Daily Podcast: The Infiniti G35 Wrecked Everything
A few years ago, when my mother was car shopping for entry luxury sedans, I suggested she "just get an Infiniti G35x." I've never been wild about the G – especially when laden with AWD – but it had more power than any competitors at the time, offered the AWD, the all-important luxury badge, and it was the best price in the class. I cannot count the number of time when I've seen in car forums somewhere, a debate or discussion in which the G35 plays the role of spoiler. "Why get a BMW 328i with only 230 horsepower when you could get an Infiniti G35 for the same price with 300+?" Replace BMW 328i with Mercedes C300, or Audi A4, or Lexus IS. That being said, they moved about 5600 G35 and G37s in June, compared to over 9000 BMW 3-Series sold in the US that month. Then again, the BMW 3-Series has a cult following going back 30 years. While the Infiniti G35 wears the legendary Skyline name in Japan, 99.9% of car shopping Americans don't know that. (Ken Watanabe, Japanese movie star and costar in The Last Samurai, is featured in the ad above). The bottom line is: Infiniti figured out how to get to the bargain breaking point. By that, I mean the position at which they offer the best value in the class, but not so much value that their car is no longer desirable.
@seoultrain I still wonder why Nissan never sold the G35 in Europe. They are trying to set up a dealer network as we speak. I'm not sure that's a good idea. With $10 gas, 300hp sedans don't exatly fly off the shelves. They need to match the 320d if they want any sales. Not the 335i.
@LUNDQIK philbailey owns a garage. He has seen issues of various makes and models. I take that his comments were based on actual cases. Mechanically, the G35 is a great car. However Infiniti dealers (at least within my area) usually don't deliver premium-brand service. Long story short, assuming Gs and 3s are "equals", whoever treat their customers better at the dealership level gets the repeat business.
The G is a fantastically underrated car. It's been plagued with the BMW-itis problem since launch (as in it always gets directly compared to whatever BMW is considered the star of the moment by the *cough* always unbiased motoring press). Here in Canerduh they retail at 40K for the "base" model, which is a fully loaded BMW in terms of specs. A 335i is well into the 50s without options. No contest, in my book, that's about 10-15 000 in "flaw ignoring" points. My gripe with the OLD G is the wet weather handling with the open diff, it's downright scary with all season tires (there was a LSD pack in the Aero model, it's the one to go for if you can find one), my gripe with the NEW G is the lack of interior space. Calling it ugly in comparison to the BMW is the proverbial pot calling the kettle black. They are masses of fun and used ones are dirt cheap. The VQ series is my favourite engine with less than 8 cylinders. It makes a nice spread of torque and still revs to the moon with a good spike in power up top. Combine that with razor sharp fly by wire throttle and a throaty intake growl (I think it sounds good, kind of like a small-displacement V8 at low revs and a V-12 at high revs)and you have a very nice V6 in this price category. PS Fuel economy be damned, this is a luxury sport sedan, not a Prius. (Says the guy who drives a 9mpg city Q45)