I managed to nab the G25x on the weekend of the second biggest and fastest-accumulating snow storm this winter. Why didn’t someone else grab the keys before me, you ask? Because it was such a freak event that even the local weathermen were taken by surprise. The real kicker was that this blizzard coincided perfectly with a Costco trip that was 3 months in the making.
After overfilling a cart with all the necessities, we hit the road with four inches of fresh snow already on the ground and more accumulating quickly. The G25x was fantastic. Granted, the tires struggled for traction at nearly every turn (not unexpected in conditions such as these), but the loss of traction was both progressive and, because it’s steering is so direct and communicative, easy to correct. The only facet of the G that I found difficult to manage, especially in the slippery conditions, was the stiff throttle. In the dry, it made for unexpectedly quick starts; but in the white stuff, it caused the traction control to intervene every time I pulled away from a stop.
Beyond all this, the G25x is a supremely comfortable and capable sedan that didn’t make me wish for the more powerful G37. From behind the wheel, the G has a satisfyingly sporty character that will likely meet the needs of most consumers. The interior has some low spots-the design of the seat-heater controls-but as a whole it’s nicely designed and trimmed. My favorite part of the interior is a feature that is often overlooked even in many sports cars. I tend to drop the steering wheel to its lowest point in most cars, causing it to block at least some portion of the central gauges. In the G, the tach and speedometer travel with the steering wheel when adjusted for rake so regardless of where its adjusted, the driver always has a clear view of the gauges.
Jennifer Misaros, Production Editor
What the G25 lacks in power compared with the G37 it makes up for in its appeal to buyers who want a premium sedan at a competitive price. Yes, buyers of the G25 forgo the extra 130 hp offered by the G37, but for the kind of driving that most people do every day, the 218-hp V-6 in the G25 is perfectly adequate. Combine that engine with Infiniti’s seven-speed automatic (with paddle shifters) and you get a very nice, if not overly exciting, powertrain. Prospective buyers can save even more money if they decide to forgo all-wheel drive (a $3000 expenditure), which is a feature we appreciate here in the upper Midwest, but which might be considered superfluous in other parts of the country.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor
This G25 is not the rorty G sedan we’ve come to know and love over the past few years. Ironically, the smaller engine is not to blame. The 2.5-liter V-6 won’t slay V-8-powered Camaros like the 3.7-liter V-6 will, but it provides more than enough punch for spirited driving. Unfortunately, this baby G isn’t available with a sport suspension, only skinny, tallish all-season tires that rob the steering of its precision. Add in all-wheel-drive, and it’s hard to tell this is basically the same vehicle that regularly slices and dices with the Audi S4 and BMW 335i. Both the A4 and the 328i do much better job preserving their brands’ sporting characters at entry-luxury prices.
Of course, these are purely enthusiasts’ concerns. As a luxury car, the G25 does much better. It’s as comfortable, solid, stylish, and attractive as the G37, which is all that will matter to most buyers.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor
This seems like just the right amount of powertrain for this tidy little sport sedan. I really enjoyed driving it. The engine is very responsive and makes a nice sound. I never felt that the car was underpowered, and I was happy to have the all-wheel drive in the midst of winter. It’s very much a nice entry point for the G sedan, which in full-boat form carries a price that can give one pause.
Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor
Clearly the G25 is not as quick as the G37, but it still sounds fast, thanks to Nissan’s not-terribly-refined VQ-series engine. Nor does this car feel sluggish, and it should have more than enough power to satisfy the needs of many small-luxury-car buyers.
I know from having driven a BMW 328i back-to-back with this car that I prefer the Bimmer, but the G25 nonetheless stands tall on its own; the Infiniti is a very impressive car and a very smart buy. The all-wheel-drive option is highly useful for northern climes, too, and the heated seats made it quite pleasant for my 10-degree drive to work. This generation of the G was introduced several years ago, but its design, both inside and out, has aged quite well.
Compared with the G37, the G25’s EPA fuel economy is 20/29 mpg city/highway versus 19/27 mpg (AWD models are rated at 19/27 mpg and 18/25). That smallish difference, along with the minimal $2600 price discount, would make me hard-pressed to turn down the G37’s 110-hp advantage.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor
2011 Infiniti G25x Sedan
Base price (with destination): $34,825
Price as tested: $35,825
2.5-liter 24-valve V-6 engine
7-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode
Speed-sensitive power steering
4-wheel disc brakes with ABS
Vehicle dynamics control
Tire pressure monitoring system
Bi-xenon HID headlamps
Heated outside mirrors
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Intelligent key with push button start
XM satellite radio
6-speaker AM/FM audio system
Single-disc CD player
USB connection for iPod
7-inch center display
Auto-dimming rearview mirror
Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
Manual tilt/telescoping steering column
Options on this vehicle:
Moonroof — $1000
Key options not on vehicle:
3.7-liter V-6 engine — $2600
19 / 27 / 22 mpg
Size: 2.5L DOHC V-6
Horsepower: 218 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque: 187 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm
Curb weight: 3746 lb
Wheels/tires: 17 x 7.5-inch wheels
225/55R17 all-season tires