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Infiniti G35/G37/G25 Used Car Buyer’s Guide

Lyndon Bell
by Lyndon Bell
June 19, 2012
10 min. Reading Time

When Renault took over a then-failing Nissan, CEO Carlos Ghosn inventoried the brand’s assets to determine its strengths. In so doing, he discovered Nissan’s marvelously refined VQ series V6 engine. Free winding, extraordinarily smooth, powerful, tractable and blessed with the most exquisite exhaust sound this side of a Ferrari’s, Nissan’s V6 engine was a feat of engineering deserving of its own episode of the TV show “Modern Marvels”.

Recognizing the VQ for the jewel it was, Mr. Ghosn ordered the powerplant bolted into every Nissan and Infiniti engine bay capable of containing it. The result was a lineup of some of the most desirable automobiles on the market today.

The other thing that made Nissan’s rear-drive cars standouts was the front-midship or “FM” rear-drive platform layout debuted by the company in 2001. The FM layout places the engine’s center of mass behind the front axle’s centerline, moving it as close to the firewall of the vehicle as possible. This takes considerable weight off the front suspension, thus improving agility and steering response. Additionally, distributing the overall weight of the car more evenly between both the front and rear suspension systems typically results in a 50/50 weight balance, making rapid changes of direction more easily accomplished.

Further, because the weight is distributed more evenly, engineers can place the wheels as close to the corners of the platform as possible. This widens the stance of the auto, improving its overall stability. Suddenly you have all the advantages of rear-wheel drive, plus outstanding agility, exceptional stability, and a silky smooth engine—with a beautiful sound. That’s a recipe for a highly desirable sporting automobile. And so it was the Infiniti G35 came to the North American market in 2003 in Coupe and Sedan formats, with that exact configuration, to immediately become one of the most highly desirable car lines available.

All-wheel drive and hard top Convertible versions of the Infiniti eventually appeared, adding even more luster to its already gleaming halo. The G35 sedan was sold in North America from 2003 to 2008. The G37 iteration of the sedan was introduced in 2009, while the Coupe garnered G37 status a year before, in 2008. For 2011, a lower-cost variant of the sedan appeared with a smaller engine—yet strong appeal.

Infiniti G35 Used Car Buyer’s Guide: 2003 - 2008

The first (2003) Infiniti G35 model was nominated for North American Car of the Year, named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year, and resided on Car and Driver magazine’s “Ten Best” list for both 2003 and 2004.

Introduced in both Coupe and Sedan forms, both were powered by the same 3.5-liter V6, although the Coupe got a more powerful version of the engine. The G35 Coupe enjoyed 280 horsepower, while the sedan made do with 260.

Both body styles could be had with either a six-speed manual transmission, or a five-speed automatic. (However, the six-speed manual was a late addition to the 2003 sedan’s offerings.)


Infiniti G35 Used Car Buyer’s Guide: 2003

Essentially a badge engineered version of the all-conquering Nissan Skyline, the 2003 Infiniti G35 featured, as standard equipment; 16-inch alloy wheels, intermittent windshield wipers, a rear window defogger, and a multi-link front and rear all independent suspension system. The driver seat featured a manually adjustable lumbar support, and the base interior was upholstered in cloth. Leather was an option. The rear seat was capable of folding and featured a pass-through center armrest to the trunk. The rear compartment also featured ventilation ducts.

The power suite included windows, door locks, exterior mirrors, and two one-touch power windows. All four windows were capable of remote operation. Also included in the base price was cruise control, a cargo net, a front console with storage, front seatback storage, front and rear cup holders, a remote trunk release, and the G35 retained accessory power when the engine was shut down.

The speed proportional power steering system featured a tilt adjustable leather wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls. The automatic climate control system included interior air filtration. There was a trunk light, alloy trim on the center console, shift knob, dashboard, and doors. Included in the base price were front reading lights, front and rear floor mats, and a set of dual vanity mirrors.

Every Infiniti model includes an analog clock; the G35 also featured a tachometer, an external temperature display, a low fuel level warning indicator, and a compass. The audio system featured a 120-watt amplifier driving six speakers from AM/FM in dash six-disc CD player stereo head unit featuring the radio data system (RDS).

