Thursday, February 10, 2011

Infiniti's G37 sedan is worthy of respect

Sacramento, California – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I’ve long liked Infiniti’s car lineup.

And yet, even after 20 years in the United States, Infiniti doesn’t seem to get the same respect given to, say, Lexus, BMW, Audi and Acura. Go figure.

I respect classy styling, tight-fitting bodywork, excellent interior features and performance, and two recently tested 2011 Infiniti G37 sedans delivered on all counts. If I had $35,000 to $40,000 to put down on an uplevel family/luxury/sport sedan, this G37 would be a likely candidate.

Alas, one of the tested G37s was dressed up with more optional extras than you’ll see on the IHOP breakfast menu. The bottom line came to $44,245. Kinda rich for my blood, so if I was shopping, I’d say: Hold the navigation system, the power moonroof and hash browns and give me the basic machine.

The basic machine is plenty. You get an aerodynamic, shoulders-hunched-forward rear-driver with a sporty grille and a trunk that goes deep inside from a somewhat chopped tail section. The windshield angle is set at a jaunty, sporty angle. This G37 cuts through air smoothly, and quietly.

Inside, the setting is elegant and feature-loaded. Leather appointed seats are enhanced up front with eight-way power and heating. The rear seats are roomy and comfortable, and there is climate control for the occupants.

Step on the gas and – whoa, what was that?!!! I heard a roar. I definitely heard a roar. Yes, a deep and satisfying growl from the 3.7 liter, 24-valve V-6 with a max horsepower rating of 328. Now there’s something a family of four can appreciate on the way to
Applebee’s. Let’s dust off a few sport coupes before ordering those sliders.

Power is muscular, but the handling is agile and light.

The car’s list of safety features is what I’d expect in a $60,000 Mercedes. Electronic brake, traction and car-control enhancements also are standard.

Fuel mileage is OK at around 17-19 miles per gallon in the city and 25-27 mpg on the open road.

This is a traveling car that won’t leave you worn out at the end of a long day, and even with its relatively affordable price, the contemporary Bluetooth, satellite radio and rearview monitors are in place as standard fare.

Auto-reviewing colleagues like to pit Infiniti’s G sedans -- 10 trim levels are available for 2011 -- against the BMW B Series, and yeah, I understand that. Personally, I think it boils down to personal preferences.

As for me, I lean toward the Infiniti product. Respect that.

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