2007 Infiniti G35 Long-Term Road Test

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2007 Infiniti G35 S: Perfectly Fine

February 20, 2008

Our Long Term G35 is sort of like a really cute girl you might meet at the supermarket, a really cute girl that would be great for someone else. The G35 S is good looking, comfortable, quick, fun and stylish - all great qualities. It's just that the car doesn't have that certain something - FOR ME.

I'm not sure if it's the stiff seats or the stiff ride, I just don't find myself really connecting with the car.

Certainly, I would not get the S model - my perfect G35 would be a Journey with two options. True Market Value pricing is about $35,000.

Yes our G35 S has an amazing engine and the 6 speed manual has perfectly spaced gears. It's also very attractive - I can certainly see how others would fall for this car. I'll bet G35 owners are the type that never look at another car twice knowing the car they have is all they've ever wanted. And I can't blame them.

One thing I do like is Infiniti's presentation. I like the somewhat premium looking interior with plenty of chrome trim and that oval clock. The audio system is also very good with plenty of different media options. The G35 really is a great car - just not for me.

Brian Moody, Road Test Editor.

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2007 Infiniti G35: A Clutch Road Trip Performer

November 27, 2007

Infiniti G35 in Goodyear, Ariz. -- Photo by James Riswick

Dear James of 300+ days from now,

If you should be planning on driving to Phoenix for Thanksgiving, please remember this year, which was only slightly less aggravating than listening to four hours of nothing but Fergie. Although you left at 1:30 p.m., it still took you four hours in near gridlock to reach Palm Springs. On Monday, it actually took you less time to reach Palm Springs from the opposite, twice-as-long direction.

However, be thankful that you won't be driving the Infiniti G35 Sport, a vehicle with a clutch only an American Gladiator could love. For the next few days, your left leg felt like you had been doing single leg calf raises for four hours -- because you basically were. On the upside, the clutch seemed a bit more compliant (the creaking was rare) after a few hundred miles and a few chilly nights outside in Phoenix.

Once you breached traffic, though, you finally got to enjoy the G35. Although you weren't thrilled with its front seat legroom/thigh support the G37 is actually better), the seats were very comfortable and you had no aches or NPS (narcoleptic posterior syndrome). With its ample power, there's plenty of oomph available even in sixth, although there was nothing better than dropping down to fifth or even forth, and rocketing past a Tahoe indignantly blocking the left lane. The nav system also proved easy to program with voice commands and its real-time traffic proved helpful on the way back when you were decided whether to take I-10 or CA-60 (on the way there, traffic actually went beyond XM's traffic reporting range).

So please James, avoid a similar predicament and just celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. It's a good bet there'll be less traffic on October 13.

Sincerely,

James Riswick, Associate Editor @ 13,187 miles

Here are some facts:
Time from LA to Phoenix on Wednesday: 7.5 Hours
MPG from LA to Phoenix: 19.4 mpg
Time from Phoenix to LA on Monday: 5 hours
MPG from Phoenix to LA: 23.3 mpg (fourth best tank thus far)
MPG for the entire trip: 23.0 mpg
EPA fuel economy: 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, 20 combined

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2007 Infiniti G35 Sport: All the Right Sensations

September 21, 2007

2007 Infiniti G35 Sport sedan cockpit

I rose early this morning and thought this might be one of the rare days when I'd get to the office early, too. But as soon as I settled into the G35's cockpit, I knew that wasn't happening: I simply had to go for a drive. Although not all is perfect with our G35 Sport (clutch, steering, cabin materials), there are many details that Infiniti handled beautifully. The very look of the place kindles my enthusiasm for the car -- modern, bright, colorful displays reflecting off traditional black sport seats and a thick-grip, three-spoke steering wheel.

Of course, those sport seats are traditional only in appearance, as Infiniti has equipped with them power-adjustable bolster width on both the seat-back and seat-bottom -- so you can set them to give you a comfortable squeeze no matter how broad your shoulders or how wide your hips. That contact makes the G35 subtly more endearing.

Finally, the shifter: It visibly vibrates and pulses like a Miata's. That's not exactly a sign of refinement in an entry-level luxury sedan, but in a manual-shift G, which is something of a tough guy anyway, it's an important line of communication.

