The rear-drive Infiniti G35 is a BMW 3 Series fighter if ever there
was one. A discussion of the G must start with what's underneath.
Like the 350Z, both the sedan and sport coupe are built on Nissan's
FM platform. FM stands for "Front Midship" and refers to the
positioning of the engine. Compared to most front-engine cars,
Infiniti's engineers have located the G35's V6 further rearward
behind the front wheels to improve balance and handling.
Dimensionally, the Infiniti G35 sedan is bigger than most of its
competition. It's also taller than most. This doesn't translate to
extra weight, however, as both G35s weigh about as much as their
peers. Weight savings comes from a carefully designed body
structure, an aluminum hood and extensive use of aluminum for the
front and rear suspension components.
The performance equation gets even better when you check out the
engine. Under the hood of every Infiniti G35 is a 3.5-liter V6
similar to that found in the 350Z, Maxima and Altima. This advanced
V6 features 24 valves, dual-overhead cams, variable valve timing
and an electronically controlled throttle. Output is rated at 280
hp in coupes and sedans equipped with an automatic transmission;
opt for the six-speed manual in either and you'll top out at
The driver is greeted by a T-shaped instrument panel that is modern
in appearance. Once strapped in, the driver might notice that the
driver seat is actually different from the front-passenger seat.
The seat cushion has a special center-mound shape that contains
firmer foam to support the driver better during sporty driving.
Other features include a gauge cluster that tilts in tandem with
the steering wheel (though there is no telescope function), an
optional and concealable LCD screen for the navigation system and
an analog clock. Infiniti's target from the beginning was to create
a high level of driving performance in a package that offers
day-to-day functionality. If you are shopping for an entry-luxury
sport coupe or sedan, the 2006 Infiniti G35 is one that you'll want
to check out.
Most of what's new for the 2006 G35 is related to the coupe
version. Last year's Sport Package, which is standard on coupes
with the manual transmission, now includes a unique front fascia,
side sills and an optional rear spoiler. Infiniti has further
bolstered the coupe's sporting intentions by making an active
rear-steer system available. Unlike passive rear steering systems,
this design features motor-driven control to help improve the
vehicle's handling performance by adjusting the rear suspension
geometry according to steering input and vehicle speed. A quicker
steering rack is also part of the package. Other changes this year
on the Infiniti car include standard HID headlights for the coupe
and Bluetooth connectivity for all G35s.
Performance & mpg
Though the Infiniti G35 comes with just one engine, it should
satisfy all but the most power-hungry drivers. This smooth-revving
3.5-liter V6 makes 280 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque when
hitched to the five-speed automatic transmission. Models equipped
with the six-speed manual transmission get a 298-hp and 260 lb-ft
version of this engine. The G35 is rear-drive, but
automatic-equipped G35 sedans are eligible for an electronically
controlled all-wheel-drive system.
All G35s come standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes with
Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and BrakeAssist,
torso-protecting side airbags and head-protecting side curtain
airbags. A stability control system is also standard. In frontal
offset crash testing conducted by the IIHS, the Infiniti G35 earned
the top score of "Good." Side-impact testing resulted in an
"Acceptable" rating, the IIHS' second highest.
As expected, the G35 offers a very entertaining ride. Acceleration
is strong, and the prodigious midrange torque is something not
often found in this class of car. Handling, too, is on par with the
best and you'll likely find yourself leaving the windows down just
to hear the exhaust note of the coupe. And on those occasions when
you just want to cruise along in comfort and quiet, the 2006
Infiniti G35 will accommodate.
Thanks to a long wheelbase, the Infiniti G35 offers a spacious
cabin. The sedan's passenger compartment has ample amounts of front
and rear headroom, legroom and shoulder room. The sport coupe is
also roomy in front; those seated in back will find adequate
legroom, but the sloping rear glass limits the available headroom
for adults. Materials quality is solid but unimpressive compared to
what you'll find in an Audi or BMW. The sedan offers 14.5 cubic
feet of trunk capacity, while the coupe's cargo area holds just 7.8