Used 2003 INFINITI G35 Review

Edmunds expert review

A very capable sedan and coupe that offer a high level of both sport and luxury.

What's new for 2003

The G35 is Infiniti's new entry-level luxury sport sedan. Aimed at buyers who would otherwise choose an Audi A4, BMW 3 Series or Lexus IS 300, the G35 offers impressive performance and comfort for a price that's less than most of the competition's.

Vehicle overview

Model History/Marketing PhilosophyAre you familiar with the G20? Up until 2003, this has been Infiniti's sole offering for an entry-level luxury sport sedan. This four-cylinder front-drive car has never a favorite of ours. Thankfully, the all-new 2003 G35 is a major step up. It rides on the same rear-wheel-drive platform as the 2003 Nissan 350Z but carries four doors, seating for five, plenty of headroom and a spacious trunk.

Body Styles, Trim Levels and OptionsThe four-door G35 comes in just one designated trim level, though there are a few options and packages available. Most of the major features are standard. Highlights from this list include automatic climate control, one-touch auto up-and-down front windows, a six-disc in-dash CD changer, keyless entry and a rear-seat trunk pass-through. Getting a G35 with leather trim adds leather seating (of course), as well as an eight-way power driver seat, 17-inch wheels, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and illuminated vanity mirrors.

Buyers can also opt for a premium package that adds dual-zone climate control with rear vents, driver seat memory, a power passenger seat, automatic headlights, an auto up/down feature for front and rear windows, an upgraded sound system and manually reclining rear seats. Other items and packages include a Sport package, a navigation system, a Winter package and an Aerodynamic package. Powertrains and PerformanceThough the G35 comes with just one engine, it should satisfy all but the most power-hungry drivers. Coming from the same family of engines that power the Infiniti I35, Nissan Altima, Nissan Maxima and 350Z, this smooth-revving 3.5-liter V6 makes 260 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Most other cars in this class average around 220 hp, meaning that the G35 is one of the fastest sport sedans available for less than $30,000. For now, there is only one transmission available: a five-speed automatic with a sequentially shifting manual mode. With the auto, the G35 earns an estimated 19/24 city/highway EPA fuel mileage rating. A six-speed manual transmission will likely be offered in 2004 or 2005.

The G35 utilizes Nissan's new FM platform. FM stands for "front-midship," which refers to the location of the engine. This engine location gives the car a very balanced weight distribution, thereby improving handling. Infiniti also boasts about the car's advanced multilink and fully independent suspension. Armed with the Sport package, 17-inch wheels and 215/55WR17 tires, the G35 offers some of the most capable and enjoyable handling in this class.

SafetyAll G35s come standard with antilock brakes with brake force distribution and brake assist, side airbags, head-protecting side-curtain airbags, and front seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters. Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), a stability control system, is also standard. Though crash tests have not yet been conducted, Infiniti says the G35's body structure and seats have been designed to protect occupants from strong impacts and large vehicle body deformations.

Interior Design and Special FeaturesThanks to a long wheelbase, the G35 offers a spacious cabin. The passenger compartment measures 101.4 cubic feet, with ample amounts of front-and-rear head room, legroom and shoulder room. The trunk is also quite large at 14.5 cubic feet. Wind noise is minimal thanks to a low (0.27) coefficient of drag, and this figure can be reduced even further with the optional Aero package.

Driving Impressions/Opinions As expected, the G35 offers a very entertaining ride. Acceleration is strong, and the prodigious mid-range torque is something not often found in this class of car. Handling, too, is on par with the best. We highly recommend taking a look at the G35 if you're shopping for an entry-level luxury sport sedan.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.