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The Infiniti JX became the latest entrant to join the Middle East’s growing crossover market. Infiniti has pegged the new JX as a stylish, luxury, three-row, seven seat Intelligent All-Wheel Drive crossover and it is their first offering in this segment. During our first drive with the new Infiniti JX, we were pleased with the amounts of space and the features on offer and there is no denying that the JX will unsettle it’s competitors with it’s long list of standard and optional features. The luxury brand has high hopes set on this new crossover hopes to sell around 1000 units in its first year across the GCC and globally, the company wants to grab 10 per cent of the luxury car market share by 2016.

A 3.5-litre V6 engine that produces a maximum of 265bhp powers the new JX and it is paired with a sport-tuned CVT gearbox. There is no V8 engine on offer and the choice of a CVT gearbox instead of a conventional automatic gearbox remains a bit controversial. During our drive, we struggled to get used to the CVT box and we found overtaking to be a big hassle as there was no immediate downshift action and you really don't get any immediate delivery of torque found in conventional automatic transmissions. Infiniti claims that fuel efficiency is improved with the use of a CVT but to be honest, I doubt there will be any significant gains in the real world and I really cannot associate Infiniti owners to be concerned with the fuel costs, especially in the Middle East. The CVT makes driving the new JX a really dull affair.

Design is another controversial topic when it comes to Infiniti. With social media playing an important role these days, most of our subscribers reacted negatively to our live posts and I too am in a bit of a dilemma on whether I really like the look of the new JX. On first glance, I must admit I wasn't too impressed with the styling but I guess it’s one of those designs that grows on you. The JX is generously proportioned and that translates into a fairly cavernous cabin. All versions of the JX come standard with third row seats and even though they aren’t ideal for adults on a long journey, children will find them very comfortable. All JX variants get 20-inch alloy wheels as standard.

The interior is very impressive and comfortable and the build quality nothing short of brilliant. The beige and wood interior give the JX very upmarket feel and it has a very spacious cabin capable of accommodating a large family without any problems. All variants of the JX will come standard with navigation and a 13-speaker Bose 2-channel Premium Sound system.

The new Infiniti JX is also loaded with additional features such as the world’s first Backup Collision Intervention (BCI) system - the latest of nine technologies that comprise the 'All-around Safety Shield' of the new JX. This system detects oncoming vehicles and pedestrians that lie in the driver’s blind spots and apply the brake while you reverse the car if needed. Other features include a remote engine start, Tri-zone entertainment system featuring dual seven-inch colour monitors for multimedia video playback (rear, front headrest mounted), Intelligent Cruise Control (Full-Speed Range), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP).

Only time will tell how the JX will pick up in one of the most crowded car segment in the Middle East. The JX has everything it takes to be a comfortable family car but it all depends on how the prospective buyers take to the CVT transmission and the eccentric styling. Pricing begins at AED 177,500 for the Premium variant and goes up to AED 190,500 for the comfort variant whereas the top of the line Luxury variant costs AED 205,000. Each of these variants is available without the roof rail and all of them will cost AED 1000 lesser.
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