2007 Infiniti M35x
|Season||The Moist Summer|
|Air Date||September 23, 2017|
We drive a Shift Manager's dream: a 2007 Infiniti M35x.
Infiniti M35. I manage a call center. Infiniti M35. I own a condo. I drive an Infiniti M35. Take me out for a date and I'll say ''"I have a food baby"'' when dinner's over. Infiniti M35! My life is a yogurt commercial. 2007 Infiniti M35x. The official car of non-traditional commuting business Kutztown students. Infiniti M35, brought to you by "I'll have a blue moon." "My girlfriend's fourteen-year-old son got detention for skipping Spanish class; they found him in the handicap stall playing Splatoon with Beats headphones on. So, I have to pick him up at Conrad Weiser because Tanya can't get out of her shift at the HUDDLE HOUSE." [Intro - to the tune of Uncharted 4 - Nate's Theme] ''Infiniti M35x'' ''You're not Lexus but who cares?'' It's a bit hard to classify this car, if only because it wears two faces. It's an everyman's executive car, on the one hand, and a "daddy's girl" car on the other. Because avocado toast is the holy sacrament of the basic - and this is her four-wheeled church. The car that Amanda gets on her 17th birthday because investment banker Dad wanted her to look like the daughter of an investment banker on the road, but he didn't want to have to pay daughter of neurosurgeon prices. ''Come, my child, this avocado toast is my body. The pumpkin spice latte is my blood.'' The M35 was the third generation of the Infiniti M-series introduced in 2006. The M35 basically came in two trim levels, a base model with optional all-wheel drive and a sport model with upgraded wheels, a sport suspension, and rear active steering; along with creature comforts like climate-controlled seats. This is the first car I ever drove with air-conditioned seats. Ever put Gold Bond medicated powder on your junk just for fun? It feels like that. A WASILLA BLOWJOB. [TEXT: Alaska reference] This M35x has a 3.5-liter V6, and it's the 3.5 that gives the Infiniti its M35 designation. It was was built on the Nissan FM platform, which was revised from the USDM Infiniti M35 and 45 models, and featured a stretch wheelbase. It makes a factory 303 horsepower, and 17 miles per gallon city and 25 highway, although the owner CJ says it's closer to 19 city and 21 highway. 303 horsepower, huh? Not tee-bag, eh? ''Sup, baby?'' I'm sure that that's crank horsepower because the x in M35x means all-wheel drive, and full-time all-wheel drive SUUUUUUUCKS horsepower. Just ask Subaru. Maintenance is gonna be cheaper and easier on the V6, so maybe you should get the V6 if you want one of these cars, I mean, over the V8. I mean, look at all this extra room up front. You basically just have to reach in and change belts. And while the lack of complexity might turn off some, there's an overwhelming sense of organization here, like a game of Tetris where the engineer left a spot unfinished so the engine wouldn't disappear. Other positives: The automatic telescoping steering wheel gives that budget Batmobile feel; and, the air-conditioned seats ''I know, again, are like a dollop of IcyHot on your lasered-off tramp stamp. It's an after-dinner mint for your brown-eyed girl, and a five-star defense system against SWAMP ASS.'' It also offers the look of refinement, without all of the obnoxious cost. "Put away the Wal-Mart gift card, honey - we're goin' to TARG''Et.....''" And yet, for whatever money Nissan put into this, it's woefully lacking in the places that matter. If Chevy puts all of its money into the Bolt's drive train and forgets to work on the interior, the Infiniti had the opposite problem; focusing more on presenting an interior that presents the idea of wealth without any of the refinement that goes along with it. Look. On the road it has kind of a lazy shift, I mean, I know it's a slushbox but whatever. I--What I mean is that it just feels ''lethargic'', taking the better part of ''forever'' to love-tap the rev limiter, and when it does, it's not that impressive, it's sort of like if the DeVille had a sport mode. Also, it has the weirdly nubby shifter ''right in front of the CD player'', which just--it just reeks of poor design. I--is it nubby to accommodate the proximity of the CD changer, or was the stubby little shifter an afterthought, and they decided, "Oh, we'll put the CD changer right here and put this little fake chrome thing around it, ha, you're a Boomer, it's a--you're still listening to John ''Tesh''. Uh-oh, gotta make the gear-shifter smaller so he can get in iiiiiiii''iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii''....." Even if we get