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Infiniti G35 vs. Acura TL



  • 1. I like the interior, a lot actually. Very modern IMHO. We got 3 brand new cars in our company, Lexus GS330, Jag X-Type, and my sweet G35, so when I say I like G's interior, keep in mind that I did my homework. But, I admit it all depend on your own taste.

    2. I like the styling of G better than TL. I was waiting for 2004 TL too until I saw a picture of TL. The rear styling is just UGLY, and the front, is not any better than the 2003s. That's when I picked up my check book and got the G.

    3. TLs did have transmission problems, maybe not anymore, but comparing to Infiniti's relatively minor problems, I'd rather trust Infiniti on reliability. Reliability is one major concern why I turned down all American and European cars.

    4. As for handling, I don't really care, but it’s still nice to know that G will handle better.

    My G has about 2500 miles on it and I am very satisfied with it.
  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    Now my main gripe about the G35x is that it does not come with a manual transmission!! Nice car!

    If it means anything, I preffer the looks of the new TL over the G35 sedan, the G35 sedan over the old TL, and the G35 coupe over all, but loose practicality with the coupe. The new TL seems to have a more aggressive stance than the G35 sedan.
  • robertrrobertr Posts: 125
    G35 6MT has a hand-operated parking/emergency brake on the console as is proper with a manual transmission RWD sport sedan.

    I am very pleased with my G35S 6MT after 11,000 miles. It's a blast to drive in a way no FWD can ever be. My last car was a FWD Maxima SE 5MT which was a great car but I would always choose the RWD setup if available. No matter how good the 2004 TL may be, I can't see where it could be that much better than the Maxima, nor could it possibly be more satisfying to drive than a RWD car like the Infiniti.

    Incidentally, there was an aticle in yesterday's Wall Street Journal about how Infiniti's growth in the luxury category (esp. $30K-40K)has far surpasssed Lexus and Acura, and how Honda is operating at a handicap because it's platforms are (mostly) all FWD.
  • The TL is certainly superior to the Maxima, in virtually every category. For one thing, the TL does not suffer from the same level of torque steer as the current model, nor does it have the same questionable interior materialsn As for the previous generation of the Maxima, the solid rear axle impaired ride quality and detracted from handling.

    Infiniti has had a lot of growth in the $30,000 to $40,000 price point because they finally have some competitive vehicles in that market range. Their sales before the G35 were pretty weak, so growth is not a surprise. Hard for Acura to experience much growth because they've always been a strong player in that market.

    As for being satisfying to drive, that remains to been seen. I expect the TL will be every bit as much fun to drive, but the higher quality interior will make it a more pleasent car to own.

    I will be surprised if it rides as well as the G35. I personally find the G35 sedan to be an excellent ride/handling compromise - second only to the BMW 3 series.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    1990 Legend was a better car than Maxima ever be. Yes Nissan managed to put a good engine in the Maxima, but everything else is cheap just like in Altima.
    Malibu handles better than Maxima even SE, big rims and nothing else.

    G35 is the first nissan/infinity sedan with good handling it might be better that new TL, performance wise, but it's to early to tell.

    As for reliability honda was always better than nissan, and residual value of any ACURA is better that Infinity.
  • I agree with most of your points, but I think the reliablity of both brands is likely to be quite strong. I'll be surprised if the TL and G35 don't both turn out to be highly reliable vehicles.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I don't know why they (Honda included) don't just make use a hand E-brake across the board. Why screw around with a footbrake for sedan and/or automatic, and a handbrake for manual. I find foot e-brakes awkward to use, especially the push-on/push-off kind that seems to be in vogue these days. You sit low in a sports sedan or coupe. To lift you leg to operate the e-brake can result in a pulled groin! The worse screw-up, IMO, is the foot e-brake in the G35 coupe automatic. What a waste! Such a beautifully styled sporty aggressive car. You get in and it's got an e-brake that belongs on a Buick!
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,379
    the new TL has a hand brake (both trannies) unlike the old one that was foot.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Been following your comments for a while now. So which V6 engine (Honda/Nissan) do you find to be better? I've driven the G35 Coupe, new TL, 350Z, Altima and other models that have each makers V6 engines, and I have always found the Honda V6 to be smoother, and just generally more refined, if lacking the outright punch of the Nissan V6, in certain models. All this talk about the Maxima's torque steer is really interesting, guess I'll have to try one out, if I can get past the design long enough to drive it.


    We've disagreed elsewhere, but you make good points here. All this talk about the Maxima's torque steer is really interesting, guess I'll have to try one out, if I can get past the design long enough to drive it. Is it really that bad?


