Handling is supreme
But this car is tilted toward a lot more than making phone calls and listening to good quality audio, as evidenced by the sporty manual gearshift at the bottom of the stack. Rear-wheel drive, a six-speed manual transmission, and a 3.5-liter V-6 making 306 horsepower at 6,800rpm make up a powerful drive train that can encourage some seriously bad behavior. The G35 takes off fast from a stop, and its precisely shifting transmission will encourage drivers to maintain acceleration all the way to sixth gear.
Something about having a manual transmission in a sedan made us really want to push this car, and its handling on windy mountain roads didn't let us down. With its luxury interior, it was comfortable enough sitting in traffic, but the G35 is really in its element during sport driving.
Unfortunately, this is not an economical engine. One handy screen on the LCD shows fuel economy, instantaneously and over time. The only times we could keep the mileage consistently over 20mpg was by going downhill. Even in sixth gear on the freeway we couldn't keep it over 20mpg. The EPA rating for the manual-transmission G35 is 19mpg city and 27mpg on the highway, but our overall observed economy was 16.4mpg.
Traction control steps in
The G35 includes full airbag coverage standard, with front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger, plus side curtain airbags for the entire cabin. Along with its antilock brakes, the G35 has the usual roadholding suspects, such as traction control and electronic brake-force distribution. During hard cornering, a light on the dashboard will indicate the traction control is active, a satisfying reminder that the car is helping out.
High-intensity discharge headlights are standard on the G35, and an adaptive headlight system is available. The taillights use LEDs. The car also includes some niceties to help the driver while adjusting the seating position. The side mirrors automatically move when the power-adjustable seat is moved to stay in the proper position. The instrument cluster also moves in sync with the power-adjustable steering wheel when it is moved up or down.
The base price for the 2007 Infiniti G35 Sedan with a manual transmission is $32,250. Our test car also came with the Premium package ($2,350), which included such things as the Bose stereo, sunroof, and the power-adjustable steering wheel. With the package, our test car's final price was $34,600, a very good value for a sporty sedan.
Whenever we got the opportunity, we were out test-driving the 2007 Infiniti G35, which attests to how much we liked this car. Except for the less than stellar mileage, the power train is extremely satisfying. Handling is very good, and interior comfort is top-notch. Ours didn't come equipped with navigation, but it is available. Sound quality is also very good, and the Bluetooth integration works well. Each system has its odd quirks, but overall, the G35 is highly desirable.
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