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2013 Infiniti G IPL Coupe: Blast to drive, hefty price to pay

Now in its third year, the Infiniti IPL G for 2013 features only minor tweaks from the 2012 model. It remains the mainstay of the carmaker’s Infiniti Performance Line — a powerful sports car with aggressive styling and keen performance via its 3.7-liter, 24-valve, 348-horsepower V6 engine.

The Weekly Driver Test Drive

Beyond a sports car’s streamlined looks and performance, its colors add to the total package. In some instances, like the Infiniti G37 IPL’s combination of “gun metal” gray exterior and Monaco Red leather interior, the package is greater than the sum of its parts.

As such, the new Infiniti not only powers along a country road or on the freeway with great acceleration and superior handling, it does so while turning heads.

What also helps the Infiniti’s overall strong marks is an extensive list of standard features and, in my weekly driver, extensive luxury and technology packages. For the driver’s comfort: 12-way power and heated front seats with a “thigh extender” feature, a power tilt and telescopic steering wheel and leather seats. For the front seat passenger, there’s an eight-way power and heated seat.

There’s also a boatload of technology features: an intuitive, easy-to-use navigation system with a rear view monitor, Bluetooth connectivity and USB connection as well high-end safety items: bi-functional xenon headlights, heated outside mirrors and voice recognition.

And there’s one oddity: The Infiniti’s trunk is rather small, so the manufacturer felt obliged to include inside the trunk hood a diagram instructing golfers how to properly store two golf bags. The instructions are in three languages, and it seems unnecessary. Every golfer knows how to store clubs in a trunk. It’s a requisite for being a golfer, right?

Likes:

Steady, quick, authoritative acceleration.

In command handling.

Lots of high-tech features all with layperson easy of use.

Brushed aluminum interior trim is elegant. And wouldn’t you know it, the color is officially called “silk obi.” Really?

Analog clock, an Infiniti signature.

Dislikes:

Tiny rear seats.

Small trunk.

Loud engine at high speeds.

Premium grade fuel recommended.

The golf club placement sticker isn’t needed.

Facts & Figures: 2013 Infiniti IPL G Coupe

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 5.5 seconds.
Airbags (6):
Fuel economy: 17 mpg (city), 25 mpg (highway), 20 mpg (combined), six-speed manual transmission.
Government Safety Ratings: NTHSA, Not rated; IIHS, not rated.
Horsepower: 348
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $50,500.00
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.infinitiusa.com.
Price As tested: $51,395.00
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 4 years/60,000 miles; Powertrain, 6 years/70,000 miles; Corrosion: 7 years/unlimited mileage; Roadside Assistance: 4 years/60,000 miles.

What Others Say:

“The G37 Coupe is at once both sporty and elegant. It looks mature in the right ways, with a tailored, neat appearance, and manages to carry itself with the stance and proportions of a sports car.” — The CarConnection.com

“What the Infiniti lacks in some of the brand cachet of its German rivals, it makes up for with real driver engagement, a comfortable ride and all of the electronic features you expect from other cars in this class.” — Edmunds.

“Again, other cars I’ve driven here have been better, but they often didn’t have a back seat or much of a trunk. The G37 represented one of the nicest compromises between full sports car and good-looking sporty poseur you can get.” — AutoWeek.

What The Wife Says:

“It’s fun to drive with a lot of power and great handling. But the golf bag diagram is silly.”

The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:

“The Infiniti G37 IPL is a blast to drive and the color combination I drove sure got a lot of attention. But when reality hit from time to time, I realized was driving a $51,000 car. As such, some of the fun was diminished by an economic jolt. The car is expensive.”

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