Infiniti

20 September 2017

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Infiniti G37 S road test report

S

You could be excused for never hearing of Infiniti. The spin-off luxury brand is to Nissan what Lexus is to Toyota – a top-end Mercedes and BMW rival with a dash more individuality. Infiniti is no conservationist either. All variants of the G37 are fitted with a powerful but thirsty 3.7-litre V6 engine, so expect grunt and creature comforts aplenty.

Road Test Reports Says4 star rating
A front-facing image of the Infiniti G37

Image number 2 of the Infiniti G37Image number 3 of the Infiniti G37Image number 4 of the Infiniti G37

Performance Performance - 5 stars

The G37 is certainly no slouch – it will scorch to 62mph in just 5.9 seconds and keep going until an its limited top speed of 155mph. The 3.7-litre V6 can be found in Nissan’s forthcoming 370Z – so it’s got pedigree – and the soundtrack from the twin rear pipes is pretty pleasing to the ear, too – the gruff bark from the G37’s exhaust is more reminiscent of a V8 than a six. 316bhp and 265lb ft of torque mean that there’s enough grunt to fling the hefty 1719kg car along at a reasonable lick, through the chunky six-speed manual gearbox. A seven-speed semi-auto is also available, but the former is better suited to the bulky saloon

Ride & Handling Ride & Handling - 4 stars

Infiniti has been established in the US since 1989 so previous models that made it to UK shores weren’t always renowned for sharp handling. But Infiniti Europe is adamant that its cars will be up to continental handling standards – and the G37 is a worthy effort. Firm suspension, a limited slip diff, four-wheel-steering and wide tyres make for a capable drive. At speed, it’s quiet and refined, so it’s excellent motorway fodder, but the ride feels a tad unsettled over rougher surfaces and not quite as composed as other rivals. Far from a bad effort for Infiniti’s first proper foray into Europe, though.

Build Quality & Reliability Build Quality & Reliability - 3 stars

Step into the G37’s cabin and its yankee DNA begins to shine through a little more. It’s not badly put together but it doesn’t exude the same build quality as its German competitors. Dash plastics are of Nissan quality, which, once again, isn’t bad, but it’s just not quite special enough for the market that Infiniti is gunning for. Reliability shouldn’t be an issue though, as Nissan has long been known for producing extremely dependable cars and that’s unlikely to change with any Infiniti, let alone the company’s BMW 3-Series rival.

Safety & Security Safety & Security - 5 stars

Robust a car as the G37 is, Infiniti has pulled out all the stops to make sure it’ll take care of its occupants in the worst case scenario. There is a plethora of driving aids under the skin, ranging from anti-lock brakes and electronic stability programme to electronic brake distribution and brake assist. Intelligent cruise control is one of the few goodies to remain on the options list – this uses a series of sensors to help keep the car a safe distance from the vehicle in front of it and warns the driver of an impending shunt and helps out with the braking if necessary. You also get the reassurance of six airbags and a pop-up bonnet to improve pedestrian crash protection.

Space & Practicality Space & Practicality - 3 stars

The G37 makes more sense than many a performance car when you add up the dimensions. A 450 litre boot is spacious enough – it’s only 10 litres shy of a BMW 3-series’ boot and 25 litres down on a Mercedes C-Class – and the rear legroom isn’t too bad either. But it’s a shame that Infiniti’s boffins couldn’t have carved out just a little more room to give the G37 the trump card over the Merc and the Beemer. Yes, it’s more spacious and practical than a sports car, but it’s just trailing behind its key rivals and that makes a big difference when the brand is all about individuality.

Ownership & Value Ownership & Value - 3 stars

Infiniti has modest aspirations for all of its cars in the UK. The company is only expecting sales in the hundreds within the first year, which, in the current climate, is a perfectly reasonable expectation and no doubt bosses will be pleased if they exceed their targets. Spec is extremely generous, as is safety gear. Reliability shouldn’t be a problem and there are old-fashioned big-car thrills by the bucketload, but it’s difficult to recommend an enormous, thirsty saloon at a time when cash is tighter than tight and downsizing is the order of the day. Though Infiniti’s range doesn’t officially go on sale in the UK until spring, it’s difficult to see the G37’s residuals outshining those of BMW and Mercedes. If, however, an average of 26.9mpg doesn’t bother you and you’re after something a little different from the usual European suspects, then G37 could be for you.

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