Premium midsize car; Built in Japan
  • 2-door coupe
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $6,800 – $15,300*


2003 Infiniti G35


2004 Infiniti G35


2005 Infiniti G35


Infiniti G35 interior

Pros:
  • Pass/Merge Acceleration
  • Available All-wheel drive
  • Automatic-transmission performance
  • Ride/handling
Cons:
  • Fuel economy
  • Rear-seat entry/exit
  • Ride w/Sport Suspension

Infiniti isn’t as prestigious a brand as BMW, Lexus or Mercedes, and doesn’t quite match them (or Audi) for refinement, detail finish, and materials. Still, in performance, style and space–and all-wheel drive after 2003–the G35 earns a Recommend rating. It’s a credible and less-expensive alternative to rival models from those automakers.

Overview

Introduced in spring of 2002, as an early 2003 model, Infiniti’s newest near-luxury sedan headed into that autumn with a coupe companion and a second transmission choice. Aimed at enthusiast drivers, these cars shared a basic rear-wheel-drive platform and V6 powerteam.

Sedans used a 260-horsepower engine, versus 280 horsepower for the coupe. The sedan was one of the longest near-luxury cars in wheelbase and overall length, and took a sportier tack than Infiniti’s front-drive I35.

Essentially, the G35 coupe was a stretched version of Nissan’s new-for-2003 350Z sports car, with a small fold-down back seat, different styling, and a greater luxury emphasis. It had less power than the Z-car, but more than the G35 sedan.

Both G35s offered a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift gate; or later in the season, a six-speed manual. The manual transmission also became available in sedans, early in calendar 2003. Both body styles had antilock four-wheel disc brakes with full power brake assist, front side airbags, curtain side airbags (covering front seat only in coupes), and an in-dash CD changer.

The Luxury sedan came with fabric upholstery and 16-inch wheels, and had no options. The Luxury Leather sedan added leather upholstery, a power driver’s seat, and 17-inch wheels. Xenon headlights went from optional to standard at midyear. The Luxury Leather sedan could be upgraded with wood interior trim, a sunroof, and a Premium Package that included reclining rear seatbacks and a firmer Sport-Tuned Suspension with performance tires.

All coupes came with xenon lights and with suspension tuning equivalent to that of the sedan’s sport-tuned setup. The base coupe rode on 17-inch wheels and contained cloth upholstery. With leather upholstery, coupes got 18-inch wheels, a limited-slip differential, heated front seats, steering-wheel audio controls, and other amenities. Manual-transmission coupes got uprated brakes.

Bose digital audio and DVD navigation were available for all G35s, as was satellite radio with a choice of XM or Sirius service. Competitors included the Acura TL, Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, and Cadillac CTS.

Yearly Updates

2004 G35
Introduction of an all-wheel-drive sedan highlighted 2004 changes for Infiniti’s sporty near-luxury car. The new Leather AWD sedan had a Snow Mode that allowed the driver to lock in a 50/50 front/rear torque split. Rear-drive G35s were available with a five-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual. The AWD model came only with automatic.
For 2004, the base sedan joined other sedans with standard 17-inch wheels. It had fabric upholstery and newly heated outside mirrors. The Leather sedan added heated front seats. Manual-transmission sedans gained a limited-slip differential. Manual-shift coupes had upgraded brakes and 18-inch wheels, versus 17s. All G35s gained a standard tire-pressure monitor.
2005 G35
More power and revised styling marked the 2005 models. Automatic-transmission sedans adopted the coupe’s 280-horsepower V6. Manual-shift coupes and sedans now held a 298-horsepower engine. The all-wheel-drive G35x came only with automatic. A limited-slip differential and sport suspension were standard on manual-transmission models. Coupes with the manual gearbox rode on 19-inch tires, the G35x sedan had 17-inch tires, and other automatic models had a choice of wheel sizes.
2006 G35
A keyless-entry/engine-start system and wireless cell phone link are newly available for Infiniti’s entry-level cars for 2006.
2007 G35
Infiniti revamps its lowest-priced sedan for 2007, giving it more power and new styling inside and out. The coupe version of the G35 continues in its 2003-2006 form for ’07. See 2007-2008 Infiniti G report for sedan information.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive

In the 2003-04 G35 sedan, Infiniti’s 3.5-liter dual-overhead-cam V6 engine produces 260 horsepower, versus 280 horsepower in the G35 coupe. Both body styles could be equipped with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed automatic transmission. For 2005, automatic-transmission sedans moved up to the 280-horsepower engine, while manual gearboxes were accompanied by a new 298-hp version.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/214
Engine HP 260
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 260
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
5-speed automatic
20/27
19/26
17.9
dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/214
Engine HP 280
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 260-270
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
5-speed automatic
20/27
19/26
17.0

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/214
Engine HP 298
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 260
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual

19/26

Road Test

With an automatic transmission, “stoplight racers” may crave more takeoff punch. But G35s are satisfyingly quick otherwise. An automatic-transmission Leather coupe accelerated to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, and a test manual-shift coupe felt even swifter. The eager V6 is a good match for the smooth, rapid-shifting automatic, whose manual-gear-change mode gives an extra measure of driver control. The G35 feels even more alert with the short-throw, precision-feel manual transmission.

