All New and Just Right | 2013 Infiniti JX35

March 2013 View more

2013 Infiniti JX

Infiniti has long distinguished itself among luxury carmakers by blending a sporty ride, beguiling lines, and the latest in technology. But its focus has been more on sedans than any other body types.

Sure, Infiniti’s biggest vehicle, the QX56 sport-ute, is a delight to drive and capacious enough for most families—but its extra-large footprint (and matching price with options) limit its appeal. Infiniti’s big crossover, the gorgeous FX, rides like a sporty sedan but it is more of a large hatchback, with seats for only five and limited functionality as a cargo carrier.

This means that buyers who want a techno-sporty vibe, but need more seats or more cargo space, have found Infiniti’s showroom to be a somewhat disappointing place. For 2013, however, the welcome mat is officially at the door.

The all-new JX35 fits between the QX and FX, literally and figuratively. It can seat seven, or swallow a surprising number of bags and boxes with the seats down. It is available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive. It rides like a sedan and parks like one too.

The JX35 also manages to look fleet of foot, which is no easy feat for a big people hauler. The zig-zagged chrome around the rear side windows, the roofline’s gentle pitch, and the sloped crease running from the flowing headlights to the flowing taillights all say “motion.” Inside, the aura is calm, with Infiniti’s trademark style on display from the slightly bowed center console to the easily navigated collection of buttons for climate control and the stereo.

The JX35’s 3.5-liter V6 engine has seen duty in other Infiniti and Nissan models, and it handles its tasks quite well. It is mated to a continuously variable transmission, or CVT—a first for an Infiniti vehicle, though old hat for Nissan, which has used CVTs in the Altima sedan for years. The CVT delivers the JX35’s 265 horsepower with a steady flow of power. Unlike a traditional transmission, with gears and cogs that have to mesh together in sequence as the car’s speed climbs, the CVT is like a long rubber band connecting the engine to the wheels. In other words, when you flatten the throttle in the JX the acceleration will keep coming, with no telltale jolt as first gear gives way to second, third, and so on.


Like the transmission, the JX35’s ride is fairly seamless. While Infiniti made its reputation with sporty coupes and sedans, this is a family-oriented vehicle more than a driver-oriented one. Its bias is toward smoothing the road, through well-assisted steering and well-damped suspension. The JX35 is also among the quietest seven-seaters you’re likely to encounter, with little road or engine noise making its way to the passenger cabin even at high speeds.

Along with the range of technological features that Infiniti has brought over from its other vehicles, the JX35 is the first with a Backup Collision Intervention system. This new safety feature is like a blind spot detection system. But instead of flashing a light when the system detects a vehicle alongside your car, this system comes on when you are in reverse, and senses when a vehicle is entering your path. After giving the driver audible and visual alerts, the system will even apply the brakes to prevent a collision.

The 2013 Infiniti JX35 carries a base sticker price of $41,150 for front-wheel drive or $42,550 for all-wheel drive. A $2,200 Driver Assistance Package includes a heated steering wheel and a full suite of safety technologies, such as a blind spot sensor, the back-up collision-avoidance system and an accident-avoidance system.