Erin Riches, Senior Content Editor @ 9,339 miles

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2007 Infiniti G35: Rear seat comfort

August 03, 2007

Presumably, one buys an entry-level luxury sport sedan for its four doors and back seat. Otherwise, you might as well get a G37 Coupe or sports car, right? Well, the G35's rear seat ranks pretty well in terms of comfort. As long as the front seats aren't positioned wildly rearward, there's a comfortable amount of legroom – 34.7 inches says the spec sheet.

This compares to 30.6 inches in a Lexus IS 350 and 34.3 inches in an Audi A4.

Foot room is adequate, and there's enough headroom for anyone less than 6 feet tall. There's also decent seat bolstering and armrest padding. The portal created by opening a rear door seems a little small, but without direct comparison it's hard to say whether it's any worse than that of other luxury sport sedans.

I wouldn't want to road-trip in the G35's back seat – no storage bins and dinky cupholders – but I think up to a couple of hours would be just fine.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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Infiniti G35 Sport: Gateway to Paradise

July 23, 2007

One of my favorite summertime activities is to seek out and explore hidden beaches and coves. Pretend I'm a multimillionaire with my own beach house tucked away, up in Malibu, away from the teeming masses even for a few scant hours. And in these environs it's shockingly common to see Lamborghinis (7), Bentleys, Ferraris (5), McLaren SLR (1) and Porsches. But the G35 Sport is such a perfect part of the fantasy.

Because while it's not a supercar, it offers 306 horsepower, fantastic handling, great looks, a stunning engine note and more than adequate performance. And ours, handsomely optioned, offers that at a hair over 32K. It doesn't have the cachet of some of those cars, but who needs it? It provides the driver with a wonderful experience in a handsome package, at a considerably more affordable price. It makes the fantasy seem obtainable.

And for coming of f a little side road directly onto PCH, where the cars blow by at obscene speeds, that great power and torque really come in handy.

Senior Copy Editor Doug Lloyd @ 7,072 miles

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Infiniti G35 Sport: Love the curvy view

July 19, 2007

One of my favorite elements of the G37 coupes we've tested recently is the seating position, which not only puts you in the right position to drive the car, but also gives you a great view of the car's rather stunning front-quarter-panel curves. Our G35 sedan has a more upright seating position than the coupe, but during my drive last night, I noticed that it, too, has a pleasing contour line in the driver's line of sight.

But last night's drive was more about the drive than aesthetic treats -- I'd been fiending for a chance to drive the G35 harder. Once you're moving at a decent clip, its funky clutch isn't a problem and the heft of the shifter moving through the gates is frankly satisfying.

Plus, as others have written, the engine sound and response as rpm climb (above 5,000-6,000) borders on intoxicating. After going around a few curves, the G seemed a bit heavy and soft. But much like a Z car, it likes to be driven in anger and the rewards were greater as I built up my pace. All in all, it's a rawer experience than you get with the BMW 330i/335i. Many of the little edges that have been refined out of the Bimmer are still present in the G, and in some moods, my affections lean toward the Infiniti.

I wonder about the stock brakes, though. After an hour of play, they were smelly and hot, and I'm hardly the most demanding driver on staff.

And I still have to come back around to the clutch. Had to leave the car with a hotel valet this morning, and while waiting in the parking circle after a meeting, I knew which car was mine before I even had the G in full sight -- could see a hint of silver rocking back and forth up the garage ramp. When the car was delivered to me, the stench of clutch permeated the cabin. That's something I'd have to deal with all time if I owned a G -- you can't always take the self-park option when you live in LA.

Erin Riches, Senior Content Editor

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2007 Infiniti G35: Armrest & NavTraffic Update

June 25, 2007

Shortly after we received our long-term Infiniti G35, one of our readers asked to evaluate how much the armrest interferes with shifting the 6-speed manual. The answer is it doesn't interfere at all, which is good. But it's also not possible to rest your arm upon it, which is bad. Even with the seat all the way back, I had to reach my elbow back just to touch a corner.

The 6MT G35 also has pretty lousy set of shallow square cupholders, which I'm not too worried about, but some may find it significant.

