2005 G35 New Car Test Drive
The Infiniti G35 sedan is among the sportiest of the so-called near-luxury cars. It's a true sports sedan, with a powerful V6 engine, rear-wheel drive and a sports suspension. All-wheel drive is available for the sedan.
The G35 is also available as a coupe, essentially a long-wheelbase, more luxurious version of the Nissan 350Z. The G35 coupe has a separate trunk instead of a hatchback like the Z, and it has a rear seat that can transport smaller members of the family.
The 2005 Infiniti G35 brings substantial upgrades. The interior has been improved with richer materials, softer leather, and real aluminum or rosewood trim, along with revisions to the switchgear. The G35 gets more horsepower for 2005. The brakes are bigger. The sport suspension has been refined to improve ride quality. Styling revisions front and rear make the 2005 G35 sedan more closely resemble the hunky-looking coupe.
The G35 sedan corners better than most front-drive sedans like the Acura TL and it boasts more horsepower than the rear-wheel-drive BMW 330i, Lexus IS 300, and Mercedes-Benz C320. It's also practical, offering more interior space than other cars in the near-luxury class. The G35's daring design, with stacked headlamps, catamaran fenders, and short overhangs, gives both sedan and coupe a unique look we find appealing. The G35 costs less than a comparable BMW, Lexus or Mercedes, but it gives up nothing in handling and performance.
The Infiniti G35 comes in two forms: four-door sedan and two-door coupe. Each offers a choice of five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. Infiniti's slick all-wheel-drive system only comes on the G35x AWD sedan with the automatic.
All G35s are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine, the same engine used in the Nissan 350Z. In both the coupe and sedan, it's rated at 280 horsepower with the automatic or 298 horsepower with the manual.
Leather upholstery is standard equipment for 2005. Also standard: automatic climate control, power-adjustable heated front seats, heated power mirrors, a 120-watt AM/FM/CD stereo with RDS, steering wheel audio controls, illuminated visor vanity mirrors and high-intensity discharge (HID) xenon headlamps.
The least expensive model is the sporty G35 sedan 6MT with the six-speed manual ($30,400). The sedan 6MT features a firmer, sport-tuned suspension, viscous limited slip differential and W-rated tires on 18-inch alloy wheels. The engine is tuned for 298 horsepower.
The G35 sedan automatic ($30,700) is equipped almost identically to the 6MT, but comes with a softer suspension, narrower V-rated tires on 17-inch wheels, and is tuned for 280 horsepower. The G35x AWD ($32,500) adds ATTESA E-TS, for Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All Electronic Torque Split all-wheel drive, but is otherwise equipped exactly like the automatic sedan.
The G35 coupe automatic ($32,400) and coupe 6MT ($33,000) are equipped identically to the sedans with corresponding transmissions. The sport suspension on the manual coupe includes 19-inch wheels, however.
G35s with automatics can be equipped with the sport-tuned suspension ($750 sedan, $1,600 coupe). Other stand alone factory-installed options include the sunroof ($1,000), a new rosewood Wood Package ($250) Sirius or XM satellite radio receiver ($400), a DVD-based navigation system ($2,000) and an Aero Package ($550) that adds a rear spoiler and under-bumper fairing on G35s with the sport suspension. Premium Packages for the sedan ($3,150) and coupe ($2,450) add a glass sunroof, premium Bose audio with eight speakers, automatic headlights, a HomeLink transmitter, dual-zone temperature control, and other features.
Safety features include dual-stage front air bags, curtain airbags designed to provide head protection for front and rear outboard passengers, and front-seat side-impact airbags designed to provide thorax protection. Also standard: active head restraints, seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren). A tire-pressure monitoring system is standard. Active safety features include an electronic stability program (VDC) to help keep you from skidding off the road, antilock brakes (ABS) for maintaining steering control in an emergency stopping situation, electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) for shorter stopping distances and more stable braking, and Brake Assist to maintain full braking force in an emergency stopping situation even if you accidentally relax brake pedal pressure. The brakes are larger on 2005 models. All-wheel drive further enhances safety on the G35x AWD.