2007 Infiniti G35: Feeling Out the Steering
August 15, 2007
I gave the Infiniti G35 another shot. My first outings in it left me cold to some of its control interfaces, leaving an overall impression of being underwhelmed. One of those interfaces was the steering. Last night, I put my initial impressions aside and drove the G again.
Numerous previous blog entries have beaten to death the subject of the G35's clutch. Let me assure you that this blog entry has nothing to do with the clutch action, which is so godawful that it alone conspires to ruin the driving experience by making the driver's every gearchange feel like the first he's ever done. I promise to make no mention whatsoever of it. Cross my heart.
No, this entry pertains to the steering. First, the good. It's a great steering wheel, with well-placed "pads" for the hands at the 9 and 3 o'clock positions and wrapped in leather of a high tactile quality. The rim is shaped right, too.
My quibble is with the variations in steering effort. In short, the weighting changes too abruptly from turn to turn. A low speed turn has light effort, and the next, slightly faster turn is met with a drastically disproportional increase in effort.
Scrutinizing it further, it feels as though the steering assist is ramped out too aggressively as engine speed increases. The G35's steering assist "mapping" could use some finishing school.
Call it nitpicky but subtleties of this nature are partly what separate great steering from a system that's just okay. Truly great steering is transparent and natural--it should never call attention to itself.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 8,345 miles