Friday, July 22, 2011


If you are a fan of Infiniti’s G37 sports sedan and coupe, as I am, but have been put off by a price tag that quickly hits the $40,000 mark, there is good news this year.
The luxury division of Japanese automaker Nissan has put on the market a new 2011 G25 model that incorporates many of the same features found on the standard G37 but with a price tag starting in the low $30k range.
Of course, you’re not going to get quite the power from the G25 that you do with the G37, which is one of the tops in its class.
But it is far from a slug.
According to company figures, the 2.5-liter V6 engine in the G25 is rated at 218 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque, which provides for more than adequate get-up-and-go, if not the neck-snapping acceleration you get with the G37’s respective 328 and 269 figures.
Both drink premium fuel, though the company lists the high octane as “required” for the G37 and “recommended” for the G25. Mileage figures aren’t all that different -- 20 city, 29 highway for the rear-wheel drive G25 (19/27 for AWD) and 17-19 city, 27-25 highway, depending on which trim left and transmission for the G37.
Driving the G25 for the week, I found the G25’s performance to be quite adequate. Zero-to-60 time is in the eight-second range (only a rough personal count, not a scientific test). Cornering and handling is virtually the same as with the G37.
If I have a complaint about the G25, it’s that it is not offered with a manual transmission, only a seven-speed automatic. I really like a manual when I’m behind the wheel of a performance car.
You can shift gears manually with the G25’s automatic (as is possible with most in this class these days), but it’s not the same.
One thing I will say about the G25’s automatic. It’s shifts are nearly imperceptible. Even going from first to second there is no noticeable pause. For a moment, I was wondering if Nissan had made the mistake of putting one of its CVTs (continuously variable transmission) in it, but, of course, it hadn’t. Thank goodness for that.
As for amenities, you’ll find a nice collection in the G25. A rearview backup camera is standard on all models, and there is Infiniti’s signature analog clock in the middle of the center stack. 
Controls for climate and audio systems are easily deciphered. Don’t be intimated by the knob in the middle below the display screen. You don’t need a cram course in owner’s manual obfuscation to figure out how it works to change a function.
The seats are comfortable, and cabin ambience is what you expect in this class. Lots of leather and “Shodo” aluminum trim is spread throughout. A navigation system is available. It wasn’t on the model I drove, but I have operated Infiniti’s system before and found it easy to understand.
So you’re not missing anything in the G25.
What it essentially comes down to is this: If need to save a few bucks, go with the G25. But if you can wait a bit and save up some more money, or it’s in your budget to begin with, then you’ll want to consider the G37.
Either way you can’t really lose.

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