Nuts and Bolts: 2012 Infiniti G37x coupe

March 30, 2012

Bottom line: It’s a buy. Compare with Audi A5, BMW 335i , Cadillac CTS coupe, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Porsche Boxster.

Ride, acceleration and handling: Handling is not as precise as that experienced in the BMW 335i, Audi A5 and Porsche Boxster models. But it’s pretty darned good. The G37x runs with all of its rivals in acceleration.

Head-turning quotient: The Infiniti coupe arguably is the best-looking of the lot — smoothly flowing, sinewy, muscular body, more sensuous than sexy, more equal-gender inviting than macho-male breast beating.

Body style/layout: The Infiniti coupe is a front engine, all-wheel-drive (denoted by the “X”), two-door (with rear hatch) entry-level luxury car. It is based on the Nissan 370 sports car with healthy technical and styling helpings from the Infiniti G sedan. The G37x also is available as a rear-wheel drive model.

Engine/transmission: The Infiniti comes standard with a 3.7-liter, double-overhead cam, 24-valve V-6 engine with variable valve lift and timing (for better fuel economy and reduced tailpipe pollutants) delivering a maximum 330 horsepower and 270 foot-pounds of torque. The engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission that also can be operated manually.

Capacities: Seats for four people, with the rear seats best suited for children and small adults. Cargo capacity with foldable rear seats raised is a rather skimpy 7.4 cubic feet. Fuel capacity is 20 gallons, with premium gasoline being recommended for “best performance.”

Mileage: No medals here. I averaged 24 miles per gallon in highway driving. Speed drains fuel.

Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes; four-wheel antilock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; electronic brake-force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; side and head air bags.

Price: The base price on the 2012 Infiniti G37x coupe is $40,900. Dealer’s invoice on that model is $37,882. Price as tested is $44,895, including $3,100 in options (power sliding glass roof, premium sound system, parking proximity warning system and more) and an $895 destination charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $41,469.

Moment of insight: All Japanese automakers doing business in the United States are in an undeclared price war, largely because of production and sales lost after Japan’s earthquake last March. Nissan’s Infiniti assembly and supplier facilities, based in and around Oppama, were hit hard. The company is now up to full production speed and struggling to regain lost ground. You can bargain here.

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