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Infiniti G35 Coupe

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    sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    German brands have been successful in the past for the same reason that most successful marques enjoy success when they do - they offered things that you couldn't get anywhere else, and if the price was a little high, such was the price to pay for the best. Certainly, the same dynamic doesn't quite exist today, which is why Lexus now outsells Mercedes in the United States - the nearby Mercedes dealership here in Novi, MI is routinely empty; they had a SLK32 sitting outdoors for about six weeks. Not too golden, Mercedes only has brand cachet and technological gizmos going for it lately, having lost its "golden" name when it comes to luxury, quality, and other factors. Simply put, you can no longer say that the "best" is the exclusive domain of the Germans, when a Lexus is likely more luxurious and better built than its equivalent Mercedes, and an Infiniti or Acura is likely faster than its equivalent BMW. In order to charge the premiums, you have to make sure your product is fundamentally superior on *all* levels. Any other strategy simply equates to living on borrowed time.

    BMW has done much better simply because the press, as you said, still drools over what is still simply the better overall product in nearly every regard. I too would take a 330 over a TL (based on experience with both) and I suspect that I'd choose it over a G35 too. BUT - the margin of difference between them is not nearly as great as it was six or seven years ago, and I am sure even you have noticed that. There's a reason the TL-S dethroned the 330 here on edmunds, and now the G35 dethrones the 330 elsewhere. Is it because of price? Oh, definitely. But, take a look at the scores and you'll notice that price isn't enough to overcome huge deficiencies in other areas; the Mazda Millenia costs the same or less than a TL or a G35 but you're not seeing it upset a BMW, are you? Of course not. Why? Because even outside of price, the Acura and Infiniti are in shooting distance of the gold standard, and price is just the little nudge that's pushing them ahead.

    In short, the gap is closing considerably, and it does look like the two less-successful luxury nameplates (Acura and Infiniti) are making a serious run at BMW. And given that Honda and Nissan are pretty sporting companies, that should bode well for those of us who can't afford the BMW, as well as for the BMW loyalists who (hopefully) will see BMW crank up the heat in response and produce even more attractive offerings in response.

    As for Mercedes, they just don't make my heart beat anymore. Went to that Novi dealership and spent about 90 minutes there while she was test driving the ML and talking options with the salesguy. The CL coupe was the only car that impressed me. I did test drive a lightly used SLK320 they had there while I was waiting. The top was nice but the interior rattled, some of the switches were loose, the engine didn't have $51,000 of oomph, some of the rubber molding on the lower side skirts seemed to be peeling of, and while the chassis seemed like it'd last forever, I wasn't sure if any of the things bolted or glued to it would last more than five years. Afterwards I remarked to the salesguy that it had a much sharper and more precise steering feeling than I had expected (feeling bad that I hadn't said anything complimentary thus far) and he replied, "yes, that S2000 is a nice little Honda but it's just not a Mercedes" to which all I could think was, "thank goodness for that."

    At the behest of posters here like shifty and merc1 I keep looking for some charm in MB and I keep finding myself wanting when it comes to any of their sub-$60k vehicles. They're not as well built, they're not as luxurious, not as sporty, not as fun to drive, not as affordable to own... and unless you're paying $60k they're not particularly more advanced than the competition either. The only things they seem to have going for them are nice styling, nice paint jobs, doors that close with a nice thud, and the same three-pointed star that a CL500 or a SL500 gets. All that being said, would anywhere here choose a C-class sedan over an Infiniti G35? I am having a hard time coming up with reasons why they would.
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    verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    Ditto. Sphinx's right. My hometown has the newest Mercedes dealer in the Detroit area - right next to the Cadillac dealer, in fact. When Rochester Hills gets a Benz dealer, something's wrong with Benz (i.e. trying to increase volume too much). Benzes should be exclusive... I shouldn't be able to walk over from KFC or the Chevrolet-Toyota-Volkswagen dealer to get one.
    Of course, Benz's North American HQ is right next door in Auburn Hills. That explains Audi's new dealership here, too... VW-Audi keeps growing here in America, right?

