn't typical luxury-car smooth either and does get a little annoying on longer trips. Enthusiasts will love the balance between road feel and comfort, luxury purists may yearn for something a bit smoother.

What's really impressive is the way the suspension works to keep the G pointed in the right direction regardless of road surfaces. Any automaker can make a suspension on that produces good handling on glass-smooth roads, the hard part is making a suspension that absorbs bumps and still keeps the tires in contact with the road.

Speaking of handling, the G37 coupe does an amazing job of tracking true through turns on even the bumpiest of roads. In addition, there's very little wheel hop in hard acceleration. Add to this the wonderfully direct and accurate steering and powerful brakes and you get a coupe that actually handles like a sports car--sans the pounding ride of course.

Behind the Wheel  The G37s interior is modern and fresh. Materials are top notch, buttons and switchgear work with sewing-machine smoothness, and the overall ambiance is one of understated luxury with more than a hint of sport.

Gauges are clear and easy to read, day or night. The entire gauge cluster moves up and down/for and aft with the tilt/telescope steering wheel. Major controls for the audio and climate control system are easily reached on the center stack. Navigation and ancillary controls are incorporated into a pod at the top of the center stack that should be studied by other manufacturers for its simplicity and ease of use.

The firm and supportive front seats are a bit narrow, but there's plenty of leg room for large adults. Those taller than 6 foot will find that headroom is at a premium. Outward visibility isn't as bad as in most coupe competitors, thanks to thin pillars and large rear-quarter windows, but the backup monitor is a must if you do a lot of parallel parking.

As in most coupes, the rear seats are not intended for adults. With the front seats pushed all the way back, leg and knee room are non-existent. If you are lucky enough to wiggle back there, you'll find that head room is also limited thanks to the steeply sloping roofline.

Trunk space is a scant 7.4 cubic feet. In itself that's not impressive, but the trunk has a reasonably large opening and expensive hinges that don't intrude on cargo space.  Interior storage is adequate, highlighted by large front-seat map pockets and a roomy center console storage bin.

Bottom Line  If you're a coupe buyer, it's very hard to find fault in the G37. Luxury-minded buyers will want to avoid the Sport or the IPL as the ride is firmer than expected for a luxury car. At the same time, enthusiasts who need a touch of luxury should seriously consider either the Sport or IPL. They are a blast to drive while still maintaining an air of civility. 


Specifications, 2012 Infiniti G37 IPL coupe
Dimensions
2-door coupe
Engine
DOHC V6
Wheelbase, in.
112.2
Size, liters/cu. in.
3.7 / 226
Length, in.
185.1
Horsepower @ rpm
348 @ 7400
Width, in.
71.8
Torque (lb.-ft.) @ rpm
276 @ 5200
Height, in.
54.9
Transmission
6-Speed Manual
Weight, lbs.
3718
EPA Estimates, mpg
17 city / 25 highway
Cargo Capacity, cu. ft.
7.4

 
Fuel Capacity, gals.
20.0
Manufacturer's Warranty
Seating Capacity
4
Bumper-to-Bumper
4 years / 60,000 miles
Front Head Room, in.
37.7
Powertrain
6 years / 70,000 miles
Front Leg Room, in.
43.8
Corrosion
7 years / Unlimited miles
Second-Row Head Room, in.
34.5
Free Roadside Assistance
4 years / Unlimited miles
Second-Row Leg Room, in.
29.8
Free Scheduled Maintenance
None




Mark Bilek

Mark Bilek is the Senior Director of Communications and Technology for the Chicago Auto Trade Association and the General Manager for DriveChicago.com. He is also responsible for developing and maintaining the Chicago Auto Show Web site.

Mark has been reviewing vehicles for more than two decades. Previously, he was associate publisher at Consumer Guide, where he oversaw publication of Consumer Guide Car & Truck Test, Consumer Guide's Used Car Book, and ConsumerGuide.com. He was also responsible for publication of "Collectible Automobile" and various hardcover automotive titles. In 2001 and 2002 he served as president of a Midwest Automotive Media Association. Mark has appeared on NBC TV, ABC TV, Fox News, WGN and MotorTrend TV as an automotive consultant. He hosts the Drive Chicago radio show on WLS 890 AM and was a regular guest on WGN Radio's Steve & Johnnie show. Mark lives in the northwest suburbs with his wife and three sons.