Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What I drove: Infiniti G37 Coupe

I recently drove the Infiniti G37 coupe. Priced way (way, way) out of my range, this is one hot car. It's low slung and attractive, with a more aggressive look than its previous incarnation — the G35. It’s also now has a trim level with all-wheel drive — the G37x.

The G37 is available in a total of four trim levels as a coupe, but you can also get one in a four-door sedan and a convertible. While the trim levels and packages available with the G37 coupe allow you to add lots of different options, you get the same power across the board — 330 horsepower and 270 foot-pounds of torque.

The biggest difference in trim levels includes all-wheel drive on the G37x — the other trim levels come with rear-wheel drive. And while most of the trim levels come standard with a seven-speed automatic transmission, the G37 Sport 6MT gets a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission with short-throw shifter.

I drove the G37x but certainly didn't need all-wheel drive on the warm, sunny winter day I took it out. The test car had the automatic transmission with a drive sport mode, allowing you to drive the car as if it had a manual transmission. Use it when you want a little extra oomph off the line or for passing. Infiniti literature goes on and on about a driver-adaptive learning algorithm that senses your driving style and adjusts automatic shifting accordingly. What that meant to me were flawless shifts in automatic and a heck of a lot of fun in manual mode.

Base price is $38,700. The test vehicle came in at $46,385 and was loaded with a host of goodies, like a nav system; heated outside mirrors, Infiniti Intelligent Key with push button start; dual-zone automatic temperature control; leather-appointed, eight-way power-adjustable, heated front seats; leather-wrapped steering wheel with cruise control and audio system controls; an aluminum and leather-appointed shift knob; XM Satellite Radio and Infiniti Studio on Wheels by Bose.

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