The Auto Trader expert verdict:
The Infinti G saloon is Japan’s answer to the Jaguar XF. It has a big engine and an even bigger list of gadgets while customers are promised VIP customer care.
Reasons to buy:
- Rarity value in the UK
- Incredible standard kit
- Drives well
How good does it look?
The Infiniti G saloon is an interesting alternative to the popular BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class. It features more curvaceous lines than those cars and looks best in S trim, which adds smoked headlamps and lightweight alloy wheels. The G saloon is finished in Scratch Shield paint, which can heal minor abrasions. It has a highly elastic resin coating which returns to its original scratch-free state after the incident, providing it doesn’t penetrate beyond the top layers of paint.
What's the interior like?
The interior saw improvements in design in 2010, when the dashboard was brought up to standards set in the EX and FX models. There’s an optional Maple wood trim and dials now have a white background. Its infotainment system now uses a hard disk drive, making route calculation four times faster than the outgoing DVD-based sat-nav. Its seats are comfortable, with front occupants either side of a pronounced central console. The only issue is that a few of the switches and plastics are available in Nissan models costing far less than the pricey Infiniti.
How practical is it?
The G saloon has a 450-litre boot, which is 10-litres smaller than you’ll find in a 3 Series saloon and 50-litres down on a Jaguar XF. Sit in the back and it also feels slightly cramped, with headroom becoming an issue for taller passengers.
What's it like to drive?
All G saloons drive well, but only the S trim level is fitted with enhanced brakes, four-wheel active steering, limited slip differential, sports suspension and sports seats. This adds up to a sharper driving experience, which puts it more on a par with the excellent 3 Series. It’s able to cover ground quickly and feels very secure at motorway speeds. The Jaguar XF strikes a better balance between handling and comfort, making the Infiniti feel hard-riding in comparison. Four-wheel drive is available in the G37x model, for better all-weather performance.
How powerful is it?
The G saloon is only available with a 3.7-litre petrol V6, making it a niche product in a country which loves big diesel engines. Hopefully the diesel from other models in the Infiniti lineup will find its way into the G soon. With 320bhp the petrol has ample performance, accelerating from rest to 62mph in 5.9 seconds and providing effortless overtakes. Its seven-speed automatic ‘box has paddle shifters which can be slow to respond at low revs, but feel much more connected as the engine picks up its pace.
How much will it cost me?
No matter your driving style, the V6 engine struggles to match its claimed 27mpg average fuel consumption. CO2 emissions of 246g/km place it in the second highest tax band, with a first year ‘showroom tax’ of £790 in 2011. Due to its high running costs and relative rarity, residual values will also be less than the 3 Series and C-Class.
How reliable is it?
There have been no product recalls for the G saloon. During out test it appeared to be very well-built and there were no faults with the vehicle. Infiniti is a brand of Nissan, who have excellent technical pedigree and perform well in reliability surveys. Infiniti customer care is also excellent should anything go wrong.
How safe is it?
Six airbags, Isofix child seat mounting points, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and electronic stability program (ESP) are fitted as standard. Other features include a speed limiter, which allows you to set a maximum speed the car can travel at – say 70mph for motorway driving. You can only go quicker by turning the system off or by pressing the throttle very hard in an emergency.
How much equipment do I get?
The G saloon is exceptionally well equipped, with cruise control, colour information display, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, smart key, dual-zone air-con, infotainment system, USB/iPod connectivity, electric front seats, Bi-Xenon headlights with Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) and many other gadgets as standard. GT trim adds leather and heated seats with memory function. GT Premium gets Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) an electric glass sunroof, HDD sat-nav system with touch-screen display, voice recognition, rear view camera and Bose Premium Sound System. S trim adds the chassis upgrades discussed in the Ride and handling section of this review.
No matter how good cars like the Jaguar XF and BMW 3 Series are, some customers will see them as far too common and want to stand out from the crowd. The Infiniti G saloon is a great way to be different. It’s particularly well equipped and performs well, but it’s a shame there’s no diesel option.