By on October 26, 2006

front1.jpgIf I worked for Infiniti, I’d spend a lot of my day pissed off. Infiniti G35 equals The Japanese BMW? Man that must rankle. Not as much as G35 equals The Poor Man’s BMW, but more than enough to aggravate auto execs all the way from Yokohama to Boulogne-Billancourt. In fact, I bet there’s a bunch of Infiniti engineers who’ve compared their handiwork to Munich’s motorized meisterstuck and can’t decide whether to commit seppuku or hunt down Bimmer’s boffins and make them eat sushi, if you know what I mean. OK, that’s a bit overly-dramatic, but what the Hell’s a Japanese sports sedan got to do to get a little respect around here?

Admittedly, the original G35 sedan (2003-2006) was continually (and properly) slated for its lackluster looks, lack of refinement and lackey’s interior. On the exterior front (and side and back), the G35’s “all new” sheetmetal suddenly seems a lot less bland and a lot more “understated”– thanks to the latest 3-Series’ flame-broiled exterior. From its dual after-burner taillights to the L-shaped headlights, the Infiniti G35 has stayed true to its own unique design vocabulary. The roofline’s down a bit, the stance is a bit wider (the old “wheels pushed out to the corners” routine), the side gets a crease and the strips of metal that form the trademark grill twist a few inches backwards from the edges, to enhance the similarity with the traditional Japanese Katana blade. Hai!

interior.jpgThe changes to the G35’s cabin are far more important and obvious (i.e. discernible). For one thing, Infiniti’s interior decorators have finally banished the hard plastic econo-box buttons blighting the old model. The new G Sport sports the sort of quality rubber you’d expect at an upmarket S&M party, or inside a $35k sports sedan. The aluminum trim has the texture of hand-rolled Japanese Wahsi paper (supposedly). And the despicable orange-on-black gauges– which made it virtually impossible to see the tachometer’s redline– have been replaced by Lexian electroluminescent white and violet “fine-vision” gauges. The fit and finish could use a bit more fit and a tad more finish, but we're more or less there.

Provided you get jiggy with the option sheet, the Infiniti G is still a gadget freak’s delight; including an intelligent key (it leaps out of your hand and hides if you’re drunk), intelligent cruise control, a rear-view backup monitor (that tells you where and when you’ll hit things), voice activated navigation with real-time traffic updates (that tells you where and when but not how to get off), a Bose “Studio-on-Wheels” sound system (as opposed to…) and a touch-screen display. On NAV-enabled cars, you also get a 9.6gb hard drive, so you can copy and paste up to 2000 songs from pirated CDs.

Once underway, the G35 is the Muhammad Ali of sports sedans. In the sting like a bee category, Nissan tweaked the beJesus out of the heavyweight sedan’s 3.5-liter VQ V6, giving it better breathing and extra wallop (306hp @ 6800rpm). The company calls the resulting non-flat thrust curve “swell”– which is a bit like calling a The Greatest’s left jab “dangerous.” Plant you foot and the beefier VQ yowls in the time-honored, product sharing tradition. According to our friends at Edmunds, the G35 storms to sixty in 5.6 seconds. Hooked-up to a paddle shifting five-speed smooth and quick enough to make Bimmer's SMG system seem even more ludicrous than it is, the G35’s torque-tastic powerplant (268 ft-lbs. @ 5300rpm) has an answer for every situation: power. Right answer.

rear.jpgIn the float like a butterfly department, the G’s got the footwork– to a point. Even with its fatter tires and stiffer suspension, the G35 Sport maintains a reasonably compliant ride. The bigger Brembo brakes may lack initial bite, but they’re plenty damn effective. The power assisted rack and pinion (now with an optional four-wheel steering system) is much sharper than before; turn-in and transitions approach Porsche-levels of prowess, if not feel. If the road is glassine, the G35’s appetite for lateral G’s astounds. If the bitumen’s broken, well, the G35 is still a little ragged at the limit, capable of bumping and jumping off your chosen line at an “inappropriate” moment. It’s a challenge only the truly committed/insane driver will face, but there it is.

If you compare apples to apples, the faster (though faster depreciating) G35 Sport is a more elegant and exciting steer than a similarly-priced 3-Series. Unfortunately, that’s not how most pistonheads see things. The cast their eyes upon the ultimate ultimate flickable sports sedan driving machine– the new twin-turbo BMW 335i– and cede victory to the Germans. On one hand, that’s not fair. In the real world, enthusiasts have only so much money and want it to go as far– and fast– as possible. On the other hand, image demands that at least some version of their chosen ride is top dog, period. Until that day arrives for Infiniti’s dogged G35, until it finds that final measure of poise at 9 or 10/10ths, it will continue to be, in many eyes, the “alternative” option. That sucks.

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74 Comments on “Infiniti G35 Sport Review...”


