First Look: 2011 Infiniti G25 Sedan

Sometimes the rumor mill doesn't quite fire on all cylinders. Months ago, gossip swirled around a forthcoming Infiniti G25, an entry-level luxury offering that would purportedly utilize a four-cylinder engine. After Infiniti pulled the wraps off a series of new products at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, we can report the 2011 G25 is fact, not fiction -- but we can't say the same for that I-4.

Instead of the frequently rumored four-banger, the G25 Sedan makes use of a 218-horsepower, DOHC 2.5-liter V-6. Although this engine is technically a newcomer to North America, it's hardly an all-new offering, let alone in the G's engine bay. Derived from the same VQ engine family as the G37's 3.7-liter V-6, this particular VQ25HR mill was sold in Japanese-spec G cars (aka Nissan Skylines) since 2006. Like the G37 sedan, the 2.5-liter will be mated with Infiniti's seven-speed automatic transmission, and with the exception of the available all-wheel-drive G25x, send its power to the rear wheels.

The G25's stateside arrival coincides with Infiniti's desire to broaden both its portfolio and the G lineup itself. While the G37, G37S, and the new G37 IPL models cater to those searching for a sporty luxury car, the G25 moves in the opposite direction. According to Ben Poore, vice-president of Infiniti North America, the new model targets luxury buyers who're buying cars primarily for style and substance -- not flat-out acceleration or cornering grip.

Admittedly, the G25 also targets buyers looking for bang for the buck. Infiniti's announced that a base G25 sedan carries an MSRP of $31,825, including the company's current $865 destination fee. As it stands, that price undercuts the Lexus IS250 by $2365, the BMW 328i by $2760, the Lexus IS250 by $2365, Cadillac's entry-level CTS by $4165, and the Mercedes-Benz C300's sticker price of $4950.

Buyers won't sacrifice for the lower sticker price; apart from the smaller V-6, the G25's model range and content levels are virtually identical to those of the G37. Base G25 sedans sport leather seating, power front seats, automatic climate control, a premium six-speaker audio system, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and high-intensity discharge headlamps as standard equipment. The G25 Journey model adds a rear-view camera, heated front seats, automatic headlamp controls, and a dual-zone climate control system, while the G25X tops that with all-wheel-drive.

Will consumers -- particularly those not concerned with power -- take the bait? Infiniti sure hopes so, but we'll find out for certain come September, when all three 2011 G25 sedan models arrive at dealers nationwide.

dayne
Good move by Infiniti, MPG was always a drawback for me with the G37, I am sure the 218hp will not be an issue with most people.

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