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.
The Infiniti G35’s current shape made its debut only last year, but the styling is still similar to the much-praised previous generation of G35.
The exterior of the 2008 Infiniti G35 in any trim receives high praise in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com. The four available trims of the Infiniti 2008 G35 lineup are "base, G35 Journey, G35 Sport 6MT and G35x," according to Edmunds, but Cars.com says that the only major differences are that "the Sport trim level is distinguished by a different front face and side sills" and "steps up to 18-inch rims."
Otherwise, all 2008 Infiniti G35 models share what J.D. Power calls "voluptuous and sensual" styling that creates "a profile that implies an eagerness to achieve velocity." Other reviewers heap praise on the exterior styling as well, with Kelley Blue Book admiring the "well-tailored sheetmetal" that melds "crisp lines and sensual contours into a tasteful yet visually distinctive styling statement." Cars.com reviewers note that one of the most distinguishing characteristics on the 2008 Infiniti G35 sedan is a "character line" that "runs from the front wheel arch and along the door handles and drapes over the rear wheel arch." When viewed from the front, Kelley Blue Book says that the Infiniti G35 features an unmistakable and "eye-catching grille treatment with four sculpted bars that twist from center to edge like traditional Japanese sword blades," along with "flush-fit L-shaped headlights and taillights that flow around the fenders front and rear."
The interior receives accolades from reviewers, though with a few caveats. Kelley Blue Book warns that the "cockpit-like ambiance may strike some as a bit busy," but they also note the "controls are logically arranged and the flashy electroluminescent main gauges are quite legible." However, ConsumerGuide says the "control layout has some small buttons" and "takes some acclimation"; in addition, the "steering wheel rim may block full view of gauges for some drivers." In the criticism department, Kelley Blue Book mentions that the center stack display's "legibility tends to come or go based upon the amount of reflecting sunlight." Edmunds counters, claiming the Infiniti 2008 G35 lineup "offers user-friendly controls" and a "handsome design." They also feel that the Infiniti G35 "provides a refreshingly unique take on cabin decoration."
The 2008 Infiniti G35 has the sportscar bite to match its sleek look, according to reviewers from around the Web—including the experts at TheCarConnection.com.
The Infiniti 2008 G35 lineup comes with just one available engine, though that's not necessarily a bad thing considering how well reviewers like the powerplant. Edmunds says that all 2008 Infiniti G35s feature a "3.5-liter V6" that "makes 306 hp and 268 pound-feet of torque." ConsumerGuide reviewers love the engine on the Infiniti G35, writing that the "eager V6 satisfies at any speed" and makes "passing maneuvers a breeze." Cars.com also mentions the "solid six-cylinder power," and Kelley Blue Book says that the "lusty V6 pulls strongly on demand." In terms of performance numbers, Car and Driver clocks an Infiniti G35x as running "to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, about the same as G35 Sports," despite the fact that the G35x weighs "at least 230 pounds more than any G35 Sport," thanks to its all-wheel-drive system.
Speaking of all-wheel drive, the feature is available on the Infiniti G35x, while the other trims are "rear-drive," according to Edmunds. In addition, Edmunds says that "most models will have a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control and downshift rev-matching," while "a six-speed manual transmission is exclusive to the Sport 6MT." Though most enthusiasts prefer manual transmissions on a sportscar, reviews read by TheCarConnection.com indicate that the automatic may be the better choice. J.D. Power admits that they'd "skip the manual and get the automatic" since "the G35's clutch engages high in its travel" and can be tricky to launch the car in first gear. ConsumerGuide also warns "heavy clutch effort hampers smooth city driving." The automatic receives high praise from Cars.com, which notes that it "employs rev matching that automatically gooses the engine speed before the gears mesh, providing exceptionally smooth downshifts and reduced wear."
