Built to tell its younger brother to calm down
April 6, 2018
I love Infiniti--they do great-looking cars that feel wonderful to be in and hold their own with the big dogs. If there are two bodies where Infiniti really nailed design--and I mean turn your head while driving nailed it--it would be the 2010 G coupe and the 2011-2013 run of the M series. I used to own a 2007 G35S 6MT and it roared. This guy is like that car, but grown up and calmed down a bit, but that's understandable given greater curb weight (3850-ish to the G's 3500-ish) pushed by not a whole lot more power (330 hp versus the G's 306) and nearly identical torque.
In some ways it's better--bigger wheels offer a smoother ride, the console looks and feels more grown-up (after I once rode a loaner M37 I always felt my G's console looked a bit dorky), the interior is simply bigger and more lush.
But alas, not all that is bigger is better. The greater power-to-weight ratio of the G35S means the M37 feels sluggish by comparison, and there's simply no way to compare the driving experience of an auto-manual transmission to the electric charge of the G's six-speed manual--with the former it's like you're sending orders to the transmission through a drive-in window. Maybe that's a big harsh, but there's a learned art to controlling the gearing at lower speeds with an auto-manual--it generally consists of telling the transmission to stay the frick put--that just feels silly compared to real shifting.
Not sure if it's specific to my copy or the model in general, but slowing quickly in full automatic transmission (not tree-falling-in-front-of-you quickly, but just slowing faster than normal) tends to cause the transmission to drop gears too fast, resulting in high revving, which makes me worry about stress on the gearing.
Another oddity that was specific to my car but seemed like a forgivable sin was a programming error that caused the battery to drain sharply. My dealer fixed it immediately and no problems since.
This is much more of a family car--more space, great lines, very nice ride with an outrageous Bose sound system (14 speakers) that's perfectly acceptable audio overkill. Still, sometimes when I'm out with this one, I find myself thinking about the other one that I used to go out with. Is that bad?