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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.