2008 Infiniti G35xS

David Gluckman David Yochum

The G35 sedan is starting to show its age, but I still enjoy getting behind the wheel. There's an effortlessness to the way this car drives that is very satisfying. You just get in, buckle up, put it in gear, press the accelerator, and go; the supple chassis, communicative steering, and willing V-6 take over from there. The seating position and sightlines are pleasing, and the ergonomics, especially with the $2150 navigation package's excellent touch-screen display, are top-notch.

That said, for all its energy, the Infiniti G35's 306-hp, 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6 engine is pretty coarse. It delivers nearly seamless acceleration, but it doesn't sound very good as it does so, with none of the mellifluousness of the BMW straight-sixes, of course, but also falling short of V-6s from Mercedes-Benz and Acura.

I also note that this car is rated at only 17 city, 23 highway, and its five-speed automatic is surely partly to blame. Since Infiniti has recently introduced a slick seven-speed automatic for the new Infiniti FX50, one can assume that it will eventually trickle down to the G as well. The G sedan is due to get Infiniti's larger, 3.7-liter V-6 soon, since that engine is already in the G37 coupe.

For comparison, the all-wheel-drive BMW 3-series sedan is rated at 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway.

Our tester's base sticker was $34,100, but the car was loaded with some six thousand dollars in options, including a $2300 premium package (moonroof, stereo upgrade, iPod interface, seat memory, Bluetooth, etc.); a $1100 sport package (magnesium paddle shifters, 18-inch alloy wheels, sport seats, special exterior trim); and a $2150 navigation package. With destination, the final price was $40,365, a price point with lots of other attractive options.

Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor

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