THE RIDE: Four-door, five-passenger 2008 Infiniti M35 sport midsize sedan.
DOWN THE ROAD: Within two years of its launch, Infiniti has overhauled the rear-wheel-drive M35. The front and rear fascia, rear deck lid, grille and fog lamps acquire a fresh look. The potent power train has been retained, so the athletic sedan continues with its exceptional handling and cornering abilities.
TECH & PERFORMANCE: The M35 is equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 275 horsepower at 6200 rpm and 268 pounds-feet of torque at 4800 rpm. It is mated to a precise 5-speed automatic transmission, which also can manually shift gears. Handling the suspension is an independent double-wishbone front and a multilink rear with stabilizer bars. A power-assisted, rack-and-pinion steering offers tremendous feedback when you put a heavy pedal to the metal. Stopping power is tackled well by 12.6-inch front and 12.1-inch rear power-assisted vented disc brakes.
LOOK & FEEL: Chrome accentuates the grille, body-side moldings, door handles and dual exhaust pipes. The crystal-look active xenon headlights with integrated fog lamps boost the car's muscular appearance. Stainless-steel sill plates with Infiniti lettering greet you into the tailored cabin. Electro-luminescent white and violet gauges appear elegant to the driver sitting ensconced in the roomy leather seats. The four-spoke, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel offers a solid grip. The 10-way power heated driver and front passenger seats enable occupants to find appropriate seating positions. Also striking is the aluminum trim on the doors, instrument panel and center console. The signature Infiniti analog clock, bordered by audio controls, looks tasteful, as always.
SAFETY FIRST: Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, four-wheel antilock brakes, Vehicle Dynamic Control with traction, front seat active-head restraints, front seatbelts with pretensioners, front and rear crumple zones and tire pressure monitoring system are standard.
OUT THE DOOR: $43,050, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges. Opt for the $1,650 sport package, which will get you rear active steer for a first-rate handling performance, sport-tuned suspension, aluminum trim and pedal accents, 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, trimmed front seats, a unique steering wheel and shifter knob and aggressive sport styling overall.
BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, P245/45R18 all season; wheelbase, 114.2 inches; length, 192.6 inches; weight, 3,876 pounds; fuel capacity, 20 gallons; highway, 23 mpg; city, 16 mpg.
WHY DIG IT: The M35 is designed to outperform, as the folks at Infiniti would say. And it does in every respect, whether its performance, exterior or interior appearance, safety features, luxury amenities and tech goodies.