Infiniti G Coupe Review

Infiniti G Coupe Review

Think of the Infiniti G Coupe as an athlete in a tuxedo. As it shares its platform and basic engine structure with its contemporary Nissan's Z car, the G Coupe boasts the handling and performance of a sports car, but with the posh interior and creature comforts of a luxury model. It's an intriguing combination, and it gets better with ample feature content and used car pricing likely to undercut German competitors.

Through two generations, the G Coupe (like its sedan sibling) was a prime choice for a luxury sport coupe. It made for a tempting alternative to pricier European-label rivals as well as dedicated sports cars, offering more affordability than the former and a more livable and comfortable nature than the latter. At the same time, it gave up little in terms of ultimate thrills. Indeed, savvy driving enthusiasts looking for a well-rounded luxury sport coupe would do well to consider this all-star.

Note that this model essentially continues on with a new name, Q60 Coupe. It is covered in a separate review.

Used Infiniti G Coupe Models
The last-generation Infiniti G Coupe was produced from 2008 through 2013. It was available as a single model dubbed G37, which by the end of its run was available in four separate trims: Journey, x, Sport and IPL (Infiniti Performance Line).

Even the base G coupe came with xenon headlights, keyless ignition/entry, leather upholstery and automatic climate control. As the years went on, more standard features debuted, such as a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity and an iPod interface. The G37 Sport's highlights included a six-speed manual transmission, summer tires, a limited-slip differential, upgraded brakes, a sport-tuned suspension and sport seats along with some of the base G's options, including a navigation system and a Bose stereo. The loaded G37 IPL introduced for 2011 came with a more powerful engine, a choice of automatic or manual transmission, sport exhaust, more aggressive suspension tuning, unique styling tweaks and red accent stitching in the cabin.

All G Coupes are rear-wheel drive except for the G37x, which has all-wheel drive. Power comes from a potent 3.7-liter V6 with 330 horsepower, though in the high-performance IPL trim it was bumped up to 348 hp. Journey and G37x models came standard with a seven-speed automatic transmission featuring manual-shift paddle control and rev-matched downshifts. The Sport came with a six-speed manual transmission, while the IPL offered a choice between the automatic and manual.

The G Coupe's cabin features user-friendly controls, excellent build quality and a handsome design -- the latter highlighted by such items as leather-accented magnesium transmission paddle shifters and Japanese "Shodo-brushstroke finish" aluminum trim (wood trim was optional). The front seats are comfortable and well-bolstered, while the optional sport-styled seats offer even more aggressive bolstering (which may be a bit too snug for larger drivers). As expected, the backseat is rather cramped and best suited for little kids or shopping bags.

Initially, a four-wheel active steer system (4WAS) was available but reactions were mixed, with several drivers noting diminished steering feedback. As such, it was eliminated after 2009. For 2010 the G Coupe gained a few additional features (Bluetooth streaming audio, for instance) and saw the release of a low-production 20th Anniversary model. The following year brought the IPL version. Changes after that point consisted only of minor trim level and equipment shuffling before the G was replaced by the Q60 Coupe.

In reviews, we found that while it definitely has the luxury part of the equation down, it's the G's ability to be a dynamic driving machine that made it a stand-out for driving enthusiasts. The G's handling is praiseworthy, as this coupe attacks curves with aggression and precision, yet remains poised and compliant when driven over broken pavement. Its rapid acceleration contributes to the G's strong bang for the buck factor that was unmatched in this class.

The original Infiniti G Coupe was sold from 2003-'07 as the G35. It looked similar to its successor, but was more angular and, more notably, had a less luxurious interior, with lower-quality materials. A less powerful V6, different chassis tuning and a less stiff structure also make it a less advanced driver's car. But for the time, it was tough to beat and a true performance bargain.

As its name would suggest, the G35 was powered by a 3.5-liter V6. It produced 280 hp with the automatic and 298 with the manual. These horsepower numbers dropped to 275 and 293 for 2007 and later because of a change in SAE testing procedures -- actual output did not, in fact, change.

There were a few changes to the G35 coupe during its lifetime. Inside, it benefited from a redesigned instrument panel and improved manual transmission with a lower shifting effort. For 2006, Bluetooth and a rear-steer system similar to 4WAS were added to the available features list, while the Sport package gained a unique front fascia and a big rear spoiler.

In our reviews, our feelings toward this Infiniti G35 coupe were quite similar to those of the current car. The main, significant difference was an interior filled with several cheap surfaces and some unintuitive controls. Still, if you're looking for a more budget-conscious alternative to luxury coupes or certain sports cars, the G35 should make a great used car purchase.

Infiniti G Coupe years