By on April 23, 2008

07_sedan_06.jpg

When launched, the Infiniti Q45 was infinitely more desirable than Lexus's stuffy LS400. Unfortunately, Lexus had already eclipsed Mercedes as the brand recent Black Sea immigrants asked for by name, and BMWs remained the must-have nouveau riche accessory. Although today's M45 is best-in-class, BMW 5-Series' still runs the schoolyard. Meanwhile, Infiniti (and everybody else) is striving to wrest control of the all-important, profit-laden next class down. So how does Infiniti's AWD 3-Series fighter stack-up?

When images of the second-gen G35 started leaking onto these here internets, I was taken aback by the hood's flowing cut line. Simply perfect. The rest of the car appeared to be a subtle evolution of the old one. Two years later, I still love the hood line. Everything else is tired. Parked next to the current gen Altima, the Nissan is a much more attractive package. The four-door G is just too mousy and restrained. And the taillights are still too damn big. That said, the seven-spoke, 18" aluminum wheels on our tester are impressive.

07_sedan_03.jpgInside, it's an entirely different picture. The Infinitis of yore offered cheap Nissan parts binnage, with navigation screens that looked like convenience store cash machines. No more. In fact, the nav screen is the single most gorgeous part of a decidedly swanky interior. Specifically: the sweeping, organic layout of the fun-to-fondle buttons below the screen.

Gizmos abound: Microfiltering HVAC, rear seat-heater ducts, dual antennas and XM radio. The rest of innards are posh, well thought out and supremely comfortable. Even the (useless) faux-flappy-paddles feel fantastic. Off the hill Audi; there's a new haptic king of the hill (with a prince of an XF also fighting for succession).

07_sedan_11.jpgIf one was forced to stereotype Nissan, one might quote the Ferrari dictum: sell them an engine and throw the rest in for free. Since 1994, the VQ family of V6s has been giving customers throughout the model range (Pathfinder, QX, FX, Altima, Murano, Quest, Z, etc.) more power than the competitors at a (usually) lower price, with plenty of torque.

For all-weather entry-level luxury duty, Nissan mates the 3704 lbs. G35x AWD to the 3.5-liter VQ35HR. The HR part of the alphabet soup stands for "High Revolution"– as in a 7500 rpm redline. The spinning metal pumps-out 306 horses at 6,800 rpm and 268 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm. Should you opt for an all wheel-drive (AWD) G, you opt out of the six-speed manual transmission. Although the G35x' cog-swapper is "only" a five-speed, its seamlessness moots any objection. For both around town and highway duty, the G35x has an entirely useful drivetrain.

06_g35coupe_25_25.jpgYes but… As you'd expect, the G35x' all wheel-drive mechanicals means it weighs more than the standard four-door. Therefore, it takes 5.9 seconds to hit 60 mph; the rear wheel drive makes the same sprint in 5.6 seconds. I can already hear the keyboard clacks of people writing in that some magazines have clocked a G35 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and the G35x AWD in 5.5. And we'll counter that some magazines employ a 1-foot rolling start to consistently record the lowest (and therefore most attention grabbing) numbers.

But my point stands. The AWD G is slower than the regular G.

Not only is the G35x slower on radar, but, worse, it feels more sluggish to the driver. Again, losing a little (though noticeable) straight line thrust in under six-second world is no biggie. After all, you can make the time back in the corners, right? Uh, no.

07_sedan_09.jpgI've long considered the FM platform to be one of the marvels of the modern automotive landscape. Forget about the Gs and Zs, you ever driven an FX? There's no way a sedan on stilts should be so nimble and so much fun. Yet it is. Sadly, the good times end with the G35x. The steering feels artificially heavy yet distant at all speeds. The car wants to do anything but turn in. Look, I love AWD performance cars. But the engineers need to have AWD in mind from the start. If not, it's like adding on a basement once a house's foundation has been poured– an expensive afterthought.

While not bad in any glaring way, the G35x AWD left me wanting. Especially after spending time in both the Subaru STI and BMW xDrive35i, two 300+ hp AWD cars designed from the outset to butcher the corners and bloody the straights. With those two machines there aren't slimmer, cheaper, equally powerful variants to remind me of money poorly spent.

07_sedan_02.jpgI'll grant that if you need to blast across South Dakota during a blizzard, the G35x would be a hell of a comfortable way to go. But for all other applications, stick with the original. Or, yeah you guessed it, a 335i.

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49 Comments on “2008 Infiniti G35x AWD Review...”


  • avatar
    BEAT

    Great Review!!!