Fuel economy is so-so. A test Leather sedan with Sport Tuned Suspension, Aero package, and automatic transmission, averaged 17.9 mpg. A manual-shift Leather coupe averaged 17 mpg, while the G35x 4WD sedan ranged from 15.8 to 17.3 mpg. Infiniti recommends premium-grade fuel for all G35s.

Taut and stable on the road, the G35 is helped by its long wheelbase and solid structure. Unwanted body motions are well-checked, but large bumps occasionally pound through, especially in sport-tuned-suspension sedans and coupes with larger wheels.

All G35s are grippy and agile–a close match for the targeted BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Still, European rivals have the edge in high-speed stability and steering feedback. On bumpy surfaces, coupes with 18-and 19-inch wheels can be tossed slightly off course as low-profile tires fail to absorb shocks. Brakes are strong.

The engine has a lusty note in rapid acceleration, and a background baritone at cruise. Road noise is evident on coarse surfaces, pronounced with 17-inch tires, and intrusive with 18s or 19s. Wind noise is moderate, though lower in sedans.

Sedans and coupes share a generally well-designed cabin. The main gauge cluster moves to match the steering wheel’s tilt, though the wheel obscures power-mirror controls. Climate-system readouts display at the dashboard top, remote from climate buttons. Unorthodox power-seat controls mount beside the console, susceptible to spills from nearby cupholders. Fortunately, the navigation system does not incorporate audio or climate functions, and its screen rises from the dashboard top. Assembly quality and most interior materials are on target for the class, but a few rough-edged plastic trim pieces separate it from Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz rivals.

Front space is good in sedans, but firm cushions can annoy on long drives. Coupes have a special driver’s seat with softer cushioning, better long-distance comfort, though more prominent side bolsters interfere with arm movement when shifting the manual transmission. With a sunroof, coupes are snug for six-footers and seatbelts require an annoying stretch to reach. The steering wheel does not telescope, as in many rivals. Visibility is good in sedans, but very confined aft in coupes.

Sedans have above-average rear head and leg room on a firm, well-contoured bench, but limited width and a driveline hump thwart uncrowded three-abreast travel. The sedan’s Premium package includes manually-adjusting backrest recline, a feature that not everyone finds useful. Coupes are sized for two small adults out back, with difficult entry/exit. Their front seats power forward and back, but some twisting is needed to get inside. The coupe’s body design limits headroom for taller passengers, but leg space is surprisingly good.

The sedan’s trunk is large for the class. Lid hinges don’t intrude, but the opening won’t swallow larger objects. A center ski pass-through is included, but no folding seatbacks. Coupe seatbacks fold, but the opening to the trunk is limited. Interior storage space is good.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2004 G35 Leather sedan w/automatic and Sport Suspension

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 7
70%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 8
80%
Quietness - 6
60%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 62

Specifications

2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.2 182.2 71.5 54.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
7.8 20.0 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.2 34.7 43.8 31.4
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.2 186.5 69.0 57.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
14.8 20.0 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.1 37.9 43.9 36.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: The automatic transmission may engage slowly, shift hard or into the wrong gear requiring reprogramming of the transmission control module. (2003)
Brake noise
Description: On vehicles not equipped with Brembo calipers, the brakes are noisy, particularly in reverse, requiring replacement of all shims and revised brake pads. (2003-04)
Cold-starting problems
Description: In very cold conditions, the starter may not run and may require replacement of the Intelligent Power Distribution Module. (2004)
Radiator
Description: The radiator cap gasket may swell over time and when it does, will not allow the cap to vent properly resulting in overheating and lost coolant. (2003-04)
Accessory belt
Description: The A/C belt may squeal or break because the compressor (and its pulley) goes out of alignment. (2003)

Recall History

2005-07 sedans manufactured from March 29, 2004 through August 25, 2006
Description: Sensor in passenger seat cushion may fail, preventing the air bag from deploying in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.
2005-07 coupes manufactured from April 1, 2004 through May 30, 2007.
Description: Sensor in passenger seat cushion may fail, preventing the air bag from deploying in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.