In 2011, Nissan added a new model to its Infiniti stable of cars. But not for long. Standing beside the high-powered, luxury-laden offerings of Nissan’s upscale division was the G25 sedan, which was put forward as an entry-level model, meant to compete directly with Lexus’ IS 250. The idea here was to offer buyers an upscale driving experience without having to spend all their time at the pumps.
Power was delivered via a 2.5 litre V6 engine which developed 218 horsepower and was mated to a seven-speed automatic only, with either rear or all-wheel-drive. Priced slightly higher than its Lexus nemesis, the G25 was offered in three versions; one with rear-drive only, and two with AWD, with various options groups within those three. Infiniti’s thinking at the time was that because AWD models accounted for some 85 per cent of its sales with the G25's bigger brother, the G37, give the people what they want. There was no manual transmission available with this vintage of the G25 simply because, according to Infiniti, the proportion of buyers who want a stick shift is “minuscule”.
Visually almost identical to the G37, and unchanged from 2011 to 2012, the made in Japan G25 had all the goodies and modcons you’d expect from a car of this ilk. Standard equipment included leather interior, power adjustable front seats, climate control system, one-touch up and down power windows, XM satellite radio, and, with the Sport version, magnesium steering wheel-mounted shift paddles with a downshift rev-matching feature. One nice little touch here; the steering wheel-mounted shift paddles were mounted on the column, staying in the same location, readily accessible at all times. All things considered, this made for a better driving experience.
That said, the G25 was far from a hell-raising pavement-scalder to begin with, and, although it could handle itself well enough through the turns and twisties, it was primarily a touring sedan. Fuel economy differences between the AWD and front-drive versions of this one were slight; the former model being a smidgeon thirstier on the highway. But both, however, were significantly thriftier than the G37 models.
But the G25 apparently wasn’t thrifty – or sporty - enough. Infiniti quietly dropped it from its line-up in 2013.
No safety recalls on file, either from Transport Canada or the US National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration. The latter organization, however, has three complaints and 11 technical service bulletins out there. Complaints include “jerking” problems with the transmission and rear-drive, and “when an iphone is connected to the ipod interface in the vehicle the playback skips and is intermittent”. Technical service bulletins, meanwhile, include cruise control glitches, problems with the power door locks, “shift responsiveness issues”, and more transmission/drivetrain issues. This latter issue seems to be the most prevalent complaint with G25 owners.
Marketing researcher, J.D. Power, meanwhile, gives the G25 a “better than most” grade for predicted reliability, and “about average” marks for overall quality, but a below average report card for overall performance and design. Interestingly, the very thing that Infiniti was hoping to achieve with the G25 – better fuel economy – didn’t happen, according to J.D. Power. Owners report disappointing fuel economy numbers….. “below average”, according to J.D. Power. The G25 also required premium grade fuel, which didn’t help things in the affordability department.
Still, Consumer Reports likes this generation of G models from Infiniti, and give them a “Good Bet” seal of approval. The G25, notes, C.R. “sacrifices a little acceleration but gets much better fuel economy.” Possible problem areas include the audio system and transmission/drivetrain, otherwise, it’s top marks right across the board, and a “much better than average” used car prediction. Says C.R.: “We expect reliability of new models will be 47 per cent above average.” Some comments from owners: “bone-jarring ride…navi system is disabled while car is moving” and “little tight in the back seat”.
From a base price in the mid-$30,000 range new, the G25 has dropped by about a third. Base front-drive models seems to be in the low to mid -$20,000 neighbourhood, while the AWD versions are at least $2000 pricier. A full-zoot Sport model, with all the bells and whistles will run around $25,000 - $30,000.
2011 Infiniti G25
Original Base Price: $36,390; Black Book: $25,245 - $31,275 Red Book: $20,950 - $25,650
Engine: 2.5 litre V6
Horsepower/Torque: 218 hp / 187 ft. lb.
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
Fuel Economy (litres/100 km): 10.3 city/6.8 hwy. Premium gas.
Alternatives: Lexus IS250, BMW 3-series, Audi A4, Acura TL, Cadillac CTS, Mercedes C-class.