    I think I need a helmet after seeing that the G35 Cockpit. I mean look at that it’s amazing and I always like the g35.

    It is not a slow car. now a days on newer engines you need a little push on the gas pedal to accelerate better like what I am doing with my 08 Lancer. It feels heavy but the engine can take more grunt than you expected.

  • avatar
    Jason

    I think it’s a beautiful car. I guess one man’s blah is another man’s restrained sense of class. I’d rater err on the side of less then more, when it comes to scoops, angles, creases, vents, and bling.

    Otherwise you end up with…

    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/images/front_picture_library_UK/dir_413/car_photo_206849_5.jpg

  • avatar

    I have driven a bunch of 2007-8 G35x’s as loaners
    when my 2006 G35 RWD is in for service. I must
    say I agree with the review except for a couple
    items. I don’t mind the dash in my older model at
    all. I prefer not to have everything be on the
    LCD display. I have the Nav display but it
    can be hidden when not in use. I like the
    more minimal dash in my car. The other item is
    speed. Floor the G35x and you better hold on!
    It’s quite fast, and feels faster than my
    298 bhp and much lighter G35. I’m not fan of
    automatics but this one shifts quickly and smoothly. The rest of the
    review is spot on. The steering is heavy, and
    it handles poorly compared to mine, but it’s no slouch
    in this area to be clear. And in the snow
    it’s pretty awesome, leaves my RWD in back in the
    garage.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    Full disclosure: I own a 2007 G35X

    That said, why did I buy it?

    I live in the North East – it snows here and I couldn’t bring myself to buy an SUV as my daily driver.

    This car has more grunt than a 328xi, and I didn’t want to spend 10 grand more on a 335xi.

    Yes you can’t beat the precision of German steering, but this car comes very close. I like high-effort steering.

    My wife was also very happy that our daughter and her car seat fit nicely in the back of this car. It would not have fit well in the back of the 328xi.

    Finally, the interior is well thought out and beautiful. The 3 series interior feels like the designers held back hoping you would opt for a larger monthly payment on a 5 series.

    G35X -> Bigger, powerful, fun to drive for the money.

    328xi -> smaller, more tossable, a little less power.

    -ted

  • avatar
    sean362880

    I’ve always liked the G35 mostly because of the engine. It’s a shame that so much of the juicy V6 goodness is squandered in the switch to AWD.

    I think that RWD sports cars which are modified for AWD never really work. They feel like trucks. Audis and Subarus work because the cheaper models are FWD, and the chassis is set up to understeer anyway.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    The last time I drove one of these was in ’04 and was the auto RWD version. What a hoot! I liked that it seemed to have more room than a 3, with more power. Sounds like the playing field has been leveled somewhat, but I still wonder how much handling difference there really is between the 3 and G. For us city dwellers, most “corner carving” occurs on freeway on/off ramps.

    I believe this ride is still a bunch less expensive than a 3, no? The G with 306 hp starts at roughly $33k with sport package, and the 335i starts at $43k with it’s sport pkge. Is there really a 10 grand difference in handling?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    jkross22:

    The problem with comparing anything to the 335i is what’s under the 335i’s hood. While the 3.5-liter Nissan VQ is a great engine, the 3.0-liter twin-turbo I6 is a superlative engine. A game-changer. I don’t have enough accolades.

  • avatar
    Joe O

    I’ve only driven the G35 Sport 5-speed auto, in 2007. I was very impressed with the car’s power, transmission, and smooth ride. It felt large to me in turns (granted I drive a car that weighs 700 pounds less), but hunkered down very nicely.

    My wife and I would’ve bought one, instead of our new Legacy GT 5-speed, if not for the lack of fold-down rear seats, teeny tiny trunk opening, and some awkward interior items like the cheap-as-a-kia cupholders (that are also only about 1 inch deep).

    That being said, the salesperson who dealt with us at Infiniti was the best dealership experience I’ve had. Ever. I know that’s 100% personality, but we nearly bought from that guy because he knew how to deal with us, and didn’t treat our ~25 year old appearances with disdain.

    Joe

  • avatar
    Joe O

    Lieberman – I love that engine…..I can’t wait to see what BMW does in ~2009-2012 with adding brake regeneration, stop-start technology, de-coupling alternator, and other efficient dynamic items. I’d expect the 335i to be capable of a rock solid mid 20′s mileage in mixed driving.

