First Drive: 2011 Infiniti G25

With the G25, Infiniti is adding a second, smaller V-6 to its G sedan lineup, thereby lowering the cost threshold for Infiniti ownership and handily undercutting rivals like the Lexus IS250 and the BMW 328i. The resulting G sedan is somewhat slower, but Infiniti expects that it will juice sales and account for between one-third and one-half of G volume.

That result would not be atypical. At Lexus, the IS250 outsells its more powerful brethren, and a majority of BMW 3-series cars have a 328i badge on the trunk. Unlike BMW, which offers the 328i in all body styles, Infiniti is selling the G25 as a sedan only; the coupe and the convertible will continue exclusively with the larger engine.

With the arrival of the G25, the base G37 four-door has been dropped. The G37 sedan now starts with the Journey model. Compared with that car, the G25 is $4100 cheaper. A G25 Journey, which except for its engine has all the same standard equipment as the G37 Journey, saves buyers $2700 over its more potent sibling. So, too, does the all-wheel-drive G25x.

As its name suggests, the G25 uses a 2.5-liter version of Nissan's VQ V-6, its 218 hp a notable ride down from the muscular 3.7-liter's 328 hp. Acceleration is a lot more relaxed than what you get with the G37, but it's hardly anemic. Working through the same seven-speed automatic as the G37 (there's no stick-shift option), the G25 manages only 1 extra mpg in the city and 2 more mpg on the highway, so you reap your big savings at the dealership, not at the gas station.

What is nice is that Infiniti hasn't cheapened the G25's interior or appearance at all; nor has the steering or suspension tuning been dumbed down. The difference versus the G37 is confined to the engine compartment. Well, that and the options sheet. Don't expect to add the premium package, the sport package, or navigation to the G25. But if you can find your own way, and you don't mind getting there a little less quickly, you can save some cash with the G25.

The Specs
On sale: Now
PRICE: $31,825
ENGINE: 2.5L V-6, 218 hp, 187 lb-ft
DRIVE: Rear- or 4-wheel

I'd think it's priced so close to the G37, many people will just spend the extra money and get a G37. I know they're not exact equivalents, but there's more than $7500 difference between the 328i and 335i.
No it's not, it's COMPLETELY a different car than an Altima!!
Unfortunately the $4100 one saves at purchase will mostly be lost at resale time. you might save $2K over 5 years. If that matters, go for it. The advantage of this car might be a more refined engine, that's about it.
Even worse, incremental total sales without incremental manual trannies in the mix decreases the manual % and convinces the automaker not to offer it anymore
I think it's a huge mistake for Infiniti to not offer the same features in the G25 as in the G37. As smaller, less expensive, entry level cars start to include many high-end features why wouldn't Infiniti do the same for it's entry level luxury sedan? I can get navigation on a fiesta but not on an Infiniti? Makes no sense at all.
So it's an Altima, then.

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