NickD
NickD PowerDork
5/17/19 3:55 p.m.

So, my 2003 Subaru Baja is on its way out. Like every Subaru it's got rust holes the size of my fist down through the rocker panels, chews through brake parts pretty frequently and leaks every fluid known to man. Also the clutch has no friction material left and I just don't like the car/truck very much. It's got no power yet only gets 20mpg, the back seat is pretty small and only seats two and the bed is worthless. But it went really well in the CNY winters and was kind of fun to hoon about in the white stuff. 

While trying to decide on a replacement for it before this next winter, I remembered that Infiniti built an AWD variant of the G35 Sedan and I see that they have dipped down into the $6k price range. It's auto-only, but that means I won't go too far down the modding hole and it's less likely to be thrashed to death compared to the RWD/manual variants. And with almost 100hp more than my Baja, it should still be faster, even with a torque converter in the mix. They only get ~16mpg city/20mpg highway, but that's about what my Baja got and my ZJ Grand Cherokee before the Baja was even worse. Aluminum subframes and suspension parts in theory, might be less likely to rot out than the steel subframes in a lot of other cars. I read that the transfer case has a Snow mode that locks it to a 50/50 torque split (normally I guess it's 30/70 and pulls power from the front as speed increases to make it less pushy/understeery) which seems nifty. And when it's not winter, I could toss some different wheels and more performance tires and maybe BC coilovers (yes, they make G35X-specific coilovers) on it and make it relatively fun or a backup bad weather autocross car.

I seem to see some for sale with fairly high miles, so it doesn't seem like they have some made-of-glass transfer case that is unobtanium and sidelines them like some stuff out there (I recall that being an issue with some Volvo I once asked about on here). The VQ35 may not be a great sounding engine, but I know that they are pretty long-lived. I did have a friend mention something about head gaskets? Never heard of them being a huge issue with VQs, and I'm driving a high-mileage EJ251, so I bet its less likely than that. How are the auto transmissions in these on a scale of Subaru 4EAT (tough) to Honda Odyssey (time bomb)? Am I missing any other pitfalls with these cars? Are there any other cars I should be considering in the price range (no European stuff or anymore Subarus, please)?

pontiacstogo
pontiacstogo New Reader
5/17/19 4:15 p.m.

Some good info in this thread;

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/infiniti-g35-a-buyers-guide/145304/page1/

Everyone has at least one car they 'wish they never sold' and my G35X is that car for me.  It was comfortable, quick, great in the snow and reliable.  The only mods I did were a front spoiler, rear lip spoiler, 18 inch G35 sport wheels and a HKS muffler.  I loved the sound it made with the HKS. 

 photo DSCN0267_zpsff12043d.jpg

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
5/17/19 4:28 p.m.

The only thing I know about them is a lot of the suspension stuff does not cross over to the RWD cars. 

If the timing chains rattle on start up, that's usually a sign that it will need a timing kit in the future. 

Klayfish
Klayfish PowerDork
5/17/19 6:09 p.m.

I agree with pontiacstogo above.  We were literally one of the very first to own one.  We took it right off the delivery truck right after they had become available.  We absolutely loved the car.  We lived in PA at the time, so we did get to drive it through snow.  The snow mode made it very sure footed.  It was quite fast for its' day, and had probably the best steering I'd ever felt in a sports sedan.  Great car.

Downsides - thirsty....and on premium unleaded.  Went through brakes and tires quickly.  Interior was nice, but had a few cheap touches.  But really those are nitpicks.  We liked that car so much that when I went to get another sports sedan a year ago, we got a '13 G37.

NickD
NickD PowerDork
5/17/19 6:16 p.m.

Seems like the G35 is really starting to come into its own as a GRM recommendation lately. Pontiacstogo is a lot like what I would want to do: wheels, tires, front lip and maybe coilovers.

 

How bad are timing chains to do, if they need them?

SavageHenry
SavageHenry New Reader
5/18/19 12:46 a.m.

I've had my 08 G35X for just under a year. In that time I have purchased winter tires and 1 quart of oil. I have not had to do anything else and it has given me zero problems. I'll give a short breakdown of what I consider the pros and cons

Pros:

Handling and ride quality- takes corners and bumps equally well. Best handling car I have owned.

Power- I don't do any form of racing but I've found the 300hp to be more than enough. 

AC/heat - best ice cold AC of any car I've been in. It gets hot as balls in Kelowna (whatever 40C is in freedom units) and still it gets icy cold within minutes. Heated seats are pretty decent too. 

AWD- zero problems in the snow this winter. I'm not sure exactly what snow mode does but between the AWD and decent snow tires I was able to stop and start on some pretty steep hills with no issues.

Value- I paid 5700 for mine with 240k (kilometers) and a record of regular dealership maintenance. Nothing else I could find for the price even comes close. Earlier models can be found around here for 3500-ish, but they have the lower HP non-high rev engines and from what I hear they have more suspension and motor issues. 

Parts- It's essentially a more luxurious Nissan 350z so parts are easy to get and not too pricey. 