    A 1990 Legend was better than a Maxima of the day......umm...pretty much I guess. I do know for the 1991 Legend this is unquestionably true. I never understood what the big deal was with the Maxima, especially after the 1995 redesign went backwards in suspension design. They used to actually tout that it could outhandle a BMW 5-Series back in 1995.

  • True, the Honda V6 feels smoother than the VQ, but in terms of outright performance falls short of it. I think this basically has to do with the higher torque delivered by the VQ. For an everyday driver, more torque means quicker off the line starts and you don't need to rev it too high before getting the power down. Like all Honda VTECs, this one too is peaky and needs high revs.

    As for which application of the VQ I was referring to, well, its mostly a state of tune difference, everything else is same. The Altima V6 with a manual does 0-60 in 5.9 seconds, isn't than an outstanding performance for a midsize family car?

    The 2004 Maxima does have a lot of torque steer, and I wonder why Nissan has been unable to address it, especially when it was an issue even in the Altima. However, with the VSC/VDC/TCS ON, the torque steer can be eliminated. That said, I would pick the 2003 Maxima over the new one.
  • I couldn't have put it better myself. We've had: 1996 Integra GS-R; 1997 Accord EX; 2001 Acura 3.2TL. All had awesome engines, probably the smoothest engines I'd ever driven. But I sold my GS-R because you had to rev the snot out of it to go anywhere. Above 5500 rpm, it went like a scalded cat, but was flat below that. Our TL is the same way. Like you said, lack of torque. Look at the S2000. What an awesome machine. 240hp out of only 2000cc! Just incredible!! But you've gotta beat on it.

    Even the new '04TL is that way. 270hp, but less torque. I'll live with the very slightly less refined VQ for her to have more torque off the line. I guess it could be a long debate, but I think that a lot of people who describe their car as "fast" are feeling the torque, not the horsepower.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "For an everyday driver, more torque means quicker off the line starts and you don't need to rev it too high before getting the power down. Like all Honda VTECs, this one too is peaky and needs high revs."

    Gotta disagree with that. You simply do not need a bazillion lb-ft to get a 3,400 lbs car moving. More torque would just cause excessive wheel spin and pedal-induced right-hand turns.

    As for using the stability control to moderate torque steer, I suppose that is possible. But the control system uses the brakes for that sort of thing. Meaning that the extra torque is wasted.
  • gregory28gregory28 Posts: 174
    Fellow Posters:

    I know this is a mundane subject for the afficionados that post here, but have you seen the new dark blue color for the G-35? If I were buying it- leaning towards the TL- it would be my first choice with the tan interior and real wood. I'd probably add some faux wood to make the interior a bit more rich looking. Speaking of colors, the carribean blue may be the worst color I've seen; I'd place it in the same category as canary yellow- a color I see on the road at times.
  • I don't claim to fully understand all the ins and outs, but I understand that torque steer is a much more significant issue on the Maxima with the MT than the AT. Likewise, torque steer is not much of an issue for the Murano 2wd, perhaps because of the CVT. We may also see some differences in the TL line. I'm also uncertain as to how the LSD on the TL 6MT will influence the situation.
  • If you go by need, then you don't even need 160 HP to move a 3000 odd pound sedan. A 100-120 HP engine would do fine. What we are talking about here is sport sedans, and in that context, more HP and torque.

    Also, what makes you think that more torque means wheelspin and does not translate into quicker off the line acceleration? As posted earlier, even the base model in Nissan's lineup, the Altima V6, manages to outperform the Honda V6 in ANY application, with similar or less HP figures.

    Honda's VTECs need high revving, and its a universally accepted fact. Once they are in their power band, they go like a scalded cat, but in daily applications, one hardly revs up teh engine so high, unless you are at a stop light Grand Prix. The new iVTEC (I4 Accord) is much better in this respect and has resolved the problem to a certain extent.

    Traction control makes the best use of power available to control wheel spin, and this translates to quicker starts. Even modern F1 cars use launch control (another version of TC) to get faster off the line starts. In the end it all depends on how well the manufacturer can control the ever increasing HP and torque numbers being generated by new engines. BTW, one of the new AMGs, I think the S55, delivers close to 570lbs/ft of torque. Do you think that is all wasted?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,379
    A freind has this combo, with the wood trim package also. It is very attractive, and works well on this car.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    When I wrote "need", I was talking about what the car can handle, not what the driver wants.

    Variable valve technologies allow the engine to breathe at whichever rate is most efficient for the engine at a given rpm. In a cam-driven design like Honda's that means (at least) two different rates. That means one that is good for low rpm performance and another that is good for the high end.

    If Honda went without a VVT, they would have to pick one rate. Probably a middle ground somewhere between the two, which means that both the high and low ends would be compromised.

