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We've just returned our first two "Six-Month Road Test" vehicles, and it's time for another--and while we're doing so, we're tweaking our formula for evaluating new vehicles over a longer period of time.

The 2013 Infiniti JX is our first Three-Month Road Test. Why half the time? In our experience with the VW Passat TDI and Hyundai Veloster, we're confirming our impressions and covering most of the questions we have in three months, to deliver what you need--a more in-depth look at a new car, crossover, or truck. In turn, that will let us cover more vehicles.

So, onward, and pictured here at the closest thing to nirvana Alabama has to offer, is our latest long-termer, the JX. It's Infiniti's first seven-seat crossover, and it's already a sales hit. It's a virtual stand-in for the less plushly outfitted Nissan Pathfinder, at least in size and mission. And it's uniquely styled to draw attention to its new presence in the lineup: to us, it's a Mercedes R-Class gone right. Right?

Powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 and a CVT, the front-drive JX can be fitted with all-wheel drive, as is our test vehicle. Infiniti put the priority on luxurious seating, predictable handling and great safety scores--which we're still due from the IIHS and the NHTSA.

To recap, from our road test, we think the JX hits most of its targets. Straight-line performance is adequate, and handling is confident, if not sporting--it's difficult to be that, with a three-row crossover of this bulk. The combination of CVT and V-6 makes for quick Interstate cruising, but a luxury-label set of Rollerblades? Not quite.

Its killer app? The fold-forward second-row seat, which makes the Infiniti JX's third-row seat more usable than most. It tilts forward even with a child seat in place, which means less of the daily juggling of car seats parents grow to hate, right along with after-school scheduling and Dora The Explorer.

Lined with leather, our black three-row JX came fitted with a few options, including a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera that's already proven its parking mettle, and a rich-sounding audio system with Bluetooth streaming. Out the door, it stickers at more than $56,000.

We've already been on first drives and written about the JX, but the next three months will give us the chance to find out more about its overall attributes. Does the styling play as well to MDX shoppers as it does to fans of the Flex? Does the flex-fold second-row seat make us want to jump in the way-back? Will those wireless headsets for the DVD entertainment system make our passengers stop kicking the backs of our seats?

In the coming weeks, we'll ask those questions and more, as we sail through winter in the JX, pointing out its competitors and letting you know what it does best; putting it through road-trip and gas-mileage tests; going through its luxury and infotainment features in depth; and putting it through a video road test and a final drive before we pronounce it done. Aside from those tests, we'll also be christening it the official High Gear Media vehicle of the 2013 Detroit Auto Show--so expect to see it on I-94 in mid-January. A lot.
In the meantime, read our full review of the 2013 Infiniti JX, and stay in the loop with our Three-Month Road Test--and don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1080839_2013-infiniti-jx-35-tccs-three-month-road-test
 

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Hey Gibbons what is your beef with everything JX? Are you a fired employee or something? There are plenty of people and reviews that have good things to say about the JX. You seem to take very opportunity be negative, and that's fine, but your tone suggests some strange pent up anger... Why so angry at this car?
 

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Not sure if I can agree with you about the JX being rated below the Highlander.
I think I said, "and equal to the Highlander". No worries. I should have been more clear, that I think that journalistic bias can get ridiculous. Rating a JX the same as a Highlander, really? Obviously the JX is better, and IMHO, better than the ancient designs (in the dynamic automotive world) of the MDX and Q7. The JX is a great car! Who knows why experts say what they say. Riders think Santa Cruz mountain bikes are the top of the food chain. But they don't advertise in Mountain Bike Action magazine (they don't need to advertise), so MBA never mentions them or tests their bikes. Specialized, on the other hand, buys a lot of ad space and they get a lot of positive press.

I think thecarconnection has some kind of ax to grind, and it showed in their review. Didn't anyone else catch the neutral tone on a great car?
 

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I don't think gibbons was criticizing the JX. He was talking about the reviewers being negative towards the JX. I never liked the carconnection reviews.
 
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