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Infiniti M35 vs Lexus GS 300



  • After test driving both the GS300 and the M35 (back to back, I might add), both my wife and I decided, hands-down, the M was the clear winner. Here's why:

    * Lexus was beautiful in terms of fit and finish and interior look/feel/quality, BUT it felt SO MUCH smaller inside. Although the differences in interior room are measured in 1-2" in each dimension, the M just felt like it had so much more space, like a Lexus LS or MB 5-series. We felt cramped sitting it the back seats of the GS. Just didn't feel right for a car in its class, especially since physically the two cars are so similar in size.

    * The Lexus had some odd placements of some important controls -- that drop-down console below the left side of the steering column is awkward. All of the M's controls were easily accessible without having to take one's eyes off the road for more than a second or so. Also, the nav screen is up higher, meaning you can glance at it without having to take your eyes too far off the road.

    * Tech Options: Both cars have really nice technology options, but I found the "multiple way of doing the same thing, pick what works for you" approach in the M to be more intuitive. If you don't like the computer interface, there are manual controls that do the same thing just like "in the old days" (pre-2003!).

    * Now for the biggest difference: DRIVING. The GS, with its "electronic overlords" (as one of the big car mag reviews recently stated) insulates the driver too much from the road. The GS drives smooth and luxuriously, but I'm more of a rubber-meets-the-road driver and really loved the FEEL of the feels like I'm connected to the car -- part of the machine -- whereas the GS made me feel like a passive observer in the driver's seat. The GS felt sluggish off the line, while the M just cranks across all levels of the power band. I also drove the M45 and that car is just a beast off the line...could get a lot of speeding tickets with that V8!

    In the end, I guess the M just inspired passion in me, while the GS left me with "nice car, but for $50k I'll take the one that's more fun to drive." The GS was a nice ride and I probably would have picked it if the M didn't exist...but it does, and so parked in the driveway now is a new M35 Sport.

    Both cars are much better than their expensive and unreliable German counterparts! I like to think of Lexus as having a focus on Mercedes-style luxury, while Infiniti is clearly going after BMW for performance.

    Anyway, that's my $0.02!
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,569
    Nice summary. It's exactly why I too have an M35sport sitting in my garage since March. I haven't regreted my decision once.
  • ktkatktkat Posts: 7
    I drove both the M35 and the Lexus GS (along with BMW 5 series, Acura TL, and others).

    I leased the M35 (with Journey and Tech). I've had it since March and find every excuse to drive. I actually like the interior (black) very much. The controls are very user friendly. I love the bluetooth, and voice controls. My phone is synched up to the system. I was surprised at how inaccessible the controls were in other cars, compared to the M35.

    The M handles like a champ. It seems much more responsive and fast than the GS. I was a little bored driving the GS (and the ES ), but the GS was a bit quieter. I also noticed a big difference in interior size between the two cars, and I am only 5'3". The M35 is much roomier in the front AND back seats.

    Based on my test driving and my experience with the M35, I would highly recommend the loaded, fun-to-drive, yet luxurious, Infiniti.

    My BMW-driving friend (5 series) told me he was "shocked" at the great handling and features on the M35. He decided to buy one for his wife after driving mine.
  • g8rattg8ratt Posts: 2
    I am looking at both the M35 Sport and GS300 and I am having trouble finding all the options I want.

    The 300 can't be found with the smart cruise control and pre crash sensors, so says the dealership. And I may have to wait on the 18 in spider wheels. Most don't have nav or ML audio.

    The M35 S can't be found with a DVD player, although the m35 with the premium package has DVD, just not the sport.

    Dealerships are maddening. Honda/Acura is the only carmaker to figure out that you make everything standard except what a dealer can add themselves. Too bad I don't like the RL.

    Have you guys had any luck finding these options?

    I am still torn between the 300 and M35.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    Dealerships are maddening. Honda/Acura is the only carmaker to figure out that you make everything standard except what a dealer can add themselves. Too bad I don't like the RL.

    I got an M35 because I didn't like the RL either. One of the primary reasons is that Acura chose for me what I'd like or not like on the car. Unfortunately they chose wrong :sick: You see, I did not want OnStar or NavTraffic. I did however want a RearView Camera and Birdseye View Navi. Acura found out the hard way (with very poor sales figures, at least until they started giving it away under invoice :blush: ), that one size does not fit all :shades:
  • donbldonbl Posts: 42
    Drove both cars within a day and came to the following for "us":

    M35 is more fun to drive (of course, a M45 would be more fun)
    GS300 is very nice inside
    GS is a Lexus (read ego)
    M has better technology package or the salesman was better
    Near neighbor has exactly the same GS my wife wants....
    Wife wants white and GS comes with that black wood stuff

    I think the M is winning.
  • donbldonbl Posts: 42
    Wife went for red GS 300 and that is the deal.

