The G35x is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that is a blood relative of the one in the Nissan 350Z. It produces 260 hp in 2004 trim, and the rating has been increased to 280 hp for 2005. It features 24 valves, variable valve timing (intake only), double overhead cams, and electronic throttle control. It is somewhat intrusive-one logbook entry described its sounds as "agricultural"-but it delivers terrific performance throughout the range. Our observed fuel economy was most often in the 20-to-22-mpg range, which we found quite acceptable in a car with such athletic performance.
Like the 350Z, the G35 is built on Nissan's FM platform-FM standing for "front midship," meaning that the engine is positioned toward the rear behind the front wheels for better overall weight distribution. This also may have helped with the car's exterior proportions, which are quite handsome. The G35 is ten inches longer overall than the BMW 3-series and is applauded for its roominess. It is also taller, which provides excellent headroom, even for drivers wearing hats. Despite these dimensional advantages, the G35 looks neither large nor heavy.
The base price of the G35x was $31,900, which included a four-year/60,000-mile unlimited warranty and a 70,000-mile powertrain warranty. Infiniti also promised twenty-four-hour roadside assistance and a complimentary loaner car. All G35s come with heated outside mirrors and seventeen-inch wheels.
Extras included XM Satellite Radio at $400, a trunk mat compatible with our choice of a full-sized spare tire at $60, Infiniti navigation system at $2000, and a $3200 Premium package, which included a 200-watt Bose audio system, a power glass sunroof, Homelink Universal Transceiver, automatic on/off headlamps, dual-zone temperature control, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, reclining rear seatbacks, driver's seat memory/exit assist, and one-touch up/down windows. The total price was $37,560, which is a little on the high side of the entry-level sport-/luxury-sedan category, but then the G35x itself is right at the top of that category, just to put things in perspective.
Automobile Magazine readers who have purchased the G35x have proved to be as enthusiastic as automotive journalists. Robert W. Stringer, of Tiverton, Rhode Island, a man who has owned and loved five Audis, writes: "All in all, the G35x is the best car I have ever owned. It provides that unique combination of great performance, practicality, and an excellent price. I considered an Audi A4 3.0 and a BMW 330xi, but the performance, interior size, and price just kept me coming back to the Infiniti."
Trevor Geddis of Bradford, Ontario, writes that he liked the Infiniti's "handling on dry and snowy roads, performance, braking, comfort, looks, eight-way adjustable seat . . . and the instrument cluster that moves with the steering column."
Infiniti's fifteen-year history is marked by uncertain product planning and what appears to be a curious self-consciousness about being in the luxury segment in the first place. The original Infiniti Q45 was one of the best sport/luxury sedans we ever drove-an absolute home run. But the company never seemed to understand either the market or its own superior product. In addition to the Q45, Infiniti had a marvelous sport sedan in the J30, which was a kind of spiritual predictor of the remarkable G35.
The G35x is another breakthrough product. It has taken on the best in the world in the entry-level sport-/luxury-sedan category and emerged with flying colors. It is practical, reliable, strong as an anvil, and a veritable artesian well of driving pleasure.