The 2003 Infiniti G35 Five-Speed Automatic With Leather option used 17-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps, a power adjustable driver seat, and of course leather upholstery. The 2003 Infiniti G35 Six-Speed Manual With Leather option added a power front passenger seat.

In addition to the sedan’s standard equipment list, the G35 Coupe added heated seats for the driver and front passenger, a power actuated rear seat easy entry feature, 12-volt front power outlets, xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps, and a 160-watt audio system. The Six-Speed Manual With Leather Coupe used 18-inch wheels, power adjustable seats for the driver and front passenger, an overhead console with storage, and dual illuminated vanity mirrors.

The G35’s safety package consisted of four-wheel ABS for all four ventilated disc brakes, front and rear head airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags, a set of child seat anchors, and an antitheft alarm system. There was also an engine immobilizer, fog lights, a rear center three-point safety belt, and front seatbelt pre-tensioners.

The 2003 Infiniti G35 also had stability control, traction control, electronic brake force distribution, a passenger head restraint whiplash protection system and a driver head restraint whiplash protection system.

Navigation was optional across the board.


Infiniti G35 Used Car Buyer’s Guide: 2004 / 2005 / 2006

The all-wheel drive Infiniti G35x sedan was introduced. Tire pressure monitoring was added to both sedans and Coupes as standard equipment. Heated outside mirrors and heated front seats were added to the standard equipment list for Sedans in general. The six-speed manual leather Coupes got a revised front console with an additional cup holder. A limited slip differential was added to standard feature set for six-speed models as well.

Exterior styling revisions for the sedan added a new hood, grille, bumpers, side sills, taillights and wheels. The V6 engines fitted to the Sedans were granted the same power and torque output as the engines in the Coupes  (280/270 up from 260/260) with the five-speed automatic transmission.

The engines in the six-speed manual Coupes and Sedans got bumped to 298 hp. A set of 18-inch wheels and drilled aluminum pedals were prescribed for 2005 Sedans with the sport suspension package.

The instrument panel and console area was redesigned and buyers had a choice of aluminum or wood trim. The manual transmission was reworked to improve shifting effort, enabling drivers to execute smoother gear changes The G35 S, an even more sport-oriented version of the Coupe, delivered a firmer suspension setup, a limited-slip differential, 19-inch forged alloy wheels, and drilled aluminum pedals. Brembo brakes were discontinued on manual-shift Coupes, as they tended to wear prematurely.

Bluetooth connectivity came in as optional equipment across the board. A unique front fascia, side sills and an optional rear spoiler were introduced for the Sport version of the Coupe (the G35 S). Active rear steering was introduced as an option for the Coupe as well. A motor-driven control adjusted the rear suspension geometry, based upon steering input and the rate of speed at which the vehicle was traveling to help improve handling performance. The active rear steering system also incorporated a quicker steering rack as part of the package.


Infiniti G35 Used Car Buyer’s Guide: 2007

Technically, the 2007 G35 sedan is a G37, without the 3.7-liter engine.

Completely redesigned for the ’07 model year, the all-new G35 Sedan boasted a stiffer body, thanks to additional structural reinforcements around the engine and rear floor area. Also, with three times more laser welding and 16 percent more spot welds than the original version of the car, overall body stiffness was improved by 40 percent.

The suspension system’s upgrades came courtesy of a switch to a pair of single-pivot lower control arms from the twin lower links of the first generation G35’s set up. Sport models got a viscous limited slip differential. An Active Steering package was offered as an option for Sport Package equipped models, featuring a planetary gearset on the steering shaft capable of varying the steering ratio between 12.0:1 and 18.5:1. The system also incorporated a rear-wheel steering system, which induced as much as one degree of rear steer. Rounding out the Active Steering Package was an even stiffer set of shocks than was fitted to the standard Sport Package.

While displacement of the V6 remained the same, its output increased to 306 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque. In the Coupes, the engine made 293 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque in the 6MT (Six-speed Manual Transmission model) and 275 hp and 268 lb-ft in the five-speed automatic version.

The sedan was offered in five trim levels: base, Journey, x (AWD), Sport, and Sport 6MT (six-speed manual transmission).

