If you’re looking for a used luxury sedan with a lot of equipment and a sporty character, you probably have the 2009-2014 Acura TL and the 2007-2013 Infiniti G on your shopping list. After all, both models offer standout styling, powerful engines and lots of technology, along with good reliability and reasonable pricing. But which one is better? And which one should you get? We’ve created a close comparison of the two models in order to find out, but first let’s go over the basics of both vehicles.
2009-2014 Acura TL: The Basics
The fourth-generation TL debuted in 2009. Unlike the G, it was only offered as a sedan, and unlike the G, it came standard with front-wheel drive, though all-wheel drive was an option. All TL models received a V6 with front-wheel-drive versions powered by a 3.5-liter unit and all-wheel-drive models using a more powerful 3.7-liter engine. The TL was replaced after the 2014 model year with the slightly smaller TLX.
2007-2013 Infiniti G: The Basics
The second-generation Infiniti G sedan was redesigned in 2007 and initially went on sale as the G35 for 2007 and 2008. A larger engine debuted in 2009, resulting in a name change to the G37, which stuck around until the model was fully redesigned for 2014. As for the G37 Coupe, it didn’t debut until 2008, when it skipped the G35’s 3.5-liter engine and went straight for the larger 3.7. The G37 also offered a hardtop convertible model, which came out in 2010. The G was split into two models for 2014: an all-new sedan dubbed the Q50 and a coupe (which retained the G37’s design) dubbed the Q60.
According to reliability experts at Consumer Reports, both the Acura TL and Infiniti G earned among the highest marks for reliability, ranging from better than average to best in class. The firm gave both models a rating of “good bet.”
It’s worth noting, however, that Infiniti’s certified pre-owned warranty trumps Acura’s coverage — in case you’re thinking about buying a fairly recent model with a manufacturer-backed warranty attached. While Acura’s CPO warranty touts 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage and provides an additional year of bumper-to-bumper protection beyond the original warranty, Infiniti’s offers 6 years of coverage with no mileage limit — a huge advantage for some drivers. Still, these models are so close in terms of reliability that this category is a draw.
Early G35 sedan models came with a 3.5-liter V6, which offered 306 horsepower and returned 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Infiniti’s 2009 upgrade to the 3.7-liter V6 resulted in an hp boost to 328 hp and a simultaneous gas mileage increase to 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy. Interestingly, Infiniti also offered a base-level G25 sedan model for just 2 years — 2011 and 2012. It used a 218-hp 2.5-liter V6 and returned just 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy.
As for the TL, it offered two powertrains. Base-level front-wheel-drive models used a 280-hp 3.5-liter V6, which touted 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy. Drivers who opted for all-wheel drive also got an engine upgrade to a 305-hp 3.7-liter V6, which returned up to 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy.
Since most TL models are front-wheel drive, they offer a fuel economy advantage over all Infiniti G models except the lethargic G25. But the advantage isn’t much, and for many drivers, it’s negated by the Infiniti’s extra grunt.
Although the G37 earned a perfect 5-star overall crash-test rating from the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the TL earned only a 4-star score, giving the Infiniti an advantage. However, only the TL earned a Top Safety Pick rating from the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, as the G fell short of the coveted designation — giving the Acura a slight leg up.
As for safety features, both models offered everything you need, including standard side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and traction control with stability control. Both models also offered an optional backup camera. In later years, the G also offered a forward-collision warning system while the TL didn’t, but the TL touted a blind spot monitoring system, which you couldn’t get in the G.
The result: When it comes to safety, we think both the TL and the G are neck and neck, touting strong safety ratings and a lot of equipment. Neither model has a major advantage here.
Despite their aging designs, the 2009-2014 TL and the 2007-2013 Infiniti G offered a surprisingly wide array of technology — even from their original launch, when the G came standard with bi-xenon headlights and also offered a voice-activated navigation system and adaptive cruise control, and the TL boasted standard Bluetooth audio connectivity, a power sunroof and leather upholstery with heated and dual power front seats.
As the years went on, both models became even more advanced. By 2013, the TL touted GPS-linked climate control, ventilated front seats and the aforementioned blind spot monitoring system, while the G offered automatic forward-collision braking and high-performance options such as a limited-slip differential and a sport suspension.
While technophiles will certainly see that the TL and G aren’t up to par with the latest models from Acura and Infiniti, they were surprisingly advanced for their time. And while neither model boasts a huge advantage over the other, we think gadget lovers will be pleased with either one.
There are currently around 4,100 different 2009-2013 Infiniti G sedan models on Autotrader, with an average asking price of around $21,200. Meanwhile, there are currently around 2,000 different 2009-2013 TL models on Autotrader, with an average asking price of $20,400.
Although that slight difference isn’t much, an $800 advantage is nothing to scoff at, especially when the TL and G have scored so closely in each of our categories. As a result, we think the TL likely offers a slightly better value than its Infiniti rival.
This comparison is very close, just as it was when these two cars were new. In the end, however, we prefer the G. Here’s why: If you’re buying a premium sport sedan, you probably have an eye on performance, and while the TL and G are close in many areas, the Infiniti outshines its Acura rival when it comes to driving pleasure, as it offers more power and a rear-wheel-drive layout. If comfort is your thing, however, you’ll find that these two cars are a lot closer than you might expect, so we wouldn’t fault you for picking the TL, especially as it’s a little cheaper to buy than the Infiniti.