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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before I ask my question, I just wanted to thank everyone for being so informative and considerate of others. I know comparing vehicles often becomes controversial but I really value the opinions and knowledge of those posting and would appreciate your feedback when making this 50K decision.

Background - We are a family of 4 - two adults, two kids (2 and 6) and three dogs (2 small ones, one 55 pounder). I will be the main driver, but my husband will obviously drive at times. He's 6 foot 2 and 200lbs, I'm 5' 4" and a lot smaller! We buy vehicles for the long haul so I fully expect my 6 year old to be way taller than me within a few years time and he and his friends will be the main users of the back seats! We also do a LOT of driving in snowy winter conditions. We have a cottage near a ski hill in Quebec, and are up there most weekends so the new people mover MUST be good on winter roads, and will occasionally be used to tow a boat or trailer. I've got a 2006 Murano and while I don't mind it for winter driving, I don't find it as solid on the road as I'd like - definitely not as good as my hubby's Honda Ridgeline.

We've done the tour of dealerships and are pretty much down to either the Pathfinder or the JX35. I LOVE the drive on the JX, the fit and finish and some of the safety features of the all around monitor and in the tech package. I also really love the panoramic sunroof on both vehicles. Now, down to my questions;

The CVT - some articles here say that the CVT on the pathfinder is newer, and better in some respects. I'm not a car person so don't quite understand the ratio comments, but would like to know if those differences mean that it'll drive noticeably different, or if it would impact it's stability on the road in the winter. Is it in fact the same CVT as of late? My hubby does think he'll need to tow more than 3500 lbs from time to time, and we do go up and down less than civil roads but it's not an everyday thing.

The Bells and Whistles in the Tech Package - Do they make a noticeable difference how safe you feel the vehicle is? Does it impact winter driving? What options are worth the $?

20 Inch Tires - Do the affect the driving experience - for good or for bad? How about winter driving? I've heard that they do take away from vehicle feedback, but if I want the tech package, I'm pretty much committed to them.

Anything else I should consider? We keep cars for the long haul, but that doesn't mean I don't care about resale.

Thanks Everyone! I really love the JX, but want to be sure that I get the right vehicle, and options without blowing the bank! :eek:
 

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Tech features in the JX (but not available in the pathfinder) are a definite plus:
I find blindspot monitor, adaptive cruise(ACC) and Forward Colision Warning (FCW) to be particularly useful, luckily haven't had the need to exercise IBA. I find DCA to be more annoying then being useful..
I believe around view monitor is available in the pathfinder as well.

I haven't driven the Pathfinder, so can't really compare CVTs.
The 2014 JX *may* get the new CVT (purely my guess), not sure what your situation is and if you can wait..
 

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If you need to tow more than 3500lbs, you'll have to get the Pathfinder.

I looked at both models as well and although the Pathfinder has the new transmission, I liked the exterior appearance / feature combinations on the JX35 more.

The JX also has one additional year of warranty.
 

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Both are nice cars with some significant differences. The Pathfinder alows you to lock the transmission into AWD but not manually shift up and down its range which makes it feel like you are driving a 6 speed. The technology on the JX is impressive and will spoil you. For the price in the luxury car class, its hard to beat. I test drove a JX with 18 and 20" tires and felt the 20" was smoother. On a very long trip with very windy roads, my JX handled nice. If you need tire chains, your not going to find them or 20" tires. I still think the leather on the JX is a better quality. Now that I've driven a car with back up collision intervention and blind spot intervention and warning, I don't want another car without them. If I were to buy the Pathfinder, I would go with the Platinum fully loaded model. Let us know what you end up with.
 

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Transmission: The CVT transmission of the Pathfinder is slightly different from the one in the current JX. If you need to get a new car now, and need to tow more than 3500lbs, then the Pathfinder may be the choice. Next year, when the JX35 becomes the QX60, the transmission will be the same one as in the current PF. That means the towing capacity of the QX60 should be higher than the JX35, although I haven't confirmed those specs yet. The current transmission does have one advantage when it comes to snow driving. You can manually "shift" the JX transmission. Most people use this to save a little gas by forcing it into the highest "gear" on the freeway. But notably, in snow you can use this feature to enable engine braking when descending a slippery hill. Often using engine braking is safer than applying the brakes when coming down a slick hill. Some may argue that in the PF you can lock it in 4WD, but I can tell you from lots of experience that won't make much, if any, difference in snow performance. The standard AWD works great in snow.

