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2011 Infiniti G25 - First Drive

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author photo by Autotrader December 2010

There are some questions that may remain forever unanswered. Such as: why are there so many syllables in "monosyllabic?" Who decided that "lisp" should have an S in it? And what the heck goes on when Infiniti has meetings?

For example, when the company planned to introduce a lower-priced entry level model for the G mid-size sedan range, it was decided not to make satellite navigation an option, working on the understanding that 45 percent of customers don’t check that particular box when finalizing details at the dealers. By that reckoning, 55 percent “do” order satellite navigation, which would make them the majority.

Fortunately, other members of Infiniti’s staff have a much more advanced grasp of math. Because even though the 2011 G25 has a smaller V6 compared with its more expensive siblings, it still adds up to one great ride.

This 2.5-liter engine produces 218 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque, but the numbers are kind of academic. It’s the whole package that needs to be taken into account. The fine balance of the rear-wheel-drive chassis, the way the suspension reacts, plus the feel and precision of the steering, the sweet easy-changing action of the seven-speed automatic transmission... they all matter and they are all in evidence here.

This is a confidence-inspiring car that almost begs to pushed just a little harder around corners. There’s always the standard vehicle dynamics (stability) control and traction control if things get a little overheated. At the other end of this envelope, the brakes are strong and reassuring, without gripping.

There is a smattering of cheaper plastic here and there among the standard leather trim, but the interior is generally easy on the eye and hospitable enough with passenger space. There’s certainly nothing wrong with the build quality. An optimum driving position is simple and quick to achieve, and visibility is generally good. The biggest issue is with noise. Engine noise isn’t so bad, nor wind, it’s the tire roar and how every lump in the road thumps its way into the cabin. For a premium car, this really should be better.

Consumption runs to 20 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway. Pricing starts at $31,825 (including destination charges). There is an all-wheel-drive option, the G25x, but the most popular trim level is expected to be the Journey, which starts at $33,225. Compare that to $33,150 for a 2011 BMW 328i or $32,145 for a 2011 Lexus IS 250. These entry level models from rival marques tend to be the best sellers (85 percent of 3 Series cars sold; 90 percent of IS cars sold), so the G25 is in with a good chance.

The Infiniti G is closer in spirit to the BMW. It has a real driver’s edge to it. So much so that recommending the G25 and suggesting seeking out a quieter set of tires – or at least getting a set of earplugs – doesn’t seem too irresponsible. When the driving experience is this good, the downside just falls away.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2011 Infiniti G25 - First Drive - Autotrader