April 03, 2008
As our G35 prepares to depart the Edmunds Long Term fleet, I was initially struck with..., well I didn't really care much. It's a great car and all but I'd never get the Sport version and the six-speed manual only appeals to me when I picture myself living in Nebraska or Montana or anywhere that's not Los Angeles.
Just as I was all set to not care about the car leaving, I had a glance at the window sticker - $37,400 including Premium Package and Navigation. For that price our car has a Bose stereo w/ hard drive, Bluetooth, real time traffic info for the nav system, sunroof, power memory for seats, mirrors and steering wheel, heated seats and one touch windows all around.
Here's where our Long Term 2008 CTS with DI comes in, it has similar features and is a similar kind of car only it's $9,000 MORE EXPENSIVE. I love our CTS but it's not $9,000 better than the G35. Granted the CTS has an $8,000 option package but that includes stuff like a Bose stereo w/ nav, XM traffic, heated leather seats, power tilt/telescope wheel, memory seats and an Ultra View sunroof.
I never realized what a bargain the G35 is. I don't think I properly appreciated the car. Now, I'm sorry it's leaving.
Brian Moody, Road Test Editor
March 24, 2008
Um, that's not good. The right front Bridgestone on our 2007 Infiniti G35 Sport has been curb crunched to the point of two large lacerations. For the record, it wasn't me. But I did check the car's tire pressures when I discovered the damage. No problems to report, 33 psi all around, just as Infiniti recommends. BTW, I also checked the oil which was at proper operating level.
Since the tire is holding air and the G's 12 months in our fleet are quickly coming to a close, we'll probably just pretend those huge jagged slices of sidewall aren't out there flapping in the breeze. And when that doesn't work we'll Krazy Glue them back into place.
Scott Oldham, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief @ 19, 841 miles
March 24, 2008
Motohiro Matsumara says the VQ35 V6 in the Infiniti G35 began as a kind of lucky guess and became a success by accident. He designed it, so he should know.
Nissan built Japan's first V6 in volume production for an automobile, and when it introduced the VG30 V6 in the 1984 300ZX, the company was so proud that it took journalists to the engine foundry to see the aluminum cylinder heads being cast. For Nissan, it was a big thing to break away from the inline-6 engine that had defined the company since the 1960s.
That's where Motohiro Matsumura comes in. When Nissan went to redesign its V6 for 1994, Matsumura was put in charge of the project. Ever since he had first arrived at the company, he had become something of an expert in forced-induction engines. He'd started with the little 1988 Nissan March's compound engine and then later worked on Nissan's turbocharged Group C V6 for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The VQ seemed like a big assignment to him at the time, though the senior Nissan engineers simply asked him to pay special attention to controlling noise and vibration in what would be one of the first all-aluminum V6 engines in volume production.
As Matsumura tells us, he decided that a soundly engineered structure is the best way to keep an aluminum engine from vibrating and making noise. So he just put his racing instincts to work, making sure the parts were rigid as well as lightweight. It was a lesson he'd learned with turbocharged engines. And because this V6's bones were sound, it became relatively easy to coax more horsepower out of it without compromising reliability. It seems so simple, doesn't it? That's what Matsumura says, anyway.
Some complain that the VQ's mechanical soul is way too apparent in the way it vibrates, but this is what makes it terrific. The G35's VQ35 revs cleanly from idle right to redline, and its throttle response is crisp and precise, so unlike other V6 engines that are either soggy, low-revving lumps like those from GM, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota, or torqueless screamers like those from Chrysler and Honda.
Matsumura's lucky accident worked out for him, as he went on to develop the turbocharged version of the SR21 inline-4, became chief of Nissan's engine testing department, and just recently became the president of Nissan's engineering facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As for the VQ, it has been one of Ward's 10 Best Engines ever since the award was created 14 years ago.
Not too bad for a lucky guess.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com @ 19,831 miles
March 17, 2008
As much as I like our G35, it's never impressed me in the looks department. There's something about its soft lines that leave me a little cold. Then there are the wheels. Like most Japanese and American sedans, the design of the G35ís wheels do little to highlight its rear-wheel drive layout... If Infiniti had done it right, the rear wheels in the picture above would have a deep dish to them instead of looking so slab sided. It's such a simple visual clue, yet only the Germans seem to have figured it out. Just take a look at the rear wheels on a BMW 5 Series to see what I'm talking about.
Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 19,811 miles
March 04, 2008
Playing smashmouth football means running the ball down the throat of the defense. It means punishing blocking and bone-crunching impacts. In a word, it's brutish. And so it is with our long-term Infiniti G35 Sport. This is a wonderfully capable car, but there's an undeniable edginess to it as well. It's the brute of the sport-sedan segment.
First of all, it's got brutish acceleration, and I mean that as a sincere compliment. Then there's the brutish engine note above 5,000 rpm, in stark contrast to the VQ's turbine-like hum under more civilized circumstances. Unfortunately, there's also some moderately brutish accelerator vibration north of 5k -- when you really get on it, the pedal starts to shake it, shake it, shake it like a Polaroid picture.