Tires/Wheels: IMO, the tires that come on the 18" wheels of the non-Deluxe Touring models are slightly more capable as snow tires. Also, at the moment I don't believe anyone makes a true snow tire to fit the 20" wheels. But if you're like me and have two sets of wheels for your car, then you could get a set of winter wheels for the JX and mount snows on them. On normal roads in dry or wet conditions, you won't find any noticeable difference in ride or performance between the 18" and 20" wheels/tires. Also of note, it probably wouldn't be hard to find someone with a new JX who would be willing to swap wheels with you if you buy the Deluxe Touring and get the 20".

Tech features: As you state, if you want the rear roof glass, you have to buy Deluxe Touring, which means Theatre and Technology packages (and bumps the price about $4-5K). From what I've seen, most customers really value the Driver's Assistance features (as rvjx states above). The added Interventions that come with the Tech package (lane departure warning and prevention, plus Blind spot Intervention) probably don't mean a lot to most customers. I've had one JX customer in 6 months who actually cared about LDP. Oh, and LDW and LDP don't work in snow, FWIW. Deluxe Touring does get you heated 2nd row seats, which your kids may like. If it were my money, I'd opt for Driver's Assistance and Premium packages and leave it at that.

There are two major things that I think make the JX stand out vs. the PF. One is Infiniti Connection. Customers that take advantage of it really love it. The ability to call a real person who speaks English and understands your questions (they don't speak Quebecois and probably don't know what poutine is though) is awesome. The ability for them to send destinations to the navi screen is both a safety feature and a convenience/luxury feature IMO. "The kids are hungry, can you find me a decent burger joint in the next 20 miles that also has a gas station nearby, and then download that to my navi screen, thank you". The other major thing is the Driver's assistance features. Around view monitor can be had on the PF, but blind spot warning, remote start, backup collision intervention and forward collision warning are all great features.

The other advantages are less tangible. Longer warranty, free loaner car if yours is in the shop, nicer leather, quieter cabin (IMO), and hopefully salespeople who know enough to be able to show you how to use all the features. I guess the real question is do all those advantages trump your towing concerns? And if you don't need a car right now, but can wait until late summer or fall when we start to see QX60's come in - then you can get the best of both worlds.
 

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Transmission: The CVT transmission of the Pathfinder is slightly different from the one in the current JX. If you need to get a new car now, and need to tow more than 3500lbs, then the Pathfinder may be the choice. Next year, when the JX35 becomes the QX60, the transmission will be the same one as in the current PF. That means the towing capacity of the QX60 should be higher than the JX35, although I haven't confirmed those specs yet. The current transmission does have one advantage when it comes to snow driving. You can manually "shift" the JX transmission. Most people use this to save a little gas by forcing it into the highest "gear" on the freeway. But notably, in snow you can use this feature to enable engine braking when descending a slippery hill. Often using engine braking is safer than applying the brakes when coming down a slick hill. Some may argue that in the PF you can lock it in 4WD, but I can tell you from lots of experience that won't make much, if any, difference in snow performance. The standard AWD works great in snow.

Tires/Wheels: IMO, the tires that come on the 18" wheels of the non-Deluxe Touring models are slightly more capable as snow tires. Also, at the moment I don't believe anyone makes a true snow tire to fit the 20" wheels. But if you're like me and have two sets of wheels for your car, then you could get a set of winter wheels for the JX and mount snows on them. On normal roads in dry or wet conditions, you won't find any noticeable difference in ride or performance between the 18" and 20" wheels/tires. Also of note, it probably wouldn't be hard to find someone with a new JX who would be willing to swap wheels with you if you buy the Deluxe Touring and get the 20".

Tech features: As you state, if you want the rear roof glass, you have to buy Deluxe Touring, which means Theatre and Technology packages (and bumps the price about $4-5K). From what I've seen, most customers really value the Driver's Assistance features (as rvjx states above). The added Interventions that come with the Tech package (lane departure warning and prevention, plus Blind spot Intervention) probably don't mean a lot to most customers. I've had one JX customer in 6 months who actually cared about LDP. Oh, and LDW and LDP don't work in snow, FWIW. Deluxe Touring does get you heated 2nd row seats, which your kids may like. If it were my money, I'd opt for Driver's Assistance and Premium packages and leave it at that.

There are two major things that I think make the JX stand out vs. the PF. One is Infiniti Connection. Customers that take advantage of it really love it. The ability to call a real person who speaks English and understands your questions (they don't speak Quebecois and probably don't know what poutine is though) is awesome. The ability for them to send destinations to the navi screen is both a safety feature and a convenience/luxury feature IMO. "The kids are hungry, can you find me a decent burger joint in the next 20 miles that also has a gas station nearby, and then download that to my navi screen, thank you". The other major thing is the Driver's assistance features. Around view monitor can be had on the PF, but blind spot warning, remote start, backup collision intervention and forward collision warning are all great features.