  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    “the G35 storms to sixty in 5.6 seconds”

    oh good. just about how long it takes to get to the next stop light. and using enough gas to light up a small city in the process.

    nice, perhaps a few turbos to help with sitting in traffic jams, thats next year, tho. where’s 500 bhp when u need them.. there’s a six foot slot in the lane nexto me. I will get to work .000035 seconds faster!! cool!!!

  • avatar
    ash78

    In the previous gen, I always thought the 3-series felt more planted and sporty–despite the attempts by the mainstream rags to convince us that this was the first success for Japan to unseat to impeccable Bavarians. The G always struck me as one of those “looks better on paper” vehicles (which, IMO, is how Infiniti and Lexus tend to go with their cars, with little regard for the Gestalt feel and feedback).

    This new gen looks a lot better, at least from the front and sides, but still reminds me too much of a baby M35–which just visually screams “I’m too big to be sporty.” I really thought the only things the previous design needed to change were the hideous headlights and to simply put the G35 coupe’s clean rear end on the sedan. I’ll probably add this one to the list of “cars I would seriously consider if they offered a wagon.” I have to weigh practical with sporty, and almost all of the European competitors offer the choice with a trimline or two. I will continue to repeat this in case these manufacturers’ people are reading these comments.

    • 0 avatar
      QX1

      The G35 is a good car, powerful. reliable, spacious too. The bimmers are often adored as proper sport sedan, i have had 2 bmw-s, and must admit that i am really dessepointed, the seats are arwful, g35 much better. the bimmer is not spacious inside , g35 has plenty of space, ride is about equal, quality bmw sucks.
      i do nbot understand what you see in BMW. The car sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • avatar
    Hutton

    Jerseydevil, not everyone lives in Jersey. Thank god.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Hutton, I dont live in jersey either.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    Well, If that’s what driving is like for you, get a diesel or a prius and ride to work in comfort and economy, and don’t be angry with people who want a sports sedan. Some of us find driving to be a pleasure. That’s why we’re here.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Hutton, i love sports sedans. however i see little benefit in more and faster. i prefer small and nimble. Think mini cooper, GTI. Besides that, i didnt realize that you speak for everyone commenting here! The TTAC thought police!

  • avatar
    yournamehere

    i was a fan of the previouls G35 coupe. They look particularly good in black and bright red. this one kinda lost some what i liked.

  • avatar
    1984

    If you want fuel mileage you buy a car that get’s good fuel mileage.

    If you tow then you get a tow vehicle

    If you want to drive like Johnny racer than you buy a sports car

    If you want to take the family you buy a van/wagon.

    Is this somehow a well kept secret? Common sense to me…

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    1984

    I want a sports car that gets good milage. You may call me a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    doesn’t seem too far fetched to me. Mazda MX-5, 25 city 30 highway.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Speaking as Jonny Racer, does anyone have the numbers for the G35 with a manual?

    I ask because BMW’s new 300hp twin-turbo coupe supposedly does the deed in just under 5-seconds. And since the G has more power (though less Torque) more than half a second is quite a spread.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    I’ve always much preferred the looks of the G35 coupe to the sedan. While it looks like the aesthetics of the sedan have been cleaned up somewhat, it’s still not one of the best looking four-doors in its niche.

    jerseydevil: Good for you. What does that have to do with this particular car? There are plenty of more fuel efficient cars out there that are still fun to drive, starting with anything with the 2.0T / DSG powertrain.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    BMW has understated the HP on the 335 it’s probably more like 330hp from dyno runs that have been done. Edmunds times are always slower than C&D times. You’d have to compare both times from the same Mag.

    The new G35 looks like a good car and will provide some nice competition to the 3 series. The 3 series is still the top dog in this fight. Like many will say the only reason people buy a Boxster or Cayman is because they can’t afford a 911. It’s along the same lines that people buy a G35 because they can’t afford a 330i. Not saying that is everyone. But if ytou can afford the 335 you are probably going to get the 335.

    Either way the G35 seems to provide a who lot for a lot less than the BMW. A used 335i could be in my future. That is about as fast as I’d want to go. Beyond that is license danger zone.

    I will be very interested in a G35 Coupe if they can get it to look closely like the concept coupe. That was sweet looking.

  • avatar
    artsy5347

    Great article. I switched a few years ago and have never regretted it. As nice a car as the Bimmer is, it’s overpriced and attracts a buyer… let’s just say that the joke about the difference between a BMW owner and a porcupine hits too close to home.

    The G35 is a well balanced machine with a great chassis and suspension. It works well as a daily driver and the resale market is terrific. The Coupe is right at the top in terms of resale and the sedan is not too far behind.

    I’d bet if you had 100 people drive the two, then show them the pricing (and the cost of service comparison), 85 of them will tell you really quick the G35 is the car to buy. The BMW mystique is still working, but it’s crumbling around the edges.

  • avatar
    a_d_y_a

    Feature adjusted price difference between the 335 and the g35 rwd manual sedans is $ 6,945 and coupes is 5,620

    – truedelta.com

    someone should post tco numbers as well

  • avatar
    maxo

    yournamehere: don’t compare this to the coupe, they are quite a bit different looking. The coupe is much sexier, my money for the new car I most want to buy is on the G35 coupe. I also like the 350Z but I find I can’t quite fit my head in one. The higher end BMW’s cost way too much for me.

