Infiniti G35x All Wheel Drive
Sleek exterior styling. Clean and roomy interior. Great 4-wheel-drive
system. All four windows are 1 touch open and close. DVD navigation is
simple to use and fast. Sharp steering and sporty ride with firm yet
Priced a bit too high when loaded with options. Missing German car
smoothness that is in a BMW, a bit jerky.
The Infiniti lineup features three
all-wheel-drive models currently, this G35 sedan, the FX SUV models, and the
QX mega SUV. Traditionally buyers of all wheel drive sedans are concerned
about enhanced traction and control in poor weather conditions. The G35x is
a car for educated drivers, seeking a dynamic, invigorating, and interactive
road experience, even in the snow.
"The target buyers of the new
all-wheel drive G35 want more. They reject the notion that driving enjoyment
must be compromised by the addition of two additional driving wheels. Simply
put, they want the best of both AWD and RWD worlds - which is exactly what
the addition of intelligent AWD to our G35 lineup delivers," said Mark Igo,
vice president and general manager, Infiniti Division.
The G35x does not look any different than a
rear wheel drive sedan G35. Under the skin however is a state-of-the-art
ATTESA E-TS all wheel drive system. This system uses an electro-magnetic
clutch to provide quicker response, lighter weight, and true variable torque
distribution, ranging from 50/50 to 100 percent rear wheel drive. The best
thing about the Infiniti system is that it works fast, distributing torque
quickly. ATTESA provides better handling than a two wheel drive vehicle
while still giving you that rear wheel drive sports car feeling on dry
ATTESA continuously monitors vehicle speed,
throttle position, and wheel spin at all four wheels. On dry roads the
system sends 100 percent of the power to the rear wheels. Other competitors
only send 50 to 60 percent to the rear wheels. The ATTESA system adds 25
percent power to the front wheel from a standing start for better more
powerful grippy starts.
We tested the system on snowy and icy
conditions for a few days. The G35x was great at lane change maneuvers,
hard acceleration, and quick stops. Even with hard sharp turning on 3
inches of snow, the G35x feels as if it is in control, and emergency braking
was easily accomplished. A small switch enables you to turn on 'snow mode'
where the G35x starts off at 50/50 torque distribution for smoother starts
without wheel spin. We found that the G35x worked well in both modes. Even
on snow and ice the car usually felt as if it was a rear wheel drive car,
giving a nice push from the rear when we pressed the accelerator.
The G35x features a DOHC 24-valve V6 engine
with 260-horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque coupled to a 5-speed automatic
transmission with manual shift mode. Suspension components are also made of
lightweight aluminum and the low 0.27 drag coefficient gives super slick
Driving behind the wheel you have the sense
of being in a well balanced sports car. The ride is very much like a German
car, and comparable to BMW. Steering feel is precise and what it should be
for all cars. While the engine and transmission are not as smooth as BMW,
they are good for a Japanese vehicle. In manual mode the transmission does
not shift up to the next gear, so you can have full redline power in any
gear. A rev-limiter is there to keep you from blowing up the engine.
Overall the G35x delivers a solid ride, there is very little to complain
A host of electronic driving aids are also
standard. The G35
AWD's advanced braking system utilizes power-assisted 4-wheel vented disc
brakes, 4-channel, 4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake
force Distribution (EBD), which distributes brake force depending on load
condition (passengers and cargo) and Brake Assist (BA), which senses hard or
panic pedal application and helps provide maximum braking capacity and
Active Brake Limited Slip (ABLS), which uses the ABS sensors to detect wheel
spin and applies braking to the spinning wheel.
The 2004 G35 also features
standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P215/55R17 tires and standard
Tire Pressure Monitor System. Tire
pressure monitoring is also standard with only a warning light showing up if
pressures are low. There was no faulty message or bugs in this system,
something Mercedes-Benz owners always complain about.
Our tests revealed a 0-60 mph
time of 6.5 seconds. On the skidpad, our car pulled 0.85 g's easily.
Brakes also perform instantly, and stop from sixty miles per hour in only
High Intensity Discharge
Xenon headlights with fog lamps and rear LED tail lights provide good night
time illumination. The high beam is regular halogen however which puts a
damper on things and overall it is not as bright as Mercedes HID lights. A
sliding glass sunroof with tilt and one-touch open and close features is
very handy. It is still however of an older design and is not very quiet.
All four windows are also one-touch up and down, something we really liked.
All windows can also be closed and opened by inserting the key into the door
lock and turning one way or another.
