In keeping with Infiniti's basic company principals, the Infiniti I35 has two major points to consider: it upgrades and makes a numerical change to a previous model, and it is based on a Nissan car platform.
The Infiniti I30, a luxury performance sedan priced in the middle of the Infiniti sedan lineup, became the I35 in 2002. The I35, like the I30, is a cleverly disguised Nissan Maxima. For various reasons, the I35 only lasted until the 2004 model year. This could be a result of the quality of Infiniti's other sedans or its crowded lineup.
More on the Infiniti I35
For the most part, the M series replaced the I35. The I35, along with the G20 that ceased production in 2002, represent the last of the front-wheel drive Infiniti vehicles. The I35 remained Infiniti's most popular model until the introduction of the G35. The G35 became a lauded best seller, and with the M series taking off, the I35 became a short-lived model with just three production years.
The I35 did not get dropped because of a design flaw, manufacturing problem, or any inherent shortcoming. Its new siblings in the Infiniti sedan lineup simply overshadow it. The I series comes from the Maxima, a solid and reliable midsize, but not noted for performance. Other sedans in the Infiniti line derive from sports car platforms, like the G series based on the Nissan 350Z, and offer more driving thrills. All of this combined to spell the end for the I series.
The I35 carries a reputation as a good automobile and something of an evolutionary step leading to the even more popular G and M series. The I35 marks the first Infiniti sedan to use the maker's 3.5-liter V-6 that produces about 255 hp. The I35 also includes other features that mark the G and M series. These traits include a reasonable price to performance and luxury ratio, a surprising amount of features for this price point, and impressive comfort. In this respect, the I35 gives birth to the notion that Infiniti can produce midsize sedans and coupes that perform well, maintain comfort, and don't break the bank account.
Starting in 2002, the I35 is based on the I30 with the aforementioned 3.5-liter V-6 engine as an upgrade. The I35 only comes in the base model. However, Infiniti does offer a few packages for the car. The sport package adds unique alloy wheels fitted with upgraded tires, a sport-tuned suspension, side-sill extensions, and stability-enhancing vehicle dynamic control. The better tires increase handling, and the lower body extensions help with aerodynamic performance. The I35 co-existed for a time with the G series, with the I35 considered the more luxury-oriented of the two. This resulted in the removal of the sport package as an option in 2004.
The navigation package hides Infiniti's navigation system monitor in the dash when it isn't being used and includes a six-disc CD changer. A power sunroof is available with a one-touch open feature and a one-touch power rear sunshade. A cold weather package provides heated front and rear seats, dual heated outside mirrors, and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel. All of these upgrades remained through the end of production.
Other than these few changes, the I35 keeps the same four-speed automatic transmission and V-6 engine for its short production run. Even adding in the direct predecessor, the I30, there still isn't a lot of design evolution in the I series. These cars make great used vehicles and represent a stage in the overall evolution of the Infiniti luxury sport sedan concept. The I35 itself is a step on the way from the A series to the G and M series cars. At a certain point, Infiniti decided to stick with performance luxury cars based on Nissan's sport cars and left the rest behind.