The 2013 Infiniti JX is a totally new mid-luxury crossover sport-utility vehicle from Nissan’s luxury division. Larger than the five-seat Infiniti FX, but smaller and significantly cheaper than the eight-seat, top-of-the-line QX56, it boasts three-row seating, a base price just over $40,000, and a wide variety of luxury features. The Infiniti JX delivers that perfect balance between self-indulgence and practicality.
Offered in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive, the JX rides on a stretched version of Nissan’s D platform — which also supports Nissan’s redesigned Altima sedan, and will accommodate the next-generation Nissan Murano crossover SUV, and the newly redesigned 2013 Pathfinder SUV. While there are at least 13 mid-luxury crossover SUVs with three-row seating, the vehicle in everyone’s crosshairs — including Infiniti — is the popular Acura MDX.
Starting from scratch with the MDX as their target, the Infiniti JX design team ended up with width and height slightly smaller than the MDX, but at 196.4 inches the new Infiniti is 4.8 inches longer, and sports a distinctly longer wheelbase — 114.2 inches, versus 108.3. The combination of longer wheelbase and additional length gives the JX slightly more cargo and/or passenger room than the MDX, and the longer wheelbase delivers better ride quality.
Walkaround: The challenge in crossover SUV design is making your basic box look like something else — without significantly compromising interior room. To do this, the design team gifted the JX with Infiniti’s prominent signature bull nose fenders and grille, flanked by High Intensity Discharge xenon headlights, with a pair of foglights positioned below. They added a raked windshield, curving roofline, and a forward-leaning rear hatch highlighted by a z-shaped rear roof pillar. In spite of being a new vehicle, the JX is hard to ignore, and hard to mistake for anything but an Infiniti.