Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Infiniti G37 coupe a solid ride in luxury segment

This review originally appeared in the December 2011 edition of the Northern & Central California Cruisin’ News published out of Folsom, California – mg

Sacramento, California -- Freshened for 2011 and basically carried over as is for 2012, the Infiniti G37 Journey coupe represents serious fun in the entry-level luxury market.

Entry level is a nice say of saying: “I can’t afford $50,000.” So, in the I-G37-coupe, you can figure on dropping $40,000. My tester, however, was gaudily dressed up with about a zillion options, so the bottom line came in at around $47,000.

Moral of the story: You take your luxury just about any way you can get it, especially in this economy. For me, the G37 represented a week in a vehicle that I admit is one of my favorites.

How do I like thee? Let me count the ways: 330. That’s the max horsepower number laid down by the 3.7-liter, 24-valve V-6 power plant. That’s sufficient to propel the two-door G37 onto the dog-eat-dog freeway, up the steepest inclines and around the sharpest bends.

A seven-speed automatic, sport-tuned gearbox matched up with sweetly engineered independent suspension front and rear makes the G37 a joy to drive. I’d equate it with the Triumph TR4 of the early 1960s … only way safer and stuffed with convenience/comfort features that Triumph pilots of the 1960s never could have imagined.

The G37’s standard list included eight-way/heated power front seats, dual zone climate control (even though it’s fairly tight quarters in the cockpit), USB connection, iPod port, rearview monitor and leather all around. Safety features take up a good quarter of the owner’s manual, by the way.

Fuel mileage is so-so at 19 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

The G37 looks sharp and racy, particularly wearing the upgraded 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels that came extra with my ride.

Please note that this is a four-passenger vehicle, so the idea of torturing/squeezing a fifth passenger in the back is out of the question. Also a personal favorite of mine: Infiniti’s bird’s eye view in-dash navigation map.

All in all, pretty much nothing beats the pleasure of driving this feisty coupe on the open road on a sunny day … making believe you have $50,000 in your pocket to spend on a new car.

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