Buyers looking for a small luxury sports sedan are usually only left with two choices; the BMW 3-Series or the wrong choice. Nissan decided it want to change this perception and was going to build a rival. Enveloped under the Infiniti label, the G series of sedans, coupes and convertibles has done an admirable job of giving the Germans a bloody nose. This G is a bit different however. This is the new entry-level model of the Japanese sports sedan which has all the looks of the G37, but features a smaller less powerful engine. This is the 2012 G25 Sedan. The question is then, are all Gs created equal, and do the Bavarians need to fear this new automotive onslaught, read on to find out.
The German’s have a habit of designing their cars with clean, sharp and handsome shapes, but they tend to lack true beauty or soul. When creating the G series Infiniti decided to stick with organic and flowing shapes to create smooth and exciting silhouettes. With the large bulging fenders and swooping roof line, the G25 looks fast and unique, the latter is a rare feat in today’s automotive world. Move to either end of the car and you are met with subtle chrome details that add a touch of luxury to the exterior.
These details include chrome accents on the rear lip spoiler, chrome grille, chrome window trim and twin chrome exhaust outlets. With this limited selection of bright work the design errs on the side of tasteful, and we like it.
What we don’t like as much, however, is the interior. The G has seen multiple updates since its fourth generation debut, but the interior has not seen as much love and attention as it needed. While most of the materials are top-notch, the design just feels dated. Sitting in the G25 gives us the feeling like we are sitting in a very nice luxury vehicle, but it was built 10 years ago. Part of the issue can be relegated to the lack of options for the lesser of the G twins. While the G37 has three color options for the interior and two styles of trim, the G25 just gets two color choices, graphite and stone, and one trim option, brushed aluminum. We feel like our testers combination of the gray dash, with lighter gray (almost cream) seats and grey metal accents gives the interior a very dreary feel. The worst piece of the “way-back-feel” machine is the infotainment display. With a resolution so low it could be an arcade machine from the 80’s this screen simply has no place in any new vehicle, let alone one claiming to be luxury.
Once you get beyond the sense of the past, the G25 is a comfortable place to be. The seats are bolstered well enough, and the perforated leather is comfortable and soft. Being a sedan, the back passengers have plenty of room to stretch out and relax. Little details, like the Infiniti logo on the carpets, remind passengers what car they are in. The previously mentioned metal trim, while mildly dreary, is well finished with an interesting “wave” pattern that makes the G25 seem more expensive than it is.
The cabin is also packed with many of the luxury amenities that buyers have come to expect. we have the obligatory heated seats and satellite radio as well as other niceties like one-touch power up and down on all four windows. Our tester was also equipped with dual-zone climate control and Nissan Corps. trick keyless system. For those unfamiliar with the system, you just merely need to keep the key on your person and the car can be locked, unlocked and started all without ever touching the fob in your pocket. Approach your car, press the small button on the door handle to lock/unlock your car. To start it, simply depress the brake and hit the start button on the dash.
While the G25 may fall behind in terms of interior design, its handling and ride dynamics are top-of-class. While down on power from the G37, the 25 features the same suspension items and setup, which means the same great handling we have praised before. The smoothness of which the G25 makes the road feel is commendable, especially when you realize that little to no body roll is present when flogging it around a back road. It is a perfect balance well on par with the Bavarians.
Lifting the suspension directly from the more powerful G does have a major drawback, and it manifests itself as expectation. With such a well sorted chassis and high limits, your brain (and right foot) tend to expect more power. The 2.5-liter V6 under the hood produces 110 horsepower less than the 3.7-liter found in the G37 sedan. The seven speed transmission does its best to keep the engine in the power band, but there is no mistaking the fact that suspension is miles better than the engine it has been paired to.
How does the Infiniti fare as a total package? It may have an outdated interior, and be under powered, but there is a lot to love about the little G. It features one of the best rides around, the seats are comfortable and the stereo sounds pretty decent too. Choosing the smaller engine also nets you better fuel economy and a cheaper entry price. With a price of $35,695 (including destination), our Graphite Shadow tester is one-hundred dollars less than the cheapest BMW 3 series sedan, and if you wanted to ditch the power sunroof, you could save another grand. Overall we are impressed with what Infiniti has managed to create. Our journalist feet may beg for more power, but the vast majority of owners will be more than satisfied with the grunt of the smaller engine. The G25 is a capable and comfortable luxury sedan that may be a little light on “sport” but it is high in value.
Photos Copyright Christian Moe © 2012