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Wednesday 11th May 2011

PH Fleet: Infiniti G37 S Coupe

Our car park welcomes a new arrival in the form of a Japanese luxury car that isn't a Lexus. Must be an Infiniti, then...


G37's shape hasn't found many friends yet...
G37's shape hasn't found many friends yet...
I've never been a fan of following convention. In fact, the very fact that something is popular often makes me turn my heel and seek out an alternative.

Which, in a roundabout way, is how an Infiniti G37 S coupe, the newest member of the PH Fleet, has arrived in our car park; I want to find out whether the underdog of the premium segment can cut it, but I'm also one of those people who want to run it in large part because it isn't another Audi, Mercedes or BMW.

But people who think like that are by definition a minority market and so it's been a bit of a slow start thus far for the Infiniti brand in the UK. There are still only a handful of dealers set up - although more are on the way - and despite the coupe having been on sale for two years now, Infiniti has only shifted around 100 two-door G37s in that time. But then the number of brand new BMW 335i coupes and Audi S5s that found homes last year has got to be pretty small too... so perhaps it isn't that bad.

...with the bulky rump taking the most flak...
...with the bulky rump taking the most flak...
But Infiniti claims it isn't after big numbers as it's in for the long-haul (and besides, small numbers can only help to keep residual values sharp). No, what it's really after first is acceptance as a bonafide premium brand. And to do that you need to have a decent product to peddle - the question is whether we have that in the G37.

Its on-paper specification certainly ticks all the right boxes for a luxury GT with a sporting edge. The 3.7-litre V6 produces an eminently respectable 321bhp, which propels the car to 62mph via the rear wheels in 5.9secs and on to 155mph. There's also a limited-slip diff as standard, clever four-wheel steering, and a seven-speed auto with steering column-mounted titanium paddles.

...though I like its subtle curves
...though I like its subtle curves
Gadget fiends, meanwhile, are catered for by a barrage of standard equipment, including dual-zone climate control, heated seats, sat-nav, a thoroughly decent Bose stereo with an inbuilt hard disk drive, Bluetooth phone connectivity, adaptive cruise control, and fully electric seats (leather-clad, of course).

It's priced well, too, with even a top-spec G37S Premium like ours coming in at £41.5k. That's more than £2.5k less than an Audi S5 and, although a top-spec BMW 335i auto will set you back a little less (£40,800), it won't be quite as well specified (and people will think you've got a 320d...).

Number plate not our first choice...
Number plate not our first choice...
Ours is a little less than factory-fresh, however, with a little more than 10k miles showing on the odo when it arrived at PH HQ, but its residual values are more or less on a par with its rivals - you can even expect it to be a couple of percentage points ahead of a 335i coupe in retained value after three years.

Age has not wearied our Infiniti, either, with no more than a few extra creases on the driver's seat bolster giving away the car's used nature.

So it looks right, it goes right, and the price is right, but this is only the beginning of the story. Can it really convince as a premium proposition?

...but the 321bhp V6 is more like it
...but the 321bhp V6 is more like it
Time will tell, but the initial signs are good (for me, at least). In qualitative terms it feels, if not quite up there with Audi, BMW, Jaguar et al, then at least several notches above something like a 370Z, while it goes, stops and steers with just the right mode of luxuriant sportiness.

Other members of the PH team are yet to be convinced, however, citing dull looks, some flimsy interior fitments and a slightly gruff engine as signs of it being little more than a poshed-up Nissan - although I reckon they're slightly blinded by a spot of badge snobbery. Either way, over the next few months the Infiniti may have its work cut out changing hearts and minds, but it's already halfway there for me.

Interior is suitably luxurious. Gadgets include...
Interior is suitably luxurious. Gadgets include...
..keyless entry (and ignition)...
..keyless entry (and ignition)...
...and fully electric seats, with which entry to rear seats is easy thanks to...
...and fully electric seats, with which entry to rear seats is easy thanks to...
...this button, which 'remembers' where the seat was set to. Very useful
...this button, which 'remembers' where the seat was set to. Very useful
Riggers
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Author Discussion

CliveM

Original Poster:

403 posts

68 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
About as memorably attractive as a Honda Legend Coupe ... shame as I'd really like to like this.

Garlick

40,596 posts

123 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
No Riggers. Just no. smile

.blue

586 posts

63 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
[quote]
I've never been a fan of following convention. In fact, the very fact that something is popular often makes me turn my heel and seek out an alternative.

But people who think like that are by definition a minority market...
[/quote]

A minority market of at least 2 smile

wildcat45

3,587 posts

72 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
I have to confess a liking for luxury Jap cars. On paper it looks good. Nothing wrong with German luxury but I applaud anyone who would dare to be different and get one of these.

