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Infiniti G35 vs BMW 3-Series



  • py777py777 Posts: 62
    I test drove both the BMW and G 6MT. I decided on the G. Here are the reasons:

    1) Got the worst buying experiences of any kind from BMW dealerships. Got verbally insulted in Peter Pan, and virtually ignored in Steven's Creek. (CA dealers) Most arrogant bastards I ever seen. Infiniti, Lexus, and Audi, completely opposite.

    2) Both cars have similar performance and quality. All in all, break even.

    3) All my friends who own BMW told me not to own one for maintance expenses after primary warranty went out. They bought BMW at the time cause other cars are not performing as well. But, they are all crying foul now.

    4) 50K+ vs 38K+.

    5) In no position to support an overpriced maintance responsibility machine, aka, "Ultimate Driving Machine". I am not gonna buy extended warranty to cover up.

    It was hard when the old G wasn't driving as well, but now problem solved. :blush:
  • jccai1jccai1 Posts: 106
    I had a 2002 330Ci for 3 years. The only two major issues I remember were the O2 sensor going bad and some glitch in the dash instrument cluster. Both were replaced under warranty within a day, and neither left me stranded. Other than those, the car performed flawlessly and put a grin on my face every time I drove it. Maintenance was free for 3 years (now 4). After the maintenance period, service can be expensive if you take it to the dealer (e.g. $90 for an oil change). My experience with the BWM dealer service dept was very positive. Had to trade it in for a large family hauler.

    We also had an 02 Altima that left us stranded when it was less than 3 years old. We replaced it with an 06 G35 RWD (non-sport) sedan. The G has been reliable so far, other than an unpredictable climate control system that the dealer refuses to fix. Very pleasant buying experience at the Infiniti dealer, but the service departments suck at both of that dealerships I tried. None of that "red carpet" treatment that I've read about. They are no better than a regular Nissan service dept, but with a higher price tag.

    As for the G's performance, with the rave reviews I had read and the 280hp rating, I expected it to drive like the BMW or better. But I've been rather disappointed. The engine is very peaky with little torque under 4,000 RPM. The 5-spd auto tranny is slow and jerky, and the lower gears are too tall for a quick launch. The steering and throttle response are too slow and the standard suspension too soft for aggressive driving. At higher freeway speeds, the G just doesn't feel as solid and stable as the 330Ci. Instead of feeling at one with the car like I did in the 330Ci, I feel frustrated when driving the G as if the car was fighting my input all the time. And the gas mileage is pretty lousy, too. Despite some very nice interior features and the attractive pricing, overall I'm unimpressed with the G. Hopefully the 2007 G has corrected all these flaws, but it would take some pretty significant improvements for me to buy another one.
  • Comparing the G35 sedan vs. the 330Ci isn't an equal comparison. The older model G35 sedan is indeed perhaps most of what you say, but the G35 coupe is closer or equal to what the 330ci is and a better comparison. I had an 04 coupe which I drove to the limit a few times and it was true and straight and didn't waiver. It was also reliable (nary a problem) with quick shifts and plenty of torque at low RPM. Having said that, I also test drove the 04 330Ci at that time and still distinctly remember how it felt on the road and yes, it had that quality that kind of meshed the driver with the road which I don't think can be duplicated in any other car other than a BMW. I've loved driving both my G35's, but if anyone wants to know what the ultimate driving machine feels like, go test drive one. You have to be a sport driver enthusiast to appreciate the balance of the bimmer against all other cars. Now I traded my coupe for the 07 G35 Sport Sedan (kids and wife hated the coupe) and while the car is markedly better than the older model,in both power, quality of materials, etc. I recently took that car close to its limit also and it wasn't as taut or straight as either the BMW or the G35 coupe. On the twisties the 07 sport takes them like a champ but I feel, perhaps because of weight and size, that it doesn't match the agility of either my old coupe or the bimmer. Again, perhaps it's not fair for me either to be comparing my new 07 sedan against my old 04 coupe,or BMW, since they're different cars. But I sure do miss it....
  • py777py777 Posts: 62
    I definitely agree that the old G is not as good as the 330. The new G though, is pretty close if not similar or better.

    Also, I have this very "A-type" kind of attitude that I don't think any "Auto" driver should talk or complain about a car's performance for if you don't drive a manual of certain car, u just don't know performance. Sorry! ;) So, a 5 speed or 6 speed automatic, both are alright, cause they are for cruising.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,353
    py, I agree auto is for cruising, stick is for track/performance. What you decide to buy should meet your requirements up front and no complaints after. Just change your ride if you want/expect something different. As I recall, the '07 G rower was noted by a tester that it was improved but not as smooth as 335.

    The sales of performance SMG-type trans are not really true performance targets, IMO. Good but no cigar!

    I would applaud a system where you can have both. A true stick with manual clutch but option to turn on auto. We're talking control here or lack thereof.

    You know us Americans. Never satisfied.

  • BTW, while this forum is BMW vs G35, and I myself have a G35S 07, I couldn't help but post, much to my disappointment, that the magazines' comparison test in their latest issue had the G35 S manual last, vs. the Acura TL S (2nd) and the Lexus IS 350 (first).
  • What were they comparing? Luxury over performance? Obviously...
  • Well, these tests are supposed to be well rounded so both performance and luxury were commented on in the review although for performance, neither of these cars were tested on back roads with curves, or a track, etc. I can't believe they ran 0-60 4.9 sec in the Lexus 350. I read on Car&Driver the new 3 series coupe ran 4.8 0-60-I wonder if the sedan will equal or come close to those numbers.
  • yukityukit Posts: 7
    I drove 335i sedan auto & manual on Sat (Mt View dealer) then on Sun G35s sedan & manual.

