The 2009 Infiniti G37 Coupe is the follow-up to the car that put Nissan's luxury brand on the map – in the division's 18th model year. Rival coupes from Mercedes-Benz and Lexus are reportedly on their way, but for now the G Coupe has staked out its territory in a three-car sub-category alongside the BMW 3 Series Coupe and Audi A5. While the faster, better-handling second-generation G Coupe doesn't deliver the famously nuanced driving dynamics of the 3 Series, it's fun, stylish and comfortable nonetheless, and enjoys a notable price advantage.
YOU'LL LIKE THIS CAR IF...
Whether you're most drawn to the G37 Coupe by style, luxury, technology or performance, you aren't likely to be disappointed. Compared to its archrival and role model, the BMW 3 Series Coupe, Infiniti's entry offers tremendous value.
YOU MAY NOT LIKE THIS CAR IF...
Even though it's hard not to have fun while behind the wheel of the G37 Coupe, many of the oft-intangible nuances for which the BMW 3 Series has earned a place in automotive history remain exclusive to the BMW.
WHAT'S SIGNIFICANT ABOUT THIS CAR
Infiniti adds an all-wheel drive model, the G37x, to the coupe lineup for 2009. Also new is a seven-speed automatic transmission, Scratch Shield self-sealing paint and a new exterior color: Moonlight White.
If you've developed an appreciation for the subtleties in response, feedback and behavior that have traditionally distinguished performance-oriented European cars from the rest of the world's, you'll enjoy the 2009 Infiniti G37 – just not as much as you'd enjoy the iconic BMW 335i. Regardless of your affinities, there's a good chance that back-to-back drives would leave you questioning the BMW's price premium that can stretch toward $10,000. Performance-focused drivers hoping for a more sophisticated, premium-badged Nissan Z will find satisfaction in the Infiniti's 330-horsepower V6 and eager, tenacious handling. Drivers looking for a sporty looking but comfortable coupe will appreciate the refined accommodations and pleasant highway ride. We liked both the six-speed manual transmission and the sport-oriented seven-speed automatic with downshift rev matching, and both steering and brake feel were similarly satisfying.
OUR FAVORITE FEATURES
The touch-screen LCD display found in every G37 features an intuitive, visually appealing interface and serves as the control center for optional features like the best iPod integration we've used, a navigation system with real-time traffic info, rearview monitor, 9.3-gigabyte music hard drive and a CompactFlash card reader for music.
Intelligent Cruise Control
The G37's available Intelligent Cruise Control system will detect a slower-moving vehicle ahead and reduce speed accordingly. It can also identify sudden braking ahead and prepare the brakes for a panic stop.
While you can't argue with the G37's awe-inspiring performance and sexy sheetmetal, our "most impressive" vote goes to the passenger cabin. The seven-inch LCD screen included on all models radiates colorful and attractive graphics that further enhance the new model's more contemporary vibe. We also like the visually soft aluminum alloy trim (inspired by Japanese washi paper, Infiniti says), as well as the optional African rosewood trim. Except for limited headroom, the rear seats are more accommodating than might be apparent. Sport models include a unique 14-way adjustable driver's seat with thigh extensions and power-adjustable bolsters.
In following up the wildly successful first-generation G Coupe, Infiniti's designers did an admirable job of delivering a design that's both wholly familiar and decidedly fresh. Shapelier, more defined sheet metal is adorned with standard-issue High Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-xenon headlights, LED taillights, two big exhaust outlets and 18-inch wheels. Available 19-inch wheels are also included on the Sport and Sport Package-equipped models that also feature a more aggressive front fascia and side sills and an optional rear spoiler.
NOTABLE STANDARD EQUIPMENT
At base price, the Infiniti G37 Coupe includes Infiniti Intelligent Key remote-sensing unlock and start, a seven-inch LCD monitor, High Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-xenon headlights, leather seating, 18-inch wheels and a six-speaker sound system with MP3-compatible CD player, XM Satellite Radio and auxiliary audio input. A long list of standard safety equipment includes front, side and two-row side curtain airbags, stability and traction control and an advanced braking system.
The 2009 Infiniti G37 Coupe offers a long list of desirable options, highlights of which include Intelligent Cruise Control, adaptive headlights, Bluetooth hands-free cell phone connectivity, Infiniti Interface System for iPod, four-wheel active steering with variable steering ratio, comprehensive 11-speaker premium audio system and a hard drive-based, touch-screen navigation system with real-time traffic info, 9.3-gigabyte digital music storage and more. Sport models are distinguished by 19-inch wheels, a limited-slip differential, more aggressive suspension, bigger brakes, sport seats, paddle shifters (automatic only) and a sportier front fascia and side sills.
UNDER THE HOOD
The beating, spinning heart of the second-generation G37 Coupe is the most powerful iteration yet of the ever-evolving, world-renowned V6 that motivates several Nissan and Infiniti vehicles. The 3.7-liter VQ engine incorporates variable valve control, resulting in an impressive power increase. When teamed with Infiniti's new seven-speed automatic, the G37 sees a measured improvement in fuel economy versus last year's model.
330 horsepower @ 7000 rpm
270 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 (automatic), 17/25 (manual), 18/25 (AWD, automatic)
Pricing for the 2009 Infiniti G37 Coupe ranges from a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of around $37,000 to a fully loaded high of about $49,000 for the G37x. We expect our New Car Blue Book Values to reflect real-world transaction prices very close to sticker price. The BMW 328i Coupe features sticker prices ranging from about $37,000 to more than $51,000, while the more powerful 335i Coupe extends from over $43,000 to more than $58,000. While its highly-regarded Bavarian competitor remains the thoroughbred of the pair, the G37 Coupe's value equation is awfully compelling. As for resale value, we expect the G37 Coupe to perform just slightly worse than the 328i, and a few percentage points lower than the new Audi A5.