    'Course, all the analysis was for naught when emotion and color choice rule.

    Did take a DVD video/audio and listened & watched the DVD play on the navigation system. Pretty slick and the ML sounded great.
  • KTKAT:

    Thank you, Thank you and Thank you. After reading your review of the M35 vs. Lexus etc. you made me feel better for buying the M35 loaded w/o premium recently.

    I looked at the Acura TL & BMW 5 series and after I signed the contract I was bummed I didn't purchase the BMW 5 series price was about the same for a loaded BMW plus the 4 ur service but I thought the M35 had some better features then tyhe BMW.

    Also what Bluetooth phone are you using with your M35? I need to purchase a new phone with Bluetooth for my new car PU Thursday can not wait.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Congrats on your new ride! :)

    Why don't you stop by the ongoing Infiniti M35/M45 2006+ discussion? You'll find a lot of enthusiastic owners there and all kinds of conversation, both past and present. It's probably the best place for specific M35 questions.

    Oh, and welcome to our Forums!!
  • Does anybody know if they increased in head room in the GS for 2006? I was going to go and test drive but based on what people over 6 feet tall are saying, I'm only going to if they addressed this problem in the 2006 model.

  • donbldonbl Posts: 42
    The M35 has much more head room front and "especially" back than the GS or the RL.

    I will also have a problem with son-in-law but he will have to live with it or fight my wife for her spot in front which isn't much better.....
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,569
    The new GS model ('06) has reduced headroom.
  • Thanks for all talk about BUYING the M35...BUT has anyone had any real problems? Mechanical or handling or tires???
  • M45 Sport with 7,000 miles. Not one single problem with mechanicals or tires. 2003 G35 Coupe, 25,000 miles, not one single problem of any type. 2003 MB SL500, 25,000 miles...not one single problem of any type.....multiple problems of every type.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I've had two problems in 9500 miles, although only one is related to mechanical. The moonroof rattle has been fixed. The "mechanical" problem was a driver seat that became loose enough to slide about 1 cm with harder stops. They had to order a new bracket which fixed it (one week wait for part).

    Others have complained about a pulling to the side when braking. Mine stops perfectly straight (I've even tested it without hands on the wheel--in a safe place, of course).

    Handling and performance are great. The trade-off is mileage. I've had to replace one tire (a piece of metal went through the side-wall). It was pricey.
  • Dear All,

    Thank you for this message board and comments. Really helped me in making decision between GS 300 and M35.

    They are both great cars; can't go wrong either way.

    But, having driven both cars multiple times, I must say M35 beats GS 300 in terms of fun to drive and cool factor. M is better in every area, particularly acceleration and handling.

    Purchased new M35 sport liquid platinum yesterday, and it is a dream. Solicited bids on both cars. Best deal was on the GS 300, dealer out of south FL. Will sell car for 40K new (MSRP 46,174) and would ship to my front door for 40,500. M pricing is not as flexible. M appears to be hotter car and could not find it in Southeast for less than 288 dollars over invoice: m35 sport non-jouney, splash guards, full size spare and trunk mat: 41,288 and 41,487 actual price quotes in south. Invoice was roughly 41K.

  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,569
    WOW, I'm surprised that the GS could be obtained for almost $6k under msrp.

    BTW as a multiple previous Lexus owner I agree with your assessment.

    Good luck with the new ride.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    Thanks for all talk about BUYING the M35...BUT has anyone had any real problems? Mechanical or handling or tires???

    3300 miles with zero problems. Although the M is a new US model it debuted in Japan a year ago so it is not a new Nissan/Infiniti model. :shades:
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    Allen: May I ask the name of the dealer in South Florida who was willing to give you 6K under sticker?
  • bcorigbcorig Posts: 13
    4000 miles - no problems. A dream to drive. No comparison to the RL and GS 300 in terms of headroom, legroom, rear seating room. Milage abot 19 mpg.
    One flaw - passenger seat. Not nearly as comfortable as the driver's seat. :)
This discussion has been closed.