Standard equipment on the base 2007 G35 included; 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon HID headlights, leather upholstery, power seats for the driver and front passenger, automatic climate control, a full complement of power accessories, a CD player, a trip computer, and keyless entry and start.

The Journey model added a dual-zone climate control system, and a six-disc CD changer to the audio package. The x model’s trim kit added all-wheel drive and a pair of heated front seats.

The G35 Sport built upon the Journey's equipment list with a stiffer suspension system, a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, the limited-slip rear differential we mentioned above, a pair of front sport seats, and a more sport-oriented steering wheel.

The Sport 6MT added a six-speed manual gearbox to all of the above.

Optional features bundled into the Premium Package included a moonroof, an upgraded Bose audio system, a set of heated front seats with memory for the driver, a power-actuated tilt/telescoping steering wheel, an electrochromatic auto-dimming rearview mirror and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Technology Package garnered active cruise control, a set of adaptive headlights, and a rearview camera and video monitor.

Other options included a hard drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic and MP3 music storage capability, satellite radio, the four-wheel steering system we described above, and genuine wood interior trim.

The safety package included ABS for all four ventilated disc brakes, emergency braking assist, and electronic brake force distribution. Tire pressure monitoring, an engine immobilizer, stability control, and traction control were also fitted. Front and rear head airbags, dual front side mounted airbags, passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation, passenger head restraint whiplash protection, and driver head restraint whiplash protection were also included in the base price. A rear center three-point belt, front seatbelt pre-tensioners, and an emergency interior trunk release rounded out the package.

The 2007 G35 Coupe stayed with the previous generation’s body until 2008. For 2007, it returned as before, available in either base or the manual transmission "6MT" trims equipped pretty much like the base G35 sedan.


Infiniti G35 Used Car Buyer’s Guide: 2008

There were no changes to the G35 sedan for MY’08. However, the Coupe was replaced with an all-new model designated G37—to reflect the displacement increase of the VQ V6 engine.


Infiniti G37 Used Car Buyer’s Guide: 2008

While the sedan remained designated G35 for MY’08, the Coupe was fitted with a 330-horsepower, 3.7-liter version of the VQ series engine, good for 270 ft-lbs of torque. Incorporating the modifications made to the 2007 G35 sedan’s body structure, along with a slightly lower overall height, wider front and rear tracks, as well as the modifications made to the 2007 G35’s front suspension system, the G37 became an even better sport coupe.

Albeit a sport coupe with a broad array of luxury features—making it one of the nicest and most affordable Grand Touring cars available.

The 2008 G37 Coupe was offered in three trim levels; base, Journey and Sport 6MT.

Standard equipment on the 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe base model included a set of 18-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights, keyless entry/ignition, leather upholstery, power actuated front seats for the driver and passenger, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, automatic climate control, a folding rear seat with a trunk pass-through, and a head unit featuring an AM/FM/CD/MP3-disc player with satellite radio and an auxiliary audio input jack for portable devices.

The Journey trim package added dual-zone automatic climate control and an in-dash six-disc CD changer.

The Sport 6MT trim featured the six-speed manual transmission, a limited-slip rear differential, a set of 19-inch wheels to complement the high-performance tires, sport suspension, and more robust braking system. The sport-oriented front seats featured manual thigh extensions and power-adjustable torso and thigh bolsters for the driver.

By the way, all of that (save the six-speed manual transmission) could be had with the automatic-equipped G37 Sport Package Coupes.

The 2008 G37’s Premium Package added a power sunroof (which could also be had as a stand-alone option), along with a power adjustable steering wheel, driver’s memory settings for the seat and steering wheel, a pair of heated front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, and an upgraded Bose stereo system with a fully integrated iPod interface.

Ordering the Premium Package also enabled a buyer to get the optional navigation system with real-time traffic information, and voice activation. The G37’s Premium Package also featured a rearview camera, which used the nav screen for a monitor—as well as nine-gigs of hard drive storage for audio files.

The Technology Package, which could be added when the Premium Package was ordered with navigation, included adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, and seatbelt pre-tensioners.

To cap it all off, the G37 was also offered with four-wheel active steering, which Infiniti’s product people referred to as 4WAS.


