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Road Test: 2009 Infiniti G37 Sedan
In the automotive world, redesigning a car isn't always a guaranteed way to stay competitive. Just ask Infiniti. When Nissan's luxury division redesigned its entry-level G sedan for 2007, it kept the same engine as its predecessor under the hood. For 2009, the only major change to the G Sedan was the bigger, more powerful engine that bumped output from 306 horsepower up to 328 horsepower. The increased output to 3.7 liters gave Infiniti's entry-level sedan a new name, the G37. Built on the same platform as the Nissan 350Z and Infiniti FX, the G37 Sedan provides the same sporty driving dynamic as its coupe counterpart, but offers more comfortable seating accommodations afforded to a sedan.
Available in four trim levels (G37, G37 Journey, G37 Sport 6MT and G37x AWD), Infiniti's G37 sedan has a base MSRP of $33,250. The model we tested was a well equipped G37 Journey that comes with a starting MSRP of $33,700, but after a handful of optional packages our test car had a total MSRP of $43,235. In that price range, the G37 Sedan is thrown in the mix with some fairly potent competitors that include the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Cadillac CTS and Lexus IS. Even against such heavy competition, it is easy to see why the G Sedan remains one of the more popular sedans with its luxurious cabin and stylish design now complemented one of the most powerful engines in its class.
2009 Infiniti G37 Sedan Exterior
Other than the longer roofline required to house the extra set of doors, the G37 Sedan has an appearance that is equally as sporty as its coupe counterpart. Ironically, we thought that the G37 Coupe's styling could not compete with the Audi A5, BMW 3 Series or the upcoming 2010 Cadillac CTS Coupe, but the four-door version manages to hold its own against other luxury sedans. Our favorite visual cue on the G Sedan that is shared with the Coupe as well as the EX crossover, is the headlamps that flow back into the fenders matching the curves on the hood. In profile though, the Sedan's hood looks much shorter than the Coupe due to the taller roofline and more upright C-pillar. Adding to our car's sporty stance, the G37 Sedan we tested came with the optional ($1,850) Sport package that added a more aggressive front fascia and side sill treatments as well as adding unique 18-inch, 10-spoke wheels. As a finishing touch, an optional ($520) spoiler was mounted atop the rear decklid.
2009 Infiniti G37 Sedan Interior
As much as the new engine blows away the G37's competition, the cabin is definitely this car's strong suit. Although the rest of the car exudes luxury, the instrument panel has more in common with a pure sports car. The low seating position and flowing center stack and instrument panel give the cabin a true cockpit look and feel. Instead of wood trim, Infiniti chose to use authentic brushed aluminum trim to accent the cabin. Like all Nissan and Infiniti vehicles we've tested in the past, the G37 Sedan matches up to our expectations of fit and finish, and it offers excellent ergonomics.
Infiniti designed the G37 Sedan to fill dual roles by giving it a cabin that is both spacious and luxurious without being too cushy to take away from its sporty handling capabilities by providing excellent support even in tight cornering maneuvers. Of course the biggest difference between the coupe and the sedan is the more usable rear seat. Despite riding on identical wheelbases, the G Sedan provided a much more accommodating arrangement that could actually seat three passengers, while we had trouble cramming two adults into the coupe's rear seating area. The taller, more squared off deckld also improves cargo space almost doubling the Coupe's trunk space from 7.4 cubic feet up to 13.5 cubic feet.
Adding to the as-tested total MSRP, our test car added the Premium package for $2,500, Navigation package for $2,150, Technology package for $1,100 as well as stylish illuminated door sill plates for $350. The Premium package adds equipment such as the power moonroof, 11-speaker Infiniti Studio on WheelsÂ® Bose sound system, heated front seats and power tilt and telescoping steering column. The navigation package offers a more impressive bundle of options including the hard-drive based, touch-screen navigation system with XM Nav Traffic, a 9.3 gigabyte hard drive to rip music onto and a rearview backup camera. Infiniti's technology package adds adaptive front headlamps and radar-based dynamic cruise control.
2009 Infiniti G37 Sedan Performance & Handling
Infiniti's G37 may be a stylish, luxurious sedan, but the new engine is the car's ace in the hole. With 328 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque available, the G37 Sedan's 3.7-liter VQ37VHR V-6 provides outstanding performance and acceleration compared to the Audi A5 and Acura TSX. The G37 Sedan sends power to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission that features a manual shift and sport mode, and for more spirited driving in corners the transmission is equipped with downshift rev matching. For 2009, the G37 Sedan has EPA fuel economy estimates of 18 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Like the coupe, the G37 Sedan's dominant horsepower doesn't result in lower fuel economy. The 2009 G37 actually gets better fuel economy than its predecessor thanks in large part to Infiniti's innovative Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) which not only improves the performance AND fuel economy but it also reduces vehicle emissions.
Despite being the most powerful luxury sedan in its class, the Infiniti G37 is tame, yet responsive, while driving even in wet weather conditions. Most of the week we spent behind the wheel of this 2009 G37 consisted of torrential rain storms and moderate flooding. All-wheel drive is an option on the G37 sedan, but we were more than impressed with the handling of the rear-wheel drive setup. The two days of nice weather we had were spent testing out the sedan's sport-tuned suspension courtesy of the upgraded sport package. This package also includes a limited slip differential, a sport brake system consisting of four-piston front calipers up front and two-piston calipers in the rear and an upgraded wheel and tire combo consisting of 18-inch aluminum wheels.
2009 Infiniti G37 Sedan Safety
The G37 Sedan received decent marks from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The NHTSA gave the sedan a five-star rating in all categories except frontal passenger impact protection where it only received a four-star rating. Likewise, the IIHS gave the car Good ratings for front- and side-impact protection, but only gave it a Marginal rating for rear-impact protection despite offering standard active headrests. Other safety systems that are standard equipment on the 2009 G37 Sedan include six airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), vehicle dynamic control (VDC), traction control and electronic brake force distribution.
The entry-level luxury sedan market is heating up faster than any other vehicle segment, and Infiniti is looking to stay ahead of the pack with the 2009 G37 Sedan. In addition to the new engine that offers the most power in its class, the 2009 Infiniti G37 Sedan is packed with remarkable luxury and some of the best technological goodies in the industry.
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