The sporty 2008 Infiniti G35 even gets decent gas mileage, at least according to EPA estimates. The EPA claims that the G35 with the six-speed manual should get 17 mpg city and 25 mpg on the highway, while the automatic drops the highway number to 24 mpg. The G35x, meanwhile, dips a bit lower, getting 17 mpg city and 23 mpg on the highway. In practice, however, ConsumerGuide reports that their "automatic-transmission" version of G35 "averaged 18.6 mpg," while a "test AWD sedan averaged 19.7 in mostly highway driving."
Fortunately, driving the 2008 Infiniti G35 is so much fun that you'll probably forget that you're not quite close to achieving the EPA estimates. ConsumerGuide says "all G35s are grippy" and "agile, with little lean in corners." Cars.com adds that "the Sport has the best road-holding because of its firmer springs and standard summer performance tires," while "the all-wheel drive keeps the G35x more planted and secure in bad weather." Kelley Blue Book says that, when driven enthusiastically, the Infiniti G35 "satisfies like few competitors can," thanks to "the finely-tuned suspension" and "powerful anti-lock brakes" that "stop with authority."
The 2008 Infiniti G35 features a cabin that is much improved in quality over its predecessor, but some comfort issues do still arise.
The Infiniti G35 sedan ostensibly offers seating for five, though the reality is that only four adults can fit comfortably inside. Up front, ConsumerGuide says that there is "good room" overall, though "tallest drivers may desire more head and leg room." Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com also rave about the front seats, which J.D. Power reports "include manual thigh-extenders, just like the BMW 3 Series." Edmunds notes that "a fairly long wheelbase of 112.2 inches makes for a spacious cabin for passengers whether they're up front or in back," though some other reviewers feel that rear seat room is somewhat cramped. Kelley Blue Book in particular points out that "rear passengers will find the G35 sedan's rear bench seat belted for three but contoured for two average-sized adults at best."
The 2008 Infiniti G35 also benefits from a spacious trunk, though a few omissions limit overall cargo space. ConsumerGuide reports that the "sedan's trunk is large for the class" and the "lid hinges don't intrude," but the narrow trunk opening "won't swallow larger objects," and there are "no folding seatbacks." J.D. Power also laments the lack of folding rear seats, observing that a "folding rear seat would have been very nice" on their Infiniti G35. While the rear storage receives mixed notices, cabin storage is written off as a low point in some reviews read by TheCarConnection.com. "On manual-transmission cars," Edmunds finds that "the design of the cupholders and interior storage is lacking in terms of functionality." ConsumerGuide likewise calls "interior small-item storage space just fair."
Another aspect of the interior fares much better among reviewers: the revised materials used. ConsumerGuide writes that "cabin assembly quality" and "most interior materials" are "on target for the class." Edmunds also raves about the "excellent build quality" and new "'Japanese Washi-paper finish' aluminum trim." Cars.com, in addition, loves the trim, saying, "Infiniti wisely gave up on the fake stuff and went with real, textured-aluminum trim," while also adding that the 2008 Infiniti G35 features "higher-quality materials than the original generation." However, some reviewers can't help but compare the Infiniti 2008 G35 with the BMW 3 Series, which is the Infiniti's target. In that comparison, J.D. Power says that "the leather covering the seats and steering wheel just isn't as rich as what BMW uses in the 3 Series," chalking it up to "the cost savings talking."
Unfortunately, the 2008 Infiniti G35 isn't as quiet on the road as the 3 Series either. ConsumerGuide is quick to point out that "road noise" is "evident on coarse surfaces, especially with available 18- and 19-inch tires." ConsumerGuide adds that the Infiniti G35 doesn't match the BMW 3 Series "for quietness or refinement."
The 2008 Infiniti G35 finds itself in the very fortunate position of not only holding some of the highest possible crash-test ratings from both the NHTSA and the IIHS, but it also comes loaded with safety features. On the Infiniti 2008 G35, it's clear that occupant safety is a top priority.
