For 2006, the Infiniti G35 Sport Sedan receives only two minor changes: Bluetooth hands-free phone system and satellite radio have been added to all Premium packages, and there’s a new exterior colour, Platinum Ice. Base prices rise only $90 over 2005 levels.

The G35 is available as the Luxury, in rear-wheel-drive, and as the G35x in all-wheel-drive. Both models use a 3.5-litre V6 with a five-speed automatic transmission; a close-ratio six-speed manual can be added to the RWD model. The G35’s platform is the corporate FM, for front-midship, which it shares with the Nissan 350Z.

Features on both models include an electronic limited-slip differential, luxury suspension tuning, 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, Xenon headlamps, heated mirrors, LED taillights, folding rear seat with trunk pass-through, heated leather seats with eight-way driver and four-way passenger power adjustment, leather-wrapped wheel, automatic climate control, six-CD stereo with seven speakers and wheel-mounted controls, cruise control, automatic headlamps, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power windows and variable intermittent wipers.

The G35x’s AWD system is also used on the Infiniti FX45 and FX35 sport utility vehicles; it transfers optimum torque to individual wheels according to road and driving conditions, and comes with a “Snow-Mode” switch which fixes the torque distribution at 50/50 up to 19 km/h and reduces throttle sensitivity for better traction on slippery roads at low speeds.

Available options include a rear spoiler, power sunroof, rosewood interior trim, dual HVAC control and DVD-based navigation system with retracting screen.

The G35 is Infiniti’s entry-level offering, but that’s a relative term; this sedan is a contender in a category usually topped by German sedans. An available Aero M6 package adds the six-speed manual (with an 18 horsepower boost), sport-tuned suspension, performance tires and handling dynamics that make it a standout for its $45,190 price. The Aero package can’t be added to the AWD, but that version makes for excellent tracking around corners and for extra security through our sometimes-nasty Canadian winters.

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