2008 G35 New Car Test Drive
The Infiniti G35 is a true sports sedan. It features a powerful V6 engine, a sports suspension, and rear-wheel drive, all marks of sporting sedans. Rear-wheel drive offers handling response that front-wheel drive can't usually match.
There's also an all-wheel-drive model, the G35x, that gives up nothing in handling but adds capability in rainy climes and where winters bring snow.
The G35 was completely redesigned and re-engineered for 2007: New styling gave it a tauter, more buff look but without forfeiting its signature styling cues. The V6 engine was made more powerful and efficient without increasing its size. Inside is a richer, warmer look and feel, with performance-oriented enhancements that add to the driving experience.
The substantially reworked engine invites a heavy right foot, delivering its added power smoothly and strongly right up to the borderline motorcycle-level, 7500-rpm red line. A five-speed automatic transmission with manual mode remains standard across the line. However, the Sport Package 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.
For 2008, the G35 offers more choices. Most significantly, a Sport Package is now available on all-wheel-drive as well as rear-wheel-drive models. A new 18-inch wheel-and-tire package is available. Option packages have been revised, and an iPod interface is now part of the Premium Package.
Leather upholstery comes standard on all G35s along with a full complement of luxury features. The base sound system is competitive with that in any luxury sedan, while 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. Various other options and packages add dual-zone air automatic conditioning, navigation, and self-adjusting cruise control. The Sport Package provides upgraded wheels, tires, and brakes as well as seriously supportive front seats and unique appearance items. For the ultimate in handling, tick the Sport Package plus active four-wheel steering with a firmer suspension.
The G35 sedan is based on the Nissan 350Z and the Infiniti G37 coupe, which are covered in separate NewCarTestDrive.com reviews.
The 2008 Infiniti G35 is offered in two models: G35 and the all-wheel-drive G35x. Both are powered by the same 3.5-liter V6 engine making 306 horsepower. A five-speed automatic is the standard transmission; a six-speed manual is available as part of a Sport Package. Option packages make it possible to tailor the G35's personality to your personal preferences.
The G35 ($31,600) comes standard with leather-appointed upholstery, an eight-way power driver's seat, and a four-way power front passenger seat; automatic climate control; power windows, outside mirrors and central locking; AM/FM/CD/MP3/XM stereo with 3-pin 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; fog lamps; fold-down rear center armrest with lockable trunk pass-through; and aluminum-alloy wheels with P225/55VR17 all-season tires. The Journey Package ($450) adds dual-zone automatic climate control with rear air conditioning vents, eight-way power for the front passenger seat, an in-dash six-CD changer, and automatic on/off headlights.
The G35x ($34,100) adds the content of the Journey Package, heated front seats, and all-wheel drive. Options are similar to those for the base model.
The Premium Package ($2,500) adds a power tilt-and-slide glass sunroof, heated front seats with additional power adjustments, an upgraded memory system for seat and mirror preferences, power tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, a 10-speaker Bose Studio on Wheels system with Burr Brown Digital Audio Converters and iPod interface, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, and other convenience items.
The Sport Package ($1,650) includes bigger brakes, 18-inch aluminum wheels with W-rated summer performance tires, a limited-slip rear differential, magnesium paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel, front sport seats, and unique front fascia and side sills. The Sport Package MT ($1,700) includes the same equipment, but replaces the five-speed automatic transmission with a six-speed manual, and replaces the automatic's pedal-operated handbrake with a pull-up lever. Buying the Sport Package MT is the only way to get a manual transmission in a G35. New for 2008 is a Sport Package AT ($1,100) for the G35x, which comprises similar equipment but skips the larger brakes and mounts 18-inch all-season tires.
The GPS Navigation Package ($2,150) includes such advanced features as a 9.3GB Music Box hard disc drive (instead of the in-dash, 6CD changer) MP3-capable compact flash media slot; lane guidance, which preps a driver for a left or right exit ramp from a freeway; and voice recognition for climate control, audio and navigation functions. This package is available only with the Journey and Premium Packages. The Technology Package ($1,100) adds Intelligent Cruise Control, adaptive front lighting, and Preview Braking. It requires the Navigation Package.
Other options include a tilt-and-slide glass sunroof ($1,000); an 18-inch Performance Tire and Wheel Package ($400); an African Rosewood interior trim package ($450); and active four-wheel steering ($1,500), which includes unique suspension tuning, but is not available with AWD. Very few options on the G35 are truly stand-alone; almost all require the Journey Package, and some options exclude others.
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 tire pressure monitoring.