    Joe

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    In far to many ways a 3 series is a crappy penalty box compared to a G35 that it is not funny! Yeah, yeah, yeah, a 3 series might handle better than a G35, but in the real world so fraekin what! Come on these cars are nothing more than everyday commuter vehicles for about 95% of the owners. Even the majority of “enthusiastic” 3 series owners are NOT going to explore the limits of their 3 series beyond maybe 7 or 8/10ths of its potential if that! Needless to say a 7 or 8/10 the far more powerful g35 will simply spank a 328i all day long.
    Once we get past the notion that a 3 series is a better track car and can honestly identify what we really need in an EVERYDAY car the G35 RWD/ AWD starts to look a good deal superior than an equally priced 328i/xi.

    The G35 is what it is! An excellent car for less than $40,000. It is powerful, it handles very well, it looks very good, and it has a nice interior that is fully of features. Does a 3 series handle better, yes it is the smaller lighter car, is it not? Regardless, a 328i can only chase after the more powerful G35′s taillights on a good day. A 328i might handle a sharp corner with more grace but the G35 can use its superior power to always gain the advantage. Once equiped with a pricey autobox the 328i is a relatively sluggish vehicle in its class. Nevermind a 328xi, that thing feel like a 4cyl Accord in terms of power. Equiped to the same level of equipment and a 335xi is at least a whopping $10,000 more than a G35x! In all honsesty the g35 is the better looking car between the two. While I will admit that the 3 series has a sleeker interior the G35 does have better materials.

    IMHO anyone purchasing the more expensive G35x over the G35 understands that there will be a compromise in terms of weight and handling. On top of that what is the point of an AWD “luxury” car without All-season tires installed, which will also detract from the fine handling of the RWD G35 sport. This the trade-off of owning a RWD biased car in areas that do experince winter weather.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    whatdiknow1:

    actually you can get the Infiniti under $28,000 fully loaded but you have to buy it CASH and your extra 10 grand for a used Honda Civic.

    What a bargain for a great car under $35,000
    And IT IS NOT A VERY COMMON CAR to see when you drive it on the highway. Not like the Honda,BMW and Toyota or Nissan

    What if you see a 2008 BMW 335i in Boston that is made into a Taxi?

    I saw 2008 white camry TAXI. ouch!!!!

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    BEAT :

    FYI,

    In NYC you will see Camry Hybrid Taxis, ALtima, Hybrid Taxis, Ford Escape Hybrid Taxis, all in bright taxi yellow! What is even funnier is that many are equiped with leather and sunroofs.
    The Livery drivers are now using Priuses in all colors, Highlander Hybrids, and a few RX400h.

    Today if you hail a “Yellow” in NYC you are just as likely to have a Toyota Seinna pull up to the curb as you are a Crown Vic.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Jonny,

    Good point. I’ve not had a chance to sample the 335i… yet.

    whatdoiknow1,

    You left out one area the G is likely to beat the 3 hands down: long term ownership cost. I’m a BMW fan, and am driving a 1998 e39. I just got done spending nearly $2k in repairs. Not for transmissions or water pumps, but for the damn power windows! The regulator in 3/4 windows went bad and the windows no longer operated. $2k to fix this and a door lock that wouldn’t unlock with a rear door seems obscene. And this was from an independent shop! The dealer wanted 30% more.

    Next purchase is likely to be Japanese because of perceived long term reliability.

  • avatar
    ScottGSO

    whatdiknow1:

    I completely agree. Too many car reviews compare cars with a model that costs $10K more and then lament the cheaper car just isn’t as good. Well of course not! For 10 grand the other car needs to be a shitload better.

    When comparing cars in reviews, compare pricepoint to pricepoint. The proper comparison here is the 328xi, and in that regard, the G35x is a far superior car.

  • avatar
    beagles

    I haven’t driven a G35 since they first came out when my 2000 Infiniti I30 was in for service. I still own that car and own a 2000 BMW 328CI. Love them both for what they are designed to do.

    The Infiniti has been oustanding in how it has held up over 8 years and 100K+ miles. I get compliments all the time on how good it looks inside and out. I’m having trouble remembering anything ever going wrong with it except for new brake pads and discs.

    I can say that the Infiniti dealership is a better experience than the BMW dealership as well.

    I’ve driven several new BMW 3 sedans when my BMW is in for service. And it is no doubt that new BMW’s have that perfect driving sensation that is still a notch above Infiniti.

    But when it comes to replacing the I30, it most likely will be a G35. Closer in size to a 5 series, much better interior (IMHO) now than any BMW, and as someone said above, the true cost of ownership is much better. My only problem, I don’t think the I30 is going to justify its replacement soon enough.

  • avatar
    JJ

    Audis and Subarus work because the cheaper models are FWD, and the chassis is set up to understeer anyway.

