2010 Infiniti G37 Coupe Road Test Review

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Published on June 23, 2010

Beautifully proportionate, the Infiniti G37 Coupe is as well balanced visually as it is dynamically. (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)

Published on June 23, 2010

Uniquely shaped headlamp clusters could only be from Infiniti. (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)

Published on June 23, 2010

A jewel of an engine! (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)

Published on June 23, 2010

Gorgeous wheels with grippy rubber that sticks like velcro. (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)

Published on June 23, 2010

High-quality interior puts some Europeans to shame. (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)

Published on June 23, 2010

Fabulous seats! (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)

Published on June 23, 2010

Rear seats are good for kids or adults in a pinch. (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)

Published on June 23, 2010

Gorgeous detailing, the G37's centre stack is better than high-end audio gear. (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)

Published on June 23, 2010

A good idea, but the execution of the seatbelt arm didn't work for my height. (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)

Published on June 23, 2010

Keep your eye on this brand. (Photo: Canadian Auto Press)

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Published on June 23, 2010

Last year I drove Infiniti's 2009 G37 Coupe from San Francisco to Monterey and back to attend my annual Western Automotive Journalists ride and drive program, and then tooled around San Francisco for the better part of a week enjoying myself immensely. I came back glowing about the car's performance and overall refinement, sharing it in a review. That car was a G37 S, S denoting Sport, while this year Infiniti gave me a 2010 G37x to test for a week at home, the x marking all-wheel drive.

Before I delve into the differences between the two trim levels and what I like more about one than the other, there have been a few upgrades for 2010 that I should go over. While the Coupe didn't get the new grille and fascias of the Sedan, and frankly doesn't need them, it did receive some interior mods. First on the list are new interior colours, as well as new aluminum trim that looks very upscale. A revised gauge package is a feast for the eyes too, as is the renewed centre console on models fitted with the automatic gearbox. New wheel designs get added to the mix as well. Lastly, all Coupes get rain-sensing wipers, standard.

New options include an Advanced Climate Control System with auto-recirculation and airborne allergen filter, a rearview monitor and 2 GB Music Box Flash Music Server, plus the Navigation Package now gets Infiniti's next-generation hard-drive navigation system with higher-resolution graphics, Bluetooth Advanced Audio Distribution Profile, DVD-video playback and Zagat restaurant ratings. Yeah, some nice upgrades for sure.

As part of Infiniti's focus on overall improvement with each new model, something most brands achieve with each new model upgrade and something Nissan's luxury division has made more progress in than any other premium brand, the G37, in Sedan, Coupe and now Convertible form is an entirely different machine than it was in its first generation. While the original G35 lacked somewhat in interior refinement, the new G37 is as good as cars in this segment get, and while the old car was wonderfully lighthearted and tossable, the new one is seriously powerful, precise and poised. They're as different in feel as they are to the eye, and for this reason must be experienced to be appreciated.

All G series cars use the same 3.7-litre, DOHC, 24-valve V6 with only minor output differentiation, and it's a jewel of an engine. With 330 horsepower available at a lofty 7,000 rpm, the Coupe adds 2 horsepower over the Sedan, and with 270 lb-ft of torque on tap from 5,200 rpm the Coupe ups twist by 1 lb-ft. Both can be had with a six-speed manual transmission, or in the case of my tester, a 7-speed automatic with manual mode.

The difference between last year's Sport model and this year's all-wheel drive G37x is a noticeable lack of paddle-shifters. I kept reaching for them and they weren't there, and I don't tend to use manual mode if actuation can only be applied by the gear lever. Funny thing, I previously only employed the paddles during spirited drives, but now I use them more often to short shift the transmission, saving fuel. How driving habits have changed since fuel prices have escalated.

The seven-speed automatic is a wonderful transmission with or without those fabulous magnesium paddles, downshifting with precision on its own and responding by doing likewise with a quick tap on the throttle. The seventh gear allows the engine's revs to remain low and therefore it's more fuel-efficient when cruising, and alternatively the gearbox incorporates shorter intervals between shifts, which maintains the engine's 5,000 to 7,000 rpm sweet spot when pushing the envelope.