Would I? It'd take a bit of thought but I could get over the fact it's basically a Nissan then yes, why not.

Riggers

1,851 posts

61 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
Garlick said:
No Riggers. Just no. smile
Well I just won't let you drive it then tongue out. Oh....

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muppet42

149 posts

88 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
So is this basically a 370Z in a nicer suit? wink

There's one of those rare Infiniti dealers near me actually, positioned carefully next to a Porsche dealer and but a few hundred yards from an Audi establishment. I think the intentions are clear from this locating tactic smile

I have to say though if the keys to this, a 335ci and an S5 were put in front of me, I'd probably go for one of the latter two. But saying that, I'd have to do a thorough test drive of each to make my decision biggrin

Edited by muppet42 on Tuesday 10th May 16:44

GeeTeaEye

32 posts

63 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
"with a little more than £10k miles showing"

Mileage measured in pounds eh?

V8mate

36,955 posts

72 months

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Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
Garlick said:
No Riggers. Just no. smile
I noticed that he slyly skipped putting his name at the end of the article. Full points to Mr G for dragging him into the sunlight of shame.

Riggers

1,851 posts

61 months

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Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
GeeTeaEye said:
"with a little more than £10k miles showing"

Mileage measured in pounds eh?
It's all about the money with me, I'm afraid...

PeterNem

113 posts

124 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
Currently in the US and have a G37 saloon as a hire car. While it's not up to BMW standards in terms of fit and finish or drive, it's really not a bad car. Certainly compared to the dross you usually get when hiring a car it's thoroughly decent.

alpha channel

228 posts

45 months

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Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
.blue said:
A minority market of at least 2 smile
Make that three.

Generally it's not bad looking, though the nose seems a touch too American (that square grill just doesn't do anything for the car) and the backside puts me in mind of the Cougar but I like the interior (but then looking at my car history that ain't hard to beat).

Stuart

11,585 posts

134 months

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Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
I thought I'd actually seen an Infiniti that had been bought by a real person (ie not one supplied to a journalist) and wanted to go and ask him what on earth he thought he was doing, but then I noticed the Enterprise car rental sticker in the back window...

I thought the G37, on the one evening Riggers forced me relunctantly into taking it, was like an american hire car. There was a brief flash of "oh, this one has a reasonably big engine" but it was otherwise entirely unmemorable.

Comfortably Dumb

1,237 posts

68 months

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Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
To really upset/confuse people refer to it as a Skyline...

Btw I like it.

Riggers

1,851 posts

61 months

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Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
muppet42 said:
So is this basically a 370Z in a nicer suit? wink
You wink, but you are essentially right. Its platform, engine and various other mechanicals are carried over, but you'd be surprised how different it feels. It's a fair bit less raw and aggressive. Basically a cruiser to the 370Z's bruiser...

ChiChoAndy

73,668 posts

138 months

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Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
I had the G35 sedan, and I liked it... boxedin

soad

18,326 posts

59 months

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Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
I'll be interested to hear how it drives and handles in the future write ups.

Could look a bit meaner perhaps, aggressive even. Guess it's more of a gt cruiser than all out sports car

lenandsons

905 posts

116 months

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Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
Really like these, and as for people saying this is basically a dressed up Nissan in the same way I suppose Lexus is a dressed up Toyota !!! Here in Canada they are very popular and having been in both the G37 and the G35 I am suitably impressed. They are cheaper here than the equivalent Merc/Audi/BMW offering and come with a higher standard spec. There also appears to be far less badge snobbery here than what I recall from living in the UK so maybe that is another factor to consider when looking at their popularity.

The Crack Fox

9,644 posts

75 months

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Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
I'll take the 370Z, same shizzle without the technofest spec, nor lardy looks.

Good luck to 'em though, about time the usual brands had some new competition.

ChiChoAndy

73,668 posts

138 months

[news] 
Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
The Crack Fox said:
I'll take the 370Z, same shizzle without the technofest spec, nor lardy looks.

Good luck to 'em though, about time the usual brands had some new competition.
Well, it is a 370Z, but with 2 more seats.

jamoor

7,300 posts

98 months

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Tuesday 10th May 2011 quote quote all
wildcat45 said:
I have to confess a liking for luxury Jap cars. On paper it looks good. Nothing wrong with German luxury but I applaud anyone who would dare to be different and get one of these.

Would I? It'd take a bit of thought but I could get over the fact it's basically a Nissan then yes, why not.
Are there any proper German luxury car brands? The only brands I can think of are premium brands.
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