2011 Infiniti G25 AWD

Let’s say you’re between a rock and a hard place.

Let’s say you’re between a rock and a hard place. You want to be somewhat environmentally sensitive. Your significant other wants you to have something with status in the driveway. You’re not too keen about getting a hybrid. And most of the cars that are in the more-than-common category tend to have ever-increasing displacements. What’s more, you want a modicum of performance. Or more. Something with all-wheel drive, perhaps. Decisions, decisions, and the list is rather short.

And one of them on that list is the 2011 Infiniti G25 AWD. And if you make that choice, you won’t go wrong.

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Now as you may know, there is an Infiniti G37 sedan, too. The G37 and the G25 share the same interior. The same interior. And the same chassis. In other words, they are pretty much the same.

But to go back to the environmental sensitivity part, here’s the benefit of the G25 over the G37:

The G37 has a 328-hp 3.7-liter V6 engine. Good. But the G25 has a 218-hp 2.5-liter V6 engine. Better.

OK, OK, I know that performance enthusiasts would be up in arms about that statement. More horsepower is good and less is not-so-good. Or so they say. Or maybe that’s going to be “so they said.”

Because the G37 AWD gets an EPA estimated 18 city and 25 highway mpg, which is good. But the G25 AWD gets an EPA estimated 19 city and 27 highway mpg, which is better. At least if you’re interested in burning less fuel.

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Of course, you might be thinking: “Yes, but there is that 110-hp difference, and. . . .”

And what? I drove the G25 AWD from AD&P HQ in southeastern Michigan up to the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in northwestern Michigan, and not once did I feel like this was a car that suffered in the least bit from what could be characterized as iron-poor blood (speaking of iron: it has a high-strength steel body [and an aluminum hood]). Whether it was merging, passing, or simply cruising on I-75, the engine and the seven-speed automatic transmission showed no signs of anemia.

And what was really nice was that I not only drove up there, but I also drove around there and didn’t need to fill up immediately, as would have been the case in other cars that have less fuel frugality.

But don’t think for a minute that this is a car that doesn’t qualify for that status requirement. It is a car with leather, including an eight-way power driver seat (especially nice when stuck in a construction zone going nowhere). And the seats are heated up front (which would be helpful in a few months, certainly—as would be the ATTESA E-TS All-Wheel Drive System with Snow Mode, which didn’t come into play in Traverse City in August, but come January. . . .). There is nice aluminum trim on the instrument panel and doors. There is an aluminum sill plate, so you know you’re getting into a car that is not run of the mill.

So, you get the status. You get the environmental cred (OK, I don’t want to be too extreme about this, because if you’re really looking for that you’d go to the Nissan side of the house and get a LEAF, but that’s another story entirely).

And with a base MSRP of $33,950, you also get a hell of a car.

Selected Specs

Engine: 2.5-liter DOHC V6

Material: Aluminum block and head

Horsepower: 218 @ 6,400 rpm

Torque: 187 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm

Transmission: Seven speed automatic

Wheelbase: 112.2 in.

Length: 187.9 in.

Width: 69.8 in.

Height: 57.8 in.

Base curb weight: 3,746 lb.

EPA: 23/29 mpg city/hwy