into how handsome this looks at first sight, it's hard to ignore some of the clumsy components; while the goofy-looking sun-visor extender actually ''does'' provide a little bit of extra glare protection, the big ashtray clutters up the center console. And while the car has satnav Bluetooth and air conditioned seats - ''ahh, they're nice'' - and a rear-view camera, and a push-button start, it's also got this random unnecessary rotary clock on the center console. It's like a weird blend of the past and the present. For instance, it has a lot of technology, but it doesn't even have an auxiliary port, which is like having Indiana Jones but he doesn't have the hat or the whip. Nissan fulfilled a very particular niche with the M35x. Here's who it is: childless lower-middle-class cerebral workers who drive all the time, have a promotion under their belt, and drive all the time, and supervise others whom they were promoted over, and as a result they DRIVE ALL THE TIME. So they spend a lot of time in the car. But that promotion wasn't big enough to get them two cars, so this M35x is their ''only'' car. So it ''has'' to be comfortable, with its heated and cooled seats. It ''has'' to merge fast with a 300-horsepower V6. But it has to drive in all weather, with its all-wheel-drive. Because a supervisor can't just call off work because, "eeugh, I don't wanna drive in the snow." This car reminds me of the time I used to develop photos in the Berkshire Mall. There was a camera shop there, owned by Ritz Camera, and the district manager had to drive all over Berks and Lehigh County, sometimes multiple times a *day* during the course of his work. And sometimes he even had to cover for associates like me because ''fuckin' [Ween?] announced a surprise show at the Electric Factory! [cough] [cough] Oh, I'm sick, I can't come i--'' click. That's who this car is for! Someone who has to drive every single day and doesn't really have the money for a BMW or maybe a... what-whatever a Mercedes would go along with this. They're successful enough that they don't want an Altima, but they're not quite in Lexus territory; and that's another thing about the M35x, or really it's a critique of Infiniti: You're not Lexus. So it has to play to its strengths, and beat Lexus on a price point. There's just something about this Infiniti that reads like a poorer imitation of luxury. A means to make the appearance of wealth more accessible to the everyman. That's not inherently bad in itself; just look at the Chrysler 300. But it's designed in such a way that it isn't on par with something that costs money like an LS 400. If there's such a thing as burner phones for the affairs of the rich, this is a burner car for their white-collar crime. In a sense, this car's a function of Marxist literary theory, in that it embodies class systems that are separated by the authenticity of their respective identities. Bear with me now, because this is going to bore the ''shit'' out of some of you, but it goes to a larger point about a product with mass appeal disguised as a product for an elite circle. It's gatekeeping, but it's not done particularly well. The M35 feels like Nissan's response to the BMW 5 series, but more accessible and less self-obsessed. And that's all well and good, except that it's not a BMW. It's not even a Lexus. An Infiniti is a budget executive car in a BMW Halloween costume. It attempts to subvert the upper-crust distinction of the BMW brand, by making it accessible across class lines. Our socioeconomic levels define how we experience the world; because it dictates which doors are open, and which doors are closed to us - in theory, anyway. But an Infiniti says, "No! That's bullshit! You don't have to have a BMW or some other luxury model with a longer history to access the experience of the caviar class. You can experience the sensation of luxury vicariously, through a carefully constructed facsimile of that luxury." Marxism seeks to answer who benefits by the object being analyzed. The upper-crust? The working class? The middle class operating between levels of authenticity? Are lower classes elevated, or oppressed by this work? Those are all the questions a person can explore when digging into a car like this. But at the end of the day, the conflict between these classes is eternal and is reflected in our culture, and in the works it produces. In movies, plays, music, video games, and even cars. [Outro - to the tune of Uncharted 4 - Nate's Theme] ''Infiniti M35x'' ''Hey, I'm driving all the time'' ''All-wheel drive 'cause supervisor life is hard'' ''Though I swear you will not understand''