    There are WWD Subarus?

    Wouldn’t know much about Infiniti since they’ll only be launched in Europe this year, but I’m not liking the rear end design of this car. Anyway, I don’t think they will make much of an impact in the European car market.

    Lexus has struggled for years to take away sales of BMW and Mercedes, but without that much succes (much less than in the US). The biggest change in that segment over the last 20 years is that Audi is now on par with BMW and Mercedes in brand perception and sales in Europe.

    I think Infiniti will be perceived as a lesser Lexus. Maybe for Acura there might be some customers if they’d also choose to make the jump. Honda already has a semi-premium feel/perception over here as it is.

    I do like some Infiniti models though, like the FX, which you can sometimes see on the streets already (grey import) and the smaller SUV with the big engine that was on TTAC some weeks ago.

  • avatar
    Tiger Commanche

    Johnny, reviews of earlier G35X’s mentioned the problem of aggressive throttle tip-in, making it nearly impossible to gradually modulate the acceleration from a stop. Do you feel Infiniti has cured this problem in the 2008 model?

  • avatar
    cRaCk_hEaD_aLLey

    rear seat-heater ducts

    WOW.

    MUST. HAVE. ONE.

  • avatar

    My sister purchased this exact model new and loves it. One surprising thing she told me about this car is that she only gets 16mpg with it overall commuting in Minneapolis. Surprisingly bad fuel consumption, but then again it is a high revving, high performance V6.

  • avatar
    losgatosCa

    Lieberman – I love that engine…..I can’t wait to see what BMW does in ~2009-2012 with adding brake regeneration, stop-start technology, de-coupling alternator, and other efficient dynamic items. I’d expect the 335i to be capable of a rock solid mid 20’s mileage in mixed driving.

    Joe

    Joe,

    I get a rock solid mid 20′s in mixed driving in my ’08 335i NOW! :)

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Tiger Commanche:

    Um… I don’t know. Basically, to me, the car felt sluggish off the line. And as it’s an automatic, my off the line technique involves pushing the pedal to the floor.

    TriShield:

    The G35x is indeed a fine vehicle. The trouble is, it’s out shined by the RWD model as well as the competition. So, I’m not surprised that your sister loves it, as there is much to love. Unfortunately, I’ve driven the RWD G and know just how exceptional that version is.

    Oh, and 16 mpg doesn’t surprise me an iota. Normally I try and put 700 miles of mixed driving on my press cars. I only managed 300 or so miles of mostly highway driving in the G35x this time, due to a weird loan arrangement. And on mostly highways, I averaged 20 mpg. Granted, I drove it like it was borrowed, if not stolen.

  • avatar

    Jonny Lieberman :
    Granted, I drove it like it was borrowed, if not stolen.

    Good man.

  • avatar

    Minneapolis/St. Paul gets dumped on by snow and ice storms all winter so she had to have the AWD model and feels safer in it.

    I had the pleasure of test driving a RWD G35 and it is a vast improvement over the original. I nearly bought the original years ago and was appalled at it’s lack of refinement and hideously trimmed interior.

    The new one takes care of both of those issues while still ticking all the right boxes. Though the styling hasn’t changed much the old one looks well, really old, next to the new model.

    This is a great car and it’s not hard to see why Infiniti sells so many of them.

  • avatar
    TeeKay

    whatdoiknow1 – I agree that the G35 looks like a better bang-for-the-buck package than the similarly priced BMW 328i. But keep in mind that what sells a car is more thatn just what appears on paper and spec sheet.

    For me, power is secondary to handling and feel. (I drive a Miata, as well as an M3.) I have driven the 328i as a loaner many times, and each time, I was more impressed by the feel of power (not to mention smooth, linear delivery) coming out of that suppoed 230-hp engine. I swear it feels much faster and more willing than 230. And that was with the autobox. The 6-speed I test drove was much better. (Its interior and option sheet are nothing to write home about, period.) I also test drove the G35 sedan and G35 coupe. Regardless of what the specs said, I would buy a similarly priced 328 over a G35. Those who share the same automotive philosophy with me also agree. That explains why a lot of people seemingly chose the worse-bang-for-the-buck 3 over the G35.

    And then, in the SF Bay Area where I live, for the majority of buyers, nothing on the G35′s spec sheet can overcome its lack of the blue-and-white roundel on its hood and trunk. For them, the name alone trumps the 70 or so difference in horsepower. That’s also why you see a lot of base 3 series around here.