    Benz has a 'Thing' I don't get. Hondas and Bimmers are definitely sport, and combining the two yields something close to Acura, so I'll take that if BMW goes crazy with strange styling and strange ergonmics and I-Drive in all their models. Nissan's comeback as a sporty maker is very interesting, and they are putting serious power into Infiniti for (arguably) the first time. I really like what Nissan is doing, and I'm definitely keeping an eye on them.

    Across the street from Ann Arbor Acura/Nissan/Mitsubishi/Hyundai is AutoStrasse Benz/BMW. BMW is always looking a little understocked to me, but that's the same like Howard Cooper on State Street (Honda/Volkswagen/Audi/Porsche). BMW does a lot of sales here. Benz, behind the BMW dealership (AutoStrasse is one German megaluxdealer, eh?), is always overstocked. Hard to maneuver my car through there... almost as bad as the perpetually overstocked Saturn dealer next door.

    On the other side, there's a Lexus dealer. Lots of Certified used models for sale, but the new inventory looks low, like BMW. I see plenty of Bimmers and Lexi around town, and Acuras and Audis, which make me plenty excited to see. Benz has a ton of cars on the lot and fewer on the road, which means they are trying to become mass-market and people aren't buying that business plan.
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    verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    Meanwhile, there are only two Infiniti dealers in Detroit area (Fred Lavery and Suburban) that I know of, and they're gonna have problems while getting enough G35 coupes in stock, I think.

    Sphinx, give up. The three-pointed star isn't worth diddlysquat if I can walk over from Chevrolet or Cadillac dealer on Main Street in Rochester or walk over from the Saturn dealer here and haggle for one. (I would haggle - they always look overstocked to me.) Benz's reliability goes down as they try to take on Lexus and BMW... and Acura, Infiniti, and Audi all have compelling product.

    Benz's styling was great a decade ago. The current model lineup just looks cheap to me in a way that a Benz shouldn't. The new styling is nice, but it's not Benz-like, i.e. extravagant. It screams "mass-market me!"

    Guys, I know I'm strange, but I'd rather have a deluxe Honda than a cheapened Benz. The C230 coupe is moving down into my price range... that's not good. Plus, the RSX so soundly beats it in value, it's not funny.

    The Benz I like is a model I think Benz should focus on the most... the S-class. The S-class so beats the Lexus LS (oversized yawnmobile), and BMW's new Bangleized 7-Series is a nightmare. Good thing I'm not in the market anytime soon (or ever, no matter what the financial situation is) for a big lux sedan. The 7-Series, the Lexus LS, the Infiniti Q45... ugh. Are these models 'competing' with each other?

    G35 coupe at least matches BMW 3-Series now in terms of looks and feature list. If the 3-Series gets Bangleized, then the G35 will trounce the 3-Series.
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    blacktalonblacktalon Member Posts: 203
    What impresses me about Nissan is that Ghosn said his goal was to produce the most powerful car in every single class that they competed in -- and with the Altima, Maxima, G35 Sedan, G35 Coupe, and 350Z they actually seem to be following through on this promise.

    This is particularly impressive given that a few years ago, following the death of the 300ZX, no one in the U.S. would have put the words "Nissan" and "performance" together in the same sentence. Sure, the Silvia and the Skyline GT-R are great cars, but very few people in the U.S. have even seen one...

    Now, though, I can see Nissan developing a reputation as a performance-oriented brand, and this may only take years rather than decades.
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    sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    Same. It won't take me decades for Nissan to transform itself into a bonafide performance plate. As I've said before I'll still hold my breath until the 350Z shows up; if it and the G35 coupe are as sharp as Nissan says they will be, then I could see Nissan simply stealing the BMW Thing from right underneath BMW's nose unless BMW turns up the heat.

