- Lots of smooth power
- Comfortable interior
- Available all-wheel drive (AWD)
- Great grip with a firm ride
- Smallish back seat
- Feel of electric power steering
If you're looking for a sporty, premium mid-size sedan, if you don't consider the 2008 Infiniti G35, you're doing yourself a disservice.
This will be difficult for some readers, but the 2008 Infiniti G35 may be the equal of the BMW 3 Series. There, we said it. Friends of TheCarConnection.com at BMW will forgive us once they drive the sporty and well-designed G35. While they may not agree that the "G" is exactly equal to the BMW, they will have to confess that it's a great-handling, sharp-looking sedan nonetheless.
Infiniti's mid-size G35 sedan received a major update for 2007, which included a new body, a revamped 3.5-liter V-6 engine that put out 306 horsepower through the rear or all four wheels, and the choice of either a six-speed manual transmission or five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode and F1-style paddle shifters on the steering wheel (the shifters are leather-covered magnesium--a nice touch).
The 2007 G35 sedan was available in five models: base, G35 Journey, G35x AWD, G35 Sport, and G35 Sport 6MT, the last being the most aggressive of the pack. For Infiniti, 2008 brings one more model to the line, a Sport edition of the G35x all-wheel-drive sedan, plus new features such as an 18-inch tire package for the G35X Sport, an iPod integration system, and standard satellite radio.
Standard features on all G35 Sedans include Intelligent Key with push-button ignition, front side and curtain airbags, traction and stability control, and four-wheel-disc brakes with anti-lock control.
Optional equipment includes a DVD navigation system with XM NavTraffic real-time traffic information, a 9.5GB Music Box hard drive, an adaptive front lighting system, Intelligent Cruise Control with Preview Braking, and a Studio on Wheels upgrade audio system with 10-inch woofers and a head unit incorporating double oversampling 24-bit Burr Brown Digital Audio Converters.
Room up front is adequate; however, things are bit snug in the rear seat. Backseat drivers will probably be comfortable enough, provided they're under six feet tall.
Regardless of how you equip your 2008 Infiniti G35, you'll have one fine-driving sedan. Dynamically, it impresses with its responsiveness and power. The G35 is also refined and quiet at speed, though some drivers might find the suspension a tad stiff. Our one criticism focuses on the electrically assisted power steering. On the track, it sometimes varied the effort unexpectedly, which was disconcerting but never dangerous. Most drivers will never notice this flaw.
Experts from TheCarConnection.com recommend drivers with delicate backsides stick with the base or Journey editions because the other models are inclined toward more sporting behavior. Infiniti G35 Sport models, in particular, are ready for track days with larger brakes, a viscous limited-slip rear differential, W-rated high-performance tires, and front seats with bigger bolsters.
The 4-Wheel Active Steer option is one most people will have a hard time feeling what they've paid for. In contrast to a high-powered stereo or a bigger wheel and tire package--options you can see--this handling package adds a measure of stability-enhancing control in at-the-limit driving. Experts from TheCarConnection.com evaluated the system within the confines of a racetrack and recognized its effectiveness after driving a G35 with the system back-to-back with a unit that didn't have the option.