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 298.
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.
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Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The Infiniti G35 is available in coupe or sedan form. The sedan is available in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. There are no trim levels to choose between, and all G35s come with features like 17-inch wheels, HID headlights, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat and four-way passenger seat, seat heaters and an in-dash six-disc CD changer. Two major option packages available for the Infiniti car: Premium and Sport. The Premium Package adds items like dual-zone climate control with rear vents, an upgraded 225-watt Bose sound system, a sunroof, automatic headlights and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Sport Package adds a sport-tuned suspension, bigger wheels and tires, a limited-slip rear differential and, on G35 coupes, special exterior aero pieces. G35s equipped with a manual transmission receive the Sport package as standard equipment. Stand-alone options include a navigation system, wood interior trim and an active rear-steer system (coupes only).
Powertrains and Performance
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.
Interior Design and Special Features
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 cubes.
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.