    I really liked both. I wanted to get a good feel first, so I drove them normally. They are fantastic cars to drive, so much better than my current car, I cannot really go wrong with either car.

    I found both cars have higher clutch engage position than I am comfortable with. I guess I just have to get used to it.

    I will drive Acura TL-S next weekend. Hopefully I can find a 6MT.
    I was not too impressed with 2006 model last year, but TL-S is promising.

    I have to start crunching the numbers on options to see which car I can get a best deal. As it was pointed out there is no point in comparing the prices directly among these cars.
  • trigtrig Posts: 5
    the problem your going to have is, for example, around here, they are giving away bmw's and tl' opposed to infiniti, which fought me tooth and nail over a vpp plan purchase (my wife still works for nmac). they won't discount those at all right now in dfw area. so you will definitely get "a better deal" in terms of money off sticker on the other cars. choose wisely...
  • jccai1jccai1 Posts: 106
    I agree a stick shift gives you more control of the car. I'd love to drive a manual on an empty two lane twisty all day, but unfortunately I also have practical consideration like the city traffic and a spouse that only drives automatic. That's why I had to buy auto in both cars.

    I disagree that, just because I bought an automatic, I am not qualified to comment on a car's performance. To me, performance is not just about drifting through corners or screaming to redline in every gear. Even in my mundane daily cruising, I can still feel and appreciate things like powerful brakes, linear steering, and a balanced chasis, regardless of what the transmission is. These are just some of the areas that I feel my 06 G is lagging behind the 330.

    Of course, as another poster pointed out, it's not a true apple-to-apple comparison between the G35 sedan with the standard suspension and the 330Ci with the sports pkg. I was just verbalizing my opinions after owning both cars. Though I know they are not in the same category, I can't help comparing the two when I get behind the wheel of the G (and drooling at every 335i that I see). Maybe I just need to readjust my expectations.
  • Good article. And you're right, most people can't let go of their preference. After all, you spend $35-$40k on your vehicle, of course its easy to want to promote it and justify why you bought it. I myself have the G35 Sport 07 but would have purchased the 335i had it been a comparable cost. So I'd like those here in this forum their opinion (hopefully, those who answer have test driven both cars, or own one or the other): If the 335i were say only a few grand higher than the G35 Sport with comparable features, would it then take the G35 out of contention completely in deciding which to buy? Is it a no-brainer that with both cars at close to same cost, the BMW then becomes by far the only choice. And if you still opted for the G35S, with cost not being an issue, why?
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,353
    I think you answered your own question. Other think the level of difference between the 2 is worth going a different way.

  • yukityukit Posts: 7
    Luckily, I was able to test drive both cars in both auto & manual :D last weekend. This was the first time I have driven a recent model of either cars, so I just wanted to get a good feel for a regular driving experience. I will probably go back for a 2nd test drive.

    I really liked both cars. I figure I cannot go wrong with either choice. Is the price difference worth it to choose the 335i? I admit the snob-appeal of the BMW badge is pretty strong. Leasing (or even ED) does make the deal closer, but I would have to be prepared & comfortable to be able to walk away at the end of the leasing period (effectively renting the car).

    I also have to evaluate these cars (among other ELLPS) for practical everyday driving. I want good navigation (really like Acura) & sound system (ipod integration is a bonus). I care about trunk space (can I fit a bicycle) & cupholders (large stainless bottle). If I have to compromise too much, then these cars are not for me.

    So these cars are still on my short list, but I have yet to check out TL-S & IS250 6MT. It turns out that more challenging to find these cars in manual to test drive.
  • Actually no. Reliability is very important. I would consider the pricier IS350 over the Bimmer.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,353
    IMO, that is why the oriental cars get the business. Actual and then perceived reliability over many years of proving this to get customer loyalty.

    That is why Toyota/Lexus beats everyone hands down when it comes to this part of the value proposition. Honda next, Infinity (not Nissan yet), Subaru and now Kia.

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,238
    Keep us posted as you proceed. The bicycle thing is especially interesting to me -- I don't think the G can do it. Even the coupe, with the fold-down seats, has a smallish triangular hole to put the fork & handlebars through.

    The BMW 3 with fold-down seats is certainly better, but perhaps not better enough. My ultimate fallback is the 3 sports wagon.

    I'm sure you'll enjoy your search, and even more the car that it reveals.
  • yukityukit Posts: 7
    Although the total capacity is large, the trunk opening is quite narrow, especially if you get the navi option because the CD-changer is mounted on the top side of the rear deck blocking the opening partially.

    I cannot use my bike/ski rack that mounts on the trunk either since I will lose the trunk access completely (no folding rear seat)

    Another little quirk I discovered is the keyless entry system unlocks the driver's side door, but you need to press a little button in the door handle to open the passenger & rear doors.

    So it may not be the most practical car, but I am sure most people will manage. OTOH, the car drives great, & navi is very good (though I don't like the crippled mode while driving that Lexus use)
  • py777py777 Posts: 62
    first drive? Anyone know when they would have it?

    BTW, please don't "hi-jack" others' thread by clicking reply and changing the subject. Post your own thread if you like. :)
This discussion has been closed.