Infiniti’s new G25x coupe is luxury and all-weather traction in an economical package

Infiniti is Nissan’s luxury brand, and it has proven popular with Canadian consumers due to the fact that the vehicles they produce are stylish, well-equipped, reliable, and decidedly unique. Since its introduction in 2003, the G sedan has been a success story in our market as it is delivers a comfortable ride and respectable handling in a package perfectly suited for the tight confines of a city environment.

2011 Infiniti G25x Review front

The G 35 and its replacement, the G 37, are blessed with sporty performance due to the fact that they carry V6 engines under their hoods, but consumers looking for something a little more economical were out of luck, as the V6 was the only engine offered.  As a result, Infiniti was losing potential customers to brands such BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Acura who offered similarly sized and equipped models fitted with smaller, more fuel-efficient engines. Well the solution was simple as corporate parent Nissan has a wealth of experience developing 2.5-litre six-cylinder engines, as cars like the Altima have relied on them for years. For 2011 the Infiniti G sedan line-up will expand to include the G25, G25x and G25x Sport. The G25 utilises a traditional rear-wheel-drive layout, while the G25x is all-wheel-drive.  The latter will no doubt prove popular with Canadian consumers looking for all-weather traction, but wary of purchasing a CUV or SUV. Admit it, for the most part cars are much more pleasant to drive than their cumbersome relatives, especially in urban environments.

2011 Infiniti G25x Review rear2011 Infiniti G25x Review grill

When I first booked the G 25x for a test I must admit that I wasn’t exactly excited about it. I was worried that without the big 3.7 L V-6 engine under the hood I would find the driving experience to be a tad underwhelming. Was I ever wrong!

My test vehicle was a G25x fitted with a 2.5-litre V6 engine fitted to a 7-speed automatic transmission (the only transmission offered). The all-wheel-drive model came equipped with basically every option and tipped the scales at over 1600 kilograms, so I was surprised at how effortlessly the new engine and gearbox hustled the car up to highway speeds without hesitation. The compact engine produces 218 hp and 187lb-ft of torque. Acceleration is brisk, not laboured, and the smooth-shifting transmission proved a pleasure to use. This slick and efficient gearbox offers manual mode (Driver Sport) capabilities complete with downshift rev-matching, a cool trick I first experienced in one of this car’s iconic cousins, the Nissan 370Z. You won’t win many races, but the G25 buyer is unlikely looking for a Fast and Furious driving experience .

2011 Infiniti G25x Review sideview2011 Infiniti G25x Review light

I found the car’s passenger compartment well insulated and quiet when travelling at highway speeds, which was a surprise as I thought the engine would be high-revving and create an intrusive drone, but the intelligent and efficient 7-speed transmission worked its magic to keep the engine rpm in check once at cruising speed.

In everyday driving situations I found the G25x nimble, easy to manoeuvre and easy to live with. The passenger compartment is comfortable and visibility is quite good. All the instrumentation and switchgear seemed to be within easy reach and intuitive to use, and the power operated driver’s seat, well placed mirrors, and efficient HVAC ensured that I was both comfortable and confident when behind the wheel.

2011 Infiniti G25x Review gauges2011 Infiniti G25x Review screen

A late winter snowfall attempted to derail my love affair with this car but Infiniti’s tried and true ATTESA E-TS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All Electronic Torque Split) all-wheel drive system proved unstoppable. Enthusiast drivers will also appreciate the fact that this innovative all-wheel drive system delivers the majority of power to the rear wheels when traveling on dry road surfaces, preserving one of the traits that makes the G sedan so popular with people that like to drive. The car’s surefootedness is also backed up by standard electronic stability control and traction control systems, and very responsive anti-lock brakes.  All three G25 models feature dual-stage front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, and roof-mounted curtain airbags should you get in a serious crash or roll-over situation.

2011 Infiniti G25x Review rear seat

Unlike most entry models the G25 sedans are very luxurious and equipped with all the power accessories, communication and entertainment gear one finds in the G37. Standard equipment includes such niceties as dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way heated leather seats, power sunroof,  bi-xenon headlamps, fog lights, LED taillights, heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, aluminum door sill plates, and Intelligent Key with pushbutton ignition. Technology fans will appreciate the electroluminescent gauges, tilt and telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, Infiniti Controller with seven-inch colour display, CD/DVD/MP3 stereo with USB port, XM satellite radio, security system and tire pressure monitoring system. In addition to the ATTESA E-TS all-wheel-drive system the G25x adds an iPod interface, automatic headlamps, auto-dimming rear-view mirror (with compass), rear-view monitor and Bluetooth connectivity. Both of these models ride on 17-inch alloy wheels. The G25x Sport adds 18-inch alloy wheels, unique front fascia and side sills, aluminum pedals, sport steering wheel with magnesium shift paddles, and sport seats. Two dual-stage front airbags, two side airbags in the front seats, and two curtain airbags in the roof are standard in the G25.

2011 Infiniti G25x Review sideview

The G25 should help Infiniti expand its customer base as it lowers the price of entry for budget-minded consumers who wish to drive a premium brand without paying an inflated sticker. Canadian consumers will likely be attracted to the G25x for its all-weather traction, a feature noticeably absent in many of its direct competitors.

Learn more – Infiniti G Class

CONS:

  • Narrow trunk opening
  • Bland exterior styling
  • Limited dealer network

Technical Specifications: 2011 Infiniti G25x

Base price (CAD MSRP):  G25 -$36,390; G25x – $40,450; G25x Sport – $45,540

As tested price: $49,100 (Premium package- $3,350; Navigation package $2,950; wood trim package $300; Destination -$1,950; A/C tax – $100)

Type: 5-passenger, 4-door,  mid-size sedan

Layout: Front engine/rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel drive

Engine: 2.5-litre DOHC 24-valve V6

Horsepower:  218 @  6,400  rpm

Torque (lb-ft):  187 @ 4,800 rpm

Transmission:  7-speed automatic

Curb weight: G25x- 1611 kg (3551 lbs)

Cargo capacity: 382 L (13.5 cu. ft.)

Fuel consumption (L/100km):  City- 12.4 (23 mpg) / Hwy: 7.9 (36 mpg)

Russell Purcell is an award-winning automotive journalist and photographer based in Vancouver, B.C. His passion for automobiles was sparked at the tender age of six, when a family friend gave the wide-eyed first grader a ride to school in a track prepared Porsche 911 RSR. He continues to fan the flames by building an impressive library of automotive related books as well as a vast collection of interesting automobilia and motoring artefacts. Russell is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, and is active on Twitter as RoadTestRuss.