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Short and sweet: Discontinued entry-level Infiniti was reliable

2011 Infiniti G25.

Ted Laturnus/The Globe and Mail

Nissan added a new model to its Infiniti stable of cars in 2011. Standing beside the high-powered, luxury-laden offerings of Nissan's upscale division was the G25 sedan, which was offered as an entry-level model to compete with the Lexus IS 250. The idea was to offer buyers an upscale driving experience without them having to spend much time at the pumps. Good in theory, it didn't work in practice.

Power was delivered via a 2.5-litre V-6 engine which developed 218 horsepower and was mated to a seven-speed automatic, 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 was that because AWD models accounted for 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 G25 because, according to Infiniti, the proportion of buyers who want a stick shift is "miniscule."

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.

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The G25 was far from a hell-raising pavement-scalder and, although it could handle itself well enough through turns and twisties, it was primarily a low-performance touring sedan. Fuel economy differences between the AWD and front-drive versions were slight; the former model being a touch thirstier on the highway. Both, however, were significantly thriftier than the G37.

But the G25 apparently wasn't thrifty – or sporty – enough. Infiniti quietly dropped it from its lineup in 2013.

There are no safety recalls on file, either from Transport Canada or the U.S. 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.

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, what Infiniti was hoping to achieve with the G25 – better fuel economy – didn't happen, according to J.D. Power. The G25 also required premium grade fuel.

Still, Consumer Reports likes this generation of G models from Infiniti, and gives 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 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."

From a base price in the mid-$30,000 range, the G25 has dropped by about a third. Base front-drive models are priced in the low to mid-$20,000 neighbourhood, while the AWD versions are $2,000 pricier. A Sport model with all the bells and whistles will cost $25,000-$30,000.


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2011 Infiniti G25

Original Base Price: $36,390; Black Book: $25,245-$31,275 Red Book: $20,950-$25,650

Engine: 2.5-litre V-6

Horsepower/Torque: 218 hp/187 ft-lb

Transmission: Seven-speed automatic

Fuel Economy (litres/100 km): 10.3 city/6.8 highway. Premium gas.

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Alternatives: Lexus IS 250, BMW 3-series, Audi A4, Acura TL, Cadillac CTS, Mercedes C-class.


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