Unlike its coupe sibling, the 2008 Infiniti G35 has been examined by both major crash-testing authorities in the United States. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests, the Infiniti G35 earned a perfect five-star rating for front driver impact protection and all manner of side impact protection. The only blemish on the 2008 Infiniti G35's NHTSA record comes from the front passenger impact test, where the Infiniti G35 scored four out of five stars. The Infiniti 2008 G35 scores very well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests, where the vehicle earned the Institute's highest rating, "good," for both frontal offset and side impact protection. In awarding a "good" rating for frontal offset impact protection, the IIHS says "measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity."
The 2008 Infiniti G35 also sports a variety of safety features that serve to both prevent accidents and improve overall safety in the event of an accident. Edmunds reviewers write that "anti-whiplash front head restraints, traction control and stability control are standard on all G35s," and other reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the Infiniti G35 features a full complement of airbags as standard as well. Cars.com notes that the airbag list includes "dual-stage front airbags, side-impact airbags for both front seats, and side curtain airbags that cover the front and rear side windows in a side impact." ConsumerGuide reports that other standard safety features include "antilock 4-wheel disc brakes" with "brake assist."
Also improving overall safety on the 2008 Infiniti G35 is the fact that the visibility from the driver's seat is quite generous. ConsumerGuide says that the visibility is "good in sedans," while Cars.com adds that a "Rearview Monitor shows what's behind the vehicle on the dashboard's optional navigation screen when the automatic transmission is in Reverse," which further improves driver awareness.
The Infiniti logo on the front grille of the 2008 Infiniti G35 denotes both luxury and performance, and the Infiniti's features in the cabin certainly back up the luxury part of that combination.
The standard features on the Infiniti 2008 G35 lineup vary somewhat across the different trims, but all are nicely equipped. Edmunds says that the base Infiniti G35 comes "standard with 17-inch alloy wheels" and "xenon headlights," along with "automatic climate control" and "six-speaker audio with a CD/MP3 player." The more expensive Infiniti G35 in Journey trim upgrades to "dual-zone climate controls, 8-way power passenger seat, AM/FM radio w/in-dash 6-disc CD/MP3 changer," and "automatic headlights," according to ConsumerGuide. Edmunds notes that the standard features on the Sport models of the 2008 Infiniti G35 also include "18-inch wheels" and "sport seats."
In addition to the standard features offered on the 2008 Infiniti G35, reviews read by TheCarConnection.com praise the long list of available options on the Infiniti G35. Kelley Blue Book reviewers report "the G35 offers multiple upgrade packages and several individual extras, although only for the Journey, G35x or Sport 6M models." Among the more noteworthy of those packages, Car and Driver highlights the available Sport package, which "includes deep-bolstered front bucket seats, 18-inch alloy wheels wearing Dunlop SP Sport Maxx M+S tires, and magnesium paddle shifters." Edmunds also finds that "a Premium Package adds a sunroof, power steering column, driver-position memory," and "a Bose premium audio system."
ConsumerGuide states that the available Navigation Package brings a "navigation system w/voice recognition, traffic information," and "hard drive for music file storage," and it allows for the Technology Package to be added, which includes "adaptive cruise control" and a "rearview camera."
- 2008 BMW 3-Series
- 2008 Audi A4
- 2008 Acura TL
- 2008 Lexus IS 250
When it comes to premium sedans, there is no shortage of candidates worthy of your attention. The best-selling car in this bunch is the well-respected BMW 3 Series. There's no doubt that the Bimmer is an excellent choice, but the 2008 Infiniti G35 is an equally good selection. The Audi A4 is due for a remake in 2009, so the current model is getting a little old. However, if you're looking for a front-wheel-drive sedan, the Audi qualifies (it also offers AWD). The Acura TL is another solid front-wheel-drive option, but it is not as sporting in character as the G35. Ditto for the Lexus IS, even though it is rear-wheel driven (with an all-wheel-drive option). A less expensive alternative to the G35 is the Subaru Legacy.