2012 Infiniti G37xS Coupe review: It’s cool, but we wanted it cold

2012 Infiniti G37xS Coupe

2012 Infiniti G37xS Coupe

Usually when we have a sleek and powerful sports coupe for testing, we want fair skies and warm temperatures. Not so with the 2012 Infiniti G37xS Coupe. We wanted snow and ice.

If that seems odd, consider that small, lower case “x” in the car’s name. It stands, of course, for all-wheel drive, a feature that would more easily be evaluated under extreme low-traction conditions. That and it’s fun to be able to go when others are stuck in the snow. And doubly so when it’s in an exotic-looking sports coupe such as the G37xS Coupe.

2012 Infiniti G37xS Coupe drivers seat

The Sport package for the 2012 Infiniti G37x includes magnesium paddle shifters. (Click to enlarge photo).

A word on the nomenclature: The 2012 Infiniti G37 Coupe is available in six basic flavors, including the base Infiniti G37 Coupe, the upgraded Infiniti G37 Coupe Journey, the all-wheel drive Infiniti G37x Coupe AWD, and the Infiniti G37 Coupe Sport 6MT with the six-speed manual transmission, plus two Performance Line (IPL) models, the G37 Coupe-based IPL G Coupe and IPL G Coupe Sport 6MT. That our test car has the “S” appended to its appellation indicates that it has the Sport package. More about which anon.

In the meantime, just what the Infiniti G37 Coupe is. It is related to the Nissan 370Z. The two sports models use the same platform, each with double-wishbone front suspension and multilink rear suspension, though don’t try to interchange parts.

And don’t match wheelbases either. The G37 Coupe is longer, and makes good use of the space between the wheels. Instead of a two-seater with a hatchback like the 370G, the G37—despite its fastback rear window—is a two-plus-two with a conventional trunk. It’s not a big trunk—think carry-on luggage— and the opening isn’t very large, but the rear seatbacks fold forward for a pass-through that’s big enough for, say, a snowboard or other wide but flat object.

The plus-two, if taller than about five foot six, won’t be happy in back, at least not with the headroom, if only because there isn’t any. And despite the deep butt pockets, the rear seatbacks are nearly vertical. It’s an uncomfortable place to be.

2012 Infiniti G37xS back seat

The back seat of the 2012 Infiniti G37xS back seat is snug for people but makes a great place to throw jackets, backpacks, etc. (Click to enlarge photo).

At least Infiniti makes it easy for the driver to entice someone to enter the back seat. There’s a seatback release button on the driver’s side of the front passenger seat. After the seatback is released, however, it’s up to the passenger to squeeze through, and it’s easier in than out.

The driver and front passenger, however, have it much better. The optional sport seats have tall bolsters but are cushy enough to take the hard edge off performance. Our test 2012 Infiniti G37xS had manually extendable thigh support for the driver, a bonus for the long of leg for the long of road trips.

Interior styling of the 2012 G37 is pure Infiniti, which is a good thing, with organic curves and top quality materials. The controls for the optional navigation system in our test vehicle were among the best in the business, a combination of hard keys and a toggle. It’s easy to navigate the system as well as use the navigation system. A real plus and one that other makers should copy is dedicated button for switching between day and night modes, particularly useful on rainy days with the car’s headlights on.

Ride is firm and the tires hard on our Sport Package equipped car G37xS Coupe. Standard equipment with the package are 19-inch wheels with V-rated all-season performance tires, a viscous limited-slip differential, sport brakes, sport seats, magnesium paddle shifters and a sport-tuned suspension. It’s a $1,900 package, but the only non-performance enhancing element in the whole package is the distinctive front fascia.

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John is a veteran auto writer, first published in Custom Rodder magazine in 1980. Since then, he has been published in all the big car magazines, including Car and Driver, Road & Track, Motor Trend, Auto Week, Automobile, plus a variety of others, including but certainly not limited to Automobile Quarterly, Collectible Automobile, and Special Interest Automobiles. John’s work has also been featured in a number of consumer and general interest magazines such as Consumers Digest, Popular Science and others. John has written four books, including a history of the Mazda RX-7 (selling for more out-of-print than it did new), buyers’ guides for Mazda, Datsun/Nissan and Volvo cars, and is co-author of 365 Cars You Must Drive with Motor Trend editor Matt Stone, and his work has been translated into Italian, Estonian, Portuguese, Russian, and Bulgarian. John is recipient of the prestigious Ken Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism, awarded by the International Motor Press Association, and the Golden Quill from the Washington Automotive Press Association. John has three adult daughters and has been married for more that four decades to Mary Ann, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.

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