I got into the Infiniti G37S sedan expecting the vague, unnatural clutch-to-throttle relationship we’d complained about in our Four Seasons G37S coupe, but I was shocked to find no such issue. Clutch take-up felt much lower and had a much clearer engagement point than I remember from the coupe. Did Infiniti address the issue for the 2009 model year? (A brand spokesperson says no.) Was our coupe a “Monday car”? Has my recollection of that car simply been exaggerated by hearing so many other staff members whine about it? I suspect the answer is a combination of all these factors, but I nevertheless came away liking the G37 more than I remembered.
I’m also convinced the sedan is the best flavor of the brand’s mid-size FM-platform products. It handles as well as the coupe and has more interior space than the EX35 crossover/wagon. I also admire the fact that Nissan designers were able to make the sedan voluptuous and interesting looking in its own right, without jumping on the four-door-coupe bandwagon.
Still, the G37 is clearly a summer car. It’s not that it’s terribly intractable in the snow – I actually traveled to and from Detroit on treacherous roads with no issue. But you can’t drive flat-out on frost-covered roads, and the G37 is just no fun unless it’s driven flat-out. Like the other VQ-powered vehicles I’ve driven recently, the sedan sounded fantastic in kamikaze runs up to the engine’s redline but buzzy and annoying under normal acceleration.
One other change I appreciated from our 2008 – and this is a biggy – are the new seat warmer switches. Whereas the coupe had Nissan’s standard issue, cheap-looking switches, the sedan features classy-looking dials that are much easier to read.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor
Not only are the new seat-heater switches nicer to look at, David, they also now offer several stages of adjustability, unlike the two-level controls in our departed long-term G37S coupe. (Sorry to focus on the seat heaters, folks, but Michigan’s recent subzero temperatures would probably shift your priorities, too.)
Such frigid temperatures aren’t all bad, however, because on these semislick roads, the G37S is a riotous drift machine. Just select the right gear, tweak the steering wheel slightly, apply some of the 328 hp, and ride the slide. Huge fun! Sure, warm and dry roads are necessary to get the most speed out of this car, but low-speed sideways fun is not to be ignored. The cabin heated up very quickly in the 1 degree (Fahrenheit) weather, too. I actually had to crack the window to cool off.
I, too, thought that the clutch in this vehicle was better-damped than that of our Four Seasons Infiniti G37S coupe. This also could be related to the fact that this car has only 1000 miles on the odometer, but I do remember our long term car’s clutch being a bit weird from the get-go. To me, this engine still sounds coarse at higher revs, but it does develop lots of power quickly.
One more difference between this car and our 2008 Four Seasons G37S coupe: the illuminated sill plates are very cool and add another touch of class to the G’s cockpit.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor
I think Rusty found what I loved about our Four Seasons Infiniti G37S coupe – its balance makes it oh-so-fun to slide around in the slippery stuff. I’d argue this example is more enjoyable in snow than our 4S car, thanks (in no small part) to the absence of Infiniti’s active four-wheel-steering. I know 4WS was supposed to quicken turn-in and make (dry) twisty roads more enjoyable, but the system seemed confused and twitchy once the car was drifting.
I know the coupe looks sexier, but if I had the money to drop on a G, I’d be making a beeline toward the sedan. Not only does it sticker for a couple grand less than a two-door G37S, but two nondecapitated adults can comfortably sit in the rear seat. Unless you’re adamant you’ll never ever use the second row, the sedan is your best bet.
Though my love for this car seems to know no bounds, I do think it could be improved in little ways. I’d love to see bigger, more practical cupholders (the current ones are perfect for juice boxes, though), and I’m wondering why the automatic seat/steering column exit function – found on cars with automatic transmissions – isn’t available with the six-speed manual.
On that note, I must be one of the few who don’t find this car’s gearbox a quantum leap from our coupe’s – then again, I was one of the few who actually could tolerate our long-term car’s clutch, as well.
Evan McCausland, Web Producer
Although the gearbox in the G37 sedan doesn’t require quite as much force as our Four Seasons coupe’s did, it still is too notchy and labor-intensive to operate. Clutch take-up is much less ambiguous, though, which makes the first-to-second shift that was such a jerky undertaking in our coupe a little less so in the sedan.
The steering feel is near perfection and is by far the best attribute of this car. Like the shifter action, it has been lightened slightly when compared with the coupe. It is communicative and direct and perfectly weighted. While BMW steering is generally considered the benchmark, for everyday driving I prefer the G37 sedan’s steering. It’s a little lighter at low speeds making the car easier to maneuver in parking lots, etc. I also prefer the G37 sedan’s steering wheel to BMW’s absurdly overplumped steering wheels. A little texture in the form of light suede would be a nice tactile addition to the steering wheel, though.
Since the creation of the sexy G37 coupe, the sedan seems to have become less and less attractive; perhaps this is to differentiate it from its svelte sibling? The protruding taillights give the car an unfortunate Toyota-like rear profile.
While I agree that the adjustability of the new seat-heater dials is a welcome addition, their design looks like an afterthought. Aesthetically, I preferred the previous toggle switches because they were flush with the dash surface and looked more integrated into the overall interior design. Although, admittedly, they were also not ideal and the orange backlighting was straight from a Nissan. A minor complaint in an otherwise well-thought out interior environment.
Jennifer Misaros, Production Editor
2009 Infiniti G37 Sedan 6MT
Base Price (with destination): $35,065
Price as tested: $40,585
Premium Package: $2500
Illuminated Kick Plates: $350
Rear Deck Spoiler: $520
Navigation Package: $2150
Fuel Economy: 17/25/20 mpg (city/hwy/combined)
Size: 3.7-liter V-6
Horsepower: 328 hp
Torque: 269 lb-ft
Safety Ratings (in stars, 1-5):
Frontal Crash Driver: 5
Frontal Crash Passenger: 4
Side Crash Front Seat: 5
Side Crash Rear Seat: 5
Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission
Weight: 3590 lb
– 18″ Aluminum Wheels (size)
– 225/50WR-18 Front
– P245/45WR-18 Rear