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October 24, 2007 > Auto

Auto

Infiniti G35 Sport Sedan

By Dick Ryan, Freelance Automotive Journalist

Have you ever heard the term "Q-Ship"? During World War II, the US Navy took a number of merchant ships and armed them with hidden cannons to fight German U-Boats. In the automotive world "Q-Ship" has come to mean plain Jane looking cars that pack a performance wallop. The 2007 Infiniti G35 Sport Sedan fits this definition to a T.

The G35 sedan series of cars have a clean, pleasant looking body style. I'm not sure if they would stand out in a crowd, but their shape is certainly not ugly. The line starts with a base model with an MSRP of $31,450. Then there is the G35 Journey at $31,900, which has a better standard sound system, dual zone AC, and a few other items. An all-wheel drive G35x costs $33,950. The G35 Sport Sedan with the 6-speed manual transmission is $32,250 and adding the 5-speed automatic (with paddle shifters) adds $1,200 to the sticker. Our manual transmission tester had a package of options that included a sunroof, high-end audio system, and other nice items for a total of $35,600.

All G35s come with a full compliment of safety gear. Dual state front airbags measure the force of a collision and inflate the bags more in a severe crash. Front seat side airbags and side-impact curtain airbags are standard. The active head restraints move forward in a rear end impact to minimize whiplash injuries.

They all get 4-wheel, ventilated disc, ABS brakes, but the Sport model gets bigger brakes. Vehicle Dynamic Control helps to enhance the G35's stability in a variety of driving conditions and is standard on all models.

The G35s all have High Intensity Discharge bi-Xenon headlights and fog lights. Adaptive front lights that automatically control the headlight pattern according to the steering angle and vehicle speed are an option. This really makes night driving safer, because they help you see areas that are otherwise dark with most headlights.

The Sport model gets upgraded front seats which include thigh extenders and power bolster adjusters to provide more support when you want to go out to play on twisty roads. The Sport also gets a limited slip differential to help deliver superb cornering.

The heart of the G35 line is the fourth generation of the Nissan/Infiniti VQ series 3.5-liter, double overhead cam V-6 power plant. It now puts out 306 HP (268 foot pounds of torque) and has reduced emissions levels. Its rev limit has been increased from 6600 rpm to 7600 rpm. Wards Auto World has included the VQ power plant in its "10 Best Engines" for 12 years in a row. EPA numbers are 19 city and 36 highway in the G35.

The rear seat room was pretty good unless the front seat was all the way back. The rest of the interior was very good and all controls were easy to figure out and use.

One very interesting option is the $1,500, Four-Wheel Active Steer System. It actually adjusts the geometry of the rear suspension according to the steering input and vehicle speed. It's designed to improve the handling and cornering performance of the G35 Sport. Our test didn't have this, so I could not evaluate it.

The G35 Sport Sedan was fun to drive and lived up to the Q-Ship label. Members of law enforcement would never give one a second glance. It will carry 4 people quickly, comfortably, and safely. Over twisty roads it is not quite as composed as its Nissan cousin (the 350Z), but it's a 4-door sedan for goodness sake.

Dick Ryan is a freelance Automotive Journalist and a member of the Western Automotive Journalists. For more information, email RRYAN@FRK.COM.

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