Since the Infiniti G35's arrival in 2002, Nissan's luxury brand has introduced constant improvements designed to compete with its prime competitors from Audi, BMW, and Lexus. Originally offered with an automatic transmission and rear drive, Infiniti has since added a six-speed manual and all-wheel drive to the options list, as well as pumped up the already lusty 3.5-liter V-6 to stay a few steps ahead of the competition. The original G35's biggest weakness was interior finish, which was addressed for 2005 with liberal doses of wood and aluminum and improved panel fits and materials.
For 2005, the G35 received an exterior freshening, with new front and rear fascias. The sedan's overall appearance remains inoffensive, if not a thing of beauty. It demonstrates clear brand and even corporate style, with shades of Nissan Altima and Infiniti M Series apparent in the curved front clip and distinct rear pillar treatment. The coupe continues to look stunning, especially when adorned with the Sport package's forged 19-inch wheels (the sedan gets 18-inchers with the Sport package; both cars come with 17-inch wheels standard). A companion vehicle to both the G35 sedan and the Nissan 350Z, the G two-door is essentially an upscale 2+2 Z, carrying with it all the glorious implication that statement makes.
Inside, the G35 sedan offers plenty of space both up front and in the rear seat. Size-wise the G35 slots between the BMW 3 Series and 5 Series, and unless you participate in track days every weekend, you'll probably find the extra interior space a worthy tradeoff for whatever is lost in ultimate agility. The 2+2 coupe's back seats are bisected by the driveshaft tunnel, but are still passably comfortable for occasional use by adults. All G35s come with leather upholstery standard, and the ski crowd will appreciate the armrest pass-through from the trunk. The expected luxury options are available, such as a navigation system (which has a screen that rises out of the dashboard when in use) and Bose audio, as well as some unusual touches, like reclining rear seats. The trademark Infiniti oval analog clock that resides in the dash looks more at home in the company's upmarket (read: aimed at an older audience) products, like the Q45, than it does here. Thankfully, the 2005 interior freshening moved the clock up so the navigation screen no longer blocks it.
The G35 comes with a boatload of electronic driver aids, including stability control and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist. Infiniti offers a full complement of airbags--dual front, front-side, and front and rear (for the sedan) roof-mounted curtain--as standard equipment regardless of trim level.