    On a slightly more somber note, knowing that we're at the very beginning of a horsepower war has me uncertain about what the right decisions and the right cars are now. I think we're about to see the "sporty" car make a jump from 200hp to 300hp and in the process soundly demolish today's "sports" cars. Acura opened the door with the Type S's and now Infiniti (and the Altima) have trumped them with more displacement and torque. You know BMW won't take kindly to two manual transmission sport sedan/coupes outrunning their own non-Motorsports best, so they'll respond accordingly. A 240hp Accord will leave Ford and Toyota trying to transplant tuned truck/SUV 6-bangers into their sedans to match or beat the Altima/Accord... which means a 260hp IS300 18 to 24 months from now, if not sooner. By then we'll have an all new Mustang GT with bigger back seats and hp/torque numbers that exceed the now-one-year-old G35 coupe, which will have Acura looking long and hard at bumping the displacement of their 3.2L to 3.5L to push into the 280hp range. Then, one of the domestics throws a small displacement V8 into a coupe, driving someone to throw their hands up in the air and sell a loaded and well-crafted 300hp entry level luxury coupe/sedan for $31k.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Market share in the automobile field isn't won in one round because your opponent always fights back. This is why it will take a decade for anyone to touch BMW unless BMW lays down. One year of good cars is not going to crown Infiniti a champion, c'mon!

    The only time I can recall a competitor laying down and playing dead was when the Japanese attacked the British motorcycle industry. The Brits did nothing to combat it, offering no new models, no new marketing, no new nuttin'.

    And still it took the Japanese about 5 years to bury them.

    I don't think Benz and BMW are going to lay down for any Japanese competitor, do any of you?. They haven't in the past and I don't see them operating from any weakness today. I think they are, if anything, even more formidable an opponent for the Japanese than they were ten years ago. The Germans usually beat the Japanese to the punch in most technology that really takes hold, time and time again. Okay, maybe not THIS version of I-Drive, but SOME version, you wait! LOL

    And this is GOOD. Such fierce competition gives the consumer more and more. The main reason I see for the German's continued success in the foreseeable future is that the Japanese cannot yet reproduce the total driving experience of a German car and cannot come up with the striking styling that defines the European car (including Jaguar) right now.

    But when the Japanese do duplicate the experience, or come up with something even more interesting, things will change, I can't argue with that.

    Also, if I may say, if you are under 30 you just aren't going to "get" what a Benz is all about, and I fully understand that since I don't "get" certain cars either. A Benz is a mature person's car, let's just get that out on the table, for better or worse, they are for the "silver set". I wouldn't expect a young person to like them very much. I'm not all that fond of them myself compared to others I'd rather own.
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    blacktalonblacktalon Member Posts: 203
    Well, I'm 36, and I understand why people buy Mercs -- but they're not for me.

    I had a chance to test drive a 300HP CL-class at Comdex a couple years ago. Mercedes set up a test track next to the Vegas convention center and allowed all of the attendees to test drive any of their vehicles -- very cool idea.

    The CL was a very nice car, fast, smooth, precise steering, unflappable handling. And yet, in my opinion, my 200HP 5-speed Prelude is a lot more fun to drive. Despite the performance of the CL, you feel much more connected to the car and the road in the Prelude.

    Maybe if I were 50, I would prefer the comfort and luxury of the Mercedes. But maybe not...
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well if you were 50 and fairly prosperous, you probably wouldn't be driving a Prelude--that's more to the point I think. Maybe you'd opt for an AMG type of car or a Japanese luxo-coupe-cab like an SC430.
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    blacktalonblacktalon Member Posts: 203
    Nah, if I could afford an AMG, I'd buy a 911 instead. Maybe I'll feel differently in 14 years, but I see a lot of 50+ types driving 911s around here...
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    sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    "One year of good cars is not going to crown Infiniti a champion, c'mon!"

