First drive: Infiniti G 37 Coupe

If you are lucky enough to have £40,000 to spend on a coupe and aren't limited by practical considerations such as the need to ferry children around, then you'd think there would be plenty of choice.

But a brief glance at the top of the class would suggest there are only three brands to choose from - and they're all German.
However, owners of the Audi A5, BMW 3 Series Coupe and Mercedes E Class Coupe might need to reconsider their first choice when it comes to replacing their pride and joy thanks to the arrival of the Infiniti G Coupe.

Infiniti, for those who don't know, is the sporting arm of Nissan - similar to Lexus's place in Toyota, but with more of an emphasis on driver enjoyment rather than all out luxury.

The G Coupe will probably remain tantalisingly out of reach for anyone who has to bear running costs in mind as the car is only available with a 3.7-litre V6 petrol engine under the bonnet, but if that's not an issue then you're in for a treat.

Find a clear road and the G will pull rapidly up to speed in a satisfyingly sonorous way. Officially it gets to 62mph in 5.9 seconds from a stand still, but oodles of power mean that it is happy accelerating from almost any point in the rev range.

Where the G is less happy is at low speeds, and it can be quite a frustrating car to drive around town. The automatic gearbox is to blame for this, as it is irritatingly jerky when asked to change ratios at slower speeds.

The scratch resistant paint that Infiniti includes as standard (we aren't sure exactly how this works - some kind of witchcraft probably) might suggest this is a car that is suited to town or rural living, but it just didn't feel at home in a city, and not just because we were petrified of scratching the glorious 19-inch alloy wheels.

The options list that includes these alloys as standard is generous, and even though Infiniti says it is aiming more at the sports car market than the luxury one, there is no paring down on the sense of cosseting inside. Everything felt like it was put together to a beautifully high standard, even down to the oval Infiniti branded clock on the centre console.

If we are being fussy some of the switches could be criticised for their lack of practicality - it was tricky to see whether the heated seats were switched on or not thanks to their odd lighting system.

But there was never any doubt that this is a genuine contender in the luxury coupe segment - anyone who is bored of Germany's usual suspects would do well to consider this Japanese offering.
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