And pushing the envelope is exactly what this car likes to do. The G37 is superb in the corners, the Sport better thanks to suspension modifications, larger wheels and tires, beefier brakes and sport seats, but the G37x is still an impressive performer that can proudly stand tall beside European rivals. The suspension is, of course, fully independent and expertly tuned to deliver stunning handling, optimized by standard 18-inch alloy rims inside 225/50R18 all-season rubber, plus traction and stability control. The wheel and tire upgrade for G37 Sport models includes 19-inch wheels and 225/45R19 summer performance tires. Braking is superb in base and G37x trim, and gets better with the Sport package.

While I personally prefer the G37 Sport, especially in Sport MT guise with its six-speed manual and viscous limited-slip differential, there's a lot to be said about the G37x' all-wheel drive system. The Japanese premium brand touts its Infiniti Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system as one of the most advanced on the planet, which is a bold claim, but not one without reason. It constantly monitors wheelspin, throttle position and vehicle speed, allowing its infinitely variable torque splitting capability to automatically divert up to 50-percent of power to the front wheels when needed. Active Brake Limited Slip further distributes torque to either side when demand dictates. What I like best is that 100-percent of rear-wheel torque is on hand when road surfaces are ideal, making the extra 100 kilos (220 lbs) of weight needed for the all-wheel drive system the only disadvantage during such moments; the G37x weighs in at 1,745 kilograms (3,847 lbs).

Yes, the G37 is no lightweight, with even the base Coupe tipping the scales at 1,645 kilos (3,627 lbs). This has nothing to do with its size, as its footprint, otherwise known as wheelbase, over the previous G35 spans an identical 2,850 millimeters (112.2 inches). The new Coupe measures 4,650 mm (183.1 inches) in length, a fraction longer, 1,823 mm (71.8 inches) in width, only a hair wider, and 1,391 mm (54.8 inches) tall, which is substantially shorter. Interior roominess hasn't changed noticeably, which was never an issue anyway, while cargo capacity has dropped marginally to a consistently confined 209 litres (7.4 cubic feet) from 221 litres (7.8 cubic feet). All said, mass is 96 kilos (211 lbs) greater, but despite the heavier coupe's vastly improved performance, fuel economy is better overall.

With the automatic the new coupe boasts and estimated 11.2 L/100km in the city and 7.5 on the highway while the all-wheel drive G37x is not much worse at 11.7 and 7.8 respectively. The old G35 Coupe needed 12.1 L/100km in the city and 8.2 on the highway; the G37 continues to require premium unleaded.

So, efficiency issues and measurements not being an issue, where has all the extra weight come from? Quality! The G37's new interior is first rate, with soft-touch plastics nearly everywhere, plus real metal accents and first-rate switchgear. Sound deadening is way up and higher strength steel leading to greater torsional rigidity also adds weight while improving performance, while giving the car a solid Teutonic feel. All Coupes also come with dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic xenon headlamps, heated mirrors, a power glass sunroof, eight-way power-adjustable heated leather seats with driver's side memory, a folding second-row seat back, a CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary input, a 2.0 GB Music Box Flash Memory Server, and XM satellite radio, Bluetooth phone connectivity, cruise control, power tilt and telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, a rearview monitor, auto up/down windows, proximity sensing Intelligent Key with pushbutton start, illuminated vanity mirrors, a tire pressure monitoring system, a security alarm and more. I should also mention that with the G37x the sunroof is optional. A full assortment of airbags is standard, as is a four-year, 100,000 km warranty and an especially good six-year/110,000 km warranty.

You can improve your G37x with a Hi-Tech package that adds a navigation system with lane guidance, a 9.3 GB Music Box hard drive, a Compact Flash slot, a USB port, Bluetooth streaming audio, rain-sensing wipers, the new Advanced Climate Control System, the new navigation upgrades as mentioned earlier, and more.

My G73x Coupe is priced at $48,800 while a fully loaded G37x will cost you $52,850, not including dealer installed accessories and not including $1,890 for freight and pre-delivery inspection. The base G37 Coupe starts at $46,300, while a fully optioned out G37 Sport will set you back $54,050.

Compare Infiniti's two-door in any of its trim levels to competitors from Germany and you'll see a significant value proposition, and then when factoring in the car's superb performance, fabulous build quality and renowned reliability, the G37 Coupe is a wise choice.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sports Coupe, Infiniti, 2010, G37 Coupe, $40,000 - $49,999,

Organizations: Infiniti

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