2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe Review: What Is It
Luxury performance coupes have had a rough time of it during the past half-decade. In times of economic trouble, discretionary purchases are considered gauche, and a car like the Infiniti G37 Coupe is about anything but practicality. Constructed upon parent company Nissan’s laudable front-midship, rear-wheel-drive vehicle platform, which also serves as the basis for the Infiniti G Sedan, Infiniti EX crossover, and Nissan 370Z sports car, the G37 Coupe is what someone buys as a reward for a job well done, a goal achieved, or to relieve a burning sensation from cash in one’s pocket.
The first Infiniti G Coupe arrived for the 2003 model year, and a decade later that original G35 Coupe still looks terrific. The current model, the second-generation car, debuted for the 2008 model year, and is equally timeless as it enters it sixth year on the market.
This Vibrant Red example of the G37 Coupe, which is due for a complete redesign by 2014, arrived by accident, on a day we expected to see a G37 Sedan delivered. As it turned out, this was one mistake relished rather than regretted.
2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe Review: Pricing and Trim Levels
There are three versions of the 2013 G37 Coupe for sale, not counting the IPL G (Infiniti Performance Line), which demands coverage in a separate review.
For 2013, the base model is called the G37 Journey ($39,800) and it includes leather, 8-way power heated front seats, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, electroluminescent gauges, and aluminum interior trim. Infiniti Intelligent Key with push-button ignition and a universal garage door opener are also included, along with Bluetooth connectivity, a 7-inch in-dash display screen, a reversing camera, and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD/MP3 player, a USB port, and satellite radio (no, it does not automatically play “Don’t Stop Believin’” when you punch the ignition button). Exterior features include heated power mirrors, automatic xenon headlights, fog lights, LED brake lights, and 18-inch aluminum wheels.
If you add all-wheel drive to the car described above, you get a Snow Mode for the automatic transmission and a G37x designation on the trunk.
People seeking a manual transmission must purchase the G37 Sport 6MT ($44,900). In addition to a 6-speed manual gearbox, this sport-tuned model adds a viscous limited-slip rear differential, a sport suspension, a sport braking system, sport steering, and 19-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in 245/40 summer performance tires. The Sport 6MT is also equipped with a 12-way power driver’s sport seat, an 8-way power front passenger’s seat, memory settings for the front seats, manual thigh support extensions, a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, and aluminum pedals. Additionally, the Sport 6MT has an Infiniti Studio on Wheels premium sound system, a power sunroof, and a navigation system with voice recognition and real-time traffic and weather. A unique sport front fascia is also included on this model, along with rear park assist sensors.
If you’d like to turn a G37 Journey into a G37 Sport but you don’t know how to use a clutch pedal, that’s OK. First, check off the option boxes for the Premium Package and the Navigation Package, and then get the Sport Package. You’ll enjoy all the sport-tuning benefits of the Sport 6MT model, but with an automatic transmission, a set of magnesium paddle shifters, and better gas mileage.
Additionally, the Journey model can be upgraded with an Interior Accent Package that replaces the standard aluminum trim with maple wood trim, and with a Performance Wheel and Tire Package that adds the 19-inch aluminum wheels from the Sport Package but without all of the other Sport Package items. A Technology Package is also offered on the Journey model, adding Intelligent Cruise Control with Preview Braking, an Advanced Climate Control System with a Plasmacluster air purifier and a grape polyphenol air filter, front seat Pre-Crash seat belts, and rain-sensing wipers.
A handful of other extras are offered, including a rear spoiler, a Midnight Black grille, splashguards, stainless steel illuminated kick plates, a carpeted trunk mat, a cargo net, and a first-aid kit. A number of dealer-installed upgrades are available, too, including upgraded brakes and a sport muffler.
2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe Review: What It's Up Against
Some folks might also compare it to the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, now that the 2013 model has more power and an upgraded interior. We could also understand if buyers cross-shopped a G37 Coupe against loaded versions of the Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang, but those larger, bulkier, and less sophisticated machines really are in a class of their own.
2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe Review: Exterior
What’s New for 2013:
- Standard heated side mirrors
How It Looks
The Infiniti G37 Coupe is one sexy set of wheels. In keeping with traditional Infiniti styling cues, it flows organically, like the sheetmetal is shaped by the wind as the car speeds down the road. Key design elements – grille, lights, roofline, greenhouse, stance, rear bumper, dual exhaust outlets – tie directly back to the original 2003 G Coupe, a vehicle that still looks modern and appealing a decade after its debut.
Though the current G Coupe is entering its sixth year on the market, it remains an extremely attractive vehicle.
2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe Review: Interior
What’s New for 2013:
- Standard Bluetooth connectivity
- Standard dual-zone automatic climate control
- Standard heated front seats
- New aluminum interior trim
- Wheat interior color dropped
How It Looks and Feels
For 2013, the Infiniti G37 Coupe’s interior is dressed in new Silk Obi aluminum trim that adds luster and depth to the cabin. Overall, however, the G37 doesn’t look as rich inside as it should.
While it’s true that the materials display no obvious signs of cost cutting, the componentry looks too similar to that of less expensive Nissan products, and the font used on the controls is too simple and plain. “Simple and plain” is a good way to describe the steering wheel, too, which could use some aluminum accents or contrast stitching to dress it up a bit. I also think the seat leather could stand to be a bit softer.
