Infiniti's JX35 is a new model for 2013, and slots in between the EX and FX pricewise. It is a 3-row vehicle that share the basic platform with Nissan's Murano, and has a well-optioned base price of $41,550. The vehicle tested in this review is the JX35 AWD with a total MSRP of $52,205. Major options on the test vehicle are the Driver Assistance Package ($2,200) Premium Package ($4,950) and 20" wheels ($1,600).
Standard features on the JX include 18-inch wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlights, foglights, LED taillights, heated side mirrors, a sunroof, a power liftgate and keyless entry/ignition. Standard interior features include leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, a six-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a central display screen, a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio and iPod/USB interface.
Options for the JX35 include a Premium package, which features driver seat memory and power lumbar, a 360-degree parking camera system, front and rear parking sensors, a 13-speaker Bose audio system, a hard-drive navigation system with real-time traffic and weather, a larger touchscreen display, voice-activated controls, Bluetooth streaming audio and the Infiniti Connection telematics service. The Theater package adds a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, while the Driver Assistance package includes adaptive cruise control, forward and rear collision warning, intelligent brake assist, blind spot warning, a heated steering wheel and remote start. Both packages require the Premium package.
The JX35 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 265 horsepower and 248 lb-ft torque. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is the only available transmission, and features a Sport mode that mimics a conventional transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional. The AWD JX35 reviewed here manged a 0-60 time of 8.3 seconds (Edmunds' data) which puts it in the middle of the pack. EPA ratings are 18mpg city, 23 mpg highway with a combined rating of 20mpg.
Standard safety features on the JX35 include antilock disc brakes, front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, and traction control and stability control. The Infiniti Connection telematics service includes automatic collision notification, remote door unlocking, and stolen vehicle location and speed tracking. A lane-departure warning and prevention system is optional, as are blind-spot warning, a 360-degree camera view and intelligent brake assist.
The seating on the JX is quite flexible; the second row tilts and slides 6" fore and aft to allow access to the 3rd row seats. The back row offers adequate headroom for 6-foot passengers, and reclining seatbacks. The JX's cabin is roomy, with 76 cubic feet with 2nd and 3rd rows folded. Infiniti may just have the best electronics interface of any manufacturer; a combination of touchscreen, buttons and rotary knob simplify the job of climate/navigation adjustments. The optional 360-degree camera provides a useful top-down view of the vehicle that is most appreciated when parking. Infiniti uses high-quality materials in the cabin, and the fit and finish is on a par with other competing vehicles in its class.
On the road, the JX shows that its focus is not performance like the FX, but rather comfort. Cornering at elevated speeds highlights somewhat mushy steering response while the body leans through the turn. Aside from that the ride is quiet with minimal wind and road noise. Additionally, the layout of controls and switchgear is well-placed. The biggest complaint is with the CVT, which does allow for decent fuel mileage but tends to hinder acceleration a bit. In sum, the JX is a comfortable vehicle with room for seven and the requisite electronic gadgetry to keep all entertained. In the expanding luxury SUV segment, Infiniti's JX is a worthy competitor, and those who eschew expensive options will find themselves with a true value proposition.
For more detailed vehicle information, visit www.infinitiusa.com
Next review: Hyundai Santa Fe Sport