    The magazine writers only care about track performance. Here, the 3 would do well too.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    TeeKay:

    And don’t forget that with BMWs insane lease deals, cost really isn’t that much of a barrier to the (technically) more expensive 335i

  • avatar

    The winters in Saskatchewan are worse than those in South Dakota, but the RWD version with a set of Nokian Hakkapeliitta RSis will do for me, thanks. I’ll run the factory (presumably) performance tires in the summer.

    You guys should do a test of an AWD car versus the identical car with good winter tires. Of course, the AWD people could run out and get winter tires too, but I’ve seen precious few AWD vehicle owners bother.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    2007 Top 10 Best Selling Cars in Europe

    1st: Peugeot 207 (437,505, +105.5%)
    2nd: Volkswagen Golf (435,055, +4.5%)
    3rd: Ford Focus (406,557, -7.5%)
    4th: Opel/Vauxhall Corsa (402,173, +41.7%)
    5th: Opel/Vauxhall Astra (402,044, -7.9%)
    6th: Renault Clio (382,041, -11.5%)
    7th: Fiat Punto (377,989, -5.9%)
    8th: Ford Fiesta (300,566, +0.6%)
    9th: Volkswagen Passat (300,566, -9.4%)
    10th: BMW 3 Series (295,312, +2%)

    BMW is always going to be on the list because of its reputation but majority of Europeans prefer the smaller and more economical cars.

    The Ford Focus made to the top 3 and that is good to hear for an American company.

    To Support our workers and economy buy a German car.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    While I do know there are some guys and a few gals that will “Track” their new BMW to extract that last 9/10 of perfomance, most of the guy I know that are serious about racing do own dedicated track cars. Racing a car is rather abusive, especially if the car you are going to race is actually setup for street use.
    I have driven cars specifically setup for the track and have found that unless you are willing to deal with an extremely uncomfortable ride any real track car sucks on the road. IMO for the casual weekend racer nothing beats a Miata, simple design, relatively inexpensive, easy to work on, countless aftermakret parts, light-weight with excellent nature dynamics. You can buy one used for a song and dance and if you smack it into a barrier and total it, no big deal because it was cheap to buy and you are not carrying anything but liability insurance on it anyway.

    Honesty a 4 door 3 series like a G35 is nothing more than a glorified commuter car. These things are purchased for the same reasons that the person with less income is buying a Corolla and that is to be used as a transportation appliance.
    Now dont get me wrong, all things being equal I would take a 335i over a G35 in a heart beat. But they are not equal and that little bit of preceived extra in a 3 series is not enough. Since the majority of the time spent in the car will be for “normal” driving the extra fine edge on the BMW knife is not worth paying more $$$ for. On the other hand I do want all of those features and comfort offered in the G35.
    Put another way BMW could strip a 3 series to the level of a Elise and vastly improve the performance and dynamics but what would be the point of that in a 4 door sedan?

  • avatar
    Robstar

    PhotoJim>

    I have an STi and the summer tires in chicago snow are scary. I’m talking sliding around a corner @ 9mph.

    I have dedicated winter sport tires & the original summer tires.

    YMMV.

  • avatar
    ronin

    I’ve just finished my third winter of weekly commuting from northern Ohio (smack in the snow belt) to neighboring states.

    The 35x has been fantastic and reliable through the worst blizzards. It would have been hard to get a better car (as though “commuter” is a bad thing for a car to be).

    But after this year I probably won’t keep it. Why?

    The interior is just too small given the exterior size of the car. The best highway mileage I ever get is 23 mpg. I can’t fold down the rear seats to get more stuff in the trunk- even the Legacy GT now allows this. Did I mention best highway mileage is 23?

  • avatar
    Seth

    If I were in the market, I would choose either
    a) Merc C230 or
    b) BMW 323i

    Only sucky part about either car are the lousy color choices. One has to step up to 328i to get a terracotta/natural brown/reddish brown interiors. Merc has no such option. I am sick of grey/black interiors and am sick of silver/black/red/grey/white exteriors.

    I wish someone would have the gumption to offer more earthy colors such as bronze metallic with brown interiors/upholstry.

    Also, performance is not a main criterion for many… same old reasons
    a)pothole/bumps infested poor road conditions
    b)cops
    c)ridiculous traffic moving at a snail pace
    d)15 year old hyundai excel in the left lane

    I am in my early 30s and already am sick of sport suspensions. I am a different type of auto enthusiast who appreciates comfort/luxury over sport. Less noise and more cushy ride? sign me up

    I will take this
    http://www.italiaspeed.com/new_models/2007/fiat/nuova_croma/gallery/gallery.html
    over a twin turbo anyday..

