The scheduled on-sale date for the much-anticipated new version of the G35 sedan arrived last November, and we tried to get one right away. Now that the first quarter of 2007 comes to a close, this Liquid Platinum Graphite G35 Sport rolls into our long-term test garage at long last.
What we bought
It took some time to sift through the G35's five trim levels. After some debate we made our decision and ordered a 2007 Infiniti G35 Sport. The five-speed automatic G35 Sport is projected to be the volume seller, but we had already tested the automatic. This and our enthusiasm for the added dimension of command that comes with driving a car with a manual transmission led us to choose the six-speed.
A starting MSRP of $32,250 is a bit on the low side for many midsize luxury performance sedans, so we were comfortable with adding on the options. Infiniti's premium package cost us $2,350. Popular features in this package include a sunroof, power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, heated front seats, heated outside mirrors, power windows with one-touch operation (both up and down), Bluetooth-compatible telephone capability and an Infiniti Studio on Wheels sound system by Bose.
Now that MP3 audio files are so popular, we rarely use in-dash CD changers these days, so we happily relegated the G35's example to the trunk when we upgraded to a 9.3GB hard drive as part of the $2,100 navigation package. Other elements of this package consist of a flash slot for playing MP3s and a touchscreen navigation system. XM Satellite Radio's three-month trial subscription and real-time NavTraffic were also part of the deal. With a total MSRP of $37,400, we walked away satisfied.
Why we bought it
This is the first redesign of the highly successful G35. We saw it at the New York auto show last year, and since then we conspired to add one to our long-term fleet. The revised G35's cosmetic makeover includes a more luxurious interior, and we're curious to see if the high-quality materials will wear well compared to the plain but durable interior of our long-term 2003 Infiniti G35 Coupe.
For years we've been impressed with the Nissan 3.5-liter V6, and it gives the G35 a unique personality among sport sedans. The 2007 G35 features an upgraded VQ-Series V6. Eighty percent of the engine includes new or substantially improved parts, and it puts out 306 hp and 268 pound-feet of torque.
We're also interested in whether the new G35 has moved the needle with its dynamic performance. You can measure the car's seriousness by its 245/45WR18 Bridgestone Potenza RE050s under the rear fenders, which are substantially wider than the 225/50WR18s under the front fenders. As before, Nissan's Front Midship platform locates the engine toward the middle of the car to enhance its maneuverability, while the suspension is calibrated for athleticism.
Track test and impressions
With just over 1,000 miles on the odometer it was time at last to determine whether the G35 measured up to the performance of our former long-term 2006 BMW 330i. At the test track, our latest addition made us proud. In only 5.5 seconds the rear wheels propelled the sedan to 60 mph, and then they pushed the G through the quarter-mile in 14.1 seconds at 101 mph. The engine pulled strong to its redline of 7,600 rpm, and it was lively and responsive throughout its rpm range.
Chief Road Test Editor Chris Walton noted, "The G35 is easy to balance on the brink between understeer and oversteer. It has exceptional cornering balance and it lets you adjust your lines with throttle application." You can find evidence of this balance in the cornering grip of 0.86g that the 2007 G35 registered on the skid pad, as well as the car's 67.0-mph agility through the slalom. We suspect that this 2007 G35's wide tires and limited-slip differential play key roles here.
Braking was similarly impressive, as it took only 112 feet to bring this 3,600-pound sedan to a stop from 60 mph. Over several test attempts the brakes showed no sign of fade.
Because the G35 is so much fun to drive, its fuel economy suffers. Our best tank is just over 22 mpg, with an average of only 19 mpg after 2,300 miles. We recorded our worst fuel mileage at 17 mpg following track testing. So far we are nowhere near the estimated EPA 27 mpg highway.
Early signs show that Infiniti's luxury performance sedan is more than capable of filling the shoes of our recently departed long-term 2005 Audi A4 and 2006 BMW 330i. We look forward to spending time behind the wheel almost as much as we do posting our daily experiences to the blog pages. Check in regularly over the next 12 months to see how the G35 sedan holds up.
Current Odometer: 2,307
Best Fuel Economy: 22.4 mpg
Worst Fuel Economy: 17.2 mpg
Average Fuel Economy (over the life of the vehicle): 19.3 mpg
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.