#3 2003 – 2008 Infinity G35 19/26 mpg
Prices seem to be hovering around the $9,000 mark, but can be found for less with a little bit of digging.
Built around the G35 coupe platform, the longer G sedans share an engine and transmission combination with the sporty 350Z. This means you can get a 300hp 3.5L V6 mated to a 6-speed manual transmission that sends the power to a limited slip rear differential. While also available with an automatic transmission and All wheel drive (G35X), my ranking is based on my experience with the rear drive manual.
First things first, this car is a blast to drive. I want this drivetrain combo in every sports car. My 240Z project (more on this later) would be an absolute riot with this package under the hood. The Rev Up package means a redline of 7500 rpms and 298hp, while managing to average 19/26 mpg. Aftermarket support for the VQ series of engines is very strong. Simple bolt on upgrades, ECU tuning, turbos or superchargers are all readily available, though not cheap.
I owned a G35 Sedan for a couple of years, and can attest to its combination of comfort and performance. That being said, the manual and rear drive configuration of my car made it difficult to drive year round. With all season tires mounted on all four corners, I would routinely have trouble driving up the hill to my house if it was pouring rain or snowy. In fact, once snow flew, I parked the car until it was all melted. This means any road trip in that car would need to be either during summer or be limited to the warmer states. For this reason, I can’t rank it any higher than #3, even though it is of the best fair weather daily drivers available.