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November 2004

Upcoming New 2005 model:

 

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See the interior and exterior of the G35x.  Click Here

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2004 Infiniti G35x All Wheel Drive

The Good: 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 comfortable suspension.

The Bad:  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 roads.

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 road manners. 

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 about.

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 110 feet. 

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 $37,000.

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. 

 

 

PRICING INVOICE RETAIL
Base Pricing 29,526 32,100
Destination 590 590
Navigation Pkg • Models w/Leather Interior   Includes DVD Based Navigation System & Retractable Color LCD Vehicle Information System Screen. 1,805 2,000
Premium Pkg  Include Bose AM/FM Stereo w/Cassette, Auto Headlamp Control, Power Glass Moon Roof, Dual-Zone Automatic Air Conditioning, Garage Door Opener & Inside Automatic Day/Night Mirror.  Driver's Seat Memory, Reclining Rear Seats & Power Windows. 2,757 3,200
Wood Pkg • Sedan w/Auto Trans & Leather Interior 216 250
Moon Roof, Power Glass • Models w/Leather Interior 862 1,000
Aero Dynamic Body Kit 2,360 2,910
Radio System, Bose AM/FM Stereo w/Cassette • Models w/Leather Interior 776 900
Splash Guards, 4-Piece 98 120

 

  2004 Infiniti G35
AWD 4dr Sedan w/Leather (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
2004 Audi A4
3.0 quattro AWD 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5A)
2004 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
C320 4MATIC AWD 4dr Sedan (3.2L 6cyl 5A)
2004 BMW 3 Series
330xi AWD 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M)
2005 Chrysler 300
C AWD 4dr Sedan (5.7L 8cyl 5A)
Pricing G35 A4 C-Class 3 Series 300
MSRP $32,100 $34,290 $39,150 $36,950 $34,195
Invoice $29,526 $31,165 $36,410 $33,785 $31,616
Destination Charge $590 $720 $720 $695 $625
Basic 4 yr. / 60000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V6 V6 V6 inline 6 V8
Base Engine Displacement 3.5 liters 3.0 liters 3.2 liters 3.0 liters 5.7 liters
Horsepower 260 hp @ 6000 rpm 220 hp @ 6300 rpm 215 hp @ 5700 rpm 225 hp @ 5900 rpm 340 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque 260 ft-lbs. @ 4800 rpm 221 ft-lbs. @ 3200 rpm 221 ft-lbs. @ 3000 rpm 214 ft-lbs. @ 3500 rpm 390 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm
Tires P215/55VR17
all season
P215/55HR16
all season
P205/55HR16
all season
P205/50HR17
all season
P225/60HR18
performance
Wheels alloy rims
17 x 7.0 in.
alloy rims
16 x 7.0 in.
alloy rims
16 x 7 in.
alloy rims
17 x 7.0 in.
polished alloy rims
18 x 7.5 in.
Navigation System DVD navigation system - Optional CD navigation system - Optional CD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional CD navigation system - Optional
Turning Circle 36 ft. 36.4 ft. 35.3 ft. 35.8 ft. 38.9 ft.
Hauling G35 A4 C-Class 3 Series 300
Max. Cargo Capacity 14 cu. ft. 13 cu. ft. 12 cu. ft. 11 cu. ft. 16 cu. ft.
City 18 mpg. 17 mpg.   20 mpg. 17 mpg.
Highway 26 mpg. 25 mpg.   27 mpg. 23 mpg.
Length 186.5 in. 179 in. 178.2 in. 176 in. 196.8 in.
Width 69 in. 69.5 in. 68 in. 68.5 in. 74.1 in.
Height 57.7 in. 56.2 in. 55.1 in. 56.5 in. 58.4 in.
Wheel Base 112.2 in. 104.3 in. 106.9 in. 107.3 in. 120 in.
Ground Clearance 5.5 in. 4.2 in. 6.3 in.   5.6 in.
Interior G35 A4 C-Class 3 Series 300
Front Headroom 40.1 in. 38.4 in. 38.9 in. 38.4 in. 38.7 in.
Rear Headroom 37.9 in. 37.2 in. 37.3 in. 37.5 in. 38 in.
Front Shoulder Room 56.4 in. 55.1 in. 53.1 in. 54.4 in. 59.4 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 55.5 in. 53.4 in. 54.3 in. 54.2 in. 57.7 in.
Front Hip Room 52.2 in.   51.9 in.   55.9 in.
Rear Hip Room 54.1 in.   54.5 in.   55.9 in.
Front Leg Room 43.6 in. 41.3 in. 41.7 in. 41.4 in. 41.8 in.
Rear Leg Room 33.6 in. 34.3 in. 33 in. 34.6 in. 40.2 in.
Maximum Luggage Capacity 14.8 cu.ft. 13.4 cu.ft. 12.2 cu.ft. 10.7 cu.ft. 15.6 cu.ft.

 

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