    I haven’t test drove one, but I wonder if the improvements in the 335i are really worth the extra $? I suspect that even if I had all the money I needed to buy any car in this genre, I would still go far the value of the G35 as opposed to feeling like I wasted money on the moderately better BMW. Of course this is a trick question because if I had the money for an all new 335i my value orientation would have me looking at a used 7 series or something along those lines. In fact I’ve never owned a new car and I’m not sure if I plan to, even though I can afford one now. Value will always play a part in my car choices I guess.

    Putting aside that whole value thing, the g35 sedan looks kind of plain from the outside and the 3 series probably wins there too. I really love the look of the g35 coupe though, and would take it over the 3 series sedan or the eventual coupe (which won’t look that different from the sedan I would imagine, as with previous BMW’s). I believe both of those coupes should be premiering soon right? Any idea when we will we get a g35 coupe review on TTAC? I guess I won’t hold my breath for that BMW review.

  • avatar
    cretinx

    why shouldn’t we get the 4 wheel steering ?

  • avatar
    Joe Chiaramonte

    jerseydevil – the 30mpg figures for MX-5/Miata are real-world, by the way (29.3 when I filled up yesterday). You just have to stay out of SUV & truck blind spots and/or get more life insurance.

    When the G35 first appeared, I was sure there was a used one somewhere in my future. The tough choice was coupe or sedan. The sedan looked too sedate, but four doors are more justifiable.

    I was a little underimpressed with the last-generation interior quality, so I’m glad to hear it’s been stepped up a bit.

    I like what Infiniti has done with this update, but my “gotta have it” quotient still is only at about 80%. Knowing you have to handicap it against the 335i doesn’t help, I guess.

    On the used market, I’d probably still vote Inifiniti, though. I suspect the depreciation comes just a little more quickly and repair costs past warranty would be cheaper on the G35. Can anybody weigh in with real-world experience on an early G35 and similar-aged 330i?

  • avatar
    dolo54

    I didn’t like the look of infinitis a few years back but they are growing on me. I think this car looks a lot better as a coupe than a 4-door. I’m also curious about the 4-wheel steering… what’s the story on that?

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    You’d have to compare both times from the same Mag.

    Actually, you would want to compare times from the same TEST. Different conditions means different times.

  • avatar
    gakoenig

    Artsy:

    What is the cost of ownership downside to a BMW?

    BMW offers full maintenance for 4 years/50k miles. Not only do you get normal warranty coverage, but BMW also pays for oil changes, inspections, coolant and brake flushes… all of the scheduled stuff. They also pay for wear components, save gas and tires. So, if you “drive the vehicle in the manner in which it was advertised” and go through a set of brakes within the confines of the warranty, BMW buys and installs a new set.

    There are probably limits on the BMW warranty vis-a-vis abuse and such, but I track my car regularly and my dealership has been more then happy to hear about a customer using the vehicle properly and more then happy to throw on a new set of rotors and pads in the front (I have a 2006 325i). I should also add that the program costs something like $1500 to extend to 100k miles. All in all, it is a very good deal.

    How does Infiniti/Nissan stack up to that?

  • avatar
    CliffG

    What do you call a BMW owner? A******. Oh wait, I am one. The BMW service plan is very nice, and my dealer has always fixed anything/everything with no complaints, that free service deal is worth a few pennies, plus the depreciation of BMW 3 series is not anything like, say, Audi catastrophes. Before I bought my Bimmer a couple of years ago I drove the G35/Lexus/Audi liines to see what I truly liked. My own thought of the G35 is it felt like a bigger, heavier car, albeit bloody fast and reasonably priced. But, raised on Alfas and Fiats, that whole heavy car routine is just not my fancy. Frankly a 325 is more than fast enough for my normal driving and my wife loved it, so that is what we ended up with. But I have a Kawasaki when I want to go bonkers, after all my bike has a sub-5 second 0-60 time and gets 40+ mpg. And, yeah, I commute on it in the rain so I am nuts.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Very nice review. This is certainly an upgrade from the previous generation. But what’s up with the extra stitching on the driver’s side thigh bolster? Just bad Feng Shui in my book.

    But 306hp @ 6800rpm? The 335i makes similar at 1000 revs less. And that’s if you believe the numbers, BMW is underrating that beast like mad. They’ve dyno’d at 275-285hp to the wheels, which is more like 315-330hp at the crank.

    Not to mention the insane torque of a turbo’d motor. I’m sure the G35 is a willing machine with a great interior, but BMW’s got a great chassis to go with the torque, one-upping the G35 again.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Joe Chiaramonte – yeah i like miatas, but i want something a little bigger.

    the point that i want to make is that making a car ever bigger and ever faster is an exercise in futility. Here in the northeast, we go as fast as the car in front of us goes.