    You are thinking only of the VTECs from Honda sports cars. Indeed those are high revving engines designed with peak HP as the ultimate goal. That is not the end of the story. Honda also makes engines meant for vehicles weighing over 4,000 lbs.

    A better example than the I4 in the Accord would be the K24 in the CR-V, which peaks at a very reasonable 3,600 rpms with 162 lb-ft (not bad for a 2.4L engine). The I4 used in the Accord and Element peaks at 4,500 rpms. Or, you could also use the original engine from the MDX which had the flattest torque curve I've seen in an NA engine.

    "Also, what makes you think that more torque means wheelspin and does not translate into quicker off the line acceleration?"

    More torque generally does. But only if the tires, drivetrain, and road surface can handle it. There is a point of diminishing returns. Add more torque to a car like the TL and you'll also have to add bigger/stickier tires. Not to put too fine a point on it, but a TL using gobs of torque would lose most stop light races. It would sit there spinning it's wheels until A) the driver lets off the gas, or B) traction control brakes the wheels to a near standstill. Either way, you ain't goin' nowhere.

    The AMG example you chose probably cannot make use of all that torque without wheel slippage. Traction control will step in, but that is effectively using the brakes to reduce the torque. Once again, the torque is wasted on fighting with brakes. I'll wager that it can use more torque than the Tl, but that is by virtue of the fact that the AMG is a completely different layout with tires and a driveline prepared to handle the power.

    Think of what that engine would do in a TL... splatter it on a Jersey barrier.

    Find a FWDer that has more torque than a TL and doesn't exhibit problems like Nissan's torque steer, control issues like Saab's Viggen, or front tires the size of those mounted on the back of a Vette or Viper.
  • What you are saying that any car with more torque than the TL will be wasting it, since it will only spin wheels. WOW, I can only be amused at your knowledge.

    Not all traction controls use brakes as primary means of control. And, pray, could you tell me why a G35 is quicker to 60 than a TL, since it would basically be just spinning wheels off the line?

    As for VTEC, I am not saying that Honda should not go with VTEC, actually they should continue to push the envelope. I am just stating a fact. I also was not referring to Honda sports cars (NSX/S2000?) when I mentioned high revs. Even the 2002 Accord needs to be strung to high revs to actually feel the 200 HP in the V6.

    Secondly, I am not a fan of FWD cars, so why should I find a car with more torque than the TL? If you read my posts, I have already said that I prefer RWD, exactly for this reason. If you want to go with FWD and then blame low torque on FWD platform issues, do it. I would just take a RWD car and smoke the low torque car everywhere.

    Have you ever wondered why the 330ZHP manages a 0-60 time of 5.8s with lesser HP than other comparable sedans? Gearing and torque, and not having to worry about torque steer.
  • In general, RWD cars get the power to the ground more efficiently than FWD cars.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "What you are saying that any car with more torque than the TL will be wasting it, since it will only spin wheels."

    No, I never wrote anything of the sort. What I wrote is that an Acura TL with more torque would likely spin its tires. There is only so much a FWD car with stock tires can handle. Significantly more torque would overpower it.

    I was not suggesting that you PURCHASE a FWD car. I was suggesting that you find an example of a car with more torque than the TL and a similar design. In other words, don't come back with AMGs or supercars using RWD, AWD, or huge tires to handle the torque. Obviously, those are not realistic comparisons with a TL. Cars like the Altima, Maxima, and Viggen illustrate how too much power causes problems.

    As for VTEC, you are not stating a fact. You are stating a commonly held assumption based on cars Honda produced in the 1990's.
  • In general, RWD cars get the power to the ground more efficiently than FWD cars.
  • The parking deck at work covers all of these vehicles (hospital). The G35 coupe is one of the hottest rides in America (moving AND stationary). Now all I have to do is convince the wife it's easy to get a babyseat out of a coupe.
  • gregory28gregory28 Posts: 174
    Amother pedestrian response from me on a reason I like the G-35 sedan. It sounds like a fast car. With the windows closed you can faintly hear the engine, but when you open the windows, man it's a great powerful sound. "Throaty" was a description one of the reviewers used. I'm not looking to pick up chicks anymore, but you guys that are, definitely a plus.
  • kahunahkahunah Posts: 448
    Tomorrow, I’ll be testing the 2004 TL 6MT but I’ve decided to give the G the same consideration. So, today I test drove the G35 6MT (M6 trim in G-lingo).

    My initial impression was quite favorable, especially after seeing it up close for the second time. The exterior design seems to grow on you over time. I was very impressed but not surprised with the overall quality, fit and finish. I was expecting a larger looking trunk. Even though the G’s trunk is 2 cu.ft. bigger than the TL’s, it didn’t look it because of its irregular shape.