Leather seating surfaces are ultra soft,
comparable to Nappa leather, featuring perforated inner sections. The
steering wheel is also leather wrapped and feels great while being on the
small side. Our model also had a 10-way power driver's seat and 4-way power
passenger's seat with seat buttons located on the inner seat bottoms up
front. It would be good to have these buttons on the door where you could
easily see them. The driver's seat features two memory positions and a
button for easy exit which slides the seat back when you open the door. The
rear seats also manually recline, a feature we have only found on the
Infiniti models. Rear seats are comfortable and deep with large headrests
that fit well to your head. The rear cabin was more comfortable than a BMW
3 series. A large armrest pulls down and holds two cups in back, with a
pass through to the trunk for skis. We also liked the large door openings,
all four doors open very wide for easy entry and exit.
The optional Bose premium stereo system is
excellent. An in-dash 6-disc CD changer is standard, something you will not
find in BMW or Mercedes. The DVD-based navigation system is quite simple to
use and works amazingly well. The system is clear, with a bird's eye
flyover view of your route. The screen can be pushed down when you do not
want to see it. It is a great system that is very hard to give up.
Dual-zone temperature controls with automatic function work very well. The
system keeps hot air from blowing in your face when you are heating up the
car. When cooling down the interior air is automatically sent to the front
and foot well vents. We tested the dual-zone climate control by setting one
side to 65 degrees and the other side at 75 degrees and it worked
surprisingly well. However, the air filter did not work well at keeping
odors from coming inside the car.
The overall design of the instrument
cluster is clean and roomy. Modern touches of aluminum are placed
throughout the cabin but make everything feel cold, not very inviting or
memorable. We would like to have seen illuminated steering wheel controls
as well as the very small trunk release button which are hard to use when it
gets dark. The trunk release button is located in an awkward spot and it
took us a good five minutes to figure out how to open the truck. There
should also be a method to open the trunk from the trunk lid itself, and
there was none. The trunk itself is very large and deep. We fit two large
suitcases and small bags easily.
The exterior design is sleek and
futuristic. Touches of aluminum on the door handles and window trim make
the G35x feel like a strong car and look elegant as well. The design does
make you turn and look once in a while but it is slowly becoming dated with
more beautiful designs coming to market. It is still better than your run
of the mill vehicle on the road even today in late 2004.
Safety is paramount as well with dual stage
front air bags, seatbelt sensors, side curtain air bags and a comprehensive
vehicle security system. Mileage with city and highway mixed driving comes
in at about 18 miles per gallon. The basic warranty is for 4 years or
60,000 miles, so if you like to drive a lot this warranty if for you.
The price of our model was on the high
side. The base price is $31,900. The premium package adds $3,200 and
features a Bose audio system, sunroof, Homelink garage openers and automatic
headlights, dual zone temperature control, auto dimming mirrors, rear
reclining seats, drivers seat memory and exit assist as well as one touch up
and down windows. Now that is a Premium Package packed with goodies. The
DVD based navigation system was $2,000. This brought our total price to
In a few months a new 2005 model will be
available which offers something more.
The G35's standard DOHC
3.5-liter V6 engine now offers 280 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque,
increases of 20 horsepower and 10 lb-ft of torque for automatic
transmission-equipped models. The G35 6-speed manual transmission-equipped
model receives an additional increase in power output to 298 horsepower.
The 2005 G35 sedan also
offers a restyled exterior and upgraded interior. The exterior features
include a new hood and trunk, new front and rear bumpers, body-colored side
sills, revised headlight lens and new dual circle taillights. The changes
to the interior include a new, even higher quality look and feel with the
use of real aluminum trim or Rosewood trim, two new interior colors and a
redesigned instrument panel, console area, door panels and mp3 playback
capability added to the standard 6-disc CD changer. For 2005, 18-inch
aluminum-alloy wheels and Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD) are added
to the Sport-Tuned Suspension Package.
We think that this Infiniti
G35x is a great all around car. For a comparatively fair price, you receive
amazing ride quality, high horsepower, first class brakes, and a roomy
luxurious interior with loads of technology built in. The G35x feels more
solid than other cars in its class; it is not a super luxury vehicle, but
built almost as well as a BMW 3 series. The only car we could find that
could beat this car's numbers is the Chrysler 300c, and that car's styling
is hit or miss for many. Please watch our videos and look at the comparison
chart below for the details, but this car is a definite buy with little
regret. Infiniti also comes on top in all customer satisfaction rating
studies from dealer service to build quality.