Test Drive #3: Infinity G37x

infiniti-g37x-s-10After driving an Optima and half-driving a TL, the only car left in my search was the G37x. I had planned to go with Ken this Sunday as he was looking as well, but there was a potentially perfect TL that I wanted to try and I needed to get the G37 out-of-the-way before pursuing it. So after grocery shopping Sally and I sped over to Nashua (the closest dealer) to try one out. The salesman was extremely friendly and didn’t pressure me. He explained a bit about the car, asked what I wanted, and asked what other vehicles I was considering. He was actually very complimentary to the TL which was nice (and a smart sales strategy).

I test drove a dark gray model with a black interior and wood accents. I generally dislike wood in cars but this wood was a deep red, looked elegant, and didn’t make me feel like an old man. The leather was soft and the other materials were of high quality. Our model included a power tilt / telescoping steering wheel as well as the nav system. The nav system is as nice as people say it is – it has bright animated graphics (with 3D buildings) and can be controlled via the touch screen, dashboard controls, steering wheel, or by voice. The salesman demoed it and it was very fancy and cool.

We took it out on the road and it was definitely fun to drive. Acceleration was strong and handling was fantastic. We took it on a curved on-ramp at about 50 MPH and it hugged the road as if we were going 15. It was amazing! The variable-assist steering felt great and the transmission didn’t feel jerky like I had read online, even in stop-and-go traffic.

The G37 is tuned more like a sports car, which I think would have been fun for me a few years ago but doesn’t fit me as well now. The engine is deliberately loud, which I dislike. The interior is also sculpted in such a way that it actually feels smaller than my TSX despite having 10 cu ft more space. My knees were closer to the dashboard and my arms were tucked into the doors. The back seat felt cramped and doesn’t offer any more leg room for little kickers out back. Don’t ask me where the extra space went.

In addition, I wasn’t thrilled with all of the amenities. The model I drove had manual lumbar adjustment (a rudimentary lever instead of an electronically inflated air bag), the heated seat buttons were very odd knobs in an odd location, and the seats were not comfortable… for either of us. My biggest complaint however was the audio system. Ours was equipped with the “premium” system but it was unimpressive. The highs were actually crackly (possibly blown speakers) and I could never get enough bass to feel any sort of a beat. It felt like it had less power than the base system in my TSX.

There could have been issues with the audio system of that particular model but combined with all of the other issues I decided that the G37 just wasn’t for me. It is really a fantastic vehicle, but the TL has more of what I’m looking for. Even after sitting in it and driving it I was still ambivalent to the styling inside and out and some of the features that I really wanted (i.e. paddle shifters) were only available in specific packages, while others (blind spot monitoring, ventilated seats) were not available at all.

Unfortunately for me the G37 is actually a really great bargain. It is priced thousands less than an equivalent TL and has slightly better acceleration and handling. The salesman was fantastic as well. He really knew his stuff and was extremely honest with us. He never criticized the TL and said that I couldn’t go wrong with either car; it was just a matter of finding what fit me best. It was comfortable and I felt like I would end up with a good deal. I wish I could have purchased from him, but the G37 just isn’t for me. If you’re looking for a sporty, fast, well-priced luxury sports sedan, I highly recommend the G37. If you need a bit more refinement at the cost of some handling and acceleration then the TL is a better fit.

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