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Avg. Price Paid:$12,905 - $14,223
Original MSRP: $32,250 - $34,750
MPG: 17 City / 24 Hwy
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2008 Infiniti G35 Performance

This performance review was written when the 2008 Infiniti G35 was new.

The G sedan is a driver's car. Motor Trend writes "there's little to criticize and much to praise on the G35, evidenced by the growing appreciation for the lionhearted engine, the smart paddles shifters, and the sensibly arrayed interior that's bursting with buttons yet friendly to use." Edmunds reports "our editors have found the G35 to be a thrilling car to drive, with a direct connection between car and driver."

Most reviewers echo the sentiment. The G's steering and handling are particular standouts. Automobile Magazine says, "the G35 is a neutral handler with plentiful grip." The Los Angeles Times sums up the driving experience in the G compared to others in its class: "It might not be quite as intuitive as a 3-series, but the car is far more confidence-inspiring than that other Bimmer-hunter, the Lexus IS350."

The only aspect of the G sedan's performance that received mixed reviews was the transmission. Edmunds summed up the view of a slight majority, saying, "the five-speed's proper gearing, attentive action and ability to match revs perfectly when manually downshifted makes the transmission a standout and the perfect choice for this very capable sport sedan." A vocal minority found the automatic transmission lacking, particularly during slow acceleration. "Choose the standard manual gearbox if you wish to avoid the automatic's somewhat unpredictable nature," recommends Autobytel.

Acceleration and Power

The 2008 Infiniti G sedans are powered by Nissan's VQ-Series V6 engines, which have been on Ward's AutoWorld magazine's list of 10 best engines for 12 years. The 3.5-liter engine is in its fourth generation, and was made with 80 percent new or redesigned parts as of last year. These parts include some made from lighter alloys. That allows the engine to produce an impressive 306 horsepower and run from zero to 60 in under seven seconds in the sedan. "While the G35 doesn't have a V8, it provides V8-style acceleration," says MSN.

Though the VQ-series V6 has won scores of accolades for its power, its most innovative characteristic in the G is its location. Mounted in the front-midship position, the engine is pushed as far back in its compartment as it can go without invading the passenger cabin. This puts much of the engine weight toward the middle of the car, leading to superior balance and handling. "Not only does the new V6 reportedly give the G35 an advantage over its European rivals, it should be capable of edging out its Japanese competitor from Acura, and possibly even the mighty Lexus IS 350," reports Automobile Magazine.

However, in any position, the VQ-series V6 would make the G a blast to drive. Reviewers say the engine breathes easier than previous models and has a higher rev limit, making the G35 willing to run as hard as the driver wants to push it, and with 306 horses, many drivers will find it difficult to resist the temptation. New Car Test Drive says the reworked engine "invites a heavy right foot, delivering its added power smoothly and strongly right up to the borderline motorcycle-level, 7500-rpm red line."

The base engine on G has an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated fuel economy of 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 on the highway with a manual transmission. With an automatic transmission, the 2008 sedan engine gets an EPA estimated 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway.

The G sedan is available with a five-speed automatic transmission or a close-ration six-speed manual. Both ably handle the engine's power output, though a minority of reviewers didn't like them. Some reviewers found the manual's clutch to be too heavy, making slow-speed driving rocky. All reviewers, however, found the shift pattern tight and shifting easy. With the automatic, many reviewers reported a "lazy" response when accelerating slowly; however, at full throttle, the transmission came to life.

Handling and Braking

The 2008 Infiniti G sedan offers some of the best handling in its class. "Nobody but BMW owners will complain about the G35's handling. Front-end grip borders on the remarkable, while body control and balance are superb," reports Edmunds. Similarly, Consumer Guide notes that both the G35 and its coupe cousin, the G37 "are taut and stable, helped by longish wheelbases and solid structures. All are a near match for the targeted BMW 3-Series. G35 and G37 are grippy and agile, with little lean in corners."

New Car Test Drive says that "handling is on par with any of its peers," but that great handling can come at a price -- particularly in the Sport model. The Sport model has a sport-tuned suspension to better slice through curves, but that suspension is so tight, it can be rough on the passengers. USA Today notes that the "stiff suspension on the Sport model will be too firm for some. And it seems unnecessary because the non-Sport models hardly are wallow-wonders in corners."

Performance Options

G35 Sedan

The G sedans come with a standard 3.6-liter 306 horsepower V6 engine and a five-speed automatic transmission.

G35x AWD Sedan

The 2008 G35x AWD sedan comes with all of the performance features of the base G sedan but adds intelligent all-wheel drive, a feature many reviewers found to improve road grip and handling.

Review Last Updated: 7/11/08

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