Nissan’s Infiniti G25 was meant to compete directly with Lexus’s IS 250 in its second – and, as it turned out, final – model year. The idea was to offer buyers an affordable and upscale driving experience without having to spend all their time at the pump and, hopefully, introduce them to the Infiniti lineup.
Power was delivered via a 2.5-litre V6 engine that developed 218 horsepower and was mated to a seven-speed automatic only, with 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 all-wheel drive, with various options grouped within those three.
Infiniti’s thinking at the time was that because all-wheel-drive models accounted for some 85 percent of its sales with the G25’s bigger brother, the G37, they would give the people what they wanted. 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.” They got that right.
Almost visually identical to the G37, the G25 was made in Japan and had all the goodies and modern conveniences 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, 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 shift paddles were mounted on the steering column, staying in the same location, readily accessible at all times, making for a better driving experience.
Still, the G25 is far from an asphalt-ripping hellion; although it could handle itself well enough through the turns and twists, it’s basically a touring sedan. Fuel economy differences between the all-wheel and front-drive versions are marginal, the former model being a smidgeon thirstier on the highway. But both, however, are significantly thriftier than the G37 models but require premium gas.
Nonetheless, Infiniti dropped it from its lineup in 2013.
There are no safety recalls to report, but the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has three complaints and 11 technical service bulletins on file. Complaints included “jerking” problems with the transmission and rear-drive and, according to one complainant, “when an iPhone is connected to the iPod interface in the vehicle, the playback skips and is intermittent.”
Technical service bulletins, meanwhile, included cruise control glitches, problems with the power door locks, “shift responsiveness issues” and more transmission/drivetrain issues. The latter seems to be the most prevalent complaint.
Consumer Reports liked the G25 and this generation of G models from Infiniti and gave them a “Good Bet” seal of approval. The G25, noted Consumer Reports, “sacrifices a little acceleration but gets much better fuel economy.”
Possible problem areas included the audio system and transmission/drivetrain; otherwise, it was top marks right across the board and a “much better than average” used car prediction. Said CR: “We expect reliability of new models will be 47 percent above average.”
Some comments from owners:
- “bone-jarring ride … navi system is disabled while car is moving”;
- “little tight in the back seat.”
From a base price in the mid-$30,000 range in 2012, the G25 has dropped by about half. The all-wheel-drive versions seem to be about $1,000 pricier, and a well-equipped Sport model, with all the bells and whistles, will run you around $15,000 to $20,000, if you can find one.
2012 Infiniti G25
Original base price: $36,500
Engine: 2.5-litre V6
Torque: 187-foot pounds
Transmission: seven-speed automatic
Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 10.3 city, 6.8 highway with premium gas.
Alternatives: Lexus IS250, BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Acura TL, Cadillac CTS, Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Ted Laturnus has been an automotive journalist since 1976. He was named Canadian Automobile Journalist of the Year twice and is past president of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). For interview requests, click here.
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