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If you found yourself at an Infiniti showroom seeking out a 7-passenger vehicle a couple of months ago, the dealer’s only option would be to give you a walk around of the monstrous QX. After being thoroughly impressed by the luxury that practically oozes out of the door jams, you may still find yourself put off by the SUV’s $60,000 sticker price. At this point, the only other option in this particular line up would be the 5-passenger FX, which would mean cutting out some necessary space.

Speed up to present time, and you’ll find that Infiniti has squeezed a brand-new model right in between the massive QX and the sporty FX that the automaker has dubbed the JX. The 7-passenger JX is a luxury crossover built very ready to take on the competition. So, just how well does it stack up? Let’s have a look.
2013 Infiniti JX Specifications:

- Style: Crossover.
- Seating Capacity: 7.
- Base Price: $40,450.
- Engine: 3.5 liter V6 – 265-hp at 6,400 rpm / 248 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm.
- Transmission: CVT Transmission.
- 0 to 60 mph: 8 seconds.
- Top Speed: 121 mph.
- Towing Capacity: 3,500 lbs.
- Curb Weight: 4,280 lbs for FWD model, 4,419 for AWD model.
- Fuel-economy: 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for FWD, 18/23 mpg for AWD.
- Cool Facts: It has a total of 8 cupholders and 6 bottle holders, offers an innovative way to access the third-row, has Tri-Zone climate control, offers you access to Google Calendar and has its own real-life personal assistant.

Exterior:

At first glance the 2013 Infiniti JX may appear somewhat bland, but if you spend a little time with it, the crossover begins to reveal some interesting design queues.

First and foremost, the Infiniti signature grille has been seamlessly blended into the ‘wave’ design of the hood. Moving along to the side stance, Infiniti strikes a sophisticated yet aggressive note with a sloping roofline. Around the rear of the crossover, the luxury automaker draws inspiration from the Essence concept, with the use of its crescent-shaped D-pillar.

As for how it literally measures up to the competition, the 2013 Infiniti JX measures 196.4 inches in length, 77.2 inches in width and 68.9 inches in height. That makes it 5.2 inches longer than the Acura MDX and 3.9 inches shorter. It also makes it 1.3 inches less in width than the MDX and 8.5 inches less than the Q7. In matters of height, it’s 0.7 inches taller than the Acura MDX and 0.5 inches taller than the Audi Q7.

My opinion on the Infiniti JX’s exterior? It certainly looks better than some of the eyesores out there in its segment.

Interior:

It doesn’t leave the third-row passengers feeling like they were the last to be picked for an elementary school kickball game.
Inside, the 2013 Infiniti JX absolutely outshines its competitors. The model offers a plush cabin with a lot of room, comfort and gadgetry. Best of all, it doesn’t leave the third-row passengers feeling like they were the last to be picked for an elementary school kickball game.

Some nice technical features come standard, with a few better ones as options. Bose provides the sound system (which wasn’t really all that impressive), while dual 7-inch color monitors for the rear passengers provide the visual entertainment. Other technical features include Infiniti Connection with the Integrated Infiniti Personal Assistant (check out the video after this paragraph for an explanation), in-vehicle access to Google Calendar, XM NavTraffic and NavWeather, and a very cool display positioned in front of the driver that provides vehicle information. In addition, the model comes with a power moonroof with an optional second and third row moonroof, as well as heated front and second row seats, tri- not dual-, zone climate control and much more.

After all that, what is still most important about the Infiniti JX’s interior is the space it provides and how easy it is to access the third-row. First, the second-row seats move forward and back 5-inches, so if the third-row isn’t being used, second-row passengers can create some additional legroom for themselves. To access the third-row, Infiniti has devised a clever system that allows the second row seat cushion to flip up as the seat goes forward – when the operation is complete, the system creates a nice and large access to the third-row (check out the video for a demonstration to see how it works).

As for the space, when compared to its competitors, the Infiniti JX offers the best-in-class interior volume with 149.8 cubic-feet – that’s 8.0 cubic-feet more than the Acura MDX and 16.6 cubic feet more than the Audi Q7. That means it offers more cargo volume (15.8 cubic feet with third row seats up) and more legroom for second and third row passengers the most of its rivals.
Safety:

Believe me, in order to even add this section to a review it takes some real stand out qualities, and the JX packs some notable ones. The 2013 JX still offers all of the familiar safety technologies including Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Departure Prevention (LDP), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Advanced Air Bag System (AABS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Around View Monitor (AVM), Blind Spot Intervention (BSI), Blind Spot Warning (BSW), and Brake Assist (BA).

This time however, Infiniti is bringing some new safety features to the market, incorporating Distance Control Assist (DCA), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA), which now work together to help slow down and stop the JX in traffic. Also, the new Backup Collision Intervention (BCI) and Moving Object Detection (MOD) help the driver identify and avoid collisions with objects while in backing up.


Performance:

It seems everyone I encountered at the JX drive event was completely disappointed with its power, or that it does not live up to Infiniti’s ‘Inspired Performance’ slogan. While I agree with the latter, I feel a bit different about the JX’s 3.5-liter V6 that makes 265-hp with a peak torque of 248 lb-ft.

Will the JX offer you and your passengers a comfortable ride from point A to point B? It absolutely will.
It is true, it isn’t that powerful, but I attribute that to the fact that it’s simply not a performance vehicle. Infiniti says it is targeting families of 4, and those in their 40’s, particularly women. Keeping that in mind, I also can’t remember the last time I saw someone drag-racing or drifting an Audi Q7 or Acura MDX, or any other family hauler for that matter.

So what if 0 to 60 mph takes close to 8 seconds? So what if I can’t take an exit at 50 mph plus with a car full of my family members? Will the JX offer you and your passengers a comfortable ride from point A to point B? It absolutely will. Is it available in all-wheel-drive for cold weather states? Yes it is (it comes standard in front-wheel-drive and no, it’s not the end of the world that it isn’t rear-wheel-drive).

There is one performance factor I did not find favorable. I completely hate CVT transmissions and that’s exactly the transmission Infiniti picked for the 2013 JX. Nonetheless, they do offer their Infiniti Drive Mode Selector with Standard, Sport, Snow or Eco modes that ‘kind-of’ help to make driving a little more engaging.

What about the ever-important fuel-economy element? EPA ratings come in at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for the front-wheel-drive model and 18/23 mpg for the all-wheel-drive model.

Overall:

Prices for the 2013 Infiniti JX start at $40,450 for the JX35 FWD and $41,550 for the JX35 AWD model. That’s about $2,000 less than the Acura MDX and $6,000 under the sticker price for the Audi Q7. Why is it priced so aggressively? Well, Infiniti expects the JX to be its second best-selling model after the G lineup so the company is doing all it can to beat out the current leaders in the segment.

So does Infiniti have a winner here? I positively believe so. It’s cheaper than its competitors, offers comfort for all 7-passengers, is packed with gadgets, and boasts some outstanding safety features. What more could one scouring the segment ask for?




 
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