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Infiniti G37 tops Consumer Reports’ ratings of upscale sports sedans

Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009

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G37 outscores competitors from Audi, Acura, and Volkswagen; Also CR rates the Toyota Venza and reports on three diesels

Yonkers, NY — Despite facing strong competition from three newly-designed vehicles, the updated Infiniti G37 still came out on top in Consumer Reports’ tests of upscale sports sedans for the June issue. With an “Excellent” overall road test score, the G37 remains CR’s highest-rated vehicle in this category.

The G37 was tested against three other vehicles in that category—the redesigned Acura TSX, Audi A4, and the new Volkswagen CC. The TSX, A4, and CC all achieved “Very Good” overall test scores.

“The Infiniti G37 continues its reign as top in the class,” said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Connecticut. “The drivetrain is still the highlight of the car, delivering very strong performance while getting better fuel economy than the previous generation. The G37 is very quick and handling is agile and fun.”

Prices for the four cars in CR’s tests this month range from $29,675 for the Acura TSX to $37,525 for the Audi A4.

Full tests and ratings of the test group appear in the June issue of Consumer Reports, which goes on sale May 5. The reports are also available to subscribers of www.ConsumerReports.org.

The June issue of Consumer Reports also reports on the new Toyota Venza, a car-based SUV/Wagon, and three clean diesels—a pair of SUVS and a sedan—the Mercedes-Benz GL320, the BMW X5 Xdrive35d 3.0, and the BMW 335d. On average, the clean diesels CR bought for testing are delivering fuel economy numbers that are at least 30 percent better than their gasoline-powered counterparts and strong mid-range torque.

The G37 and TSX are the only vehicles from this month’s test group that are Recommended by Consumer Reports. CR only Recommends vehicles that have performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability based on CR’s Annual Car Reliability Survey of its more than seven million print and web subscribers, and performed at least adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test.

The G37 has been updated with a new, larger, 3.7-liter engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission in place of the five-speed automatic in last year’s G35. Now the car is quieter while cruising, with better overall fuel economy. The G37 Journey ($37,225 Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price as tested) is powered by a 328-hp, 3.7-liter, six-cylinder engine that provides very strong performance and averages a respectable 21 mpg overall on premium fuel. The new seven-speed automatic transmission shifts responsively and smoothly. The brakes are excellent. The cabin is snug, but there is adequate room even for tall drivers. Large and well-shaped front seats are comfortable and offer plenty of adjustments.

The redesigned TSX delivers enough sportiness to be enjoyable while maintaining solid credentials as a well-rounded, capable car. The front seats are excellent, and the interior is well appointed. But in some ways the TSX feels ordinary. The TSX ($29,675 MSRP, as tested) is powered by a 201-hp, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers responsive performance and averaged a very good 25 mpg overall, but on premium fuel. Braking was rated Very Good overall. The smooth, five-speed automatic transmission shifts appropriately. High quality materials and switchgear accentuate a well-finished interior.

The redesigned A4 feels solid, handles nimbly, and has a ride that’s firm but well controlled. On the highway, it is a composed and solid cruiser. Steering is quick and communicative. The A4 2.0T, ($37,525, MSRP as tested) is powered by a 211-hp, 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that provides 22 mpg overall, on premium fuel, which is good considering the car’s quick acceleration and all wheel drive. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts quickly and smoothly. Braking is Excellent. The A4 has a nicely detailed interior that is padded and trimmed with high-end materials but some controls are overly complicated.

The CC can be thought of as a low-slung 4-door coupe version of the Volkswagen Passat. It drives nicely, with a well-controlled ride and competent handling. The engine is punchy and the cabin is quiet and well finished. The CC Luxury, ($32,680 MSRP as tested) is powered by a 200-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers good acceleration and delivers 24 mpg overall on premium fuel. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts quickly and smoothly and you can manually override it if you choose. The brakes are Very Good overall. One high point of the well-finished interior is the decorative stitching on the supple leather seats but rear-seat headroom is compromised.

With more than 7 million print and online subscribers,Consumer Reports is one of the most trusted sources for information and advice on consumer products and services. It conducts the most comprehensive auto-test program of any U.S. publication or Web site; the magazine’s auto experts have decades of experience in driving, testing, and reporting on cars. To become a subscriber, consumers can call 1-800-234-1645. Information and articles from the magazine can be accessed online at www.ConsumerReports.org.

Consumer Reports has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor appearing on this newspaper's web site.

 
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Infiniti G37 tops Consumer Reports’ ratings of upscale sports sedans
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