2007 G35x New Car Test Drive
The Infiniti G35 sedan has been remade for 2007. The body of the four-door sedan is updated, giving it a tauter, more buff look but without forfeiting its signature styling cues. Inside, there's a richer, warmer look and feel, with performance-oriented enhancements that add to the driving experience.
The 2007 Infiniti G35 uses rear-wheel drive, a necessity for true sporty handling. But there's also an all-wheel-drive model, the G35x, that gives up none of the handling but adds capability in rainy climes and where winters bring snow. The V6 engine on the 2007 models is more powerful and more efficient than before even though it's the same size. A five-speed automatic transmission with manual mode remains standard across the line. However, the Sport model kicks it up a notch, offering a choice between a six-speed manual gearbox or an automatic with Formula 1 style magnesium paddle shifters on the steering column.
G35 buyers choose from four versions: a nicely equipped entry-level model with leather trim and automatic climate control; the Journey model with dual-zone air conditioning, a navigation system, a premium audio system, and a self-adjusting cruise control; the G35x with all-wheel drive; and a revised Sport model with upgraded front seats, active four-wheel steering with variable ratio power steering and a firmer suspension that turns the G35 into a serious sports sedan.
The substantially reworked 2007 engine invites a heavy right foot, delivering its added power smoothly and strongly right up to the borderline motorcycle-level, 7500-rpm red line. The icing on this cake is that estimated fuel economy for the 2007 model is up over the '06, by 1 mile per gallon, at least for those who can resist the implicit urge.
Infiniti didn't forget the people just along for the ride. The base sound system is competitive with that in any luxury sedan. But committed audiophiles will find the top-level, Studio On Wheels system from Bose delivers a richer, fuller, more intricate and crisper sound than many mega-buck home stereos.
When Infiniti first arrived in the U.S., many saw it as Japan's counterpart to Jaguar, much like Lexus was perceived as Japan's answer to Mercedes-Benz. That's changed, at least the part about Infiniti. Clearly, Infiniti has now set its sights on BMW, long touted as the ultimate driving machine. The 2007 G35 sedan is loosening BMW's grip on that crown.
Unlike the sedan, the 2007 G35 coupe carries over unchanged from 2006. It will be redesigned and introduced as a new model for 2008.
The new, 2007 Infiniti G35 sedan comes in four models, all powered by the same 3.5-liter V6 engine making 306 horsepower. Two transmissions are available, a five-speed automatic with manual-shift mode and a six-speed manual.
Standard across the line are leather-appointed upholstery; automatic climate control; power driver and front passenger seat; power windows, outside mirrors and central locking; AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary audio input; multi-function trip computer; seven-inch, color, center-dash, LCD monitor; tilt and telescoping steering wheel; analog gauge cluster that tilts with the steering column; aluminum interior trim; RFID-based, keyless ignition; HID, bi-xenon headlamps; fold-down, rear center armrest with lockable, trunk pass-through; and painted, aluminum-alloy wheels.
The base G35 comes with an in-dash, single-CD player; an eight-way power driver's seat and a four-way power front passenger seat; and P225/55R17 tires. The automatic is the only transmission available, and no options are available.
The G35 Journey comes standard with automatic climate control. The front passenger's seat gets eight-way power. The stereo gets an in-dash, six-CD changer. The automatic comes standard. The optional Premium Package adds a power sunroof with shade, heated front seats, an upgraded memory system for seat preferences and such, power tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, power driver's seat lumbar, and a 10-speaker Bose Studio on Wheels system with Burr Brown Digital Audio Converters.
The Navigation Package consists of a GPS-based system employing a 30GB hard disc drive (which displaces the in-dash, six-CD changer to the trunk and contains a 9.5GB partition for user-recorded audio tracks); MP3-capable compact flash media slot (also used to copy audio to the HDD and update the map database); lane guidance, which preps a driver for a left or right exit ramp from a freeway; voice recognition for climate control, audio and navigation; and a three-month trial subscription to Sirius or XM satellite radio, the latter including real-time traffic information where available. A performance tire and wheel package includes 225/50R18 front tires and 245/50R18 rear tires on lightweight, cast-aluminum wheels. An African Rosewood interior trim package is also available.
The G35x AWD comes with heated front seats. The option list is the same as that offered on the Journey, excluding the performance tires and wheels package.
The Sport offers a choice of automatic transmission or six-speed manual. The automatic's manual-mode gear selection is operated either with the shift lever or by magnesium shift levers mounted on the steering column. Pedals are aluminum with black rubber nibs. A viscous limited slip differential is standard, as is the performance tire and wheel package. The driver's seat has power-adjustable thigh and torso bolsters, and both front seats come with manual thigh-support, seat-bottom extensions. A rear spoiler and four-wheel steering with variable ratio power steering and a sportier suspension are optional.
Safety features that come standard on all models include dual-stage frontal airbags with occupant detection and seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters; front seat-mounted, side-impact airbags (for torso protection); roof-mounted, front and rear side-impact air curtains (for head protection); active front-seat head restraints; rear seat child safety seat anchors (LATCH); antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist; electronic stability control; and front fog lamps. An optional Technology Package adds Intelligent Cruise Control, which adjusts the speed for traffic conditions independent of driver input; adaptive front lighting, which swivels headlights as much as 17 degrees in the direction of a turn; Preview Braking, which senses an impending stop or slowing and primes the brake hydraulics; and rear view video monitor.