SEE ALSO: Infiniti Buyer's Guide
A Fulmer family reviewby
Dave Fulmer, retired TV writer/director, classic car restorer
Mark Fulmer, Editor In Chief, The Auto Channel
Sedan Leather 4-Dr Automatic
Invoice = $26,739
MSRP = $31,520
3.0 liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine with sequential multi-point fuel injection, electronically-controlled 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission, power assisted rack and pinion steering, independent strut front suspension, multi-link beam rear suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars, power assisted 4-wheel disc brakes (front vented), anti-lock braking system, cast aluminum alloy wheels, 5- mph front and rear bumpers, integrated fog and cornering lights, body color bumpers with chrome accent, halogen headlamps, green tinted glass with dark upper windshield band, dual body color power adjustable mirrors, electric rearwindow defroster, bright door handles and side window moldings, bright tailpipe finisher, power sliding glass sunroof, leather appointed interior, 8-way power front driver/4-way power front passenger seats, adjustable front and rear headrests, simulated leather door trim, full carpeting with carpeted floor mats, leather wrapped steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob and parking brake handle, front seatback map pockets, simulated wood trim, air conditioning with automatic temperature control, battery saver auto-off interior lights, power windows, power door locks with selective unlocking feature, power trunk and fuel filler door releases, cruise control, tilt steering column, 2-speed windshield wipers with variable intermittent feature, center console with armrest, fold-down rear seat center armrest, cup holder, lockable glove box, dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors, dual overhead map lights (single on sunroof-equipped models), front door map pockets, cargo net, tachometer, trip odometer, digital clock, coolant temperature gauge, low fuel warning light, driver front seat belt warning light, door ajar warning light, taillamp out warning light, radio (Bose 200-watt AM/FM audio system with cassette deck, CD player and six speakers), cellular phone prewiring, power antenna and in-glass diversity antenna, driver and passenger side air bags, front and rear crumple zones, bodyside reinforcement, child safety rear door locks, remote keyless entry and security system (with two transmitters), integrated Homelink transmitter, automatic anti- glare day/night rearview mirror.
Dave: I can see why they put this in the luxury class, because it is a great luxury for people of my generation because the access and egress is easy. The doors are surprisingly commodious for the size of the car which itself is quite compact and neat.
Mark: Very clean exterior lines, indeed. Understated.
Dave: The look of the interior is luxurious as well. But I question the dashboard. I would give it about a B- simply for the organization of the controls. I think there are a lot of little black switches that you're really going to have to memorize before you can do anything, especially while traveling.
Mark: I have to admit that having a double-jointed wrist is helpful for seat adjustments.
Dave: And also having the arms of a 6'9" basketball player.
Mark: Talking performance, I'm very impressed with the ninja-like execution.
Dave: Yes. The car is virtually silent and as tight as a drum. I didn't get any road noise or wind noise. The aerodynamics have been so perfected you're just sailing through the air. I took over some very twisty urban roads, and it's a delight. It's very lively, and for a stick shift, a couple of times I thought I was in an automatic, because it responds so well even in the higher gears.
Mark: Even with a car full of teenagers - who by the way were quite complementary about the Bose sound system - there was always quick response.
Dave: It's delicious to drive. I would love to take it on a long drive, but there's nothing to do! You just sit there in silence and let it drive itself.
Mark: Roll back the moonroof, and get a tan...
Dave: The braking system is wonderfully transparent. It feels so intuitive, there's little to do there either.
Mark: You know, the position of the accelerator pedal takes a little getting used to - being set off to the right of the center column, but its very comfortable.
Dave: As with older Nissan's you do have to have the clutch completely to the floor or the ignition system will not actuate. It's a safety feature that you have to get used to.
Mark: Wonderful turning radius.
Dave: Yep. But you know if you turn the steering wheel all the way to lock, it gives a very disconcerting clunk in both right and left which is really out of character for this car. I would seem to me that could be damped.
Dave: The finish is marvelous. The trunk is very commodious and well thought out.
Mark: Here's a thought, let's roll a marble down the hood.