When Ward's selected Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.'s signature VQ V-6 as one of its 10 Best Engines of 2002, the VQ became the only engine to win a Best Engines trophy every year since the award's inception in 1995.

We didn't need confirmation the VQ remains the market's benchmark V-6, but a year with it powering Nissan's outstanding Infiniti G35 cemented the perception.

First: scintillating performance. The 3.5L VQ's 260 hp and 260 lb.-ft. (353 Nm) of torque mean the G35 takes a backseat to no sport sedan in its class — including the hallmark BMW 3-Series. “A jewel” and “always awesome” are common logbook comments. And most of us believe the G35's overall mileage of just less than 23 mpg (10.2L/100 km) is respectable for a sport sedan — particularly one as hard-used as our test car.

Second: The DOHC VQ V-6 always ran perfectly. Nothing broke, and the service cost for our year and 38,000 miles (61,000 km) came to a reasonable $508.66, despite the dealer hooking us for a hefty $234.50 for the 30,000-mile (48,279 km) service. That service did include resurfacing the front brake rotors and new brake pads.

Apart from that, the Infiniti G35 and the always lovely VQ V-6 will be missed. The pair makes for one of the segment's most entertaining vehicles.

2003 Infiniti G35

Engine: 3.5L (3,498 cc) 60-deg. DOHC V-6; aluminum block/aluminum heads

Horsepower (SAE net): 260 @ 6,000 rpm

Torque: 260 lb.-ft. (353 Nm) @ 4,850 rpm

Compression ratio: 10.3:1

Specific output: 74 hp/L

Date delivered: 4-11-02

Total miles/miles covered in this report: 38,036/7,723 (61,211/12,428 km)

Overall fuel economy: 22.9 mpg (10.2L/100 km)

Total maintenance cost: $508.66

Non-scheduled maintenance (total): $0