    Certainly not. However, Mercedes, BMW and Audi are not 15 years ahead of the competition either. At most a year or two ahead in some key areas, and now a year or two behind in some other key areas. I think what we're starting to see in Infiniti is the Acura Legend and the Lexus LS sedan - the cars that didn't need to explain themselves to their German competition. That Infiniti is going straight for Acura's throat (if they were going for BMW's, the G35 would cost $40k) suggests that the market has now matured beyond the who-can-compete-with-the-Germans stage it's been at for at least a decade or two, if not longer. I do agree that this is a good thing in the end, for us drivers. I know I for one would have jumped at a somewhat sharper and faster 330Ci, but it didn't quite have what I was looking for. However if the G35 coupe or the CL Type S inspires BMW to up the horsepower, tighten the steering a bit and add a couple of amenities while holding the line on price, the new sexy Acuras and Infinitis may indirectly result in my becoming a future BMW owner. Here's hoping NOBODY lays down and dies. (Other than Jaguar of course.)

    "But when the Japanese do duplicate the experience, or come up with something even more interesting, things will change, I can't argue with that."

    Well, I believe they have gone beyond duplicating the German experience, for what it's worth. I haven't driven anything German that gives me the thrill of a S2000... maybe a Porsche GT2, which I'll never drive. The NSX by all accounts does not need to explain itself to any German car. I can't say I've heard particularly bad remarks about the Supra, other than that it was expensive and had the wrong badge on it. We'll see what the 350Z is like, but I'm guessing that it and the RX-8 will be like nothing we currently have on the road today - from Europe or elsewhere.

    "Also, if I may say, if you are under 30 you just aren't going to "get" what a Benz is all about, and I fully understand that since I don't "get" certain cars either."

    I guess you may be right. Somehow Acuras and BMWs speak to me more clearly, and when I want softer rides and beautiful seats and sound, Lexus makes me drool. Mercedes leaves the same taste in my mouth when I see a Cadillac on the road.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Acuras didn't speak very well to Road and Track however, this last test, but the G35 did and the BMW certainly did. It's a great article, go read it and let us know what you think.
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    sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    I guess I'll be making a trip to the bookstore tomorrow evening :)
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    shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    While I have not been following this discussion, I am fairly active on other areas here in the Town Hall. I just thought y'all might like to see some photos taken this morning out in the parking lot of my main client Fuji Photo Film. I won't go into the details of how/why I got these shots (for more information see the "Infiniti G35 vs BMW 330i" discussion), suffice it to say, I got myself "Run-off" by the guy in the blue shirt when he saw me with my camera.

    For the pictures go to the "G35 Coupe" album on my Yahoo! Photos page, http://photos.yahoo.com/shipo. To view the pictures in full size, you need to first click on the "Thumbnail" shot, which will then be expanded to a "Screen Size" shot, and then again to expand to the "Full Size" picture.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
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    vincexvincex Member Posts: 6
    With Ship's picts, you can definitely see the 350Z resemblance in the coupe. It looks a lot more like the 350 in these pictures than the Infiniti press release pictures.