    My daily commute is a thrill packed average or 20 miles per hour, just a little faster then the bike i ride on the weekend for fun.

    The latest fire breathing BMW twin turbo and chrysler monster engined sedan ride with me on a clogged highway. What’s the point. Once, just once, I would LOVE a car maker to say SMALLER BETTER ENGINE!!! SMALLER MORE RESPONSIVE CAR!!

    Because I love cars and love to drive screaming little fun machines does not mean I want to finance the Saudi royal family. I want small, space efficient, fun cars with small peaky engines, suspension and steering that reads my mind, and spectacular gas milage. Thats all.

    Not bigger and faster. Smaller and better.

    I can dream cant i

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Jersey,

    I want bigger and smaller, faster and better.

  • avatar
    GodBlessTTAC

    ok i understand that you do not recommend the “do NOT order four wheel active steering”

    i would like to know why

  • avatar
    1984

    How does it feel to want?

  • avatar
    tms1999

    It’s a good thing they improved the interior. Not just in quality but aestethics too (I was really put off by the preveious gen interior. And those colors. yuck)

    From the outside, I’m not really convinced. It looks more blobbish. But in my books it’s more elegant than a 3 series (3 series which screams LOOK AT ME!)

    It is certainly not as much of a factor for the readers of TTAC, but BMW ownership tends to associate you with the bleached blonde status symbol worried crowd. And it’s a factor. As much of an ultimate driving machine you’re driving, when you’re stuck in traffic commuting, there is little to differenciate you from the ultimate poseur who can’t drive. Then again, Bill Lumbergh drives a Porsche.

    For Jerseydevil, I would say there exist cars that are both small and fast, nimble and (somewhat) fuel efficient. G35 is not one of those. Get over it. Look for a Miata, a lotus elise, a Lotus 7 replica, a used Lotus Elan (oh sorry, don’t think this one had ever crossed the ocean), a Civic Si, or a Cobalt SS…

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    For Jerseydevil, I would say there exist cars that are both small and fast, nimble and (somewhat) fuel efficient. G35 is not one of those. Get over it. Look for a Miata, a lotus elise, a Lotus 7 replica, a used Lotus Elan (oh sorry, don’t think this one had ever crossed the ocean), a Civic Si, or a Cobalt SS…

    …or a BMW 1-series, if they ever bring it across the pond.

  • avatar
    ash78

    …or the 3-series diesel (335d) if they ever bring it over. Mid-six-seconds to 62mph and nearly 50mpg US on the highway. Perfect car, in my book. I’ll gladly give up the “unnecessary” extra speed of the sequential turbo gas engine (335 coupe) for twice the economy.

    (the 1-series is looking bleak for the US, they’ve already expressed concern it’ll eat into entry-level 3-series sales. Plus, I’m sure they look at Merc and cringe and their efforts to bring a compact to the masses)

  • avatar
    mikey

    JerseyDevil look for slightly used Camaro/Firebird or a Mustang 6 cyl rag top ,cheap to buy ,cheap to insure a blast to drive and easy on gas.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Jonny Lieberman and 1984

    yeah i know – it has always been amazing to me that the most fun cars i have ever been in have all had 100bhp or less…i have also owned huge v8 monsters, they were boring after like 10 minutes. It would go like this. wow – 65 in second gear! wow! I wonder whats on the radio? Look! buttons! Damn, a cop!

    Atr least some manufacturers are making small fun cars that are not strippers. About time, tho it remains to be seem how americans like them. Here in the NE, they are not as popular as u might think, except the center city areas where i am.

    Anyway, its so nice to be able to be able to rave like this! Thanks

  • avatar
    Joe Chiaramonte

    Jonny: I want bigger and smaller, faster and better.

    How about: bigger but lighter, faster and better.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    mikey

    i like the way u think

  • avatar
    1984

    Jersey

    Not sure what the point is yet. Lemme get this strait… You are mad that people do not want to drive what you want to drive?

    BTW You are ranting, not “raving”… Raving would require XTC pills and a strobe light.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    1984

    i’m not mad at anyone. I just want a few more cars to be sold here that i like. There’s lots of cars for those who like hulking overweight over powered monsters.

    As for those misguided testerone junkies who like the current crop of t-rex-mobiles – I’m sorry – do u think I’m making a value judgement? Say it isnt so!

  • avatar
    dolo54

    LOL let’s rave! woooohoo somebody get the glow sticks.

  • avatar
    ktm

    A couple points for those of you comparing the 335Ci to the G35 sedan:

    1) The 2007 335 is a coupe.
    2) The 2007 335 starts at $40k. A similarly equipped 335i (leather, sports package, tech package, etc.) would be nearly $50k.

  • avatar
    GodBlessTTAC

    no one has a responce for me?

  • avatar

    I think this review is dead on. The G35 is quite the shot at the top dog 3-Series, but it will never beat it. But that said…does it really have to?