Infiniti G37 Used Car Buyer’s Guide: 2009 / 2010

For 2009, the 3.7-liter V6 was apportioned to the Sedan (making it finally a G37 model) like the Coupe, bringing the G series lineup back into parity. The G37 Sedan and Coupe gained a seven-speed automatic transmission. Otherwise, all trim lines returned for 2009 equipped largely the same as in 2008. A hardtop Convertible version of the Coupe debuted for 2009, offered in base and Sport 6MT trims. An all-wheel drive version of the Coupe premiered in 2009 as well.

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the G Series (going all the way back to the four-cylinder, front-drive G20 of 1990), Infiniti released Anniversary Editions of the G37 Coupe, Convertible and Sedan based on the G Sedan Journey and AWD, G Coupe Journey, and G Convertible.

To make the cars special, the Premium and Navigation packages were included. Additionally, the Sedan and Coupe got the Sport Package and 4WAS active steering—unless the model was equipped with AWD. Climate-controlled seats were folded into the Convertible Anniversary Edition’s packaging. A special graphite paint color was used; along with a unique set of wheels, a distinctive front fascia, sport side sills (except on the sedans), Anniversary-specific interior trim, and a set of red leather seats.


Infiniti G37/G25 Used Car Buyer’s Guide: 2011

On the Sedan side of the Infiniti G house, a new variant was introduced for 2011. The G25 came to market with a 2.5-liter V6 and a lower price tag. Producing some 218 hp and 187 foot-pounds of torque, the G25 came in base and Journey trims. There was also an all-wheel-drive version, designated G25x.

The base G25 model came with a set of 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon HID headlights, fog lights, keyless entry/start, cruise control, an automatic climate control system, power adjustable driver and front passenger seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, and a six-speaker audio system with an AM/FM/Satellite single-disc CD player head end with an auxiliary audio input jack for portable devices.

The G25 Journey, equipped largely like the G37 Journey, added automatic headlights, a pair of heated exterior mirrors, a rearview camera, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, a set of rear-seat air vents, a pair of power operated heated front seats, an electrochromic auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth streaming for telephones and audio, and an integrated iPod/USB interface.

The look of the Coupe was updated with a new front-end treatment, which relocated the fog lights. The all-wheel-drive G37x Coupe got a sport package and the IPL (Infiniti Performance Line) trim debuted. Basically a G37 S with a 348-horsepower version of the 3.7-liter V6 making 276 ft-lbs of torque, the G37 IPL also featured distinctive front and rear-end treatments, an extended set of rocker sills, a unique rear spoiler on the trunk lid, IPL-specific aluminum wheels, and red accent interior stitching. IPL intenders had a choice of either the seven-speed automatic, or the six-speed manual transmissions.


Infiniti G37 Used Car Buyer’s Guide: 2012 (Current Model)

All Infiniti G models went into 2012 essentially unchanged from the 2011 model year.


Infiniti G35/G37/G25 Used Car Buyer’s Guide: Summary

As a pre-owned purchase, we have been regaled with stories of expensive repairs, as well as transmission problems with automatic versions of the G series of Infiniti cars. Abrupt shifts in the manual mode, as well as sluggishness and delayed throttle response seem to be fairly common transmission complaints from perusing the G37 owner’s forums on the ‘Net.

You’d do well to comb through a few if you’re considering the purchase of one of these cars, or any used car for that matter. Additionally, while you’re here on the ‘Net, look for Infiniti G35/G37 recall information too, in order to make sure you can inform the mechanic performing your pre-purchase inspection of all of the things to look for. Yes, a truly professional mechanic should already have this information, but given it’s your hard-earned scratch; it’s always a good idea to know for yourself.

While the G series of cars have a strong luxury component, they are quite capable performance cars too. That said, the possibility for abuse is stronger than say in a Lexus ES. With that in mind, you’ll definitely want to get a very thorough pre-purchase inspection. A VHR (vehicle history report) run against the car’s VIN is a great idea as well.

Also, given the high performance nature of the G cars, you can expect insurance premiums to run a bit higher than for the average auto. Before you fall in love with the Infiniti, get a quote to make sure the insurance cost for the model you’re looking at is comfortably within your budget.



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