Great performance, fine luxury

2009, Infiniti, G37 Coupe

The luxury sports sedan/coupe market is a robustly competitive field, with great offerings from brands such as BMW, Lexus, Audi, Acura and others.

One of the finer offerings in the class comes from Infiniti, with its 2009 G37 Coupe.

Infiniti took its popular G35 model, which was nice, and made it a little better.

The result is a great looking, great handling, fun-to-drive model that comes with a reasonable sticker price.

The G37 has a dynamic 3.7-liter V-6 engine, the same one found in the Nissan 370Z that we recently drove.

It makes a breathtaking 330 horsepower.

For 2009, Infiniti has added a seven-speed automatic transmission, which replaces last year's five-speed.

Infiniti also included one of the neatest features on the automotive market on the G37: the new self-healing clearcoat paint.

If you get small scratches in the clearcoat (not the base coat underneath) they will heal themselves after a day or two, keeping your car's finish unblemished and avoiding the hairline scratches that typically accumulate on cars.

You can also get the G37 in a sedan, and coming soon is a convertible that Infiniti has shown at this year's auto shows.

The G37 Coupe combines sportiness and luxury in an attractive package. The interior has a handsome design, with aluminum highlights and a well-organized, clean dashboard.

Infiniti says the G37 Coupe goes from 0 to 60 mph in a shade over 5 seconds.

Its cornering ability is superb, and steering is responsive and tight.

The taut suspension lends itself well to performing as a sports car, or, when you prefer, riding like a luxury car.

The exhaust note has a growl that, for performance car enthusiasts, is absolutely melodious.

The seats are adjustable and quite comfortable.

And a feature that we noted that we liked in the 370Z is present in the G37, too: the instrument cluster moves when you adjust the tilt and telescoping steering column, so that the gauges aren't blocked by the wheel.

There are other neat technological features, such as adaptive cruise control, adaptive front lighting, which pivots the headlights around turns for better visibility and an effective GPS that can be controlled with buttons or touch screen.

You also get an on-board iPod integration.

The G37 Coupe's interior space isn't cavernous, and the back seat is pretty cramped. But the driver should have enough room to be comfortable.

The trunk was larger than we expected, which was a nice surprise.

The 2009 Infiniti G37 Coupe, which starts at around $38,700, is a terrific value in the luxury segment. Even when you upgrade with a few of the option packages, it remains a good value.

For instance, you can get the G37x Coupe, which is equipped with intelligent all-wheel drive, which keeps the car in rear-wheel drive until it detects slip, then lets it send up to 50 percent of its power to the front wheels.

Also available are the $1,150 Technology Package, $3,000 Premium Package, $2,200 Navigation Package, $330 illuminated kick plates, and the $1,650 upgraded 18-inch wheels.

With the Premium package, you get a moonroof, upgraded audio, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and Bluetooth, while the Tech package adds adaptive cruise control, adaptive front lighting, and front pre-crash seat belts.

The Navigation package has a hard drive-based nav system, voice recognition, rear back-up camera, and a 9.3-GB hard drive music system.

Our tester had a sticker price of around $45,000.

When it comes to performance and luxury, Infiniti is truly a leader, thanks to great models like the G37 Coupe.

By Rob Douthit

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Images of the 2009, Infiniti G37 Coupe

2009 Infiniti G37 Coupe front shot
2009 Infiniti G37 Coupe front shot
2009 Infiniti G37 Coupe has a spacious interior
2009 Infiniti G37 Coupe has a spacious interior
2009 Infiniti G37 Coupe plenty of room in the back too
2009 Infiniti G37 Coupe plenty of room in the back too
2009 Infiniti G37 Coupe from the side
2009 Infiniti G37 Coupe from the side