  • avatar
    altdude

    I think the G35 is a good car, it’s got a nice interior and drives well compared to the competition. However, it’s far from a stand-out model.

    The new C-class stands out as being one of the most striking appearing models in the class. The Lexus IS has a great looking profile. The CTS is, of course, like nothing else out there. The G35 looks… like another Nissan/Toyota/Honda sedan, and doesn’t scream ‘luxury’ like, for example, the FX SUV does.

    I just find the looks of the G35 to be too sedate for the class of vehicles it’s competing against.

  • avatar
    brapoza

    Sean362880
    I think that RWD sports cars which are modified for AWD never really work. They feel like trucks. Audis and Subarus work because the cheaper models are FWD

    To which FWD Subaru’s would you be refering?

  • avatar
    brapoza

    After test driving a G35 in 2003 and comparing it’s price to an equivalent BMW I thought, “What a bargain”, so I bought one (MSRP 33K). Then, living in the Northeast, when the G35X came out in ’05 and I compared it to the competition I said, “What a bargain” so I traded for one of those (MSRP 39.9K). Then in 2008 I had the chance to test drive a ’08 Legacy GT Limited 5MT. 26K out the door. What’s better than that?

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Jonny – I loved driving the 2007 RWD G35 but the throttle tip-in made it almost impossible (at least with the automatic) to drive smoothly in rush hour traffic. Infiniti promised a change for 2008. Did it happen?

    I also agree with the taillamps, and I think the ones on the M-series are just too large for the car. Overall I think I like the complete design of the G more than your review, but I don’t think Infiniti wanted to get too radical given the written media’s bashing of the Bangle-ized designs of BMW and copycats. I’ve also seen a ton of G35x models in my corner of Ohio-KY-IN region (in fact, most G’s seem to be AWD here given the bad winter we had…it’s not surprising) and I think they still look sharp even after 18 months on the market.

    Dollar for dollar, the RWD and AWD G35 is still one of the best performance buys over this and the past several years. It’s amazing how Nissan/Infiniti has improved their interiors from the orange-lit/rattletrap dashes of even a couple of years ago.

    I wish the fuel economy was better, but with a large V6 with that much power, I guess this is average mileage for the class. Given the high cost of premium unleaded combined with the 35K+ miles I drive a year means this is probably off of the list, but this is still an amazing ride for a week-long rental to head out on vacation with.

    With the much improved CTS and (lightning strike me down but I’ve just driven one and was very impressed) new C-class, BMW needs to keep improving things and quickly. I also hate to say it but after several years, the 3-series sedan has finally grown on me when it is in a dark color…forget white – too many visible seam lines.

    Great review on a great car.

    I’m hoping to get a friend’s 1985 Porsche 911 cabrio with around 10,000 miles up and running again…if so, I’m hoping to contribute a used car review with that. It hasn’t bee driven in several years (a crime, right?) and I’m picturing $$$$ for repairs, but what a ride. Remember when it took serious skill to drive a rear-engine Porsche? Yeah. I want that car running again!

  • avatar
    pb35

    I purchased a G35x new in 2004. I purchased rather than leased this one with the intent to keep it at least 8-10 years. We’re almost in year 4 and it’s been a great car as expected. Reliable and still tight as a drum. I would recommend Infiniti to anybody. It’s my wife’s DD and she still loves it. I wanted something reliable for her and it’s been, very much so. Infiniti dealer service has been great from the start at 2 different stores so far. When we bought it, whoever prepped it scratched the hell out of the windshield with a razor (I think). They replaced it, no questions.

    I drove it to work this morning; my only complaint about the car is that the seats/seatbelts are very uncomfortable. The carpets are pretty thin too. Other than that, maybe there’s an M45 (M50?) in our future.

  • avatar

    People assume that if a car is Japanese then it’ll be reliable.

    The 2008 G is looking good in TrueDelta’s surveys. But the 2007–not so much. They missed a couple of things until after the car was out the door.

    The most interesting–a piece of sunroof trim that had a tendency to fall on people while they drove the car. Freaked a few of them out. Especially when it happened at night.

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

  • avatar
    tms1999

    Tell me, if you buy a 300+ bhp, high revving 3.7 V6 (or 3.5 in previous iterations) engine with a car around it that tips the scale at 3,700+ lbs, why complain that highway mileage never breaks 23 mpg?

    Is it a case of Nissan’s mismanaged expectation?

    I did not think cars in this class were appreciated for their good mileage.

  • avatar
    ktm


    tms1999

    Tell me, if you buy a 300+ bhp, high revving 3.7 V6 (or 3.5 in previous iterations) engine with a car around it that tips the scale at 3,700+ lbs, why complain that highway mileage never breaks 23 mpg?

