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2008 Infiniti G

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2008 Infiniti G Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors


Intended to compete on a level playing field with German compact and mid-size sport sedans, as well as a variety of roughly comparable Japanese and American models, the Infiniti G35 four-door matches smart appearance, bold performance and crisp responsive handling in four trim levels and offers both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations. Following a major redesign for 2007 that saw a similar update of the G35 Coupe (which is now the G37; reviewed separately), this high-energy Infiniti sedan has the look and feel of a true enthusiast vehicle, inside and out. Although domestics models, including the Cadillac CTS and Lincoln MKZ, or Japanese counterparts, including the Acura TL and Lexus ES 350, are prime targets of opportunity, Infiniti is most intent on having the G35 sedan score biggest with folks who are also shopping the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

You'll Like This Car If...

Those who prefer a bit more emotional approach to a feature-rich entry-luxury sport sedan should find happiness with virtually any iteration of the Infiniti G35, but particularly one of the Sport-fortified variants.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Die-hard German-car fans will still find issues -- real or imagined -- with this high-intensity Asian alternative. For those with deeper pockets, sedans like an Audi RS4 or BMW 335i -- although compact and not mid-size -- offer thoroughly desirable packages with even higher horsepower thrills.

What's New for 2008

For the first time, the Sport Package is now available on the all-wheel-drive G35x model, as is an 18-inch wheel and tire upgrade. XM Satellite Radio becomes standard, the RearView Monitor moves from the Technology Package to the Navigation Package and a dedicated iPod interface joins the options roster.

Driving It Driving Impressions

Derived from a long-wheelbase version of Nissan's latest FM (Front Mid-ship) platform that also underpins the Z350 sports car, the G35 possesses sparkling performance credentials that only improve when fortified with the Sport Package goodies. Driven normally, this scintillating sedan coddles, comforts and entertains. Drive it enthusiastically, and the G35 satisfies like few competitors can. Its lusty V6 pulls strongly on demand, whether backed by the five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. The finely-tuned suspension delivers impressively balanced ride and handling and the powerful anti-lock brakes stop with authority. An available 4-Wheel Active Steer Package for Journey or Sport 6M models further enhances its already excellent transition moves, quickens response and subtly improves stability during cornering, while all variants benefit from a driver-selectable Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system that lets you explore an ample portion of the car's ultimate potential before the system swings into action. Those willing to forego a bit of at-the-limit edge for the all-season security of all-wheel drive should consider a G35x.

Favorite Features

Power Front Seats
Amazingly comfortable and supportive, even the base G35's front seats boast eight-way power adjustment for the driver and four-way for the passenger, plus manually adjustable lumbar supports. All other models add eight-way power for the passenger while the Sport 6M seats include power activation for the thigh, lumbar and side bolsters.

Available 4-Wheel Active Steer Package
Computer-controlled 4-Wheel Active Steer works in combination with a quicker, variable-ratio power steering unit. As speed increases, the system turns the rear wheels slightly in the same direction as the front wheels when the car is cornering or changing lanes, resulting in more stability at higher speeds.

Vehicle Details Interior

Superbly-formed power front seats wrapped in leather and set off by aluminum accent trim textured to resemble traditional Japanese handmade paper add a unique flavor to the G35's cabin styling. Its cockpit-like ambiance may strike some as a bit busy, but the controls are logically arrayed and the flashy electroluminescent main gauges are quite legible. Not so much for the center stack -- with or without optional navigation -- where display legibility tends to come or go based upon the amount of reflecting sunlight. Rear passengers will find the G35 sedan's rear bench seat belted for three but contoured for two average-sized adults at best.

Exterior

Well-tailored sheetmetal effectively complements the G35 sedan's sporting character, melding crisp lines and sensual contours into a tasteful yet visually distinctive styling statement. Complementing the basic shape are an eye-catching grille treatment with four sculpted bars that twist from center to edge like traditional Japanese sword blades, flush-fit L-shaped headlights and taillights that flow around the fenders front and rear and standard 225/55 V-rated tires on 17-inch alloy wheels. The top-line G35 Sport 6M model has W-rated 225/50 front and 245/45 rear tires on 18-inch alloy rims.

Notable Standard Equipment

Exceptionally well appointed, even the base G35 Sedan offers leather upholstery, a full range of power assists -- including dual power front seats -- steering wheel-mounted supplemental audio and cruise controls, Intelligent Key remote entry and start, six-speaker AM/FM/MP3-capable audio with six-disc changer and auxiliary input, automatic air conditioning and high-intensity discharge (HID) bi-xenon headlights. The Journey, G35x and Sport 6M bring greater power-seat adjustability and other detail upgrades. Standard safety features on all include front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, active front-seat head restraints, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with stability and traction control and anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD).

Notable Optional Equipment

The G35 offers multiple upgrade packages and several individual extras, although only for the Journey, G35x or Sport 6M models. Key groups include the Premium Package (moonroof, Bose audio system, power tilt and telescoping steering column, Bluetooth and more), Sport Package (sport steering wheel and seats, unique front fascia and side sills, 18-inch wheels and tires, limited-slip differential, upgraded brakes and magnesium paddle shifters with the automatic), Technology Package (Intelligent Cruise Control, adaptive front lighting and more) and the Navigation Package (voice-activation, real-time XM NavTraffic, RearView Monitor, Lane Guidance and a 9.3GB Music Box hard drive). Also available are 4-Wheel Active Steer, African Rosewood interior trim and a rear spoiler.}

Under the Hood

The G35's stellar V6 is the latest iteration of Nissan's renowned VQ35-series engine. This all-aluminum 3.5-liter is loaded with design elements that help reduce internal friction and increase total performance, including continuously variable timing on both the intake and exhaust valves. It delivers a stout 306 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque, is matched with either a five-speed automatic (G35, G35 Journey or G35x) or close-ratio six-speed manual transmission (G35 Sport 6M) and returns slightly above-average fuel economy numbers. On a G35 fitted with the Sport Package, the automatic also features finger-friendly shifter paddles mounted on the steering column and ideally positioned for quick gear changes.

3.5-liter V6
306 horsepower @ 6800 rpm
268 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 (manual), 17/24 (RWD, automatic), 17/23 (AWD, automatic)

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) on the Infiniti G35 line runs from just under $32,500 for a base G35 model to just under $35,000 for an all-wheel- drive G35x. Those figures make it a rather attractive choice when compared to most of its foes, particularly those with a German pedigree where buying similar horsepower and features will end up costing considerably more. The G35's advantage gets a bit less well-defined when it comes to residual values. All models retain a solid percentage of their original cost over time. However, while the G35 fares better in that department than the Cadillac CTS, Lincoln MXZ and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, it is not expected to equal the projected residual values of the Acura TL, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Lexus ES 350.

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