    The interior looked even better the second time around, especially with the willow leather trim. The reclining seat backs of the roomy rear seats are a really nice touch. The front seats were very supportive and comfortable but I didn’t care for the location of the seat adjustment switches. The non-telescoping steering wheel (in this car) with its controls was not exactly an ergonomic triumph, nor was most of the instrument console but overall, a very luxurious and comfortable interior that one could easily get used to.

    Road Test:
    Well guys, this was the deal breaker for me. Please allow me to explain. Before we got started, the salesperson (who BTW was a pleasant and very knowledgeable young fellow who answered all my questions intelligently) pointed out that the 6-speed manual stick shift in a RWD setup like this will vibrate…continuously. He said that this is normal for most manual RWDs, since the stick shift lever is directly connected to the tranny below, as apposed to using linkages to a tranny up front. With a puzzled look on my face I grabbed the shift knob, threw it in gear and…guess what? The vibration on that stick was so disconcerting that it ruined the drive for me. And, I’m not talking about a minor hum. It felt like I was holding one of those vibrating neck massagers set to medium-high the whole time. It drove me crazy…I couldn’t believe it! Worst yet, the excessive engine noise during acceleration combined with the vibrating shifter, made the car feel strained and unrefined. Not what I expected from a car in this price range and class. Other than that, the ride itself was excellent, especially the precise steering response and powerful brakes.

    Before I bought my ’00 TL, I drove a 5-speed Honda Accord for 7 years…no vibrations. I know that FWD is very different mechanically than RWD but help me out here guys. What is with this vibrating manual stick on the G35? I can’t believe that Infiniti would go through the trouble of building a solid, well handling, quality car like this with a world-class engine, only to allow tranny vibrations to penetrate the cockpit directly into the palm of the driver’s hand (let alone the engine noise). I would especially like to hear from G35 6MT owners to explain to me how this setup is a good thing, since I don’t recall reading about this phenomena on any of the boards.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Thats what I figured you'd say, as I've found that to be true myself. One other thing I've noticed with the just discontinued Acura CL-S is that its automatic hesitates upon hard acceleration from a standstill. I didn't notice this in the TL-S. Could be why the TLS has had more trans failures.

    I'm not really shocked that Nissan hasn't addressed the torque steer issue. They're introducing a new car it seems like every 6 months. This rapid product blitz has to take it's toll somewhere......the details. Audi used to sell a fwd A8 with a 270hp V8 and it had NO torque steer, so I know it can be done. Nissan just isn't going to spend the $$ to do it. That and their interiors are being short changed, but thats another thread.


    The AMG cars with the supercharged 5.4L V8 (E55, CL55, SL55 and S55) have 493hp and 516lb-ft of torque. The V12 cars (SL600, S600, CL600) make the same hp, but 590lb-ft of torque. Yes these cars do fight their brakes continuously upon hard acceleration, but Mercedes' traction control also cuts the throttle if the driver doesn't let up. The CL65 AMG (604hp, 720lb-ft) fights with its traction control through the first 3 gears!!

  • Yeah, I hear ya. I want the coupe too. Much nicer looking, better seats. But since it's for her, and we have a baby on the way in March, she refuses. "YOU get the $%$# baby seat out of the coupe" is basically what she said.
  • You seem to forget this discussion is G35 vs TL.

    I myself have been saying that Nissan hasn't been able to figure out the torque steer, and most people have complained that their newest product, the Maxima has the most. Not good.

    As for the high revving VTECs, I would suggest you take a drive in a 200 HP Accord and you will be able to feel the need to actually rev it up for the peak. This is not a myth, but a fact. Even my smooth iVTEC I-4 Accord exhibits this trait, but to minimal effect.

    Merc, even I feel that Nissan is doing something wrong in not being able to figure out how to control torque steer. Could this be cost cutting. I wonder how the 300 HP Northstar engined caddillacs do, with respect to torque steer.

    Kahunah, its disturbing to know that the 6MT has such vibrations in the stick. Maybe it was a particular car, but that's is really unpardonable.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    There's a glowing review of TL in USAtoday: - x.htm

    As I read it, I can't help thinking Lexus, not Acura, is the biggest winner in all this. Now ES has no credible challenger in the entry luxo boat class, Lincoln stands no chance against Lexus.

    While TL/G/3/A4/CTS are all chasing the same crowd, Lexus smartly stands apart and is the big winner! And it will have new IS to compete with the other guys too, and it will be much better than first one. You can count on that.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "While TL/G/3/A4/CTS are all chasing the same crowd.."

    Yes and the crowd they are chasing is different than the crowd the ES/Avalon is chasing, although not different than the crowd the IS is chasing. Does Lexus have two sets of crowds covered while the Acura/Infinity/Audi/BMW/Cadillac have one set of crowds. I don't think it's that simple.
This discussion has been closed.