Essentially a G37 station wagon. Good thing? I'd like to think of the EX37 not as a small ute or crossover, but moreso a G37 station wagon. It's a little bit taller, but it's still unmistakably a G37 that's a tad bit more family-friendly.
First off, I’d like to make it absolutely clear that I adore the Infiniti G37. Not once, not twice, but three times while shopping for a personal vehicle, the ‘perfect’ G35/G37 has been bought out from under me. That’s never taken away from my affection for the fantastic sports sedan and sports coupe that are the next best thing to the Europeans from Japan. It really is an athlete in a business suit. That being said, when Infiniti launched the EX a couple years ago, I was rather confused as to what to make of the thing. I didn’t find it to be striking to look at, nor did I find it appealing in any way. Then again, I’m not a crossover or SUV guy to begin with; that is, until I encountered the 2013 Infiniti EX37.
Getting to spend an entire week bonding with the all-new EX37 however, changed all of our team’s preliminary impressions in the most extreme way possible. Firstly, doing my due diligence online before picking up a press vehicle, I was surprised to see that as of late October 2012, the EX37 was lacking from Infiniti’s manufacturer websites both in US and Canada. What gives? It’s been on sale for at least a month, and they still have the EX35 listed. I’d like to think of the EX37 not as a small ute or crossover, but moreso a G37 station wagon. It’s a little bit taller, but it’s still unmistakably a G37 that’s a tad bit more family-friendly.
Powered by the infamous VQ V6, now with a whole 3.7 litres of fury, the EX37 puts out 325-horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. These numbers are nothing stratospheric, but with the observed fuel mileage sitting at 9.5L/100km combined, the EX makes for an appealing road trip vehicle. The power band on this ‘big oaf’ is predictable and confident. The 7-speed automatic Infiniti has been using as of late is easily one of our favourite automatic transmissions on the market. Granted, with the paddle shifters in the G37, the upshifts are a bit slow, but if you leave it in “D” or “DS”, the car performs exactly as you’d want it to.
Where I find the Infiniti G37 sharp to look at, I initially thought the EX37 was frumpy and disproportionate. Seeing this one however, finished in Aspen Pearl with a black leather interior, swayed me yet again. While I still don’t find it as attractive as its sedan sibling, I do find the crossover more striking to look at than its main competitor, the Acura RDX. Where the Acura looks merely ‘pleasant’ and inoffensive, the 2013 Infiniti EX37 is definitely a bit more of a risk-taker with its aggressive styling. It has certainly grown on me, because the more I look at it, the more I like it.
I was most impressed with the equipment list on Double Clutch’s tester EX37. Adding to the appealing and competitive base price of just about $40,000, this media vehicle has been equipped with essentially every option, bringing the grand total to just over $53,000. Along with the supple leather interior, the Bluetooth, the power moonroof, and other typical luxury appointments, this EX came with the Premium Package, the Navigation Package, and most importantly, the Technology Package. 19″ wheels, HID headlights, a Bose stereo, and some of my favourite seats in the industry make for quite possibly one of the most comfortable long-haulers on the market.
While I’m a guy that generally loves gadgets and can’t get enough of playing with them, there are some features on this new technology-packaged EX37 that are flat out ridiculous. The Intelligent Cruise Control is always welcome in my books, but the Distance Control Assist (DCA) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) are plain annoying. If you’re driving in traffic, the DCA will sense the car in front of you stopping and stop the car. It also holds back the throttle if it “intelligently” predicts an unsafe maneuver. We discovered that while making left turns on tight Toronto streets, it would sense oncoming traffic while sitting at an angle and make accelerating through the intersection difficult. Unnecessary.
The new EX is wonderful. My initial hypothesis that it couldn’t be as good as an RDX is rejected. It’s not only as good, it’s better in nearly every way imaginable. Where Honda makes a fantastic everyday product that’s hard to find flaws in, Infiniti has managed to find the perfect middle ground between luxury and sport that makes the EX37 simply brilliant.