    The horsepower wars continue…

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    I’m with GodBless…..why no 4 wheel steering? Have you driven a model so equipped? I know the technology was less than impressive on the last 92 Prelude I drove….but that was a purely mechanical system with limited range on a car that was already quite nimble.

  • avatar

    Our new reviewer has signed in. My bad (editing-wise). He says the active steering system improves steering feel and does nothing to degrade the car's ride quality.  Sorry about that chief.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Whoa — Ronin, I’ve driven a 2006 330i and, uh… it is quite beatable.

    Why do you say that the 3-series can never be beaten by the G?

    Showing my hole cards, I think the Infinit M-class is better than the current 5-series.

  • avatar

    a_d_y_a,

    Thanks for the mention, but I don’t have 2007 G35 prices in the database yet. There’s a simple reason for this: Infiniti hasn’t released them. When I do find get them they’ll be here:

    http://www.truedelta.com/models/G35.php

    ktm,

    The C has been dropped from the name of the BMW coupe for 2007. And there is a 2007 335i sedan as well.

    I look forward to driving the G35. I like the feel of the old car with the stick, but like others despise the orange instruments that look like they were lifted from a mid-1980s Nissan pickup.

    The handling of the current 3-Series is almost magical, and the 5 isn’t too far behind. I personally don’t understand the hype behind the Infiniti M, as it feels like an overly numb pig to me even in Sport form. It doesn’t just look big, it feels big.

    The turbos added $2,100 to the price of the 330i. Seem worthwhile?

  • avatar
    Tiger Commanche

    One way Infiniti could get a little (more) respect would be to offer a manual option for the AWD version, which you have always been able to get with a 3-series. Sales statistics be damned.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    ktm: Did BMW retroactively un-announce the 335i sedan and erase the memory from everyone who ever knew about it but me? That’s the one not unflattering explanation I can think of for a flat assertion that the 335i is a coupe. (And it’s 335i, not 335Ci, no matter how many doors it has.)

    I have no doubt that the 335i costs more than the G35. Sometimes that’s not the point. (Sometimes it is.) Until a new M3 is released, many will no doubt look to the 335i as the best example of the ultimate compact sedan machine, to which it is perfectly appropriate to compare intenders to the throne like the G35.

  • avatar
    ktm

    Brian E, why compare a 335i to a car that sells for $15k less, when a 328i is more of a fair comparison as it falls closer in price? Oh, I know why, because it would be logical. Most of the buyers of a G35 can not afford the extra $15k for a 335i. Hell, you might as well compared BMW’s M3 to a 2005 G35.

    As for the 335i being a coupe only, my mistake. I priced out a 335i and went looking for the sedan. I did not see the option for the sedan, only the coupe. They buried it in the list and I skimmed right over it.

    Lastly, BMW used to use the moniker Ci to distinguish the Coupe from the Sedan. You had a 325i and a 325Ci, not 325i Coupe.

    In 2005 a G35 Sport sedan sold for under $30k. I know, I was looking at them and saw one at Tustin Infiniti listed for $29,600 or thereabouts. The 2007 G35 Sport sedan will most likely cost no more than $35k well optioned, unlike the 335i in which you have to pay for any convenience.

  • avatar
    Lantern42

    I got pricing!!

    The 2007 G35 sedan will start around $32k. A fully loaded AWD G35x will sticker for $40,600. Don’t plan on recieving huge discounts for a while. The folks at my local Infiniti dealership are pretty firm that they want to hold the line on pricing for the most part.

  • avatar

    The difference isn’t $15,000.

    Let’s assume that the 2007 will be $1,000 higher than the 2006, which should be in the ballpark. (The 2006 sedan starts at $31,850, by the way, so $32,000 seems a stretch.)

    You’ll get different results at different feature levels. I ran a “minimum shared features” comparison at my site, which includes everything standard on one car and optional on the other. This puts heated leather and metallic paint on the BMW, and a sunroof on the Infiniti. I also put the sport package on the BMW, because it’s standard on the Infiniti with the manual.

    Anyway, this gives a difference at MSRP of $10,500. Adjusting for features reduces this by about $1,100. Figure another grand for the 2007, and you’re still around $8,300.

    Lose the sport package and the gap shrinks by $1,600.

  • avatar
    ktm

    I see I am again tripped up by my foray into pricing. Since I did not see the sedan my first time through, I priced out the coupe which is higher. I am on a roll today.

  • avatar
    Lantern42

    Actually, Michael, Infiniti took the price point very seriously into consideration. A quick look shows that a 2007 G35x sedan with premium package (how 2/3 of all G’s are currently equipped) is actually around $1000 less than a comparably equipped 2006 model.

    Apparetly they like making people think really hard about why the BMW is so much more expensive.

  • avatar
    Jan Andersson

    1984:

    “If you want fuel mileage you buy a car that get’s good fuel mileage.
    If you tow then you get a tow vehicle
    If you want to drive like Johnny racer than you buy a sports car
    If you want to take the family you buy a van/wagon.”

    That’s why I drive a BMW E39 Wagon! It’s a very good compromise in all these aspects.

