Infiniti G35 2008

These days, we've come to expect a lot from Infiniti. But in years past, the Japanese luxury brand actually struggled to find an audience. Only with the Infiniti G35 sport sedan did the company start to regain its footing after years in the red. At the time of its debut, the G35's refined styling and sporty performance made a loud statement. The G35 was as close to German engineering as any car on the market.

The Infiniti G35 is built on the same platform as the Nissan 350Z sports car and shares the same throaty V6. It distinguishes itself in the entry-level luxury segment with a roomy cabin, plenty of performance and a respectable price. For those reasons, the rear-wheel-drive G35 is one of our editors' top recommendations for a sport sedan or coupe that's rewarding to own and drive.

Current Infiniti G35

The Infiniti G35 is available as a two-door coupe or four-door sedan. The coupe comes in one trim level. The sedan is available in five: a base, Journey, x (AWD), Sport and Sport 6MT. The sedan was redesigned for 2007 and now represents the car's second generation. The current coupe is a continuation of the first generation, but will receive the same redesign as the sedan for the 2008 model year.

Both body styles are equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. In the G35 sedan, the V6 makes 306 horsepower. The coupe equipped with the standard five-speed automatic transmission is rated for 275 hp. Equipped with the optional six-speed manual, the G35 coupe provides 293 hp. All sedan trims are equipped with a five-speed automatic, with the exception of the Sport 6MT, which comes with a six-speed manual.

Although Infiniti's entry-level luxury sedan comes in five trims, buyers needn't feel overwhelmed when trying to choose the right G35 for their needs. The Journey trim is a great starting point. For not much more money than the base model, the Infiniti G35 Journey comes with top-of-the-line features, including dual-zone climate control and a stereo with six-CD in-dash changer. The x, Sport and Sport 6MT trims simply add amenities on top of that. The x trim adds AWD and heated seats. The Sport trims, which are geared toward enthusiasts, come with performance features and frills, such as 18-inch wheels and tires, a viscous limited-slip differential, sport seats and aggressive tuning for the car's electronic stability system. A four-wheel active steer system is an option that's exclusive to the Sport trims.

Both coupe and sedan are endowed with plenty of interior space. The sedan is more or less the same size as the outgoing model. What has really improved is the interior design, both ergonomically and aesthetically. Everything is better put together, and materials are higher in quality. There's even real aluminum trim, or you can opt for Rosewood trim.

In road tests and reviews, our editors have found the Infiniti G35 to be a thrilling car to drive, with a direct connection between car and driver. The V6 engine feels and sounds exciting. Acceleration is brisk, and power comes on whenever you need it. Zero-to-60 times are under 6 seconds. The handling is crisp in both body styles. Some buyers may find the ride quality a bit stiff on the Sport trims, but the non-Sport G35s should be comfortable for a wide range of drivers.

Past Infiniti G35 Models

The original Infiniti G35 was a big hit when it debuted for the 2003 model year, and Infiniti has not tinkered much with the winning formula since then. Sold through 2006, the first-generation G35 sedan was initially available in a single trim level, and Infiniti expanded the line to include an AWD model a year later. The sedan and coupe shared the same 3.5-liter V6, but in the sedan, the engine made 260 hp -- 20 hp less than the coupe.

Used G35 buyers interested in maximum performance will want to focus on 2005 models or later. In '05, Infiniti bumped the power in the automatic transmission-equipped sedan to 280 hp. Coupes and sedans with the manual transmission were upgraded to 298 hp. That same year, Infiniti also updated the sport suspension package with bigger wheels and a limited-slip rear differential.

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