After 18 months and 19,000 miles, I think I can offer some long
term perspective on this car.
I consider it to be an "old guy's Z", similar chassis and performance
without the weirdness of the Z's design. When I went looking for a new car
last summer, I was replacing a 1987 Porsche 944 Turbo (lots of wow, little
practicality, expensive to maintain). I knew it had to be a RWD coupe with
good power, manual transmission and at least some sport factor. Other cars
- Ford Mustang GT, abslotutely unobtainable in July 2005
unless you paid the "dealer adjusted price", read extravagant markup. Have
since found in car mags that the Ford factory told its dealers to stop
taking orders about that time!.
- BMW 330ci, what an ode to the socialist, union dominated German car
manufacturers!. By the time I got done optioning out the Bimmer to match
specs of G35, the price had crossed the 42K barrier!.
- Lexus IS350, oops, sorry, automatic trans sedan.
- Acura TL- oops FWD, can you say understeer?
Went to more than one dealer
in search of "G" with 6speed, premium package and partial aero without
having to suck up the added bucks for NAV,satellite radio, rosewood interior
trim. Finally found local dealer in Maryland that would do dealer swap with
one in Virginia. Had to settle for second color choice though. If I ordered
from factory, dealer told me to expect a three month wait (!), no thanks, I
took door number 2.
Overall, car is rather stunning in appearance though I still wonder about
the google eye "catamaran" front end when viewed head on.
Still tons better than any "Bangle" BMW!. VQ35 motor is quite strong,
plenty of reserve even in sixth gear for most interstate needs. Needs more
bottom end in lower gears and lower rpm's; hey, if you tweak it for top end,
you pay the price in torque.
Aluminum trim in center console tends to glare back at passengers on
sunny days. Center console itself is way too "busy", too many buttons, Same
applies to climate control as well. Climate control, why does A/C always
come on in AUTO mode?
If this is a sport coupe, where's all the instrumentation, you know,
voltmeter, oil pressure, stuff you come to expect in this type car.
Leather interior sure looks nice but not the most comfortable (even after
Lexol treatment). I wonder about durability as left side bolster of driver's
seat has wrinkled.
Gas mileage really isn't the reason for buying a car like the G35 but
where I was getting a solid 24+ mpg on open highway, that figure has dipped
to below 22 nowadays. Perhaps due to the MBTE additive in gasoline being
replaced by ethanol?, and the greenies want E85 flex fuel?.
Those 19" wheels and tires sure got the bling and certainly contribute to
the car's road handling capabilities but you better have deep pockets and be
ready to dip into them regularly. I got 15K out of the first set of
Bridgestone RE050A's and they were worn and noisy at that point. Replacing
all four tires will set you back at least $1200!.
Finally, either do your homework or cross your fingers when it comes to
selecting a dealership.
I am still trying to get the dealer to acknowledge a clutch/drivetrain
problem my car experiences. Their mindset is if there isn't a TSB (technical
service bulletin) from Infiniti, there can't be a problem. If this problem
isn't resolved, I'm going to seek arbitration either through Infiniti or
state's attorney general.