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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Drove 6 hours round trip to pick this baby up, and glad I took the plunge. I traded a 2007 Lexus GX470 (which I was really reluctant to do as I loved the way the GX rode) and got about $1300 off sticker from Motor Werks in Barrington, IL. They also threw in all weather mats at no charge. The important thing is they were the only dealer within a 500 mile radius of where I live that had the color/package combination that I wanted without having to wait 8-12 weeks for an order.

I originally wanted the white exterior with tan interior, but after seeing one at the local dealer, I was blinded with the entire interior being all the same tan color. I'm normally not a fan of dark interiors, but with the light grey headliner, I really like the dark grey interior with the diamond slate exterior. I was very reluctant to trade my Lexus GX, as I loved that truck (with the exception of the gas mileage) and the entire drive to Chicago was debating turning around and canceling the deal. I can say after driving the 200 miles home, I'm glad I went through with it. Coming from a Lexus, I was really worried about the fit and finish of an Infiniti being built in the US. When I got to the dealer, I went over the car with a fine tooth comb, and was really impressed with the craftmanship. Driving home, I was REALLY impressed that the JX was as smooth as the Lexus I traded, with a better handling response in cornering. The cabin is dead silent on asphalt, with only a slight hum on concrete (at highway speed). Additionally, I found the driver seat to be extremely comfortable on the long drive. Many people are flaming Infiniti's choice to go with a CVT transmission, but I can tell you not to worry.

I drove a 2007 Altima for about a year, and hated it because the CVT drove me nuts. Every time I took my foot of the gas pedal, it would seem to downshift and engine brake, so the car rapidly slowed down. That is not the case at all with the CVT on the JX. It's quick and smooth as butter. The sport mode mimics a traditional 6 speed tranny to a T. In normal mode, you get a smooth and rapid acceleration at about 4500 RMP up to speed. If you've never driven a CVT, it may take time to get used to the engine sound, but performance wise, you won't miss a standard tranny at all. I don't like eco mode as it reminds me of driving a Prius (slow acceleration with MPG in mind).

A quick note about the navigation and Bose stereo: The navigation is years ahead of Lexus. It's intuitive, and not clunky, and doesn't take you on wild routes, which was common with my GX (the entire ride down to Chicago, the navigation on the Lexus kept telling me to get off the highway and take side roads, it was a common occurance, and yes I have both highways and toll roads allowed on the lexus navigation, its just a crappy system). The resolution of the screen is excellent, and the menus are easy to navigate. The Bose sound system on the JX is quite possibly the best sounding stock system I have ever heard. The music is crisp with nice highs and mids and excellent tight bass. I thought my GX had a good system, but the JX is superior to the Mark Levinson system from Lexus which costs thousands of dollars. Additionally, the integration with the Ipod is excellent. Menu access is quick, unlike the Lexus which is very clunky and often takes up to 5 seconds to respond.

As I stated before, the ride of the JX is as good as a Lexus. Very plush, yet responsive, and a very quiet interior. This was my biggest concern when trading my GX. I loved how the GX just floated down the road. If this is a concern of yours, don't bother worrying, Infiniti got it right on this one. As much as I like the JX, and I think that it's going to be a home-run for Infiniti, it's not perfect. First, I wish the option packages were different. I don't really care about all of the safety technology, and I didn't feel like paying over $5k in unnecessary options for the ventilated front seats. I think the theater package is totally unnecessary to have in order to get the other packages. Additionally, I don't like the leather choice for the steering wheel: It feels cheap compared to other models. The cameras could be higher resolution, I still find it necessary to look behind when backing, something I didn't have to do with my Lexus. Finally, the steering wheel does not telescope far enough, or have significant up and down movement.

Now, let's get down to brass tacks. The JX is priced quite nicely with only the premium package. My wife drives a 2011 Toyota Sienna Limited that had a window sticker price of $46,000! Granted I only paid $39,500 after some serious negotiations, but most are paying around $42,000 for that specific vehicle. My point is that after the hype dies down (which may take 8-10 months), you should be able to get a nicely equipped JX for a decent deal. It rides far better than my wife's Sienna including cabin noise, has a far more luxurious interior (the 2011 Sienna is like stepping into plastic hell as the entire dash is made up of cheap, hard plastic), and just seems like a better value. I'm glad I bought mine now rather than waiting, even though I could have saved another $2,000 by waiting. In my opinion, the JX is worth what Infiniti is asking for it.

A quick note on second row leg room: It's fantastic. I won't use this car much for hauling the family (I use it for work), but with my daughter sitting behind me, she didn't put her feet in my back once. There is far more room in the second row of the JX than any other car I've owned.


Side note:

I considered buying the Acura MDX, which is the main competitor of the JX, back in 2007 and decided to buy the Lexus GX470. Fast forward to 2012, and Acura is still selling the exact same MDX that I considered in 2007, nothing has changed. The Acura is out-dated, does not have a touch screen navigation, has an inferior sound system, a useless 3rd row, a harsher ride, and does not have the fit and finish of the JX (IMHO). I think the JX is going to force Acura to update the MDX sooner rather than later, because currently, the JX is a better vehicle.



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Congrats on the new car!! Excellent write up, I agree with most of it, just of couple of things I have noticed on the JX now that I have had it a week:

- the back up camera resolution is not as good as my Acura tl
- the sound system to me is just ok, I am not a fan of Bose
- the ride is very comfortable
- love the ability to get to the third row without taking out the baby seat!
 

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Thanks for the review. Didn't expect the JX to fare that well against the Lexus

Since your GX470 had a V8, how did you feel about the lack of V8 punch? Does the JX's lighter weight or CVT compensate for the lack of power?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Even though the GX has a V8, it's still a large beast to propel down the road: 0-60 is somewhere close to 9 seconds on the GX. I think that the JX has plenty of power, especially at speed (say your at 50 and want to pass a car, it gets to 70 very rapidly), that said, the CVT takes some time to get the RPM up when coming from a dead stop. As far as trading the GX, I negotiated the price of the JX over the phone, and basically told them that if I didn't get what I wanted in trade for my Lexus that the deal was dead. I was looking for $22k on the trade and got $21,500 which is fair market for trade on the GX (I had access to the manheim auction reports for the midwest). The biggest issue with the GX was it being a gas hog....
 

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Great writeup. I'm glad the JX is bringing competition to Acura. Acura needs to step their game up if they want to compete. I'm an Acura fan and I can even see that they are behind.
 

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Thanks for sharing your experience. I love the Diamond Slate exterior! How was it working with Motorwerks of Barrington? It's one four dealerships in the Chicagoland area I've contacted.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Motor Werks was painless.... I was surprised they gave me a discount over $1,000 as they've sold just about every JX the have gotten. Most dealers in Chicago I contacted were $500 to $800 off sticker price. Took them a bit to do paperwork since I was an out of state buyer....
 

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I think $500 to $800 is a joke, seeing how much the JX goes for and assuming their mark up. $1000+ is more like it
 

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I have the same color palate. I really wanted d. Slate with java interior but I could not get my hands on anything with the package I wanted (premium/theater) and I was not willing to wait. I'm really happy with it though!
 
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