2009 is the first year of the second generation of the now renamed but popular G37x. It helped established Infiniti as a brand that was actually a true competitor to BMW, not just an expensive badge. After owning mine for just under 2 months and 1200 miles, how do I like it?
(Full disclosure: Infiniti wanted me to drive the G37x so badly they had sold this one to someone who owned it for four years and 50,000 miles, when it was then sold to a local attorney who owned it until July of this year and put 130,000 miles on it. He then listed it on eBay, where it failed to sell. After a month, he put it on Craigslist and dropped the price from $5500 to $4300. Three days after first looking at it, it was mine for $4,000.)
For those who don’t know, the G37 was Infiniti’s small sedan, designed to compete in the same category as the Lexus IS, BMW 3-Series, and Mercedes C-Class. It was available as a sedan or coupe. The sedan, which is what I own and will be the subject of the review, was available as RWD or AWD, with a manual offered on the RWD Sport model. All other models came with a 7-speed automatic as standard.
Despite being a 12 year old design, I think the G37 has aged extremely well. I won’t lie, it doesn’t look brand new, but it doesn’t look 10 years old either. It has a far more refined design than the first generation and honestly looks far more restrained and tasteful than more modern luxury cars. Minor gripes are that the headlights look like they stick out a little far from certain angles. Other thing is that it has too many fake vents for my taste (which is any fake vents). Overall, however, an excellent design by Infiniti.
Nothing too much to say here, it’s standard entry level luxury car. It has touchscreen navigation, seat heaters, soft-touch plastic, leather, brushed aluminum. Overall, very nice, if somewhat revealing of it’s age. The qwality of materials is very nice and definitely feels solid and well built. 10 years and 180,000 miles later, there is no squeaks or rattles. I’m pretty well pleased, and it’s a nice place to be.
Both the high point and low point of G37 ownership is the VQ37 engine. It’s a very high-revving (7600 rpm redline) 3.7 V6 that produces 328HP and 267 lb-ft of torque. That, coupled with AWD, is more than enough to hustle the 3800lbs sedan to 60mph in 5.2 seconds. That surpasses even more expensive competition from the time, and even competes modern entry level luxury sedans (e.g. 2017 BMW 330i, 0-60 in 5.4 seconds). However, the downside is that it sounds like a garbage disposal.
A very fast garbage disposal.
It’s excellent, although helped in part by the fact that I just got new pads and rotors on all 4 corners. It’s strong, firm, and consistent. I haven’t taken it on a track or anything like that, but even hard braking on the road it’s confidence-inspiring and exactly what you want.
The ride is very comfortable, although slightly firm. It’s mostly smooth, although it can be upset by small, jarring bumps. It soaks up larger potholes and bumps with ease. The seats are nicely padded and bolstered, which helps a lot. Still, on the firmer side of the comfort spectrum.
It’s very good. Firm, responsive, and communicative. It definitely could be quicker, especially when compared to my TSX. I’m not sure if that’s due to the fact that it’s AWD or due to the larger sidewall. It’s fairly grippy, although it’s no lightweight at 3800 pounds and the grand touring tires don’t help. It’s still very sporty and feels like a true sport-luxury sedan. It also feels extremely stable and secure, even at highway speeds and above.
The G37x is equipped with a 7-speed automatic that is both great and awful. The gearing is short and fast, helping acceleration. It responds to throttle inputs very quickly and is super responsive. It has a sport mode, but I’ve never had a reason to use it, simply because it responds so well in “normal” mode.I was expecting it to gear hunt more than it does, so props to Infiniti for that. However, it was tuned to be sporty and not much else. It frequently shifts hard (not a mechanical issue, that’s how it’s been since new). Also, despite 7 gears, there is no cruising gear. All 7 are geared for acceleration and response, and nothing else. At 75 mph, it’s cruising at 2700 rpm, which kills fuel economy. 6th and 7th could easily have been geared for fuel economy and no one would have complained. Overall, it’s a good transmission, but could be better.
The G37 is a pretty well-equipped car, even on lower trims levels (like mine). Dual-zone climate control, a 11-speaker, 374-watt Bose audio system, XM radio, navigation, Bluetooth phone, voice recognition that actually kind of works, a 10-way power drivers seat, 8-way power passenger seat, dual heated seats, and one-touch windows and sunroof. There’s not many options available on the G37, the features are mostly relegated to the different trim levels. There’s nothing super fancy, unexpected, or groundbreaking. However, it’s everything you would want and expect.
The exhaust note of the VQ37, from factory, is actually pretty nice. It sounds muscular, at least up until about 5500 rpm. From there on, it’s not as good. However, it’s not nearly as bad as everyone makes it out to be. With exhaust modifications, however, the story changes dramatically. When the mufflers, resonators, or cats are removed, it truly transforms the car...into a very fast garbage disposal. Infiniti had it right from the factory. On the inside, the Bose audio system is excellent, surpassing the quality and strength of even new optional systems. I absolutely love the system and it’s definitely a win over competition.
The G37 sedan is an excellent luxury sports sedan that deserves more recognition. The E90 330i is an excellent luxury sports sedan as well. Yet, I bought the G37 not the BMW. Why? Two reasons: price and reliability. The Infiniti was very inexpensive, especially mine in particular, and it’s an extremely reliable car. When something breaks, or even just when maintenance needs to be done, it won’t be financial suicide. My particular G37x is a 2009 with 180,000 miles and it only cost me $4000. It was priced cheap as it needed some maintenance, but nothing major. Yet it’s still not unheard of to find other 09+ G37s for similar prices. You won’t be able to find another car at this price point that matches the reliability, technology, and athleticism of the G37.
It’s a very good score for a very good car. It’s not the best car in the world, but it certainly does make for an excellent daily driver. A few weak spots include the lack of unexpected equipment (even if it does have a nice list of standard features), a firm ride, and a confusingly geared transmission. However, it still shines in most other places, such as looks, acceleration, and value. If you’re looking for an affordable, reliable, nicely equipped small-midsize sedan that’s just as much fun on the weekdays as it is on the weekends, perhaps the G37 is worth a look.
Engine: 3.7L VQ V6
Power: 328 HP
Transmission: 7-Speed Automatic
0-60: 5.2 seconds
Seating: 5 people (4 comfortably)
MPG (EPA): 18 City/25 Highway
MPG (Observed): 19.1 City/28.6 Highway