  • avatar
    ronin

    It’s not that people who get a G35 cannot afford a Beemer. It’s not like 30k+ is poverty level. In fact, just about anybody can ‘acquire’ any car if they can even appear to make monthly payments.

    It’s that those who get the G35 choose not to get the BMW. Here is your spectrum, with a real-life 7K gap: LGT-35x-330xi.

    It really depends on how much is enough, and how much you are willing to pay for.

    Therefore, it’s time to stop comparing the Infiniti with the BMW, and go the other way around. The BMW is the overpriced Infiniti wannabe, beat by the Infiniti in most areas expect probably pure flickability, albeit with more farkles and more panache.

  • avatar
    Antone

    I own a 2006 G35 6MT Sedan. The car is not completely sorted but what makes up for it is the drive-train. The motor-transmission-differential is great. The chassis is almost there. I test drove a 3-sieres, and owned an S2000 prior to the G35. The way I would describe the feel-difference is: You drive on the Wheels in the G35 and in the Wheels with the 3- series. Price not withstanding, the 3- series was to quiet and the manual transmission feel was horrible. I needed more engine feel having come from an S2000. I was not that concerned with the interior (if I was I would buy an Audi). The V6 in the G35 is a beast… the I6 in the 3- series is silky-smooth, quiet and predicable. If you want to become a better driver, buy the 3-series. If you want to drive like a hooligan, constantly bouncing off the stability control nanny, giggling when you need to overtake other cars, feel like a bull in the Pottery Barn when performing City-driving, buy the G35.

    Disclaimer: The BMW compared above was a 325i manual. A 335 or M3 is a whole different story, manual transmission feel not withstanding (why do the Germans pride themselves on a shifter-gate feel of marshmallows?). And in relative terms I also test drove 2 STI’s and an Evolution 9 MR that month. My GF favorite (a car she thinks is sexy) was a black 2005 WRX STI w/ the ECU reflashed for the intake / exhaust mods installed…

  • avatar

    G35 Pricing from today’s Autoweek:

    Infiniti announced pricing on the new, second-generation 2007 Infiniti G35 sedan, on sale now. The 2007 G sedan offers new exterior and interior designs, a more powerful standard 3.5-liter, 306 hp V6, a new suspension design and more standard equipment. The price remains exactly the same as the 2006 Infiniti G35 Sedan base model.

    The MSRP starts at $31,450 with a 5-speed automatic; $31,900 for the Journey model with 5-speed automatic; $33,950 for the all-wheel drive model; $32,250 for a six-speed manual-equipped car; and $33,450 for the Infiniti G35 Sport, with a 5-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

    Available packages include Premium Package, Technology Package, 4-Wheel Active Steer package, 18-inch Performance Tire and Wheel package, and Infiniti Navigation Package with touch screen, voice recognition, XM with real-time traffic information and a 9.6 gigabyte Music Hard Drive.

  • avatar
    windnsea00

    For people who like German cars and notice the teutonic engineering throughout, they will stick on that side of the fence. For people who don’t necessarily discern between both or prefer Japanese cars they will typically stay on that side.

    I had an ex with a `04 G35 coupe that I racked up quite a few miles on and I thought it was good looking, good sounding and nice driving car. However, everytime going back to a BMW it def. felt cheap and not an ultimate driving machine. I think the new BMW E92 coupe from the B-pillar back looks funky so I would have to go with the sedan or if they bring the 335i touring, that would even be better :)

  • avatar
    Humourless

    I always liked the G35, until I looked at the pricing for Canadian models.

    A base BMW 3-series will run me under $36,000 ($35,600, to be precise). But to buy a G35 with a manual transmission, I’d need to fork over $46,790. An 11 grand premium? Even allowing a generous 20% for currency exchange rates vs. the U.S. dollar, this is a $39,000 car. At that price point, I’d buy one in a heartbeat.

    Why not then just plump for an extra 3 grand and buy the $49,900 BMW 335?

  • avatar
    Bob Peters

    Humourless

    In order to get a 2007 G35 with a 6-speed, you need to get a sport model. This isn’t a base car, so it isn’t a fair comparison to the base 3-series.

  • avatar

    They released the pricing the day after I left that comment, and I promptly input it into the database.

    The base price remains the same, but the content changed a bit. You can see the changes by comparing the 2997 to the 2006 on my site and selecting the “base price” mode. The changes largely cancel out, but the new car does have about $125 less content.

    Depending on which features you want, the 2007 can be more or less costly than the 2006. What seems undeniable is that the 2007, given the extent of the improvements, is a huge value.

    But the BMW has always been much more expensive. I think the Acura TL and Lexus IS have more to fear.

  • avatar
    Humourless

    Bob Peters

    Deduct out the sport model cost differential then. $6,800 if one compares a G35 base with a G35 sport. That still leaves over $4,000 in premium over a 323.

