Pros Bose Sound system, cooled seats, backup camera
Cons Fuel economy
Summary Great vehicle with an awesome surround sound system. The speakers in the back of the front seats provide audio better than any vehicle I have ever been in. The navigation system is much "clener" than both the Acura RL and the Lexus GS. The air conditioned front seats are just what is required in the southeast heat. My only con is around mpg, but both the Acura and the Lexus have the same numbers, so if you are looking in this class of car - I would say the M35 is the best choice!
Pros Terrific V6, AWD System and Manumatic Transmission
Cons The Honkin' Big Knob
Summary I have been shopping for an AWD luxury sedan and can't afford the Bentley. Of the Audi A6, BMX 530xi, Acura RL and Infiniti M35X, the M35X has the superior combination of drivability, features and quality. I already own a 2005 FX35 with the Premium, Sport and Technology Packages. I absolutely love the FX, especially because of its driveability in terms of its handling and performance. However, because I prefer cars over trucks, I almost wish I had waited for the M35X instead of pulling the trigger on the FX35, but only almost. As it turns out, I need a second AWD car and the M35X will fit the bill perfectly. The only downsides to the car are the not-yet-ready-for-prime-time adaptive cruise control that comes with the Technology Package and less than stellar gas mileage, although if mileage were a primary consideration I'd be writing about a hybdrid vehicle instead. The only thing missing is an input for a portable music player like an iPod. I did not give the M35X a 10, but it's as close to a 10 as is available right now. Compared to my FX35, the M35X has a much better but still performance-oriented ride, partly due to its appreciably lower center of gravity. Surprisingly, in addition to the advances in interior refinement and technology over the FX35 (e.g., rosewood paneling and leather door inserts, beautiful instrumentation, a much improved nav system, voice recognition, and Bluetooth), it also has a much tighter turning circle (i.e., 36.1 ft vs. 38.7 ft). But the best carryover features from the FX35 to the M35X are the 280hp VQ engine, which is at least the equal of BMW's terrific V6 engines, the rear-biased AWD system and the incredibly smooth manumatic transmission that downshifts better than any other. Finally, while I hate the look of the honkin' big knob, I must admit that it is an improvement over the little push-button joystick in my FX35, and much better than the systems in the 530xi and A6. And the new voice-recognition system renders it moot under most circumstances anyway.
Pros Tech gizmos work well, add to driving experience; drivability is superior, design is atheletic
Cons Nav with traffic would be nice, better Ipod integration, both minor issues
Summary I have been driving my M35X with the premimum option pkg for 10 months now and I stll love starting it up every day. Built rock solid, no problems, well integrated technology that anyone can use, outstanding sound system and its' handling and acceleration and drivability excel. AWD was wondeful in the snow this winter, far better than the FWD car I traded in for the M. I extensively drive tested all competitiors last May and still wouldn't trade it in for the RL, 500 series, GS or A6. The best AWD sport sedan for the money. I can't imagine confusing it for a Civic and never heard that compairison. Some one needs glasses if they believe so. Not even close. (I do like the new Civics design though!) Now the Acura RL and an Accord, that's close!
Pros Excellent power train, large interior for midsize sedan, many tech toys, affordable
Cons Blue tooth works decent at best, display can only show 10 characters so songs with long names get cut off, no aux input for MP3 Players/iPods (later models do), no hard drive for data storage, fuel economy, high dealer main costs.
Summary This car is highly affordable used. If you do your research, you will discover that the M35 is tops in luxury and reliability. It is quite sporty but not as much as the BMW 3 or 5 series. Still, it's just one of the best cars out there even compared to the luxury imports. Check those automotive sites or consumer sites for (somewhat) unbiased opinions. I won't share judgement, just my experience with the car thus far.
I purchased the 2006 model in summer of 08 with just about all options for around $21k. Car had 2.5 yrs, 22,000 mi b2b warranty still remaining. The M35's does have a steep depreciation rate compared European luxury and the Lexus lines making this car a phenominal used value.
Local Infiniti dealership is fast, courteous and skilled but maintenance job costs are high.
Warranty jobs thus far:
Replace O2 sensor
Unclog winshield fluid sprayer nozzles
Repair excessive vibration coming from rear subwoofer
Tire pressue monitor sensor, rear passenger, replaced.
All jobs done in a day. A free loaner program available even just for an oil change. A good way to check out new Infiniti models.
Voice recognition works 9/10 times. All failures occur when trying to voice program new destination in GPS which is the only way to program new destination when moving. No failures for radio station, climate control voice commands.
Blue tooth works well for the driver but the person on the other side may have some difficulty hearing. I have been told that I sound "distant" or on crappy speaker phone.
DVD played through nav screen will only display when parked with parking brake engaged. I have been told that there are ways to bypass this safety setting but I have no interest in doing that.
Backup camera works very well even in dark conditions.
Lane departure sensors can miss road lines and false detection can occur. The sensor beeping isn't very loud so you may miss a detection if you have the radio up.
Dynamic cruise control works very well. It can however, be overly sensitive. The car will brake sharply if another car cuts you off and gets in the detection zone.
Ample trunk space.
Seat cooling take some time to take effect on a hot day.
In cabin filter replacement is a rip off. Do it yourself by buying a filter online for $20. Or buy one and provide it to the dealer. They'll charge $60 for the filter itself plus another $40 for install. It does take disassembly of the glove box to get to.
OEM tires were Bridgestone Potenza RE040. Adequate all around.
Next set: Dunlop Dizerra 101. Crap. Eexcessive road noise after 5k miles. Subpar wet traction.
Next set: Falken Ziex ZE-912. Cheap but great set of tires.
My first used car. Will never buy new again. Was considering 08 Chevy Malibu for around the same price when I stumbled upon this deal.
Pros Handling & Acceleration
Cons Bluetooth Problems
Reluctance to perform Warranty Repairs
Phone's voice reocgnition
Summary You don't buy a luxury car to argue with the manufacturer over correcting defects. But here are my experiences:My M35 Bluetooth would not synch with an AT&T 8525. At first Nissan refused to fix it even though it froze my entire console. They said it wasn't on their list of phones. But Bluetooth is a trademark a company can ONLY use if its devices are interoperable with other tested devices. Failure to do this is a violation of the trademark agreement. Finally Nissan relented and after FOUR tries finally fixed the problem. More recently the A/C Condenser was struck by a stone. The car was under warranty but they refused to cover this. Damage by stone chips is one of their exclusions. Understandable for paint damage but if you design a grill only for air flow and not to protect the radiator and condenser that is a design defect. Could it have been deliberate? A way to make sure they make money on replacement condensers and radiators? And their voice recognition, for simple telephone numbers may be the worst in the world. So, on the face of it, the M35 may look like a nice car and be fun to drive but God forbid you have to deal with Nissan for warranty repairs. Of the Japanese car manufacturers they are, no doubt, the worst to deal with. Buy at your own risk!