Altima Coupe Vs. G37by Rob Wagner
Nissan Altima and the Infiniti G37 are produced by the same automaker, Nissan Motors, but the resemblance ends there. These are two different cars targeting separate segments of the automobile-buying public. While the G37 is a luxury sports car and the Altima an economy car, the Altima is surprisingly powerful with enough interior touches to prompt buyers to think that the $17,000 price gap between the two should be narrower.
The base engine for the Altima coupe is a moderately powered 175-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine generating 180 pound-feet of torque, according to edmunds.com and leftlanenews.com. It's placed on a short 105.3-inch wheelbase and measures 182.5 inches long, 55.3 inches tall and 70.7 inches wide. Its curb weight rating is fairly light at 3,118 pounds.
The rear-wheel-drive G37 is heavier than the Altima at 3,633 pounds, but is equipped with a 3.7-liter V-6 engine. It sits on a longer wheelbase at 112.2 inches and measures 183.1 inches long, 54.8 inches tall and 71.8 inches wide and 54.8 inches tall. Its curb weight is rated at 3,633 pounds, according to leftlanenews.com.
The Altima is offered in four trim levels with the no-frills 2.5, the lower mid-level 2.5 S, the upper mid-level 3.5 SE and the luxurious 3.5 SL. The 2.5 models are equipped with the 2.5-liter engine, while the 3.5 SE and 3.5 SL versions feature a 3.5-liter V-6. Standard features are anti-theft protection, air-conditioning, AM/FM/ CD audio system, a floor and overhead console, cruise control, power windows and locks, tachometer, driver/front passenger/side airbags among other standard items. The 3.5 models receive leather and wood grain accents in the interior, according to edmunds.com.
The G37's best features are the exterior with its curvy, sporty body with bulging fenders and sharp styling on the nose. Inside, according to edmunds.com, is a seven-inch LCD screen and Japanese Washi paper-style aluminum trim.
Either the Altima's inline-four or V-6 will serve owners well. The 270-hp V-6 wields 258 pound-feet of torque, allowing a jack rabbit start from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds with the manual transmission. The Altima's stiff suspension system and steering sensitive to the touch are combined to give good handling on the road, according to edmunds.com. For an economy car, the performance is above and beyond the call of duty.
While the Altima earns high marks, it can't compete against the G37's 330-hp 3.7-liter V-6 that generates 270 pound-feet of torque. It can hit 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. It clocks 14.2 seconds at 98 mph in the quarter-mile, according to edmunds.com.
The Altima starts at $19,900. The G37 begins at $36,000. The Altima's V-6 is a quiet and smooth powerplant that does its job so effortlessly that the driver will forget it's under the hood. The Infiniti G37 is better matched against the Nissan 350Z in both price and performance and attracts a different breed of buyer, but purchasing either car is money well spent.
Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.