    On another note, I know we all love these horsepower wars, but Nissan needs to put more money into their interiors. I'm speaking of the Altima and G35. They have cheap looking interiors, which is inexcusable for the G35, which comes from a luxury brand.
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    bodydoublebodydouble Member Posts: 801
    That C pillar might create a huge blind spot. But overall, an impressive shape. No mistaking the Z lineage.
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    stanny1stanny1 Member Posts: 962
    I'm 53 years old and to me, Mercedes has cheapened the brand with these "light" models that are built for a low price.
    None of the Mercedes imported to the U.S. have ever appealed to me.
    I drive a Manual Lincoln LS and my lease is up just around the time the Manual G35 will be out.
    In 2000, the Manual LS was the only 4 door RWD Manual sedan available besides the BMW. Now look at the competition.
    The BMW and Lincoln both suffer from the lack of a Limited Slip Differential. Hopefully, it will be available at least as an aftermarket install for the G. Rumors are that the G Coupe will have factory installed LSD. That same unit should fit the Z and G sedan as well.
    Lincoln is discontinuing the Manual LS, while Jaguar is still offering this drivetrain. Go figure.
    Manual penetration in the U.S. is only 8% of sales. Most of that is two door sports cars and econoboxes. A very small % are four door sedans.
    In Europe, 88% of cars come with "standard" transmissions.
    You have to give Nissan credit for investing the money to develop a new Manual tranny. Toyota did for the IS300 and they will probably never earn back their R&D. At least Nissan can use the new six-speed in at least 3 new models.
    Thank Goodness they didn't take the easy way out and buy a Getrag. Getrag's ratios, even in the six speed, give a very limited overdrive ratio.
    Americans won't spend the money to develop new Manual trannies. In fact, there are not enough manual transmission engineers here in the U.S. to have a dinner party at Dennys.
    Being 53, I only have a limited # of years to enjoy spirited driving.
    I'll get an automatic when I can't get it up anymore.
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    rghesselrghessel Member Posts: 122
    I'm currently tormenting myself over a car purchase. My list includes the G35 (sedan...maybe coupe), Saab 9-3 2003 (completely new car...hasn't come out at), MB C320, and BMW 330.

    I've driven the BMW a couple of times and it's hard to criticize it...incredibly tight, well-made car...with decent looks. I'm just afraid I couldn't get used to the "noise." I know such a statement is anathema to BMW folks, but it's just a little loud inside for my tastes (I don't necessarily want the isolation of a Lexus, but think I'd grow tired of the drone...)

    I love the interior of the MB -- lots of gadgets and a very high quality feel to the switches. But the exterior leaves me so BORED. It just doesn't quite do anything for me (even though I really want it to!)

    I've driven the G35 a couple times. Love the exterior and most of the interior. However, the one thing that really bugs me is the feel of the plastic inside -- it looks cheap (really gives away its Nissan heritage). In the car I test drove, the plastic between the front seats was already marred and scuffed...makes me think it'll look like crap a few years from now. The BMW and MB feel so much higher quality inside...

    What do other's think about the interior quality of the G35?
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Hmmm....well if noise in an issue you might not like the Lexus IS300 but you should drive one as they are FUN, and if you want a Japanese car with a decent interior you might look at the Acura CL. It's pretty nice compared to most of its type and has a ripping good engine.

    The Saab is supposed to be a real hoot with lots of power and personality, but it is a Saab so you'll have to cross your fingers on reliability unless Saab has just leapt another rung higher in that department. Nothing but nothing delivers the best odds on reliability like a Japanese car, if you can put up with the down sides of those cars which to me are generally non-distinctive styling, and either bland or way too gimmicky interiors.
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    ligartligart Member Posts: 109
    For the love of bandwidth, please crop those pics! :-\
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    shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Ask and you shall receive. I have just posted a cropped shot of the G35 Coupe in the "G35 Coupe" album in my Yahoo! area: http://photos.yahoo.com/shipo

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
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    rghesselrghessel Member Posts: 122
    I just get so OBSESSED when I start thinking about getting a new car. I've read all the glowing comments about Acuras, but I just cant get over their styling. They look SOOO much like the Hondas they were built from. I just can't get beyond that... But I know that's my issue. Think I'll give the G35 another drive.

    Does anyone know if the interior of the G35 coupe will be any different from the sedan? (other than those gratuitious "drilled aluminum" pedals?
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    verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    You make "look like a Honda" sound, I dunno, like a pejorative term or something!
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    stanny1stanny1 Member Posts: 962
    Sounds like someone needs broadband. Don't you have cable modem available? DSL is a weak second but better than any dial-up. Of course, if you have AOL, we will take up a collection...
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    ligartligart Member Posts: 109
    Thanks, shipo!
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    saab93viggensaab93viggen Member Posts: 1
    The G35 Coupe is almost perfect. Price points and performance are wonderful ... though I agree on some of the interior build quality comments. I drove the premium G35 4dr and found interior quality pretty good but no match for Honda or BMW.

