Everybody’s favourite map service is back. The Google Maps iPhone app is now available, nearly three months after Apple booted it out as their built-in navigation system and replaced it with its own mapping software amidst much controversy.
Apple’s own map software proved less than stellar and became quite an embarrassment for the company.
But fans can breathe a sigh of relief because Google’s Maps app has been released and has quickly become the top-ranking free app in Apple’s iTunes store.
New features in the free iPhone app include voice guided turn-by-turn directions, street-level photography of local neighborhoods as well as three-dimensional views, public transit directions and listings for more than 80 million businesses around the world.
The only features not available in Google’s Map app for iOS that are offered by its Android counterpart are indoor maps, the ability to download maps for offline viewing, and voice search. However these are expected to be included in time.
The Infiniti G sedan has been in production for over two decades, but it wasn’t until the turn of the new century that it shot to fame. The G35 sedan became an instant success and turned Infiniti from just a luxury car division of Nissan to a proper performance manufacturer.
Competing with the likes of the BMW 3 series and the Lexus IS, the G sedan is a compact executive car which focuses on the sports saloon vision thanks to its powerful engine, but more on that later.
The G37 is an iconic car simply because of the fact that we’ve seen this shape since 2006, although it’s the actual design that makes it so beautiful. The backwards sweeping headlights, chrome grill stretching behind the Infiniti logo and the low bulge of the hood have been prominent in the rear mirrors of many a car in Dubai as the G sedan speeds up.
Meanwhile the cluster of rear LED lights with one big and one small circle carries over the heritage of the legendary Nissan Skyline from which the G sedan is derived. The curvaceous boot with the chrome lip on top and two tailpipes complete the rear end.
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with the way the G37 looks, it is starting to get a bit old. Thankfully a completely refreshed model will be coming out next year as the 2014 G sedan will debut at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show next month.
From the inside the G37 remains identical to the G35; indeed having such a stylish interior that most Nissan cars, including the rest of Infiniti’s lineup has some variation of it. That said, there’s more to the interior than meets the eye.
The major tweak done is to the main navigation and entertainment system that Infiniti now uses. As seen with the JX35 reviewed recently, the G37’s 7-inch entertainment system shows the current car status (fuel economy, light settings, etc.), in addition to displaying radio channels, song information from Bluetooth when connected to your smartphone, and DVD video as well.
What I like about the control system is that you get an extra set of buttons that helps navigating the displayed information easier, such as the zoom buttons for the map, or the brightness settings for the screen itself. The whole experience is made very convenient, although some maybe averse to the button overload. And of course the 10-speaker Bose Premium sound system with built-in 9GB HDD completes the entertainment experience within the G37.
The leather seats are just right; not too stiff, not too soft. The rest of the interior is also impressive, with the maple trims and the magnesium paddle shifts just adding to the ambience. Noise isolation is also fairly decent at highway speeds. In the back the cabin feels a bit too simple. There’s a small a/c outlet on the armrest area with just enough legroom for average sized adults. If either the driver likes to stretch their legs, or taller people sit in the back of the G37, the experience for the people in the back will not be comfortable. However, such is the case with all cars in this class.
The Infiniti G37 is powered by Nissan’s ever popular VQ37HR, producing 326HP @ 7,000RPM and 365Nm @ 5200RPM. That’s enough to launch the almost 1.7-ton car from 0 to 100 in just 5.3 seconds. Undoubtedly the VQ series is one of the most impressive and powerful V6s in the world, and the G37 excels in every which way.
The torque remains steady throughout the RPM band until hitting the peak, giving solid feedback when pressing the accelerator. Fuel consumption, thanks to the 7-speed automatic transmission averages out to 12L/ 100km with both city driving and highway cruising, including some very hard acceleration. The engine sounds a little subdued, but push is above 4,000RPM (which the engine is more than eager to do) and you’ll hear a finely tuned V6 screaming to life. AT low RPM the V6 rumble is present, but you have to strain a little to hear it. The exhaust is also very impressive throughout the RPM range.
One of the most impressive things about the G sedan has been its poised rear wheel drive, which, when coupled with a 54/46 weight distribution and summer performance tyres on 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, creates a very fun driving experience.
In all honesty the Infiniti G37 is one of the most impressive compact executives out in the market, and there’s hardly anything to complaint about it. My personal pet peeve is that with the introduction of the G25, the G37 is priced with a higher premium, whereas just 2 years ago you could have had a G37 for the price of a G25. Alas this is what competition (with their smaller engines) and a weakening Japanese economy does.
Keeping in mind that the new G sedan will be out next year, there’s little reason to buy the 2013 models. Still, due to the nature of this industry the price of the G sedan will only fall before the new one comes out, and for people still holding out on a sports compact sedan, the coming months are key to look out for.