Wait, there's more. The shifter vibrates menacingly at all engine speeds; it's like the lever is hardwired to the rumbling heart of the engine. That's pretty brutish. Clutch effort is brutish, too, and despite that new slave cylinder, the minuscule takeup-point is just plain brutal.
I suspect these traits are why the G35 keeps playing second fiddle to BMW's 3 Series in comparo after comparo (yeah, I know, it came in first in our last sport-sedan shootout -- read the fine print, though, and you'll see that it was the G's bang-for-the-buck that put it on top, not its performance per se). If you've ever driven a 3 Series, you can probably think of a number of apt adjectives to describe the experience, but I can tell you right now that "brutish" won't be one of them.
Truth be told, I love driving the G. But Nissan/Infiniti's powertrain guys have got to dial up the refinement somehow. Not that this would ever happen, but, Skyline-spec RB26DETT inline-six, anyone?Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com @ 19,086 miles
February 22, 2008
Walking around our G35 Sport after Wednesday's antics in the wet I noticed something strange through the wheelwell opening.
October 10, 2007
Thirteen months ago I wrote a Full Test of a 2007 Infiniti G35 Sport. The car was a virtural twin to out long-term G35 Sport, except it had a five-speed automatic transmission. Our long-term loaner is equipped with the six-speed manual.
In that test I wrote this:
"In the age of the six-, seven- and now eight-speed automatics, the Infiniti's transmission, with only five forward gears, may seem behind the times.
But the five-speed's proper gearing, attentive action and ability to match revs perfectly when manually downshifted makes the transmission a standout and the perfect choice for this very capable sport sedan. It delivers all of the hard-driving advantages of BMW's complex sequential manual gearbox (SMG) without any of that transmission's drivability issues.
Those manual gearchanges can be made with the well-placed shifter or steering-column-mounted paddle shifters, which are cast from lightweight magnesium and covered with a delicate swatch of leather. The paddles are extra large and conveniently placed, but they don't turn with the wheel as they do in the BMW M5 ."
More than a year later I stand behind these words. This past weekend I spent a day driving another G35 S with an auto box and was reminded just how fantastic the Infiniti is with two pedals. Then just yesterday I drove our long-termer and was reminded just how fantastic the Infiniti is with just two pedals.
Our long-termer's touchy clutch, rubbery shifter and groaning clutch pedal have kept me from enjoying the car. If you're going to buy a G, get the automatic. We wish we did.
September 28, 2007
Last night, our long-term 2007 Infiniti G35 Sport ran into an old family friend. A colleague of mine has a 2005 Infiniti G35 Sport, but he has upgraded it as closely as he can to Skyline trim. The Infiniti G35 is called the Skyline in Japan.
The U.S. doesn't yet recognize the Skyline (at least not until the new 2009 Skyline GT-R goes on sale shortly after its official debut at the 2007 Tokyo Auto Show), so he has added Skyline badges. (It's gotten him into a bit of trouble at times when he's gotten pulled over, because his registration says Infiniti G35.) He's upgraded the horsepower to a dyno-confirmed 330 and torque is above 300 pound-feet. He's also added 20-inch wheels, a Tein suspension and a catback exhaust among other mods.
August 02, 2007
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety just released a report about low-speed damage done to the bumpers of entry-level luxury sedans. Of the 11 vehicles tested, the Infiniti G35 performed the worst, with a total of $13,983 accumulated from four different tests. Those tests included full-width frontal and rear collisions at 6 mph, and front and rear corner collisions at 3 mph. In the full-width frontal (sounds fun under different circumstances), the G35 sustained $5,223 in damage, which was topped only by a last-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class... Damage to the G35's front corner was $1,321 more than the next sedan, while the rear corner was on par with several others. Full-width rear damage was also the highest, but only by $221.
In total, all of the luxury sedans did poorly in this test, as those sculpted bumpers dent and break easily. Considering the G35 got a "Good" rating (the best possible) in the IIHS' frontal offset crash testing, the Infiniti is certainly a safe car -- it's just a really expensive one should you inflict low-impact damage to it. Hopefully we'll never find out first-hand.
For more information on how the G35 and the other models performed, here is the full IIHS Press Release.
James Riswick, Associate Editor
April 26, 2007
I met up with a friend last night who was driving her 2005 G35 sedan. I've always admired her for her fine tastes in food, whiskey and fashion and envied the fact that she could afford such a car so it was a coup to show up in the new G, and driving stick nonetheless. Yes, the car isn't really mine but on this night it was. I have to say, I did relish the role of the young well-to-do that this sleek sport sedan afforded me as I sat in the plush driver seat wearing my Jackie O sunglasses. I didn't sweat the slow-moving rush hour traffic getting to my destination as I had lots of bells and whistles to play with in the car. "Oh dear, I feel a chill. I'll just switch the seat heater on." "What's the traffic going toward downtown like? I can look that up right on the screen." "What time is it? Why, there's the time on the screen AND on the 'designer watch' located on the center console." "I don't like this song, what's playing on the satellite radio?"
I should have taken it around Santa Monica's affluent Montana Avenue to show off.
But my absolute favorite aspect of the G, and Nissan's Z, is that exhaust note. I found myself driving my commute with the radio off just so I could listen to it. So distinctive.
Production Editor Caroline Pardilla