    Is it a case of Nissan’s mismanaged expectation?

    I did not think cars in this class were appreciated for their good mileage.

    Here here. You can not have high power, heavy cars that get good gas mileage, and do not cite me GM and Chrysler/Dodge’s V8 equipped vehicles. There is MORE to fuel economy than an engine’s horsepower, specifically weight and gearing.

    GM and Chrysler use a combination of cylinder deactivation (your 8 cylinder is now a 4 cylinder) and low rear end gearing (the Charger has something like a 2.9 rear gear set) to achieve better fuel economy.

    Weight also plays a significant role. My turbo charged 1972 240z is putting down over 360 ft-lbs of torque to the rear wheels at 4000 rpm through a 2.8L inline 6 cylinder. The car weighs 2500 lbs with the driver, and I have a 3.70 gear set with a 0.76 5th gear overdrive. I get approximately 28 to 30 mpg on the highway. Why? Because the engine only has to lug around 2500 lbs.

    In today’s age people’s expectations of fuel economy and performance are incredibly skewed.

  • avatar
    Darrencardinal1

    I know this is a bit off topic, but what happened to Brock Yates?

    Wasn’t he supposed to be commenting on TTAC from time to time?

    Anyone?

  • avatar
    LUNDQIK

    Michael Karesh :
    April 24th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    People assume that if a car is Japanese then it’ll be reliable.

    The 2008 G is looking good in TrueDelta’s surveys. But the 2007–not so much. They missed a couple of things until after the car was out the door.

    The most interesting–a piece of sunroof trim that had a tendency to fall on people while they drove the car. Freaked a few of them out. Especially when it happened at night.

    Yeah I have a 07 S Model with the Manual and this has happened to me. The rubber trimming has a tendency to deform between cool (i.e. the garage) and hot. The simple fix was to pop it back in and add some glue. No problem anymore.

    For the most part it’s been very reliable. There have been two recalls: One was the key fob needed to be reprogrammed. Apparently some cell phones when ringing could erase the key if both are in contact. Thankfully this did not happen to me prior to the update. The other recall was for the clutch slave cylinder, which has helped with the wicked return the clutch previously had. Beyond that the car has been great and maintenance is VERY inexpensive. I average 22mpg between city and highway.

    I left a Mercedes C230K (2005) for this car. I bought it primarily based on value. I truly believe that as an entry luxury sports car in the mid-30s there is no better car than the G35. I do take some exception to reviews that compare it to the 335. Like other posters have mentioned – a 10k price difference is not in the same league. I would tend to agree that the G’s exterior is an understated luxury. People often ask me “You traded a Mercedes for an Infiniti?” What can I say – I’m a value-oriented enthusiast.

    That being said, the focus on the G35 and its value are the big things. The German attention to detail is not as prevalent – though the Japanese are getting there. For 35k the G offers a phenomenal Bluetooth navigation system, a superb engine, high quality leather, a larger car, etc. etc. At that price point in an MB or BMW you’d have to sacrifice quite a few of those options.

    If I were in the market for a 50k car THEN I’d go German. There definitely are some “little” things I miss from my MB and the details that are generally in German cars. The rear sunshade, power rear folding headrests, the solid/tank like feel of a German car, the 1-click lane change blinker, the way the doors close/seal, the sunroof that can be open @ 75mph and barely make any noise – well you get the idea.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    For the record — the car I tested cost $40,365

    Not $35K.

    So, that’s very, very close to what you can get a 335i for.

  • avatar
    LUNDQIK

    Jonny – I see your point (and I always enjoy your posts), respectfully though I do disagree.

    You can’t compare a 335i RWD car to a G35x AWD car.

    If you do compare AWD to AWD it looks like this…

    I’m assuming your tester G came w/the Nav system Premium package, and Tech package to be that price.

    A comparable BMW 335 AWD car would cost:

    The BWM 335xi starts at 40k – but after adding the following that the G already has:
    1. Comfort Access system (ala stop/start and keyless entry) – $500
    2. Heated Front Seats – $500
    3. Real Leather – $475
    4. The Sport Package (to get the same 8 way power seats) – $900
    5. 18” wheels – $600
    6. Paddle Shifters – $100
    7. Premium Package – $2,550 (Blue tooth, compass mirror, garage door opener)
    8. Sat. Radio – $595
    9. STEPTRONIC Auto tranny – $1275
    10. Ipod Adapter – $400
    11. Adaptive Cruise (if the tester G had the Tech package) – $2400

    You’ve got a car that costs $53,970. That’s more than 10k over a similarly optioned G35. AND the G has a backup camera.