    Maybe we’re talking past each other though. My point is that the point of entry for a manual model is $11,000 more for what is ostensibly a car that competes with the 3-series. On the vast majority of other cars available today the manual-equipped model is a value proposition, not a premium. On the G35 you’re essentially coughing up $4,000 extra to shift your own gears, and then another $6,800 for kit that you may or may not want. This is all well and good if Infiniti wants to be positioned as a luxury rather than a performance brand. I kind of think they want the latter as well though.

    In fairness, it isn’t just the Infiniti brand that’s being run this way in Canada. The senior partner at Nissan commands a price of $46,198 for a base 350Z whereas the U.S. starts at $27,650. This from the same company that offered the Sentra SE-R Spec-V at a 20% discount vis-a-vis the US back in 2003.

  • avatar
    Lantern42

    humourless

    You bring up a good point, and I’m sorry I’m not more knowledgable about Canadian pricing to properly address it. All I can tell you is that in the States, the G35 is a bargain against a comparably equipped BMW feature for feature. Infiniti assumes (usually correctly) that anyone who wants a 6-speed has primarily sporting intentions, so they throw in a sport suspension, better seats, a limited slip differential, larger brakes and a few other trim bits. They add to the sport quotient considerably.

    With all those extras it’s a little easier to see why the 6-speed costs more.

  • avatar

    Humorless,

    The discount back in 2003 and premium now isn’t because Nissan or any other manufacturer doesn’t like Canadians as much as they used to. I’ve read many posts now where Canadians feel they’re being ripped off.

    It’s the exchange rate, plain and simple, people!!!!

    It would create a huge mess if car prices moved with exchange rates. So when the Canadian dollar was weak a few years ago, cars were cheaper in Canada than the U.S. Now that they Canadian dollar is strong, cars are more expensive there.

    Compared to your paycheck, though, the prices should be about the same or even a bit lower now than they were then. And that’s what the manufacturers are focused on. They don’t want you to have to go from a Sentra to a G35 and then back again based on the strength of your currency.

    Sheesh, I’m probably getting close to 800 words here…

  • avatar

    In the U.S., the manual isn’t that much more expensive than the base G35, which few people will buy anyway. The Sport equipment, which includes $450 worth of Journey stuff, is $2,000 over the base car. Opting for the manual cuts this by $800. If you want a sunroof, the manual car with the Sport stuff is only $750 more than the automatic car. Seems very reasonable to me.

    But then I’m not Canadian.

    Here, try it out:

    http://www.truedelta.com/prices.php

    Price a manual G35 against an automatic G35.

  • avatar
    Lamborghini48907

    I drove both the new G35 and the 335i just last weekend. I have to say the 335i blew me away, while the G35 was only “okay” (and what a great “okay” it is). The BMW handled a thousand times better than the Infiniti, it was really no contest. I was surprised, I had only heard great, great things about the Infiniti’s handling, but it didn’t have NEARLY the same type of feel as the Bimmer, and the weighted steering feel of the 335i far, far surpassed that of the lighter, more electric feeling steering in the Infiniti. I look at the G35 as sort of the hotrod, it’s great in a straight line. The BMW is even better in a straight line, it sgoes 0-60 mph in 5.3 sec. while the G35 goes 0-60mph in 5.6 sec, and the BMW handles better too. Sure it costs more, but you get what you pay for, plus the depreciation on the BMW kills that of the Infiniti. I have to say that I was surprised at first, but the BMW is the benchmark for a reason, and not just because of the nameplate Bob. In that regard, you’re way off.

  • avatar
    Bob Peters

    Well Lambo, as it turns out, the depreciation ratings for the two are aren’t far apart. The 3-series sedan is more or less the same as the G35 sedan. (The 3-series coupe is much higher, but not in the same class.) And when it comes to True Cost to Own, the BMW is blown away by the G35.

    The steering feel is a matter of personal preference, so there’s nothing to really debate there.

    The acceleration times are varied, I’ve seen the Infiniti clocked to 60 as low as 5.2. I’d say that they’re close enough in speed that you’d need electronics to tell the difference. As for the handling, did you try the G35 Sport? Or was it the G35x? Did it have active steering package? Just like the Sport package on the BMW signifiacantly alters the personality of the car, it’s the same way with the G.

    As for the nameplate-it makes a huge difference. I’ve driven BMWs, and it’s more like the ultimate marketing machine than the ulitimate driving machine. I’ll admit, I’ll still drool over a 2003 M5, but newer BMW never feel like they should, they don’t look good, and in my never to be humble opinion, they simply don’t have the quality I used to expect from the brand. People go to BMW with an expectation, and they overlook some faults to have a propeller symbol on thier hood.

  • avatar
    peejay44

    I have owned a 2001 BMW 330ci for almost five years. Enjoyable car, fun to drive, very reasonable service/repair experience. Great around-town car; but fatiguing on road trips. Sport suspensions and low profile tires will do that. For that reason, I am considering a G35 sedan. I have not driven the ’07 but will shortly.
    I do not understand why so many of the posts compare the G35 sedan and the 335i. Apples and oranges. Compare sedans to sedans. In fact, the reason I am thinking of a defection to Infiniti is rear legroom. Maybe the real comparison should be made between the G35 sedan and the 5 Series. Comparisons between the 335i and Infiniti products should wait until the revised G35 coupe arrives later this year.

