Have you ever driven a car that brought tears of joy to your eyes with a mere touch of the gas pedal? If your answer is no, you should seriously consider giving the 2009 Infiniti G37 coupe a test drive. This truly magnificent machine will pamper all your senses with its style and power.
It offers a 330-horsepower V-6 engine with an impeccable seven-speed automatic transmission (new for the 2009 model). The G37 coupe gets an EPA-estimated 18/26 mpg city/highway. I can't even begin to describe the G-forces you'll feel when you step on the gas in this car ... wait, yes, I can: All thoughts of needing a face-lift will vanish, as will anything else you might have been stressing over, when you step on the accelerator.
The roar of the G37's engine was enough to silence my backseat drivers as they sat, mouths agape, wondering what the heck Mommy was up to and why she kept giggling like a little kid hopped up on Pixy Stix. Then I jacked up the optional Bose audio system - always a favorite - and we rocked our way home from school, intentionally missing the turn for our street several times before giving into the fact that there was dinner to be made and homework to be done. Huge bummer!
While I really loved driving this car, I was disappointed that the G37 coupe was only available with rear-wheel drive. It handled horribly with only the smallest amount of snow or ice on the pavement. On my Michigan roads, it was slipping all over the place. If you're interested in this car and live in a colder climate, I'd suggest upgrading to the G37x, which comes with Infiniti's intelligent all-wheel-drive system.
The G37 would be a fine - even fun - second car, but it wouldn't work as a primary family car. The backseat's design causes problems with child-safety seats, and the cargo area is too small for a serious grocery run.
I found the exterior of the G37 coupe to be too understated. While sporty-looking with its two doors, low profile and seemingly muscular front end, it still errs on the side of plain ol' coupe a bit too much. It doesn't scream, "Look at meeeeeeeee," as much as I'd have liked it to. Really, if your car is toting 330 hp, don't you want everyone to know it? I do. Heck, I want everyone to pull over when I'm passing them, then flash their brights in honor of my car's superiority.
A trained eye would easily pick up on the G37's subtle hints, though. My test car had the optional Sport Package, which gave it 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels instead of the standard 18-inchers. The G37's dual exhaust added a touch of performance-based styling. The angular headlights could beat anyone in a staring contest; those buggers are truly mean-looking!
It was easier for my kids to get in and out of the car than it was for my hubby and me. Because the G37 sits low to the ground, the wee ones simply stepped right in. As we parental units age and lose valuable muscle coordination, climbing into this low-rider does take a slight amount of contemplation.
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Fair
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Groove On
There's so much to say about the G37's luxurious and comfortable interior. With the Sport Package, my test car had a 12-way adjustable driver's seat. The front seats were heated - of course! What can only be described as premium leather covered all the seats, and the front seats had the added flavor of embroidered Infiniti logos. Throughout the sweeping cabin, thoughtful details could be spotted, including a touch of chrome on the windshield-wiper wand, ergonomic navigation system controls and aluminum pedals (part of the Sport Package). My eyes delighted in all the fanciful finds.
My kids and I loved blasting the upgraded Bose "Studio on Wheels" audio system, with its 11 speakers, in-dash six-disc CD player and iPod connectivity. The Infiniti's push-button ignition and signature analog clock continued this car's class act.
The backseat only seats two, and it has a hard plastic open cubby between the two seats. In the second row, it was obvious the seating wasn't designed to accommodate child-safety and booster seats with backs; the rear seats were slightly sunken, with bolsters on the sides of each seat. It also would be difficult to fit rear-facing infant-safety seats in the backseat; there's just not a lot of room back there.
The second row's seatback pockets and adjustable housings for the front passenger seat belts are well-executed. When climbing into the backseat of a two-door car, it's easy to get tangled in the front passenger seat belt. In the Infiniti G37, you could simply push the seat belt housing out of the way, creating more space for you to get in. Nice! This system does become awkward for the front passenger who has to reach way back to grasp the seat belt and pull it forward for use.
In the cargo area, there's enough space for a modest grocery trip or a few pieces of luggage for a weekend getaway, but bulk shopping and two-week family road trips should be saved for your larger family car.
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair
I didn't feel safe driving the rear-wheel-drive G37 on Michigan's snowy roads, but I was comforted by the G37's extensive passive and active safety systems. I really liked that it had a front stabilizer bar and speed-sensitive power steering.
The Infiniti G37 is also equipped with six airbags, including front-, side-impact and side curtain airbags for both rows. It has antilock brakes, an electronic stability system and traction control, an emergency interior trunk release and a first-aid kit.
The G37's rear window is small, but I didn't have any problems with blind spots. There's a backup camera that comes with the optional Navigation Package.
The Latch connectors were difficult to access. The G37 has what I call the "closed-curtain" Latch connector housing; the Latch hook is buried behind two pieces of fabric that you have to hold open with your ring and middle fingers to access. That's a real pain.
In Diapers: A rear-facing infant-safety seat won't fit well in this second row.
In School: School-age kids will have a blast in the backseat, but make sure your booster seat will work well with the side-bolstered backseat.
Teens: I recommend that this car be kept far, far away from teen drivers.
Cars.com Expert Reviews
|Mike Hanley||Cars.com National||November 20, 2009|
|Kelsey Mays||Cars.com National||May 20, 2009|
|Joe Wiesenfelder||Cars.com National||February 26, 2009|
|Cars.com Staff||Cars.com National||November 6, 2008|
|Tom Strongman||KansasCity.com||October 29, 2009|
|Scott Burgess||The Detroit Newspapers||October 29, 2009|
|Dan Neil||Los Angeles Times||April 10, 2009|
|Sherrice Gilsbach||Mother Proof||April 2, 2009|
|Steven Cole Smith||Orlando Sentinel||January 18, 2009|
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