Thereare quite a number of exciting cars that you European types can lay your handson that aren't available in North America. However, I at last found a car thatis available in Canada, but not in Great Britain.
The car in question is the Infiniti G35 sedan, a car I will tell you now, issimply brilliant.
It's one of the few cars I've driven that really scored on all fronts. Yes, Iknow it's just a saloon, but it is a car that will serve all your needs and makethe experience a joy too.
TheG35 - like all Infinitis - is a very comfortable, practical, and sensible car.You can go shopping in it, park it anywhere and not be worried about it. You candrive it all year round too. ABS assisted brakes and the advanced VehicleDynamics Control system see to it that it copes with all weather conditions.
It uses an elongated version of the Nissan 350Z chassis and under its bonnetlies a tuned-down version of the same 3.5 litre, V6 engine that is found in the350Z. In this instance, the G35 produces a very potent 260bhp and also 260 lb-ftof torque. All that is transmitted through a semi-automatic five-speed gearbox,which is a delight to use.
That translates to a 0-100km/h time of 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 230km/h(143mph) - it's one fast family car. What really impresses is how well the carhandles some severe treatment.
The handling benefits from good weight distribution and rear wheel drive. Yes- this is no FWD pretender, but a proper enthusiast pleasing RWD powerhousewhich takes the battle firmly to the showrooms of BMW and Lexus.
The interior is very well put together with good fit and finish. All thecontrols are very well laid out and easy to use. That includes a good satellitenavigation system with a huge screen which also tilts to suit your position.It's also got day and night modes and you can adjust the brightness to yourliking.
Theseats have plenty of adjustment but lack side bolstering which would be handygiven how well the G35 can corner. The Vehicle Dynamics Control system (VDC)plays a big part in the car's cornering abilities. The VDC system works byretarding the engine power and also by working the brakes to keep the car goingin the intended direction. In heavy rain - which is what I had most of the timeI had the car - it demonstrated its abilities well, sorting me out in situationsI probably shouldn't have gotten into!
I also enjoyed the semi-automatic transmission. The system in the G35 is bothsmooth and responsive giving you the option of fully automatic or manualoverride for when you're feeling enthusiastic.
Styling wise it's a good compromise of distinctive look without being overtlyJapanese. There's definitely a hint of 7 Series about the rear flanks butoverall it's purposeful and quite European looking. Visibility from within thecar is particularly good.
The lines are flowing, which produces an very good drag co-efficient of 0.26with the aero package. That slippery shape makes for a very quiet ride at allspeeds. The only thing you hear is a particularly nice lovely exhaust note (ifyou're not listening to the fabulous Bose sound system).
Allin all it's an accomplished car. Refined when needs must but plenty of grunt,handling and RWD balance to enjoy when the mood takes you. I believe it's one ofthe best all rounders on sale in Canada at the moment.
It sells here for (CAN)$40,000 to (CAN)$47,000 depending on specification.[That's £17000-£2000]. They even do a more powerful coupe version.
Over the course of the year, I get to drive all kinds of cars, some I like,some I can't wait to give back. This G35 is one of those cars I didn't want togive back. It's a shame you Brits are missing out on this one.
Thanks to Nissan Canada andCathy Lovett for their help.