That said, the driver’s seat is exceptionally comfortable and supportive, with bolstering that is snug enough to hold the driver in place when diving into hard corners but is largely unobtrusive the rest of the time. The seat offers extending thigh support pads, and the gauge cluster moves with tilt/telescopic steering wheel to help the driver achieve perfect positioning behind the steering wheel.
The G37 Coupe is a 4-passenger vehicle, and while adults will fit in the back seat if they scrunch their heads down and tuck their feet in, this is a space best reserved for children. Better yet, just fold the back seat down to expand the amount of room provided by the 7.4 cu.-ft. trunk. We can see the G Coupe serving as an excellent road trip car for a younger couple without kids, or older empty nesters.
2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe Review: Matters of Safety
What’s New for 2013:
- Standard reversing camera
Details and Ratings
The 2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe is equipped with six airbags, 4-wheel ventilated-disc antilock brakes with brake assist, a stability and traction control system, and, for 2013, a reversing camera. Rear parking sensors, are optional, as well as a Technology Package with intelligent cruise control, preview braking, rain-sensing wipers, and pre-crash seatbelts.
You cannot get a blind-spot information system, or a lane departure warning system, or braking and steering systems that take over for the driver when microchips deem such actions necessary. You know what? I didn’t miss any of these features. Not one single bit.
Crash-test data is not available for the Infiniti G Coupe. You might visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website, where you’ll see ratings for the “Infiniti G.” Trouble is, the IIHS fails to distinguish between body styles, and the car in their photos is the G Sedan. Structurally, the G Coupe is a different car, so those ratings don’t apply here.
2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe Review: Powertrain
What’s New for 2013:
- No changes
How Does It Go
The G37 Coupe is equipped with a 3.7-liter V-6 engine making 330 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 270 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,200 rpm. In Journey models, a 7-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control, a Drive Sport Mode, and Downshift Rev Matching is standard, delivering power to the car’s rear wheels.
Our G37 6MT test car had a short-throw 6-speed manual transmission. According to the EPA, fuel economy for this model rates 17-mpg city, 25-mpg highway, and 20 mpg in combined driving. With the automatic, you can bump each of those numbers up by 2 mpg. During my test-driving, I averaged 17.4 mpg with the G37 6MT.
Weighing in at 3,708 lbs., the G37 6MT’s weight is distributed in a 54/46 split, front-to-rear. Given that the G37’s V-6 is located behind the front axle, in a front-midship location, it ought to display more neutral balance than it does. It’s a good thing the G37 Coupe feels better balanced than expected.
2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe Review: How It Drives
Except for the manual gearbox, the Infiniti G37 Coupe is a real thrill to drive. The only reason this car has row ‘em yourself gears, and the only reason the row ‘em yourself gearbox was installed in our test vehicle, is because the enthusiast media in this country cries bloody-freaking-murder whenever a vehicle like this arrives without a transmission like that.
Well, in this Infiniti, you get a manual, but it feels like it belongs in a Nissan Frontier. The clutch is difficult to modulate, it feels clunky between gates with notchy engagement, and this is a tough car to launch smoothly. Plus, fuel economy ratings take a 10% hit – no good when premium is selling for close to $5 gallon in some parts of the country.
I love manuals. I own a car with a manual gearbox. But if I were buying a G37 Coupe, I would take the 7-speed automatic with Adaptive Shift Control, Drive Sport Mode, Downshift Rev Matching, and better gas mileage.
Now that the complaints are out of the way, let’s talk about what a blast the G37 is to drive. The rorty 3.7-liter V6 is louder when standing outside of the car than when riding in it, but enough of its characteristic snarl enters the cabin to make any enthusiast grin. The G37 definitely feels stronger than its 330 hp and 270 lb.-ft. torque might suggest, and acceleration is not a problem, whether from a standstill or when punching it from mid-range speeds.
Our test car’s sport suspension proved to be a tad bit stiff on certain L.A.-area concrete freeways and city streets in need of maintenance. On fresh blacktop, the car proved sublime, offering excellent control, clear lines of communication, and a rock solid feel whether cruising down the expressway or ripping down country roads.
Slung about on the twisty two-lane roads in the Santa Monica Mountains, the Infiniti proved sure-footed, tossable, and ridiculously eager to go fast. Despite having 54% of its weight over the front wheels, the Bridgestone Potenza REO 50A tires provided decent bite upon turn in. Better yet, the car’s traditional hydraulic steering felt alive in my hands, sharp, quick, guided using a steering wheel with fat, grippy spots right where I wanted them. The 4-disc ventilated brakes (with aluminum 4-piston front and 2-piston rear calipers) scrubbed speed without trouble, the pedal providing plenty of ability to fine-tune pressure when approaching, and entering, a turn.
Overall, the G Coupe is terrific fun, tuned to let a talented driver safely explore limits on public roads – no racetrack required. Just do yourself a favor and get the automatic transmission.
2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe Review: Final Thoughts
Forget the manual gearbox, and you’ll enjoy this attractive, comfortable, entertaining, and reliable luxury sport coupe. Alternatively, keep in mind that this is basically the same car that Infiniti rolled out for the 2008 model year. You could save thousands by selecting a certified pre-owned version of the G Coupe.
2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe Review: Pros and Cons
- Front seat comfort
- V-6 engine
- Manual transmission
- Fuel economy with manual transmission
- Tight rear seat headroom
Infiniti provided the vehicle for this review
2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe Photos by Christian Wardlaw
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