The automobiles that I have been testing over the past few years were very much oriented toward families of 5 or more people (which is how many there are in my family). Typically these are SUVs or Crossovers, and many have 3 rows of seats. Let’s face it, if you have a larger family, you need more space, for warm bodies as well as for stuff (e.g., toys, luggage, car seats, groceries…you get the idea). While a lot of these SUVs or Crossovers are extremely comfortable verging on luxurious, I have been dying to try something just a bit more “sporty.”
Enter the 2011 Infiniti G37 Journey Coupe, or rather “enter screeching around the corner at 90 miles an hour.”
I spent a week enjoying this 4 seater street rocket as I drove around the San Francisco Bay Area. From trips to Monterrey Bay with my kids to driving to a tradeshow 4 days of the week to simply shooting over to the store to grab groceries, I logged a lot of hours in the G37. In fact, I came up with every single excuse possible to drive it, even around the block.
After the time that I spent behind the wheel, this is what struck me primarily: from the outside, it has a very low-profile and subdued look but the inside is packed with luxury and under the hood is a beast raring to get out.
Just starting the engine via the push-button brings a roar from the engine. The G37 is a rear-wheel drive car that has 330 horses just beating down the stables to run! The G37 that I drove was the Journey trimline that had both the Technology and Sport packages. The sticker, all said and told, came to $46,975.
Quick Highlights of the G37
Here are some important facts/features (not all of them though) on the 2011 Infiniti G37 that I test drove:
- 3.7-liter DOCH 24-valve VVEL V6 engine with 330 horsepower & 270 lb-ft torque
- Read-wheel drive
- 7-speed automatic transmission with “Drive Sport” mode (manual shifting and downshifting rev matching)
- Sport package: 19″ aluminum-allow wheels, Summer performance tires, Solid magnesium paddle shifters, Sport brakes with 4-piston front & 2-piston rear calipers, Sport-tuned suspension and steering
- Technology Package: Intelligent cruise control, Rain sensing windshield wipers, Advanced climate control
- Premium Package: Power sliding/tinted glass moonroof, Rear sonar system, 2.0 GB Music Box w/ 800 MB storage (actually this was upgraded with the Navigation package to 9.3 GB)
- Navigation Package: Navigation with touch-screen, DVD video playback and 3-D building graphics, XM NavTraffic, XM NavWeather & Zagat Survey, Voice recognition
- Gas mileage – 19 City & 27 Highway
A Video Review of the G37
I put together a quick video overview of the G37 that highlights some of the interesting and noteworthy features of this peppy coupe. The video is also available on YouTube:
[iframe_loader width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/R5Pfr_Q7MkY?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen]
I probably should have recorded the roar of the engine as the G37 starts up or racing down the street because it is literally a rumble.
Some Infiniti G37 Pictures
You can find more pictures of the 2011 Infiniti G37 on my Flickr page but here are some highlights below:
The main “technology” console was quite well designed and easy to control. Controls were either on the steering wheel, via the large touchscreen, via the jog wheel, using arrow buttons or using voice command.
The driving position was comfortable with all of the controls easily accessible and within reach. The seat had multiple points of configuration and given that it was the sport version, you could really dial in the lumbar support (you could feel and hear the balloon inflate and deflate as you tuned it to your specification). The steering wheel also tilted up and down via a joystick but also could move closer or further away from you. You had the ability to memorize your seating configuration for 2 drivers.
Headlights are High Intensity Discharge (HID) xenon and the G37 has fog lights as well as LED taillights. As I mentioned before the G37 is not a car that is ostentatious, it is very unassuming on the road, until you hit the gas, then the beast roars to life!
The sports package has 19-inch aluminum-allow wheels and P225/50R18 V-rated summer performance tires.
Built into the subtle spoiler is a rear-view camera. Since you sit very low in the driver’s seat typically, it’s hard to see directly behind you at times so the rear-view camera is a great help. One thing that I particularly liked about the camera is the yellow box overlay that transforms based on the way that you are turning to show you the path that the car will be taking. (There is an example of this in the video above.)
You can see a close-up of the rear camera.
Apart from the larger rims, the low profile tires and the brakes that peer through the rims, the Sport version is subtly illustrated only via a red “S” next to the “G37″.
The light leather and wood trim punctuated the elegance and luxury that wrapped the interior.
With lots of controls, you would think that the driver’s cockpit would be cluttered, however, all of the controls were nicely laid out and were very easy to access.
The dome lights also had map lights, as well as a tiny pinhole of a light which you can see in the picture above (but which is also a bit more easier to see in the video). At first my kids and I speculated that this tiny light was a reading light, but I later found out that it is simply some ambient lighting for the gear shifter area. It was tiny touches like this that make the G37 so elegant.
All of the controls were in the middle console which included the touchscreen navigation, radio (AM/FM/Satellite), CD & DVD player (when in park only), Auxiliary inputs (USB), analog clock (nice touch), and dual climate controls which includes heated seats.
The trunk space isn’t exactly huge but is big enough to hold a couple of small suitcases. But the funny thing I found as I explored all of the corners of the G37, was a sticker in the trunk which shows exactly how to pack two sets of golf bags…I guess that they know their audience!
The seats were “sporty” and offered multiple points of support. I put the lumbar supports very tight and it was practically like being hugged into place as I went tightly around the corners and there are 12 ways that you can adjust the seats. In the picture above, you can see the traditional seat controls, but towards the front are the lumbar supports.
One thing that I particularly enjoyed about the Infiniti G37 is that it is so understated from the outside, but inside, there is a full sense of luxury and under the hood, is a race car. I found the technology package to be exactly what I was expecting, if not better. The voice recognition worked very well, without having to repeat my commands. One thing that I didn’t like was how the GPS got “locked down” when the car is in motion. While I understand the safety side of being distracted while trying to enter in an address, I found it frustrating that, for example, I couldn’t add or change my destination while driving on the highway.
The front two seats are very comfortable, and it seems that the G37 is really designed to be primarily a 2-seater, with the back seats comfortable only for kids for the most part, and even then, if the front passengers are tall and put the seats all of the way back, the leg room rapidly disappears in the back. The ride is silent until you step on the gas and the engine roars to life. The handling is extremely tight and you can take turns pretty hard and the G37 grips quite well. The suspension is sporty, in that you feel each and every bump in the road, which is what I would expect from a high-performance sports car.
I mainly did highway driving but did have city driving mixed within. I got about 19-20 miles per gallon on average throughout my test drive, which is respectable for a car of this caliber. It was truly hard to part with the Infiniti G37 at the end of my tour of driving duty and while I wouldn’t recommend this car as a primary family vehicle, unless you have a 2nd “family car” or have 1 child (a baby or a toddler), I would truly say that this is a great car to have, especially for dads who want to regain the road after driving a few years behind the wheels of a mini van (like I have).
The rating below are a bit more difficult to do because this isn’t really a gadget per se, so take these with a grain of salt. In general, my marks are quite high for the Infiniti G37.
Disclosure Text: Apart from the 7-day loan of the Infiniti G37, I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein. More information can be found in my About page as well as here.
HTD says: I was truly impressed with the power but also luxury that the 4 seater Infiniti G37 Coupe provided!