The other advantages are less tangible. Longer warranty, free loaner car if yours is in the shop, nicer leather, quieter cabin (IMO), and hopefully salespeople who know enough to be able to show you how to use all the features. I guess the real question is do all those advantages trump your towing concerns? And if you don't need a car right now, but can wait until late summer or fall when we start to see QX60's come in - then you can get the best of both worlds.
Had mine for a for only 3 months, but did extensive comparison between the JX and Pathfinder. I don't need 5,000lbs of towing and found the safety features (collision intervention, etc.) to be worth getting the JX in lieu of the Pathfinder. Also like the styling better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
REALLY appreciate the feedback! Is it confirmed that the new CVT is going in the 2014! And that that'll bring it to 500olbs towing capacity? I can wait until the fall but don't want to drive another winter. Incidentally in Quebec, where our cottage is, you are legally required to have snow tires on your vehicle after December 10th or thereabouts. Not sure if that means I have to get 18 inch rims along with snow tires then? Something to negotiate on with the dealer!
 

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We were in the same boat and deciding between the Pathfinder and JX. We are a tall family too, I am 6'3" and wife is 5'11" witha three year old boy. The seats in the two are exactly the same and the leather quality appears to be the same to me, good but not great. THe real difference is in head room. The 3rd row has much more in the Pathfinder because the roof does not slope down like the JX. We also had to go without the touring or tech package because I can not sit in the 3rd row with the panoramic moon roof, it takes away too much head room. The 2nd row seat does not have enough thigh support for me and the bottom cushon is a little too low so my legs are not perfectly comfortable. It sounds like I am complaining but we are a tall family and the JX and Pathfinder were the best for us and we looked at everything from a Hyundai to the Mercedes GL. We went with the JX because my wife loved it and it is her car. The Pathfinder was priced about $10,000 less had the exact same seating and enough technology but she fell in love with the look of the JX. If it were my car I would have gone pathfinder, I liked the increased 3rd row head room, locking four wheel drive and that it came with a hitch and more towing capacity. The JX does have much less road noise that the Pathfinder. I don't need all the tech features and turn most of it off in the JX and do not care about it. All I know is that when we have seen the new Pathfinder she is glad she chose the JX because the Pathfinder gets lost in the crowd.
 

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The ageold Infiniti JX35/QX60 vs Nissan Pathfinder debate :rolleyes:

We should stick one of those threads to make it easier for people lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wanted to confirm if anyone on this forum knows directly from Infiniti that the QX60 will have the new CVT. I spoke to an Infiniti sales person that was quite rude when I said that I'd heard the CVT was being replaced in 2014. Basically implied that if I read this forum, why would I ask him, but then said that he had not heard this from Infiniti headquarters.

Not sure why it would be so contentious, does anyone know for sure - press releases or the like?

I live in Ottawa Ontario, Canada, does anyone have any feedback on good dealerships? I am good travelling to most parts of Ont and Quebec for a vehicle, but would prefer to stay local if there is a good one close. Don't have time for the attitude or less than honest sales people.

Thanks in advance!
 

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If anyone is skeptical that the two actually have different transmissions, here's proof. In Tustin CA there is an Infiniti dealer across the street from a Nissan dealer. I took pictures of both cars' transmissions 5 minutes apart. The first one, with the big aluminum cooling fins, is the JX. The next, more compact one with the black steel pan is the Pathfinder, which uses a remote cooler and on-demand fan. Notice that everything else under both cars is identical, including suspension as I showed pics of in another thread.

I read JX reviews noting the transmission's rumble, and saw a post here about it. I definitely noticed it on a test drive, and thought it was something I would have to live with. My wife didn't notice. The Pathfinder trans is dead silent, and it changes ratios smoother. My wife wouldn't notice that either. I am a mechanical engineer gear head, stuff like that outweighs some of the additional tech features. I figure it's my job to watch for cars in front and use my mirrors plus turn my head to look for blind spot cars.

Everyone has their wishes for what their cars should be. That's why it's nice they make so many kinds so everyone can get one to hit their sweet spot. We got a Pathfinder.

IMAG0552.jpg IMAG0551.jpg
 

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I don't think the debate was if the Pathfinder and JX have different transmissions as we know the one in the Pathfinder is newer and better but we want to know if the 2014 JX/QX will get the Pathfinder's new trans.
 

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I heard that there will be two transmissions in the JX/QX60 next year. The Hybrid will offer the new CVT, while the regular model with the 3.5 will have the current CVT, which is different from the Pathfinder CVT.

Keep in mind, even if you want to tow more than 3500lbs, you would then need trailer brakes. Most people usually tow less than 3500 anyway. All depends what you are moving about!!!!
 
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