2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe Performance
This performance review was written when the 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe was new.
The 2008 Infiniti G37 has prodigious power and spirited handling that will inject excitement to any daily commute. AutoWeek says the G37 is "lively and fun, giving way just enough when pushed to keep us interested, while maintaining that balance and comfort necessary to keep the car great to live with as a daily driver."
"Step hard on the gas," explains Newsday, "and this beautifully appointed, quiet-riding car becomes the automotive equivalent of a snarling attack dog. Seriously fast, with a throaty exhaust rumble." Edmunds calls it "a great car for eating up pavement," saying it's "quick, handles well and stops effortlessly -- both on-track and off."
Befitting the debut of this sports coupe, the engine is brand new -- a 3.7-liter V6 that's a step up in both horsepower and torque from the 3.5-liter V6 found in the G35 sedan. In base and Journey models, the engine is paired with a five-speed automatic, while the Sport 6MT model matches the engine to a six-speed manual transmission. Forbes finds that "both gearboxes work precisely and are well matched to the potent engine."
Acceleration and Power
The 2008 Infiniti G37 comes with a 3.7-liter V6 engine that creates 330 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. Edmunds points out that the engine's output is "a healthy 24 ponies more than the latest 3.5-liter version of this V6 in the 2007 G35 sedan." Peak torque, explains Automobile Magazine, "is only 2 lb-ft higher than the 3.5-liter's," but "the curve shows improvements of about six percent down low and four percent up high." Not all reviewers find these improvements to be remarkable. For instance, Car and Driver argues, "The extra power doesn't make much of a difference." Other reviewers disagree. Motor Trend finds that the added power "doesn't hit the Wow! factor, but it's certainly felt, especially when accelerating out of turns."
Reviewers do agree, however, that the engine is seriously powerful and responsive. Edmunds reports, "It stormed out of the lower reaches of the rev range and pulled hard all the way to its 7,500-rpm redline, and the power was easy to manage all the way." "Acceleration was strong and smooth," says Forbes, "and the engine makes great music as it happily revs to the red line." It "puts on steam in a hurry," writes the Los Angeles Times, and is "at its best" when "thrumming along in the middle gears." The states, "There was never a problem pulling out to pass, even when it had to be done quickly."
The new engine features Nissan's Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) system, which, explains AutoWeek, "not only improves engine output but also lowers exhaust emissions and improves gas mileage." The Family Car calls this "an impressive achievement," but the Associated Press argues that the car's fuel economy rating nevertheless "seems more akin to that of a small sport utility vehicle than a car that is ranked by the federal government, based on interior volume, as a subcompact." According to the Environmental Protection Agency, when equipped with a five-speed automatic the G37 should achieve 18 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. When equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, the fuel economy rating is 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Both configurations require premium fuel.
The automatic is the only available transmission on the base and Journey models, while the six-speed manual is the only available transmission on the Sport 6MT. Concerning the transmissions, The Auto Channel says, "While neither sets new benchmarks for gears, gadgetry or gimmicks, they both work well." The automatic, claims the Winding Road, "is respectable, with rev-matching on downshifts and a lateral g-force sensor that instructs it to hold gears through hard corners." The Los Angeles Times writes, "Characteristic of the current generation of smart-shifters, the automatic will vigorously blip the throttle on downshifts and will refrain from upshifting while cornering hard to avoid upsetting the car's balance." On sport models, the automatic transmission can be controlled manually via two paddle shifters mounted on the steering column. A reviewer for the reports, "This current generation of paddle-shifting automatics has grown on me, especially when the transmission does not interfere before the red line is bumped and can smoothly handle rpms on quick downshifts."
The manual transmission is a reviewer favorite. Compared to that of the G35 coupe that predated the G37, its linkage "has been improved for smoother, more accurate throws," according to The Auto Channel. "The coupe's new gearbox feels slightly smoother," asserts Car and Driver. "The shift throws are short, and so is clutch-pedal travel, which engages with a smoothness that BMW is only beginning to approach with the latest 3-series."
Handling and Braking
The G37's handling is responsive and sporty, reviewers find. Consumer Guide says it's "grippy and agile, with little lean in corners." Forbes argues, "The car is very well balanced and offers excellent tactile feedback through the steering wheel and seat of the pants." Reviewers are especially impressed by the way the G37 takes corners. The Los Angeles Times reports, "The ride is taut and suspension travel somewhat limited, but it takes a fairly big whoop in the road to un-stick the car in a corner." Motor Trend reports, "Through all but the most aggressive curves, the car stays as flat as the Arizona desert." The Auto Channel writes, "Transitions through corners are well managed, and there's no bobbing and weaving as you stop accelerating and begin braking or vise versa."
The suspension gets high marks. Road and Track says, "The G37 slithered through the corners of the road course with nearly zero body roll, a tell-tale sign of a well developed suspension." Edmunds calls the suspension and tires "well-tuned," and says that while the combination "is capable of very high performance, the freeway ride is damped very well and we didn't experience any tooth-chipping harshness over a variety of poorly maintained pavement surfaces." A Sport package, which is standard on the Sport 6MT and optional on other models, provides stiffer suspension and 19-inch wheels.
The G37's steering gets mixed reviews. The Family Car says, "This car simply goes where you point it. At any speed, you could easily thread a needle with this steering." Edmunds, however, wishes the "steering had more soul," noting a "detached feel." As for brakes, Motor Trend finds them to be as impressive as the rest of the car, writing, "Not only are the brakes stellar -- exhibiting excellent response and pedal feel and no fade -- but so is the car as a whole." Car and Driver would like "a stiffer brake pedal, even though the 70-to-0 stopping distance is a respectable 164 feet," while Consumer Guide decides, "Braking is strong."
Rear-wheel drive is standard on the G37, though Journey and Sport 6MT models offer a 4-Wheel Active Steer (4WAS) system. Cars.com explains, "It turns the rear wheels as well as the front ones, which purportedly improves high-speed handling and makes it easier to turn at parking-lot speeds." Most reviewers are skeptical. "For most drivers," says The Auto Channel, "the addition of 4WAS will be something to brag about while bench racing because the effect is something most people won't ever genuinely notice." The Los Angeles Times is "not convinced that the 1-degree of rear-steer deflection is worth the weight and complication of the system." Forbes concedes that the system "works as advertised," but believes that "most buyers would be just as satisfied with the basic setup."