- The Washington Times - Friday, August 8, 2008

If you want performance, style and technology in a sedan, then take a ride in the 2008 Infiniti G35x. It’s pricey, but it makes driving a real thrill.

The “x” after the G35 represents all-wheel drive. This four-door, five-passenger AWD sedan has a base price of $34,100. My G35x tester, loaded with some great options, had a bottom line of $40,365. If you can afford that, then the so-so gas mileage won’t deter you from this very exciting car. The EPA mileage rating is 17 miles per gallon city and 23 highway.

The paddles on the steering wheel allowed me to downshift swiftly to achieve excellent passing acceleration. The 2008 G35x is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that quickly produces 306 horsepower.

I gave this all-wheel drive sedan a good workout. The “x” in the G35 made a world of difference on the wiggly roads with hairpin turns. The extra traction allowed me to feel more secure regardless of how sharp the turn or the speed I was traveling. And the ride was exceptionally quiet and comfortable. I used the paddles on the steering wheel to shift into lower gears to increase acceleration.

The G35 sedan is eye-catching sitting on 18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires. The Infiniti people explain the exterior design this way: “It has L-shaped headlights plus Infiniti signature grille with sculptured twisted horizontal blades inspired by the traditional Japanese swords.” It also has a long hood and its clean simple lines suggest that the G35x is a hot car that’s ready to go - and this suggestion is very accurate, which made me antsy to keep getting behind the wheel every chance I could get.

The interior is exactly what you’d expect of an expensive car loaded with exceptional craftsmanship. For example, the leather-wrapped steering wheel is double-stitched by hand and the seats are leather appointed. Everywhere I looked, I could see upscale trim accented with genuine straight-grained African Rosewood.

Naturally, the luxury sedan has power seats plus a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, and all the settings lock into memory. The G35x also has up/down power windows for both front seats. Because it has an Intelligent Key, I simply left the key fob in my pocket to gain entry to the car and to start it up.

As soon as I turned the switch, the XM Satellite Radio started playing with great sound coming from the six-speaker system. Most of these features are included in the base price, but the things I really liked were in the option package, such as auto-dimming rearview mirror and the Bluetooth hands-free phone system. Another option the G35x offers is a great navigational system with touch screen lane guidance. You have to take a test-drive to appreciate the numerous variations to this system.

The 2008 G35x comes with Infiniti’s advanced airbag system. It has dual-stage supplemental airbags with seat belt sensors and occupant size and weight classification sensors. The G35x also features Zone Body Construction with front- and rear-seat crushable zones to help disperse crash energy around the passenger compartment.

Of course, the most important area is how safe is the vehicle when crashed. For openers, the G35 has received five-star ratings for front driver, side crash and rollover. It only has a four-star rating for front passenger, but I’m sure Infiniti is working on that.

It’s obvious why the G35 has been Infiniti’s best-selling model since its introduction in 2002. With all-wheel drive, the 2008 G35 is a comprehensive all-star lineup for Infiniti.

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