2013 Infiniti G Sedan: New Car Review
Pros: Great V6 engine; available AWD; available manual transmission; strong resale and repair history.
Cons: No advanced telematics or app-oriented audio systems; color choices a bit bland; no manual transmission on Journey or AWD trim.
What's New: The 4-cylinder G25 is dropped from the line, leaving only three trims: the 2013 Infiniti G sedan Journey, Sport 6MT and xAWD.
Although Infiniti had just one car in mind when it created the 2013 G Series sedan (that car being the BMW 3 Series), many G sedan owners consider the car an equal match to more luxury-oriented sedans from Lexus, Cadillac and Audi. In truth, the 2013 Infiniti G sedan works on many levels. This is partly the result of its brilliant driving dynamics but also its excellence at coddling its passengers. The 2013 Infiniti G's rear-drive layout is preferred by hard-core driving enthusiasts over the front- and all-wheel-drive sedans from Acura and Audi, and its taut suspension delivers superb handling without punishing passengers by the seat of their pants.
Today's G37 is larger and more powerful than the first G35, but then again the same can be said for the 3 Series. Available this year only with the V6 engine, the G37 is priced slightly higher than some 4-cylinder entry-level competitors, but it still represents a remarkable value. It combines the attributes of a premium-brand car with an admirable reliability, repair and resale history. But beyond its sleek good looks and bountiful luxury options, the G is just plain fun to drive. For the driving enthusiast, that's reason enough to plunk down the $35K asking price.
Comfort & Utility
The G sedan is a roomy and well-appointed car, with generous front and rear legroom and a fairly accommodating 13.5-cu-ft trunk. The leather seats are firm and supportive, and the side bolsters are ample enough to hold you in place during spirited drives.
We like the G sedan's dash and console layout. Unlike so many cars today, the G keeps things clean and simple even though it is packed full of the same high-tech gadgets as its competitors. The gauges are large and brightly lit, and the available high-mounted navigation system has a 7-inch LCD screen with all of its controls logically arranged around a single joystick controller.
The G sedan is, first and foremost, an entry-level luxury model. To that end, Infiniti has loaded it up with standard and optional equipment befitting its status. The G37 Journey is the most affordable model and includes standard leather seating; an 8-way power driver's and passenger seat; intelligent keyless entry and push-button start; rearview monitor; heated seats; Bluetooth; a USB/iPod port; automatic climate control; and HID headlamps. That's a pretty nice score for its $38,000 asking price. The G37 offers a number of upgrade packages. With them, you can get a 10-speaker Bose audio system; voice-activated hard-drive navigation; a power sunroof; a power tilting and telescoping steering wheel; and memory for the driver's seat, mirrors and steering wheel. The Sport package adds 18-in wheels, a sport suspension, 12-way power adjustable sport seats and a limited-slip rear differential (RWD only).
The lion's share of the G37's technology can be found in the fittingly named Technology package. Topping the package's offerings is Intelligent Cruise Control, which maintains a safe distance between you and the traffic ahead; Brake Assist with preview braking; rain-sensing wipers and an Advanced Climate Control system that purifies the air entering the cabin.
Infiniti's hard-drive-based navigation can be equipped with XM NavTraffic and NavWeather, and offers voice recognition for navigation, audio and vehicle information.
Performance & Fuel Economy
Under the G37's hood resides a 3.7-liter V6, an engine shared with the performance legend Nissan 370Z. With 328 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, the 3.7-liter has the muscle to make the G37 a contender. Plus, it's one of the smoothest, sweetest-sounding V6s anywhere. Buyers of the G37 have a choice between the 7-speed automatic and a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission offered on the Sport trim.
Fuel economy figures of 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway are slightly below what BMW and Audi achieve, and fall to 18/25 mpg when AWD is added to the mix. The manually equipped Sport trim earns a rating of 17/25 mpg.
The G sedan comes equipped with 4-wheel ABS; electronic traction and stability control; and six airbags (front, front side and side curtain). The G37's Technology package adds enhanced braking technology that can prep the brakes before they're needed for quicker stopping response.
We'll say it flat out: The G sedan is one of our favorite performance sedans. In its most basic form, the 2013 Infiniti G37 delivers exhilarating acceleration with razor-sharp handling. The G37 lives for the curve, exhibiting excellent stability and tenacious grip. AWD makes a great car greater, but it's the 6-speed manual transmission and sport suspension on the Sport model that win us over. However, you really must be a purist to take on the Sport trim, because the ride is very firm, the seats are tight and the manual transmission, although a joy on winding back roads, is a true pain in congested stop-and-go traffic.
Other Cars to Consider
BMW 3 Series - The 3's performance is still a bit sharper than the G37's, but it can get pretty pricey once you start adding options.
Acura TL - The TL has an excellent reliability and resale history, and its V6 engine easily rivals the G37's. But the front-wheel-drive version just can't match the G37's handling, although you can get a manual transmission with the AWD TL.
Volvo S60 - The S60's exterior is more modern than the G37's, and its 5-cylinder engine isn't as smooth or powerful as the G37's V6. Even the more powerful inline-6 on the AWD T6 can't match the G37's horsepower, but it whomps the Infiniti in torque.
Driving purists will always take a great set of sport seats and a slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission. But for the average buyer, we'd go with the G37x with the Premium and Navigation packages. This car has great handling, a smooth ride, lots of luxury features and the added security of