Probably the best value for an entry-luxury SUV Sacrifices are made to achieve this bad boy’s level of value though; the JX35, unfortunately, is front-wheel-drive.
When we had our first go with the 2013 Infiniti JX35 in the fall, the general consensus was that though it’s a fantastic value and a great entry-luxury SUV, it just wasn’t meant for enthusiasts. Rightfully so, because it wasn’t very much fun for us sports car lovers. Every single staff member here who saw the JX35 commented on how awesome it would be for a road trip, so when our booking of another Infiniti (unfortunately, the M37xS) got cancelled, we eagerly jumped at the opportunity to spend some more time with the big kahuna.
Starting at a surprisingly generous $44,900, the JX35 is essentially a Nissan Pathfinder. It’s naturally a lot plusher inside than its sibling, with leather and woodgrain everywhere, but its Nissan roots aren’t forgotten. My test car was loaded to the brim with things like Infiniti’s Around View® Monitor, Lane Departure Prevention, Intelligent Brake Assist, and a bunch of other gizmos. Rear seat passengers appreciated the wireless headphones and the screens integrated into the headrests as they enjoyed reruns of “Friends” on a long haul. The multimedia system also allows the car speakers to play audio from the USB source simultaneously.
Having three (usable) rows of seating, the Infiniti JX35 competes with the likes of the BMW X5, the Audi Q7, and the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. Priced considerably less, the JX is a brilliant value for what you get. Loaded up, my test car was priced at $58,500. I must stress how little money this is when compared to the others, where even the bare-bones base models are higher than my JX’s as-tested price. Sacrifices are made to achieve this bad boy’s level of value though; the JX35, unfortunately, is front-wheel-drive.
The drive of the JX35, powered by Nissan’s now-obsolete 3.5L VQ V6, is boring from a purist’s point of view. However, if considered a family hauler or even a minivan, the big Infiniti is wonderful. I’ve already voiced my opinion about CVTs as a concept many times, but I’ll reiterate one more time that Nissan does make the best one on the market. Since I tried to be a fuel miser and drove around in “ECO” mode for the entire week, acceleration was virtually non-existent too.
I will admit though; the few times the enthusiast in me caved and twirled the knob into “Sport” mode. The throttle became friendlier and the overweight Nissan did seem to move a tad bit quicker. Not having all-wheel-drive also means that the front-drive JX is less stable.
The fact that this front-drive crossover is powered by a well-known engine coupled to a continuously-variable transmission would lead me to believe that it gets spectacular fuel economy in its class. Nope! The silly thing managed to get 14L/100km on the highway (premium fuel, mind you) and a combined average of 16.1L/100km. Absolutely ridiculous. Even the full-sized Range Rover with the supercharged V8 did better, and with something like that, filling up isn’t a chore; it’s worth every single penny. The JX’s 74L tank drains itself pretty quickly too.
The bottom line of the JX35 is that it’s a great value. I know I’ve said it before, but it’s essentially the gyst of the truck. It’s not very much fun, but it definitely will make a solid statement. To the everyday average Joe, this SUV will stand out. It’s less common than a Lexus RX, more stylish than a Pilot, and has more gizmos than literally anything else in its price range. The only other true alternative I would consider in its class would be the Acura MDX.
2013 Infiniti JX35 Gallery