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2013 Infiniti G37 Overview
Not much is new for the G37 in 2013, as Infiniti continues to parse down the trim lineup. Available as a coupe, sedan or hardtop convertible, the G37 aims at that tiniest of targets—the luxury sports car. With the BMW 3 Series as a perfect point of reference, Infiniti didn’t have a lot of opportunity for improvement, but has tried its best to offer a bit more style and seat-of-your-pants fun than competitors.
Whether they hit that mark is a different story and certainly not a quantifiable measurement, but the G37 offers an alternative to stalwarts of the class. For 2013, look to some interior trim and color shuffling to keep things mildly fresh on this 5-year-old design.
But that just means all the reasons you loved the G37 in the first place are still there. The 330-hp, 3.7-liter V6 is still there, with its 270 lb-ft of torque on tap. The two transmissions are still there, in 7-speed automated manual and 6-speed traditional manual configurations. And the two responsive suspensions—whether in Base or Sport flavor—are still there, too.
That means you’ll be able to scoot to 60 in just 5.7 seconds if you pick a RWD Sport Coupe, and still get a return of 17 mpg city/25 highway at the pump. Pick a more reserved G37, like the Base with RWD and the automatic transmission, and you can bump those numbers to 19/27.
Of course, there have been complaints. The manual transmission has been criticized for being notchy with a clutch that seems to be either engaged or disengaged—no middle ground. The automated manual has similarly been criticized for a reluctance to downshift that can be remedied through proper application of the paddle shifters.
And that highlights a small downside of the G37: flexibility. There’s no room for weak points in this class, as a luxury sports car needs to do everything well. The G37 certainly tries with its 2-door, 4-door and hardtop convertible configurations, available in rear or AWD. If you want to offer everything to everyone—or at least everyone who can afford it—you can’t have a poor transmission or a throwaway suspension.
Thankfully, that’s not the issue with the G37's suspension offerings. Yes, the Sport trims get a little firm, but only in comparison to competitors that have been refining sport suspensions in this class for decades. You’ll feel some large-bump reverberations with the sport suspension, but not so much as to be disruptive or even annoying. It’s what we used to call feedback. The road does like to talk to you, if you’re listening. Base trims suffer from no such drawbacks and offer a competent, even sporty ride with all the soft give you’d expect from a luxury brand. Unless you’re planning on heading to the track, the Base suspension will do just fine.
The luxury is piled on here, with standard automatic xenon headlights, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate controls, leather upholstery for the heated seats, a rear-view camera and more. A performance package will add a sunroof, an 11-speaker Bose system, a driver's memory system and rear parking sensors, while a Sport package ups the ante with 19-inch wheels with performance tires, sport suspension and steering, a limited-slip differential, sport brakes and seats. The tech starts getting piled on with the Navigation package with its nav system, touchscreen interface with real-time traffic and weather, Bluetooth and voice controls and video playback from DVD or USB.
The problem is you have to move vertically through the options list to get anything from subsequent packages. If you want the adaptive cruise control, pre-collision seatbelt tensioning and advanced climate control system, you must purchase the Performance, Navigation and Sport packages first—and that can get pricey.
Further, for all the luxury they’re trying to convey and offer, owners still complain about a lack of refinement from the engine and road noise intruding into the cabin. This is not a forgivable offense in a high-end luxury car.
Perhaps this class is best left to those who do it best (and have done it longest). If Infiniti cannot yet compete here, at the very least they’re offering some variety in a normally boring competition.
by Michael Perkins
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