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Test Drive ANNLimited – 2007 Infiniti G37 Coupe Review

G37 Coupe used car review

I drove this car first on Saturday. The salesman wasn’t much fun. This car was at an Audi dealership, and I think he was more interested in selling RS8s to rich dudes than used Infinitis to young women. He didn’t know anything about the car and wasn’t that interested in it. But he also didn’t care if I drove it hard, so the drive had that going for it…

First, the interior: this car is fancy! It took me forever to figure out the tilt steering, because it’s a little toggle switch that moves a whole chunk of the dashboard up and down.  I really don’t think I care about gizmos and gadgets and leather seats and stuff like that. I want AC, power windows, power locks and an aux input for the stereo. Anything beyond that seems superfluous. The back seat was decent size. The car would be fine for four adults around town. The interior is also really quiet, which I’m sure some people like, but I want to hear the engine.

The first thing I noticed when I drove the car was that it was really easy to shift. The throws were nice and short and I didn’t have that “am I in 3rd or 5th?” feeling. The clutch engagement was such that it was easy to shift the car smoothly. I really liked this, but I’m not sure if more difficult to drive manuals equal better performance if you really know what you’re doing.

The steering and suspension are tight, but they still have a little more of a smooth, “luxury” feel. Like the car is sporty but not willing to sacrifice all your comfort for exact precision in handling. I could tell the car was bigger and heavier than the M3 for sure. It was still pretty fast, though! The engine seemed torque-y and had good power even at lower RPMs.

This is a nice car, for sure. But I’m not sure I’m cut out for this level of refinement. You’d think I would be, being as high maintenance as I am, but I love driving the Charger because the suspension so firm you can feel every crack in the road and because there’s so much exhaust and wind noise at speed that you can barely hold a conversation at freeway speeds. My highest priority is feeling connected to the car.

Up Next: 2013 Scion FR-S, 2004 BMW 330Ci, 2011 Mustang GT

Ann Morey isn’t an automotive journalist, but she’s probably doing a better job of it than most of us. She’s a mid career marketing manager who only recently learned how to drive a manual transmission. She’s got a classic Charger in the garage and a boring Accord in need of replacement, so she’s out to test drive every mid-20-thousands dollar sports car out there. Her test drives run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

  • JBiggers

    Sounds like you're a candidate for the 370Z if you can live without the backseat, and aren't anywhere near 6ft tall. Same components and power, but more road noise and a sportier feel.

  • Interesting comments about the clutch. Since I have very little experience with proper sporting automobiles, I'm curious what people think about whether "more-difficult-to-drive manuals equal better performance."

    I suspect it's at least somewhat related, given that high-performance vehicles might use superlight flywheels that make the engine quick to stall and also have short clutch take-up to allow for quick shifts. But there must be examples of high-performing cars with easy manuals (I have never driven one).

    My neighbor has a C6 that I stalled often when I drove it because the clutch take-up occurs over a very short range of pedal travel. In other cars, I'd say "no problem, just give it more gas," but in that car the result was a burnout. Coming from an 80 hp Peugeot with a very communicative clutch, it was challenging.

    • Scandinavian Flick ★

      I have three manual cars that cover pretty much the entire range. ('84 Volvo 242ti, '00 BMW 323ci, and the one you've met, the '06 Pontiac GTO.) I'm sure it's highly dependent on the car, but the hardest one for me is the one in the middle. The BMW is so damn finicky trying to find the exact right clutch release point to get it to go smoothly. The Volvo just goes no matter what I do. The GTO is the easiest in my experience, but it still has the flywheel that is apparently made of solid lead… I'm sure that has a lot to do with it.

      • Ann

        Do you think the clutch in your 323ci is anything like what a E46 M3 would be like? I'm still on the hunt for a manual one of those to drive.

        • Scandinavian Flick ★

          It's going to be notably different from my lowly 323. I am about 98% certain the clutch is different for the //M and non-//M models. (Pelican Parts shows different part numbers) I know the differential is, since the M3 is the only E46 available with a limited slip. I'm sure the torque difference will be a factor as well. With anything greater than 300lb/ft, you're going to have a much easier time getting it moving. That is, unless the previous owner installed a ridiculously light flywheel…

          As a related note: If you find one that has a bit of slop, like the whole shifter feels loose and wobbly, that's usually an easy fix. BMW shifters have copper washers in the linkage that like to wear out.

