Review: The 2013 Infiniti G37 is a poke in the chest to top European sports coupes

2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe

The Infiniti G37 Coupe is for those who don’t want, or can’t afford, a costlier European sports coupe from automakers such as BMW or Mercedes. It seems that everyone has a “Euro” coupe.

The front-engine/rear-drive G37 coupe sure looks sexy enough, from its “wave-style” hood to its large-diameter dual exhaust pipe outlets. The G37 makes some BMW and Mercedes models look rather frumpy—although Infiniti still lags behind those automakers in resale value.

The G37 is sold as the $40,300 Journey, the $41,950 all-wheel-drive G37x AWD (all-wheel-drive) model, which I tested, or the $45,000 G37 Sport. The Sport has a six-speed manual transmission, while the others have a seven-speed automatic with a manual-shift feature.

Those prices come from the 2013 Infiniti media website, but the window sticker price for my test car was $41,450, or $500 less than the site’s price. Not that it made much difference in the end because my test car was loaded with desirable option packages and a freight charge that upped its sticker price to $51,245.

The $1,250 Technology a Package contains items such as cruise control, while a $3,250 package includes a power glass sunroof and rear sonar system. A $1,950 Sport package features a “sport-tuned suspension” with 19-inch wheels, sport brakes  and a “Sport Front Fascia.”  Finally, there was an $1,850 Navigation package with a navigation system, voice recognition and even restaurant reviews.

Oh, the car also had an $800 interior accents package with high-gloss maple interior accents.

Thus, while reasonably priced for what it is, the cost of a G37 coupe can escalate quickly—if you so desire.

There are few changes for the 2013 G37 coupe, but one is different aluminum trim on the instrument panel, center console and door panels and a revised stone interior color with graphite accents.

My G37 test car’s quiet interior looked extra fine, although I mostly appreciated the easily used controls in the driver-oriented cockpit and electroluminescent instrumentation that was easy to read in bright sunlight. Seats deserve special mention because of their excellent support during normal or spirited driving.

The three nicely equipped G37 models mentioned have a strong, sophisticated  3.7-liter V-6 that develops 330 power and 270 pound-feet of torque.

But let’s not forget those with thicker wallets. For them, there’s a limited-production, higher-performance G37 IPL (Infiniti Performance Line) coupe that costs $53,000 with an automatic transmission or $51,100 with a manual and has a 348 horsepower version of the V-6. The IPL features such items a a body kit, and chassis enhancements.

But why bother with an IPL model unless you have burning desire to have the fastest (but not by much) G37 coupe or feel like taking one to a track.

My test G37 AWD was plenty fast, with a sky-high (for a street car) 7,500 r.p.m. redline.

However, Infiniti recommends that only premium fuel should be used. Estimated economy for the all-wheel-drive G37 coupe was 18 miles per gallon in the city and 25 on highways.

The test “G” had sharp, appropriately firm steering suited for high-speed driving, a generally supple all-independent suspension with a desirable double-wishbone front setup.

The chassis got a little nervous on poor pavement, which prompted me to write it off as a cross-country car. The stiffer “Sport Package” may have caused this condition because the car’s standard advanced suspension and fairly long (for its size) 112.2-inch wheelbase should have eliminated an occasional jerky ride.

The G37 is essentially a two-seater that’s a blast to drive. It’s a hassle to get in or out of the tight rear-seat area despite long doors and a passenger’s seat that slides back for easier backseat entry. The space behind a driver is especially tight, best left for children or pets.

“Active” safety features include Vehicle Dynamic Control with a traction control system. And the strong all-disc vented anti-lock brakes have electronic brake force distribution and brake-assist features for quick, sure stops. The brake pedal has a nice firm feel that inspires confidence.

“Passive” safety items include a variety of air bags. And a tire-pressure monitoring system will alert drivers who rarely, if ever, check tire pressures—although one can assume that most buyers of a G37 coupe are auto enthusiasts who keep a close watch on such things.

But even car buffs won’t be happy with the medium-size, rather shallow trunk’s liftover height, caused by the car’s rakish styling. The back seat folds forward to increase cargo room, but the pass-through opening between the trunk and rear-seat area is only moderately large.

The trunk opens on twin hydraulic struts. So does the hood. And both have interior linings to help keep the interior quieter.

Infiniti says its G37 coupe offers “seductive styling and exhilarating performance.” It would be hard to argue with that.

On the TFLcar scale of:

Buy it

– Lease it

– Rent it or

-Forget it

I recommend that you Buy It!

Price:  $$40,300-$53,000

Dan Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times–far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.’s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008. For more of Dan’s thoughtful and insightful reviews please visit his web site HERE.