    That said, 45K (Canadian) for a 2 door bullet that will actually hold a set of clubs is my kind of car!

    Thanks to Shipo for the pics ... I was getting tired of gazing at the promo shots on the Infiniti website
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    iajstiajst Member Posts: 4
    I have wandered a long time when the Japanese car companies were ever going to build a car that will rival the BMWs in driving excitement, and being recognized for that by the automotive critics. With the Road and Track article on the 11 sports sedan comparison, Nissan is nearly there with the G35. If my memory serves me right, I have not read anywhere, where a recognized US automotive magazine actually says some of their testers believe that this Japanese car drives as good, if not better than a BMW 3 series. Wow, this is history in the making.

    I think Carlos Ghosn is a genius automotive CEO. His products are just coming onto the market. His first, the new Nissan Altima, is now a great success. His G35 is zooming up the charts. The new Z is causing an excitement frenzy. And if the G35 Coupe is as good (some people are predicting even better) than the G35 sedan, we are all in for a great ride. European driving capability with Japanese reliability and durability, what a recipe for success. I think Mr Ghosn has the formula down right. Sure he took a gamble, but great things don't come to people who play safe. He commissioned the building of a new FM platform (mucho bucks), completely departed from the boring Nissan styling norm and put great emphasis on handling, drivability, power and looks. So what if the inside looks less expensive, just look at the price! Around $30k! My guess is that Mr Ghosn is taking a leaf out of the Lexus marketing book, following them when they first introduce in 1990, the LS400 at an inexpensive $35K. Look at where Lexus is today. I believe this is Infiniti starting all over again, this time they will be recognized. I have not seen this excitement at Infiniti/Nissan for years since owning them (a Q45 and I30T). In fact I now have first refusal for the G35 Coupe when it arrives. This is a first for me.

    I have a question for Mr Shiftright, who I understand is a Mercedes expert. We are looking for a third car and my wife wants an SL, not the 2003 model, but the one that ran from 1990 to 2001. Can you give any insight as to their reliabililty and performance characteristics? Which year to look for, which year to avoid, 320SL or 500SL etc. etc. I would appreciate any information from anybody, or referral to any place with good ownership experience. Unfortunately, there has been no past discussion here in Edmunds on this model. Thanks.
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    Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,155
    If you've got a question for Shifty, you're better off posting in one of the Mercedes topics, or find him where he hosts -- Coupes, Converts, etc. or Maintenance & Repair.

    kirstie_h
    Roving Host
    Edmunds.com

    PS - I WANT this car.

    MODERATOR /ADMINISTRATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

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    sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    I want this car too. I'm trying to decide whether a CL-S with discounts is better than a G35 coupe with premiums. I can't decide.
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    wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Member Posts: 363
    you just bought a car! Where do you get this kind of money?! Can I have a job?:)
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    sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    The S2000 was bought with cash that I'd been saving for years (and had dumped mostly into the Prelude that preceded it). Make no mistake, the daily driver coupe will be heavily financed. Right now I'm trying to decide very hard whether it would make more sense to just get a used Accord V6 coupe. Either way, I am young and my dream garage is a convertible sports car and a entry level luxury coupe. I am halfway there, and need to go all the way before I get married. On the grave of shifty's great grandfather, I swear to you that I will own a coupe with a navigation system before the end of this summer.

