Lower-powered Infiniti G25 comes up a little short
Sometimes, even the best-laid plans … well, you know the story.
I had set out to tell you a little about a strangely underwhelming experience in the Infiniti G25, a large and comfortable five-passenger sedan with optional all-wheel drive and a fantastically underpowered engine – but it seems that Infiniti got the message about the car and has dropped it from its future lineup.
That said, those looking for a curiously austere member of the popular G line, populated as it is with coupes, sedans and convertibles usually featuring a feisty 3.7-liter V6 (or tweaked for upscale brilliance in the IPL performance versions) … well, you can still buy the 2012 G25 until December of this year.
My suspicion is that in an effort to try to deliver the grace and comfort of the G at a slightly lower price point and higher fuel economy level, the 2.5-liter V6 was positioned as something that sounded like a great idea, on paper, at least.
In reality, taking the breadth and width of the G, not at all a small car, and appointing it with just 218 horsepower, and AWD, did not create a particularly barn-burning combination. Or, as I found, generate a quantum leap in gas mileage.
It didn’t seem like that big of a stretch, but when I spent the weekend using the G25 to tour my family around the Front Range and up into the hills of Black Hawk and rural Gilpin County, the power issue became prominent, especially on steeper slopes.
Granted, the last car I had to chauffeur my family around in sported 550 horsepower, so they were a little spoiled.
G25, though, needs a lot of pedal pressure to make an earnest go of a steady grade and the kickdowns between its seven automatic gears were more than palpable. Flat out, it’s fine, but the easy punch you get in the 3.7-liter V6 setup (328 horsepower) seems pretty strong by comparison.
Mileage, as well, did not seem to reflect the austerity of output: My overall average was only 22.3 mgp, though the window sticker says you should get 27 mpg highway. All of this for a powerplant that’s only supposed to get two highway mpg more than the 3.7-liter, as well.
Let’s set that engine issue aside and focus on the rest of the car, which remains largely unchanged in 2013 guise, though the larger 3.7-liter is standard.
G, the sedan, is indeed quite a comfortable machine, with semi-rigid and sporty but refined ride and adequately sporty handling for a 188-inch-long, not inconsequentially 3,752-pound automobile.
Styling remains svelte and upscale, from the angular headlamps and prominent arches over the front wheels – not to mention the glowing chrome grille – to the pleasant rear end and its chrome spoiler lip, LED-infused brakelamps and chrome-tipped exhaust ports. You also get impressive 17-inch wheels.
The G sedan is also a much more roomy and spacious ride than the sometimes cramped experience you get in the two-door, which feels a lot more like a stretched out 370Z sports car.
Wide, perforated leather seats with moderately sporty bolstering are comfortable in both the front and back – the only drawback being a prominent transmission channel hump that kills the foot room for anyone taking the middle spot in the rear.
There’s precious little space between the door and the seat controls, and you don’t get any lumbar adjustments.
G has also got a nice mix of improved finishings that aren’t quite as audacious as the top-of-the-line M and all those super-glossy SUVs, including real aluminum trim sandwiched between layers of leather and animal hide-patterned plastics.
The center stack is still nicely laid out and adorned with a prominent Infiniti clock face; audio and AC controls are delightfully easy to use and contained a few buttons and knobs.
Should you opt for base and not the optional navigation setup, you get a full-color screen and all the same controls you find on the navigation-enabled model, but they don’t do much other than allow you to show your mileage record and XM Radio song titles.
All 2013 Infiniti models will be equipped with the Personal Assistant, an over-the-phone concierge system that mixes directions with more personalized tasks.
Andy Stonehouse’s column “Mountain Wheels” publishes Saturdays in the Summit Daily News. Stonehouse has worked as an editor and writer in Colorado since 1998, focusing on automotive coverage since 2004. He lives in Golden. Contact him at email@example.com.
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