      • BoDarville

        Does your BMW still have the CDV? Eliminating it can help clutch feel a lot, especially on the 1-2 shift.

        • Scandinavian Flick ★

          That was one of the first things I checked after I bought the car. One of the previous owners must have taken care of it already on mine, since it wasn't there.

          Also, $5 clutch pedal stop: …

          Friggin' weird cars…

          • Ann

            This is all really helpful info for when I finally track down that manual E46 M3!

            • Scandinavian Flick ★

              Glad to hear! Some other advice from experience:
              -If you smell coolant, walk away, unless you are getting an incredible deal and love the car otherwise.
              -If you can, look under the car. Things to check are bushings in general, but especially the control arm bushings. If it has more than 50K on it, they've probably already been replaced… But they're a major bitch to replace, and it's actually easier to just get a whole new set of control arms with bushings already pressed on.
              -Also the guibo. This is that infamous driveshaft bushing. If this is on its way out, it will manifest itself as a clunk that you can feel in the car when getting on and off the throttle. Look for cracks around the mount points. Mine looked similar to this, (minus the rust) and clunked pretty bad:
              -I'd strongly recommend getting the car inspected before purchase by someone who knows what they are looking at. Especially emphasize inspecting the rear subframe. If that is separating, it's ~$5K repair, unless you feel like taking it on yourself. If it's not currently a problem, I strongly recommend a reinforcement kit to prevent it from happening in the first place.
              -Also keep in mind, they recommend a valve inspection every service interval, (10-15K) and a valve adjustment every other interval. It might not be that big a deal, depending on your driving habits, but something to keep in mind that adds costs to maintenance on these cars.

              They're great cars, and a blast to drive, but there's a lot to keep in mind with them. Fortunately, they were popular, and every issue is very well documented with a decent community if you can filter through the noise. Recommended site that is more focused than the other Bimmer forums:

  • david42

    Ann, I know you say that all one of the only gadgets you want is an aux input–I used to feel the same myself–but real iPod integration is just wonderful. Unless you're the kind of person who always listens to a playlist all the way through, the steering-wheel buttons to skip tracks are a huge life improvement.

    We lost that feature when we traded to our new (used) vehicle, and I miss it every time I drive.

    • Ann

      I have an Android (ANNdroid!) phone, does anyone know if the steering wheel controls would work with that? That would be kinda cool.

      • Dean Bigglesworth

        Don't know about the iPod connector, but if the car has bluetooth audio then the steering wheel/dash controls should work on pretty much any bluetooth phone. At least for basic play/pause and forward/back.

        • MVEilenstein

          I can play, pause, and skip tracks on my BlackBerry using the stereo button and/or remote. Shouldn't be an issue, especially for a new car.

  • Dacket84

    I had an 06 G35x for a few years and simply loved the thing! Been wanting another Infiniti ever since.

    • Kogashiwa

      Test drove a G35 before I bought my IS300, and I really liked it. That engine has got some serious jam.

  • OA5599

    Ann, I'm curious to know the details of your clasic Charger in the garage–year, driveline, and modifications (if any) from stock.

    • Ann

      It's a 1972, 400 CID 4bbl, 3 speed 727 torqueflite. It's a survivor, original paint and all, bone stock.

      • That is just wonderful… we need a review on that too please.

        • Ann

          Here you go! …

          • OA5599

            That domain has probably been blocked on Jeff's computer going on two years now…

      • OA5599

        It looks like it has spent a lot of time out of the sun. The interior and vinyl top have held up really well.

        Is the carpet brown, or was the light hitting it at an odd angle in the picture?

  • Van_Sarockin

    I hope you left that salesman feeling dirty and used.

  • RSDeuce

    One note, the VQ engines in the 350/370Z, and the G35/G37 benefit HUGELY from an exhaust system in the sound department. I can't stand a stock one, but with a Borla (or pretty much any vendor, really) attached the sound is great. My butt dyno doesn't know if anything is more powerful, but my ears sure think it works.

220km.com/category/westa/

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