I also should update the situation I had with the G35's nav traffic feature. On a venture out to City of Industry, Calif., the nav traffic worked very well and was accurate by about a quarter of a mile predicting where traffic slowed. It seemed to show traffic flow on all highways, but as before, it failed to show traffic for a rather large strip on I-10 between I-405 and I-110 in Downtown LA. My guess iis that it's a problem with the XM traffic feed, not the car. I guess that strip is always so bad, reporting it seems redundant.

James Riswick, Associate Editor @ 6,153 miles

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Infiniti G35 Sport -- Lovesexy

June 22, 2007

As I drove the G35 Sport Sedan last night, I was listening to Prince (hence the blog title) but for some reason, I was also deciding that he would probably like this car for many of the same reasons I do. And it's more than like for me. I LOVE this car. First of all, I think it's probably one of the best-looking Japanese cars ever, (Uh-oh... Here come the haters) although I really like the look of the new Lexus IS 250 and 350s. Finally these cars are coming into their own. And yes, I know. This is a BMW 3 Series or Audi A4 wannabe but I don't care.

I think its lines are utterly sensuous and smooth, like a dancer in a music video. And it moves the way it looks like it should, hugging the road with pure confidence, taking turns with an athletic economy of movement, involving its driver in every pirouette and dip.

And then we have the sound, since both Mr. Rogers Nelson and I are both music lovers. That engine. Oh, that engine. Fantastic torque and pulling power as high as you want to take it, and an engine note I could never get tired of. I was downshifting and passing people just to hear it. Not burly like a huge American V8 or so politely refined like a German sedan. A little of both. Almost like James Bond: looks good in a tux but can break your arm without flinching.

And the best part? That's the only sound you hear, the only one you need to hear. That magnificent engine. Lock the car and set the alarm? Just lights. Tap the trunk-opening button? It just OPENS. No extraneous sounds, no over-engineering, no excessive noise-making nannying. I can't WAIT to drive it again, to get lost in its sonorous symphony.

Senior Copy Editor Doug Lloyd @ 6,064 miles

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Infiniti G35 Sedan: Tight control, but I want a deeper conversation

June 07, 2007

I got my first taste of the second-gen Infiniti G35 sedan on back roads during a quick AM run in our long-term car (apologies for the mediocre photo). Body roll is tightly controlled, and the G is eager to adjust its attitude in response to brake and throttle input. It's not a cuddly car, and our Sport model comes across as more hard-core than any other entry-level luxury/sport sedan.

Yet, the steering, although hefty, fails to offer the kind of detailed feedback I'd get in, well, you know, a BMW 3 Series.

That doesn't mean the G35 can't be fun, of course. As I type this, I'm trying to think of an excuse to leave the office early to take it on a longer drive.

Erin Riches, Senior Content Editor

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2007 Infiniti G35: Flawed Tilt/Telescopic Steering Wheel Design

June 04, 2007

Tilt and telescopic steering wheels are amongst my favorite features in today's automobiles. It doesn't seem like much, but if I can't find a comfortable driving position in a car it limits the fun of being behind the wheel. Our G35 has both adjustment features, but they don't work like I expected.

My beef isn't with the telescoping aspect of the wheel. It's with the tilt. In most other designs the cluster remains stationary when the steering column is adjusted. In the G35, the design of the tilt is such that the instrument cluster pivots with the steering column. So if the wheel is blocking my view of the gauges in one position, it's blocking them in all positions.

This problem won't affect all drivers, but it does me. And I don't care for it.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Assistant - 5,371 miles

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2007 Infiniti G35: Not to Beat a Dead Horse, but...

April 25, 2007

Dan Edmunds hit the nail squarely on the head in his post about our Infiniti G35's clutch, so I won't beat a dead horse too much here. When I drove the G for a short while just after we got it, I definitely noticed the annoying long travel and minuscule engagement. But after driving it again last night, the clutch is now much much stiffer and sounds like a creaking door -- Smyrna, we have a problem. After sitting in traffic last night for almost an hour with it, and a half hour this morning, my left leg is literally tingling. I'll have to hit the gym later and do some right leg presses just to even myself out.

James Riswick, Associate Editor @ 3,239 miles

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