    (I might be off on the STEPTRONIC tranny and need for the sport package. However that would STILL put the BWM @ 51k)

    All I’m saying is lets do a fair comparison. G35S to 335i and G35x to 335xi.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    I did not think cars in this class were appreciated for their good mileage.

    Here here. You can not have high power, heavy cars that get good gas mileage, and do not cite me GM and Chrysler/Dodge’s V8 equipped vehicles. There is MORE to fuel economy than an engine’s horsepower, specifically weight and gearing….

    Why not? Fuel mileage is fuel mileage. My wallet does not know the difference on how its obtained. The gearing that was selected by the designers of those V8 cars has been chosen to take advantage of the torque characteristics of the engine. At 80 mph, those cars are probably barely breaking 3000 RPM. The examples that you have cited will return good mileage if driven with some restraint. As posted in this string of comments, most cars are not driven at 8/10′s for much of their operation. So you have your power when you need it and economy on the highway when you don’t. So, there is no reason NOT to cite any examples of ANY car when discussing mileage.

    All that being said, you are correct in observing that cars are just too damn obese today. Yesteryear’s Z car could not be built today; witness the 350Z. Technology – even basic tech cited in your examples – can help compensate for too much mass, but there is a limit to the laws of physics/thermodynamics that can’t be ignored. Perhaps with the renewed interest in MPG’s there will be more R&D invested in taking the weight out of cars without killing performance. It will cost to do this, but the cost of doing nothing is even greater.

  • avatar
    Lantern42

    Joe O:
    That being said, the salesperson who dealt with us at Infiniti was the best dealership experience I’ve had.

    Out of curiosity, where was this dealership you visited?

    Great review as usual, Jonny. I though the G35 sport was a more balanced car too.

  • avatar
    gimmeamanual

    I have an ’07 Altima SE-R, and average 24mpg, and can get up to 29 on long highway trips (MI to KY and back) with two people and a weeks worth of climbing and camping gear. Jonny, you only averaged 20 on the highways with this?? Guess those 40 ponies come at a pretty huge cost!

  • avatar
    t1328

    I completely disagree with this review. I extensively test drove both the G35S and the G35X before deciding on the X, and the steering felt almost identical, while the power difference was minimal (this was in an ’07 – there has been some ECU reprogramming for ’08, which might have changed the feel of the car a little). Read this review from C&D for example:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/shortroadtests/14225/tested-2007-infiniti-g35x-awd.html

    The difference between the two is minimal in performance despite the 150lb weight difference, and of all the sports sedan manufacturers out there, Nissan/Infiniti does pretty much the best job of making their AWD car feel like a RWD most of the time with their ATTESA all wheel drive system, with the least amount of penalty. In the Car and Driver test, I’ll quote:

    “But the G35X recorded an identical number on the skidpad, where we measure maximum grip – 0.87g- even though the AWD car is equipped with Goodyear Eagle RS-A all season tires, and the manual model wore Bridgestone Potenza performance rubber”

    My experience tends to correlate with that. Perhaps the ’08′s programming made the difference, but it could have also just been a bad apple or something.

    As for comparisons to the BMW, well, I traded an ’06 330i for my G35x because of service related issues with the BMW. I haven’t driven a 335i, or 335xi, but no matter how superlative their engine is, when the performance difference is so small, it’s just not worth an extra $12k for a fully loaded 335xi over a fully loaded G35x (less loaded makes this difference smaller of course), and this is especially true considering how ugly the 3 series interior is when you get the additional iDrive hump.

    Regards,
    t1328

  • avatar
    healinginfluence

    I agree that the G35x is a good value for the money. I also read the Car and Driver review and my take on the review was that the magazine is saying that the BMW is the better car but if money is a consideration the G35x is a worthy option. Not that far in my opinion from the TTAC review. I personally like the G35x because I like both performance and gadgets. It has both at a reasonable price with good reliability. I am thinking about buying one. If I can live with FWD I may get a 2009 Acura TSX which has all the gadgets, less power and performance and costs even less — and uses less gas.

  • avatar
    Almatti

    Dear Whatdoiknow1: You are right on with the description and comparison. I have a 2007 G35X Auto w/o NAVI, aside from some small short-comings : side view mirror blinkers, better fog lights that can be turned on without the headlamps, auto adjustable LCD screen (like the Caddy CTS), now with 10K on the clock after 1 year of ownership – the car is awesome overall, especially for the $$$$.


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