20 thoughts on “Infiniti M35 Review drafted

  1. I had the same issue with sunroof buffeting on my 2000 New Beetle until I discovered you don’t have to open the sunroof /all the way/. If you open it all the way you do need a window open as well or the interior becomes a low-frequency wind instrument. But at 2/3rds or 3/4ths open you don’t have the same problem. (My VW has a spot marked such that it’s easy to open the roof to a specific other recommended position, and it’s easier to fine-tune the roof opening size than that of the damnable new style of power windows. ) So you might want to play with that.

  2. I second / third the calls for pictures. I know a search on images.google.com will give me lots of pictures, but most of those are from Infiniti and don’t seem very realistic.

    I’m thinking slightly seriously about buying one!

    One question — does the hi-tech AWD system take care of any need for snow tires, as far as you know?

  3. Tim: A couple of my flying buddies have Honda Odyssey minivans and, realistically, they do provide a lot more value.

    Dave: A nice picture, eh? The car has been mired in mud and slush for the month that I’ve owned it and I haven’t driven it anywhere scenic. Maybe when I’m back from Africa (May 9) I can get it washed and take it somewhere to photograph. It looks like a high quality car from the outside, but it isn’t obviously recognizable to the average person.

    Michael: Why white if you’re going to leave a dog in the car? It reflects a lot more heat than any other color, including polished silver. In fact, don’t be surprised when we have to start painting the trees, grass, and dirt white to combat global warming.

    Andy: Do you still need snow tires? If you’re going to drive in deep snow, probably. The factory tires are “all season”. It only snows enough to plow 7 times per year on average here in Boston, though.

  4. FINALLY, you splurge on something besides the newest Toyota minivan. It’s good you’ve seen the light and I must say I’m very proud of you. 🙂

    Anyway, I’ve got a Nissan 350Z which is basically the “sports” version of the Infiniti M35, so there are several similiarities. M35 kills the 350z as far as interior though (350Z interior mostly cheap plastics). Also like the 350Z, the M35 suffers from a shortage of interoperability goodies – bluetooth, internet hookup, optional stereo hookups, etc. Hopefully Nissan fixes this in the future, but seeing as they have no trouble selling these cars, there may not be any sense of urgency to “fix” anything.

  5. The hydropneumatic suspension in the Citroen does not alter alter the stiffness of the suspension. At least, the series from the Traction Avant all the way through SM didn’t (perhaps the XM did).

    The chief advantage of the hydropneumatic approach is that you get a spring rate that varies based upon the load in the, which *roughly* means that a given bump gives you a given displacement regardless of load.

    That, and being able to impress teenagers by dropping the car to the stops, and making some maintenance easier.

    The downside is the added complexity of having a 2000 psi hydraulic system in your car that uses special (and expensive) fluid.

    Oh, and being stuck with a car with a really cool suspension and a really boring engine…

  6. An excellent, accurate review. But on the topic of inputs, you probably have at the back end of your center console, facing the rear passenger seat, a tiny little hatch below the rear AC vents, behind which are RCA inputs for video and stereo sound. The owners’ manual advertises them as being for video games and camcorders (presumably, like the DVD player, they play on the navigation screen), but I imagine – I haven’t tried it – that they’ll except any stereo feed that plays through an RCA adapter.

  7. Aside from the inputs, not having the DVD system is probably a gain, not a loss – it takes up a lot of room in the center console and without the rear seat package that benefits only the rear seat, I’ve used it precisely once – during a looooong wait at the airport – since for obvious reasons it only plays to the navigation screen while the car is stopped. One wonders, who actually gets any use out of it if they don’t have both the rear seat package and children, or perhaps outside the US a CEO, in the back seat?

  8. One company that could try to push forward use of the internet in cars is ZipCar. They already have computers, GPS, and a Cingular GPRS internet connection in every vehicle. If they made the software good enough to deliver live traffic info, restaurant reviews, and live voice help on request, I wonder if you and Alex could be convinced to accept the extra inconvenience. Your M35x costs as much as about 4000 days of ZipCar, but the fact remains that you’d be driving something like a Mazda 3 with a corporate logo on the door rather than a car with fit and finish rivaling a yacht. On the other hand, it would probably be more comfy on the streets of Cambridge, and you’d never have to even think about maintenance.

    Typo note: in the first paragraph of the Safety section, the last sentence reads “If you get hit from the rear, the front headsets move up and forward to prevent whiplash.” I think you meant “headrests” rather than headsets.

  9. Good review from an owner’s perspective. If C&D and Consumer Reports would address some of the same issues that you did then maybe Infiniti (and others) would address these shortcomings.

    I agree with needing a couple of pictures.

  10. Phil, am I missing something or is your review more of an endoresement of the car you didn’t get, the Lexus? Why didn’t you get the Lexus, again?

  11. Allen: The big Lexus is a nice car, but a little oversized for my current city parking spot and my typical driving mission (me+dog). Also, after owning a minivan for 9 years, I thought it might be fun to have something more nimble. Finally, there is the fact that all of the car magazines top-rated the Infiniti and I didn’t have time to do a thorough test. Fortunately, even if I didn’t make the right decision, it doesn’t matter. Cars are cheap and they are more or less equivalent in terms of capability, i.e., they all get from Point A to Point B in about the same amount of time.

  12. Just a suggestion but it might help to throw that in there. There are so many “the Lexus is better…” comments that a casual reader finishes the article asking if you simply couldn’t afford the Lexus, etc. Other than that bit of confusion, great article.

  13. I also own an M35x. I agree with the need for audio inputs. It seems a shame that I can plug in my iPod into a rented 300M, but I can’t in my much better automobile. The back seat audio input only comes with the Advanced Technology Package or better.

    I was ready to spend the money, but (believe it or not) the salesguy talked me out of it. In retrospect, it was the right decision. I don’t take that many long trips in the car and my commute is onl 15 minutes or so. Things like Intelligent Cruise Control or satellite radio would have only marginal utility. And do I really think I’ll ever play a DVD in the car to enjoy the 5.1 surround sound? I was just happy to be able to play MP3’s since I don’t have the ability to plug in my iPod.

    The only beef I have are the tires. The stock Goodyear RS-A’s are surprisingly worn after 5200 miles.

    I’m generally happy with the car. It’s a great ride. It’s only a bit bigger than the car it replace or the car it replaced, so I continue to get comfortable with it.

  14. Eric,

    Citroen’s Hydractive suspension with configurable stiffness appeared on the XM. The Xantia Activa is the model with active suspension which keeps the car flat through corners. That combined with the fact that all Hydractive systems are orders of magnitude smoother than ‘cart spring’ systems makes the Activa an amusing vehicle.

    Phil & Eric,
    Currently I run a Xantia V6, which doesn’t have the Activa active suspension – just the standard Hydractive, but which does have a 3 litre V6 (0-60 about 8.5 seconds) powering the front wheels with no hint of torque-steer at any time. It’s smooth riding, extremely comfortable and surprisingly quick 🙂


  15. Phil, Consumer Reports has a whole review of your car this month. Check it out.

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