    Plus, look at the folks posting on the SL500 board... "I just traded in my SC430 for a '03 SL500 but the steering wheel has a nick so I think I'll get a 911 Turbo and use the SL as a daily driver. But this is the best $100k car I've purchased in the last two years." Sheesh.
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    wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Member Posts: 363
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    wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,982
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    verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    Some people don't even need Dow Jones, it seems. Hope to keep my SILVER BULLET for a while, although Nissan-Infiniti is giving me reasons to save some cash. I'd like to pay cash for my next car as I did with my current one.
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    wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Member Posts: 363
    cept you didnt really pay cash for it, your parents did.
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    verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    Mom wanted nothing to do with it, said that an Explorer Sport or a slightly-used (right... the way you drive, Mom) Subaru Outback wagon would be

    ...

    SAFER

    ...

    \(>_<)/ whatever.

    -----------------

    I'm still wondering if that R35 GT-R concept will be different enough from the G35 coupe. The R35 GT-R will be an Infiniti.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think the G35 shows that some of the Japanese automakers are finally getting a grip on the "BMW Thing", which is really an entire package of characteristics artfully blended and developed for many years into a refined automobile.It's not just about drilled clutch pedals and re-valved shock absorbers. By refinement is meant being good at many things over a very wide range of driving conditions. The G35, from what I've read (have yet to drive one) seems to have this ability. Now they can work on styling it so that it is recognizable from the Japanese pack, an ongoing issue for me with most Japanese cars. Or not, maybe it's good enough for most people as is!
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    rghesselrghessel Member Posts: 122
    I've test driven the sedan twice now. Very nice driving car--does feel very "BMW-ish". I generally like the exterior styling. Unfortunately, I can't get over the quality of materials used in the interior. The seats are great, but the plastic used on the dashboard (especially the part that extends down between the seats) feels so cheap to me...very hard black plastic (or "platnium finish" with the sports package). There was even a faint outline of what looked like a "punch out" for some optional switch. Overall it's a nice looking interior, but it doesn't have the quality look/feel you'd expect for a car of this caliber.

    I agree with the above comments about the strides the Japanese have made toward achieving the BMW feel, but I gotta say they still need to work on their interiors. (Which I think are about the most important part of a car given that is what you see 99% of the time when you are near your car)...
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    sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    Hadn't the Legend effectively captured/surpassed the BMW Thing in its heyday? I've never heard of the Legend having to justify itself next to the BMW sedans of the same era.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think the Legend missed the point of what a BMW was in terms of driving experience, but did effectively copy a BMW in its gross characteristics. A BMW done on a Xerox (tm) machine. Two doors, peppy engine, nice interior. The externals were all there but the heart and soul was very very Japanese and not a stitch German IMO. All the edges polished off, typically non-offensive competent, dead-reliable Japanese product. I got plenty seat time in a Legend few years back.

    The G35 seems to have shed a lot of that white bread chemistry. I am very anxious to drive one, since I have a lot of BMW in the log book and should be able to judge the similarities/differences.

    I'm sure I'll like it but can't say how much yet. How does the engine/exhaust sound? Any feedback. Of crucial importance to motorheads.
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    verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    oh oh oh!!! I know the answer to this one! The reason why the Legend didn't "feel" 'not a stitch German' was... because... it was... a Japanese product!!!

    If you gotta have the Bimmer - buy the Bimmer.
    End of Rant.
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    sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    Agreed, I don't think a car needs to "feel" German in order to be attractive. That's like saying that you have more intrinsic worth because you're white. I frankly don't want the Infiniti G35 to become German because then it would cost $10k more than I can afford, have the CD player in the glovebox, have indecipherable button labels, and sit in the shop twice as long because a dashboard light keeps coming on. Here's hoping that the G35 ignores the Germans and concentrates on cutting its own path for itself.
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    gsamuelsgsamuels Member Posts: 1
    My 11-year old is convincing me to get a convertible after my Q45 was totaled. I am Infiniti Loyal with a J30 and 2 QX4s in our past/present.