Negatives:

Mileage- As mentioned above, around 20mpg. Not great for a v6 sedan, but could be worse. Supposed to use premium fuel but runs fine with regular.

Seats- I'm not a huge fan. They are pretty firm and get uncomfortable on longer trips.  

TPMS sensors - finicky and go off easily. Don't really matter in the grand scheme of things, mine were lit up for most of the year.

 

So-so:

Tech - Pretty solid for 2008. Decent Bose sound system and great backup camera. Bluetooth is for recieving calls only and cannot stream music, but that is easy enough to get around.

Isolation- this could be a plus or minus for you. It is a well-insulated cabin and with music going you won't hear the outside world at all. It you like to hear your exhaust the stock pipes won't please you, and from what I've read many aftermarket setups conflict with the AWD. I like how quiet it is, especially compared to my girlfriend's Fit.

 

g35driver.com is your friend if you want to learn more. 

pontiacstogo
pontiacstogo New Reader
5/18/19 7:56 a.m.
Klayfish said:

We liked that car so much that when I went to get another sports sedan a year ago, we got a '13 G37.

Too funny - I followed the same progression.  Traded the Lakeshore Slate 05 G35X pictured above on a Moonlight White 2011 G37X.  Also made it to my liking with front and rear spoilers, 18 inch wheels and a midnight grill.  I liked it too but it tilted more to the luxury side and less to the sport side than the 1st gen G35.  When it came to trade the G37X I did consider a Q50, but I just couldn't warm to it.

 photo E006E66D-83CC-4722-BD15-3281D9FFFBE6_zps4jzinqvv.jpg

MrChaos
MrChaos Dork
5/18/19 8:32 a.m.

The front radiator/core support is plastic like the 350z. they are about $400 a piece and are known to break by as little as pulling in too far to a parking space and hitting the parking stop/curb.

Justjim75
Justjim75 HalfDork
5/18/19 8:47 a.m.

You'll get way better mileage and performance if you use the proper grade of gas.  The ecu retards timing to prevent knock/ping/preignition due to you using an octane that burns too fast.

_
_ Reader
5/18/19 9:26 a.m.

The awd system is top notch. It’s the same attests-ets as the skyline gtr ( not the older r32 and 33 though). It is a very performance oriented awd. 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
5/18/19 9:35 a.m.
_ said:

The awd system is top notch. It’s the same attests-ets as the skyline gtr ( not the older r32 and 33 though). It is a very performance oriented awd. 

Yep.  It's "RWD-until-the-computer-sends-torque-forward" on-demand AWD, which some purists will say isn't "true" all wheel drive.  On the other hand, after having lived with three different types of AWD, this kind works the best when done right.

 

The only thing I can add to this is that the only glaring flaw I've seen in these cars is that the forward sunroof drains seem to rely on being able to flow water through a gap in a weld seam under the windshield cowling, which will eventually plug up, also eventually causing the sunroof to leak.  The "fix" involves opening up the seam with a prybar so it doesn't clog so easily.  Not cool, Nissan.

 

Other than that, Nissan seems to have made a real solid vehicle, no glaring deficiencies and no maintenance headaches.  They don't even seem to rust very much, if at all, which is a huge bonus.  (Now only if they didn't sound like, well, Nissan V6s)

NickD
NickD PowerDork
5/18/19 10:25 a.m.

Glad to hear all the positive feedback. On the fuel economy front, I'm okay with 20mpg if it has 260hp. My Baja only gets 20mpg and has 165hp. And my commute is only 3 miles one way

_
_ Reader
5/18/19 7:03 p.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

What? We don’t like the sound of a Wookiee? Lol. 

JesseWolfe
JesseWolfe New Reader
5/18/19 7:15 p.m.

Mounting points for the rear subframe rusted easily and caused the bolts to seize and brake off if you needed to remove the rear subframe for any reason, repair required a partial frame rail replacement in the affected area. 

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
5/18/19 11:39 p.m.

 And with almost 100hp more than my Baja, it should still be faster, even with a torque converter in the mix.

Having driven both, they're in different worlds of acceleration. In fact, the G is faster than a turbo Baja too, although that could change with the absolute first mod.  I really like G sedans.  

Klayfish
Klayfish PowerDork
5/20/19 6:07 a.m.
pontiacstogo said:
Klayfish said:

We liked that car so much that when I went to get another sports sedan a year ago, we got a '13 G37.

Too funny - I followed the same progression.  Traded the Lakeshore Slate 05 G35X pictured above on a Moonlight White 2011 G37X.  Also made it to my liking with front and rear spoilers, 18 inch wheels and a midnight grill.  I liked it too but it tilted more to the luxury side and less to the sport side than the 1st gen G35.  When it came to trade the G37X I did consider a Q50, but I just couldn't warm to it.

My progression wasn't quite as simple.  We owned our G37 from late 2003 until maybe 2005 or 2006 (I forget), and didn't buy the G37 until 2018.  Have gone through a whole host of cars in between.  But when we finally decided to get another true sports sedan, in truth the BMW 328i was tops on the list.  However I didn't want to live with it's reliability compromises, so the G37 became the instant winner. 

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