2006 G35x New Car Test Drive
The Infiniti G35 offers the sporty handling of a rear-wheel-drive car and boasts one of the best V6 engines available today. The G35 comes in sedan and coupe variants. Either way, it's clear the G35 is intended for serious driving enthusiasts, with rear-wheel drive, a sports suspension, an available six-speed manual gearbox, and nearly 300 horsepower.
Yet these are practical cars, as well. The G35 sedan offers more interior space than other near-luxury sedans. Its daring design, with stacked headlamps, catamaran fenders, and short overhangs, gives it a unique look we find appealing. The G35 costs less than a comparable BMW or Mercedes, but it gives up nothing in handling and performance. Infiniti substantially improved the G35 for 2005, with richer interior materials, more horsepower, bigger brakes, and a more refined ride.
The G35 coupe is more than just a two-door version of the sedan. It's a fastback GT with a visual character all its own. Mechanically, the G35 coupe is essentially a longer-wheelbase, more luxurious version of the Nissan 350Z. But 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. In short, it's more practical than the Z. For 2006, the G35 coupe gets some minor styling revisions.
New for 2006 is optional Rear Active Steer for the G35 coupe, which quickens the steering ratio and uses a computer and electric motor to continuously adjust rear suspension geometry. Several option packages have been upgraded for 2006: Premium packages now include a Bluetooth hands-free phone system. Projector-beam bi-xenon headlights are now standard on the coupe. Automatic coupes with the Sport Suspension Package now wear the same aero package as manual-transmission versions.
All-wheel drive is available for the G35x.
The Infiniti G35 comes in two body styles: a four-door sedan and a two-door coupe. Each offers a choice of five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. All models are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine. In both the coupe and sedan, it's rated at 280 horsepower with the automatic and 298 horsepower with the manual.
Leather upholstery is standard, along with 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 G35 sedan 6MT ($31,050) features the six-speed manual transmission, a firmer, sport-tuned suspension, viscous limited slip differential and W-rated tires on 18-inch alloy wheels.
The G35 sedan automatic ($31,300) comes with a softer suspension and narrower V-rated tires on 17-inch wheels.
The G35x AWD ($33,100) adds ATTESA E-TS (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 ($32,750) and coupe 6MT ($33,350) are equipped identically to the sedans with corresponding transmissions, except that the sport suspension on the manual-transmission coupe includes 19-inch wheels.
G35 automatics can be equipped with the sport-tuned suspension from the manual-transmission models ($750 sedan, $1,600 coupe). Coupes with this Sport Package also receive the same front bumper fascia, side sills, and rear spoiler as manual-transmission models.
Options include a glass sunroof ($1,000), a rosewood interior trim 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 (not available on the G35x).
Premium Packages for the sedan ($3,150-$3,500) and coupe ($2,450) add the glass sunroof, premium Bose audio with eight speakers, automatic headlights, a HomeLink transmitter, dual-zone temperature control, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, and other convenience 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), and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
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 stop, even if you accidentally relax brake pedal pressure. All-wheel drive further enhances safety on the G35x AWD.