    Anyone have insight re TIMING of G35 Coupe Convertible? I test drove the Sedan and it was great. My alternatives may be
    a) Saab 9.3 Convertible with very low APR 3-yr lease;
    b) Used Lexus GS400/GS300 and wait for the G35 Convertible; or
    c) Used Lexus GS400/GS300 and Used Convertible that I could turn quick once G35 Convert. comes out(e.g. Saab used or other low price re-saleable convert. - Mustang?)

    Any insights on G35 Convert. timing -- or anything else I am considering -- may help me sort though my confusion.
    THANKS!
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    verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    "Here's hoping that the G35 ignores the Germans and concentrates on cutting its own path for itself" (sphinx99)

    Preach it on the mountaintop!

    ... G35 convertible? trying to develop a mental picture ...
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    If the G35 ignored the Germans it would not have been the G35, it would have been last year's Infiniti. BMW is the target, loud and clear, which is good. Find the best in your field, find out why they are the best, and then "best" them without producing a clone. (reference: How the Lexus 400 did not become a Mercedes S class, but definitely used it as a benchmark).
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    sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    I agree. But note that these days when you sit in a Lexus, you don't say, "gee, this is pretty German! I like it!" No, the marque has established its own name and image, to such a degree that some owners would say that comparing the LS and the S flatters the S. That's where Infiniti needs to be. If the G35 feels very German, then it's just a second rate German car that happens to be built somewhere other than in Germany. (Not that German cars are built in Germany these days.)

    I think the Acura-Infiniti shoot-out is going to be very interesting. Acura has had this market to itself for a while now. I wonder if this will force a Honda migration towards RWD.
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    bodydoublebodydouble Member Posts: 801
    How about the new SL500?
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    bodydoublebodydouble Member Posts: 801
    If Honda comes to the party, they'll be late. They have always been sloooow to react to market trends. There's actually talk that Acura may ditch the CL-S, so they may not even want to fight.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Honda is a bit of a rebel in the car world, in some ways very conservative and in others the "lefty" or "liberal" of the automakers. Hard company to predict.

    Nissan I see working out of necessity, which is also good, as necessity often produces things that complacency could not.
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    sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    I finally bought and read the R&T article by the way. The G35 seemed to win in this article in a similar fashion to the TL-S's victory here at Edmunds. That is, it was clearly the second best vehicle, and awful close to the best, and price pushed it over the top.

    I wonder what BMW will do now that the gap is closing. Drop the price, or up the power on the 3-series? It does seem like there's a tremendous gap between the 330 and the M3 in terms of power. I'd be interested in a 250hp 330Ci. It's certainly going to need it if the G35 coupe is pushing 275hp in a lighter car with a 350Z suspension under $30k. 330Ci killer. If the G35 coupe sells out the door for $30k, is bolted together well, and handles half as well as the 350Z ought to, I think the 3-series may be relegated to "Pretty Good Driving Machine" status unless they either up the feature content, up the power, or down the price. This could be a heck of a coupe. Fastest coupe. Best handling coupe. Prettiest coupe. Cheapest coupe. If it hits a home run in all these areas, which it might very well do, BMW, Acura, Mercedes and the other high-line coupe builders won't know what hit them.
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    verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    Once again, I remind you that Honda has a Thing. That "Thing" usually includes FWD. The CL is a car made for America in America. It's an America-style personal luxury coupe. The CL-S is not going to "fight" with G35s! hahaha

    Whereas... the G35 is a luxosport coupe. Nissan has always believed in RWD compared to Honda's FWD "religion." Honda-Acura doesn't have a IS300 or G35 competitor, unless you do as I do and throw the RSX-S into the equation (and most people here refuse to do that, for whatever reasons they have). The RSX and CL aren't going to take on the IS300 and G35... Acura is talking about getting a model slotted below the CL/TL and above the RSX for this reason!

    Audi is going to get an A4 coupe too... A4 coupe vs. G35 coupe, anyone? I would have to do a comparo if both existed, as they will later this year/earlier next year.
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