  • avatar

    There is a 335i sedan.

  • avatar
    dsdamaged

    i just bought my g35 with after market 20 in alloy wheels yesterday. i traded in my 2006 dodge(daytona) charger. i love this car. no offense to the bimmies, but i drove a tow truck for nine years never one infiniti on the hook, but i knew where every bmw garage in the bay area was. suppose that warrenty package must come in handy.

  • avatar
    rdgibson

    Not all of us have the disposable income to purchase a new 335i or a new G35, for that matter. I am one of those who can only afford to purchase someone else’s “cast-off glory.”

    After looking at a variety of clean, low miles 3 Series, Infinitis, TLs, and comparable models, I opted for the G35. Reasons: 1) Roomier – I’m 6’2″ and the 3 series was a little tight. Also, the G35 has a bigger backseat; important when hauling coworkers and clients around. 2)The G35 has way more punch than the 325 or the 330. The Acura is comparable, but FWD (yuck). 3) The Infiniti actually has better “real-world” resale value than the BMW, possibly because of 4) BMW’s reputation for soaring maintenance costs on cars with more than 50K miles.

    That said, I now own clean, low miles G35 and I am thoroughly happy with it.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    I just got done having rented a 2007 Infiniti G35 Journey with 11,000 miles on the odo. Some goons decided to lighten my car by removing the glass and placing it in thousands of pieces on the ground so into the shop it went and out of the rental lot a G35 went.
    I was floored on how improved this 2007 G35 was. In the past, I rented a 2004 G35 (with only 1,000 miles or so on it) and a 2006 G35 (under 10,000 miles.) The 2004 was a great engine/trans combo, but that was it. That was the design of the horrid hard plastic, orange dials, rattling everything design. The 2006 was one I was considering as the interior design was cleaned up and a bit of the hard, cheap plastic was banished. The orange dials were still a deal killer (they just look wrong in this kind of car.) The 2007 is just amazing. From the much more comfortable seats, to the “holy crap” lunge of the engine to the butter-smooth shifts and even the ease of using the non-nav-equipped screen functions, Infiniti seems to have listened to the jeers and made a far better car. Almost all of the surfaces that a hand can touch have been redone with soft touch plastics and even the typical areas of hard plastics (like around the transmission lever) are textured to feel more solid and soft. There were no rattles at all…unlike the 2004. The standard stereo was decent, although I have heard the Studio on Wheels and wow… Most of all, the style is a more mature evolution. While the original was brash and a bit lopsided with some angles, this is more elegant and has a stronger shape.
    Dislikes? Until you get used to the throttle, get used to being tossed around. That pedal sticks and then all hell breaks loose.
    The intelligent key takes a fraction of a second too long to unlock the doors leaving you pulling a locked handle the first time around.
    I really was bummed with the fuel economy. Before eyes roll and mouths mumble “what did you expect…” I expected something a little better. I did over 500+ miles – many of them highway. Due to a massive increase in police patrols for speeding in my neck of the woods of I-75 and I-71 in Ohio and Kentucky, the cruise control was set at 70mph outside of town and in the low 60’s inside the 275 loop. At no time did the trip computer record anything better than 23.5mpg. That just seems very low given the average highway speed, nice weather, light traffic, and non-aggressive driving. I was able to get around 25+ in the 2004 and 2006 – I guess the price is being paid for getting over 300hp.
    Drive this car if you are considering a BMW or Audi. Forget the reviews of the previous model that railed on the cheap interior, rattles, and noise. This car is lightyears ahead of the previous model and easily on par with the Germans…and you’ll have that extra money left over for the 93 octane that it loves to drink!
    (As a side note – the G35x might be replacing the 2008 Volvo Cross Country as the next purchase…)

  • avatar
    straley

    Tonite I purchased a 2008 G35 AWD, I traded in my 2007 Acura TL Type-S. The Type-S was a great car but I was never satisfied with it (performance wise). The G35 has AWD so I will be good this winter, and I can still hammer it in the rain. I am now a believer in the performance of the G35 they have more power than can be utilized in the city, and the refinement of the vehicle is top notch. At 40k out the door it was an absolute steal when comparing it to the 335I’s I looked at which stickered between 46-49k without NAV or AWD! The only other car I felt was comperable performance wise was the IS350, and they are plain looking and way too small.

    The Infiniti is far better optioned, several thousand dollars cheaper and closely approaches the 335I in performance; that is a home run for me.

  • avatar
    healinginfluence

    This is a great review. The one thing missing in my opinion from the comments is that interior of the BMW is in my opinion spartan compared with the interior of the G35. Not everyone wants peak performance. Some people want good performance and a nice interior.

  • avatar
    geomck1967

    Before buying a lemon from Infiniti, check this out. http://www.infinitmisery.com


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