The nav system has a neat topographical touch, a nice departure from the flat map look.
The G's cabin design is sporty and luxurious, casual and architectural. Its metal-look panels and switchgear recall the flavor of high-tech electronics gear. The gauges are clustered in a binnacle front and center that moves up and down in concert with steering-wheel adjustment, always keeping the instruments in clear view. Both of our test cars were Leather-equipped models, and everyone on our staff found the seating comfortable, supportive, and attractive. The rear-passenger compartment provides generous knee/leg/foot/shoulder room. Since both cars share the same wheelbase, the coupe's seats can be inhabited by full-size adults as well. Or fold the rear seatback flat for an extra-large cargo area. Infiniti offers a wide variety of sound system options, including top-line Bose units and an integrated DVD-based nav system with a retractable screen.
Dual-stage front airbags, front seat bags, and front/rear curtain side-impact airbags are the basis of the G's occupant-protection hardware. The brake pedal retracts to minimize leg injury; the front seatbelts have adjustable anchors, pretensioners, and load limiters; and the rear seats have LATCH child-seat anchorage tethers. Infiniti's Vehicle Security and Immobilizer system is standard, as is an interior-mounted first-aid kit.
Gripes? Few. Some staffers feel the taillights are oddly shaped. A few others say some of the switchgear is too small and that some of the markings are too difficult to read. But every editor feels that the console-area's sprayed-on metal finish on the console area appears substandard. Unused accessory switch plugs molded into the console are clearly visible, dulling the last degree of what is otherwise a nice interior. Infiniti makes up for it in performance... ...and value. Base prices range from the cloth-interior-equipped Sport Sedan at $27,100 up to the six-speed version of the Sport Coupe at $32,050. Substantively optioned versions of each are in the $33,000-$35,000 range, depending on how many extras you desire. Compare that to the midsize German marques, and you'll understand the G35's strong price/value equation.
"This design is solid, appealing, and fresh without being off-beat." "A fine road car; a wonderful sport sedan." "Smooth, appealing powertrains." "This six-speed is a joy to row through." "What a nice ride, and quiet, too." "How do they do this at these price levels?" The quotes keep coming for Infiniti's G35 Sport Sedan and Sport Coupe. Here's one to add: "Motor Trend 2003 Car of the Year."