Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Which car should he buy, the Infiniti or the Hyundai?

2013 Infiniti G37x

Nissan

Hello: I previously owned an Infiniti G35x and really liked it. I am now thinking about the Hyundai Genesis as a replacement. It seems to have similar features and functionality, but at a more economic price point. What do you think? – Tom in Edmonton

Vaughan: Tommy, you ask what seems to be a simple question – this car or that – but in fact it is a complex matter involving technology, temperament and timing. I would go so far as to say you present a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. That's why Cato and I get paid the big bucks to solve such dilemmas.

Cato: So you start with vague observations, then pile on a cliché. Nice work.

Story continues below advertisement

Let's answer Tom directly: No, the Genesis is not a true replacement for your all-wheel-drive G. Sure, the pricing is similar – $39,999 for the base Genesis and $43,950 for the last of the G37x sedans, base. Factor in discounting and the transaction is similar.

But the G is smaller, has all-wheel-drive and handles like a dream. The Genesis is bigger, only rear-drive with decent but not spectacular handling. And it's sold under a weaker brand.

Now a warning: the G is a goner. The new G is a Q50 coming later this year. That's why I found at least $4,000 in discounts on the G37x.

2013 Audi A4 2.0T Audi Audi  

Vaughan: The G is dead. Elementary, my dear Cato. In its place we're seeing a new car – the Q50 – from a renewed Infiniti. The latest Infiniti revival is being led by a South African who used to run Audi in the United States and who is now running Infiniti out of Hong Kong.

Cato: To be honest, I'm not entirely sure who's running Infiniti right now. One of Nissan's top honchos, Andy Palmer, just told me that by 2017, the goal is to jump-start Infiniti sales to 500,000 worldwide. Palmer is the Englishman who sits on Nissan's management board in charge of Infiniti, product development and 10 or 12 other things. A big, big shot.

Then, last week in Automotive News, I read something a little different. The South African Johan de Nysschen, the president of Infiniti who reports to Palmer, was hedging on that 500,000 goal: "I'm under absolutely no illusion – 500,000 cars by 2017 is an inordinately ambitious challenge," said de Nysschen. "We really do have to get our heads around how we can bring the brand in that direction."

Story continues below advertisement

I'll say this about that: when the technology-laden Q50 hits showrooms, we'll instantly know how realistic the Infiniti plan is. If buyers find a great car and buyers flock into Infiniti showrooms, Palmer gets his wish. If not, de Nysschen has covered his ...

Vaughan: Cato, the Q50 is going to be as close to a BMW 3-Series as they can make it, but it's going to look and be sold like an Audi. They're a clever bunch in Hong Kong.

In the meantime, Tom should look at those killer deals on the outgoing G37x, which is an even better car than the G35x which Tommy enjoyed so much. So it's timing versus technology. Naturally, I say save the dough and jump now for the G37x.

Cato: I am inclined to agree. Inclined, but not committed. I want Tom to test drive the Audi A4. Another terrific car from the Bavarians – the ones in Ingolstadt, up the road from BMW's headquarters in Munich. The A4 is a delight to drive. The AWD system is impeccable.

I only hesitate on a full endorsement because the A4's 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder – at 211 horsepower – is wimpy compared to the 328-hp V-6 in the G37x and the 333-hp V-6 in the V-6 Genesis. Of course, the only sub-$40,000 3-Series, the 320i xDrive, is sadder still at 181-hp from its 2.0-litre turbo four.

2013 BMW 320i xDrive BMW BMW  

Story continues below advertisement

Vaughan: Of course I want deals and I like those cars, so perhaps Tommy should save a couple of grand by going with a front-drive A4. Now we're delving into the deeper question of Tom's identity. What is his temperament? What is his driving style?

He's been in an AWD Infiniti, after all. So what makes Tommy tick? If we could just give him a quick and dirty Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment we could sort out his rational and irrational for him and send him on his way.

Cato: Or not. I say get the last of the Gs and the best of them is the G37x. Done. And scratch the Genesis off the list.

Vaughan: Correct you are Cato. The Genesis looks like a Korean Buick and more like the Buicks of 10 years ago. Yet from an engineering point of view, it is superb. But it has no resemblance to Tommy's G35x. And it would require such a change in driving style, even Carl Jung couldn't explain it.

Cato: Freud, Jung, Adler... All of them together couldn't explain you. But at least we agree on the G37x.

Vaughan: I think we've earned our fat fee. Our work here is done.

Send your questions to globedrive@globeandmail.com

*****

HOW THEY COMPARE



2013 Infiniti G37x Luxury all-wheel drive sedan2013 Audi A4 2.0T quattro sedan2013 BMW 320i xDrive sedan

Wheelbase (mm)

2,8502,8082,810

Length (mm)

4,7504,7014,636

Width (mm)

1,7731,8261,811

Track, front (mm)

1,4631,4271,429

Engine

3.7-litre V-62.0-litre four-cylinder, turbocharged2.0-litre four-cylinder, turbocharged

Output (horsepower/torque)

328/269 lb-ft211/258 lb-ft181/184 lb-ft

Drive system

All-wheel driveAll-wheel driveAll-wheel drive

Transmission

Seven-speed automaticSix-speed manualEight-speed automatic

Curb weight (kg)

1,7321,640NA

Fuel economy (litres/100 km)

11.7 city/7.8 highway9.5 city/6.5 highwayNA

Base price (MSRP)

$43,950$39,700$39,900

Source: car manufacturers

Jeremy Cato and Michael Vaughan are co-hosts of Car/Business, which airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on Business News Network and Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. on CTV.

Send your automotive questions to globedrive@globeandmail.com

Report an error
About the Author
Senior writer, Globe Drive

In 25 years of covering the auto industry, Jeremy Cato has won more than two-dozen awards, including three times being named automotive journalist of the year. Jeremy was born in Montreal and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.