2011 Infiniti G25 Review

The car you deserve is finally the car you can afford

2011 Infiniti G25 Review

For several years now Infiniti’s G37 has stood as the best alternative to BMW’s 335i. Better yet, the G37 comes at a severe discount compared to its Bavarian counterpart. But even then, it’s still $35,400 and as such is out of reach for a lot of folks.

FAST FACTS

1. Powered by a 2.5L V6 the G25 makes 218-hp and 187 lb-ft for a 0-60 time in the mid 7.0 second range.

2. Pricing starts at $31,400 and jumps to $34,400 for the G25x with AWD.

3. Premium, Sport and Technology packages are not available. Neither is navigation.

Finally, Infiniti is offering a more budget-oriented alternative in the G25 and while it might not have the big V6 under the hood or the 300+ horsepower, it’s a genuine luxury sports sedan without apologies.

SMALLER V6 MORE CAPABLE THAN ITS HORSEPOWER SUGGESTS

As the name suggests, it’s powered by a rather small 2.5-liter V6 engine that makes 218-hp and 187 lb-ft of torque. Mated to Infiniti’s excellent and quick-shifting 7-speed automatic it feels much faster and even sounds pretty mean. Apart from BMW’s six-speed unit, this might be the fastest reacting auto-box on the market and really makes living with an automatic less of a sacrifice.

A far cry from the 5.5 second sprint you’ll get from big brother G37, acceleration times are around 7.5 seconds to 60-mph, which is similar to what you’ll get in an Audi A4 or BMW 328i. ‘Fast’ isn’t a word to describe it, but few will find it lacking.

Down in output, there aren’t any other real compromises to the car. Steering is well-weighted, direct and responsive. Delivering a comfortable ride at highway speed, the chassis and suspension are certainly up to the task of carving corners – aided by the fact that the G25 gets the same size 17-inch wheels as the G37 (although we should point out most G37s are sold with the optional 18s).

The well-balanced G loses weight, but nothing else in the process. It’s roughly 100 lbs less on the scales, in the range of 3,500 to 3,700 lbs depending on the model. Even with that change, it manages to retain the same weight balance, with a 54/46 distribution.

An added benefit of the smaller engine is improved fuel economy at 20/29-mpg or 19/27-mpg for AWD models. That’s just a small gain over the vastly more powerful 3.7-liter V6, and while nice, is hardly a selling feature. In our test, we managed 23-mpg average and that was with the AWD model, which Infiniti rates at 19/27-mpg.

INTERIOR LOSES LITTLE COMPARED TO G37

Expecting the discounted price to have its effect on the interior, we were shocked that it hadn’t.  The G25 is not a stripped-down model by any means, from the well-bolstered premium leather seats to the ‘Shodo’ aluminum trim. Heck, it even gets aluminum sill plates with the Infiniti script.

Other standard features you can expect include a 7-inch display screen in the dash, plus Infiniti’s Intelligent Key system so you never have to reach for the keys to open the car – or start the engine, thanks to the push-button ignition.

The one thing that is missing on the inside is navigation . It’s not even optional. This is particularly bizarre considering the car comes with that big screen in the dash.

As for the rest of the cockpit, it’s swathed in quality leather and is in every way a leader in the segment. BMW’s 3 Series doesn’t have near the level of design or materials. The first generation G sedan, while sporty, was panned for its lack of high-grade materials in the cabin. The new G has been erasing those memories for several years now.

Another feature worth noting is the gauge pod that’s fixed to the steering column and moves with the wheel when you adjust it to ensure you’ve always got a clear view of the instruments. It’s manual only, however, with no power option like on the G37.

AN AFFORDABLE LUXURY SPORTS SEDAN

Priced at $31,400 to start, the G25 isn’t tremendously less expensive than its more powerful sibling. In fact, the savings is a modest $4,000. The good news is, you’re not getting short changed and apart from an extra 1.2-liters and 110-hp, there’s no trade-off.

For an additional $1,400 you can upgrade to the Journey model or top out at $34,400 for a G25x with AWD, just a $2,600 savings over the G37x – arguably a little less attractive.

THE VERDICT

A solid level of driving enjoyment and luxury beyond the Lexus IS250, the G25 sits a serious competitor to the increasingly popular Audi A4. Still, it’s not quite the level of driving enjoyment or brand prestige as the BMW 328i, but then it is much nicer on the inside and it’s $3,000 less.

With a less-potent engine and more reasonable price of entry, it even makes for a seriously compelling alternative to an optioned-out V6 mid-size sedan. Down a bit on power and less roomy than that set, if you value driving dynamics over sheer power and can live with the smaller back seat, who wouldn’t want a G25 over a Camry?

It’s luxurious, engaging and it looks the part too. It’s the kind of car you aspire to own. So a heart-felt thank you to Infiniti is in order, because now you can.

RELATED READING

2011 Infiniti G37 Sedan Review 2009 Lexus IS250 AWD 2009 Volkswagen CC Sport Review

2010 Acura TSX V6: First Drive 2010 Cadillac CTS Review 2009 Hyundai Genesis

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