2013 Infiniti JX35 Review
Sampling Infiniti's minivan alternative.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: March 5th, 2013
The launch of Infiniti's JX35 tall wagon should be seen as further proof that minivans are passé. Even though Nissan, the mainstream brand to Infiniti's luxury line, offers the capable Quest minivan, Infiniti has chosen to bridge the gap between its FX line of five-seat crossover SUVs and its QX56 full-size SUV with the Nissan Pathfinder-based JX.
Dare we say that station wagons are back? Infiniti sure hopes so with this seven-seat wagon.
On the Road
Infiniti uses a 265-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 to get the JX moving, and it has plenty of punch for around-town driving, although the car's 4,419 pound curb weight (with optional all-wheel-drive) and the relatively paltry 248 lb-ft of torque hold the JX back somewhat. This is clearly a family hauler first and foremost, and there are no pretensions of secret sportiness. That's what the FX is for.
That family hauler mentality carries over to ride and handling. It's on the soft side, ride-wise, and while it's not an incompetent handler, it's a bit limited due to its mission. The steering is slightly artificial and there is a little too much body roll, but again, we don't expect most drivers to push the JX hard.
Nissan loves continuously-variable automatic transmissions (CVT), so it figures that the JX would be the first Infiniti to be only available with one, and this particular CVT does a nice job of blending into the background
As a comfortable suburban cruiser, the JX shines. Just don't push it beyond its comfort zone.
Infiniti likes to give its vehicles plenty of curves, and that's the case here. The JX is actually a handsome wagon for the most part, despite a slightly bulbous nose and rear haunches that appear to rise just a bit too much. The profile does stray dangerously close to minivan territory, but overall we like it.
Even though there is only one trim level available, there are plenty of luxury features available. Heated front seats, a power tilt/telescope steering wheel, remote keyless entry and starting, and a power liftgate all come standard.
The interior design is handsome, with controls laid out in a logical fashion. The curvature continues here (especially on the center stack), and the materials generally look and feel appropriate for a near-luxury crossover.
Minivans aren't dead, but they do seem to be beneath luxury buyers. Hence the onslaught of luxury crossover SUVs that carry either five or seven passengers, many of whom are likely to be rugrats. This is also why Nissan went full-on crossover with the JX's platform-mate, the Pathfinder.
That means that JX buyers are essentially getting a tarted-up Pathfinder with more luxury and more standard features, which fits the Infiniti mission of providing upscale Nissans to well-heeled buyers.
It also fits the minivan-alternative mission well. At least until crossovers become just as uncool.
Specs, Features, and Prices
Engine: 3.5-liter V-6
Transmission: Continuously-variable automatic (CVT)
Drive Wheels: Front- or all-wheel-drive
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway (18/24 w/ FWD)
Base Price: $41,550
As-Tested Price: $55,465
Available Features: heated and cooled front seats, heated second row seats, navigation system, power liftgate, power tilt/telescope steering wheel, fog lamps, moonroof, 20-inch wheels, rearview camera, lane-departure warning, heated steering wheel, remote start, satellite radio, USB port, auxiliary port, Bluetooth, back-up collision intervention system, intelligent cruise control, Infiniti's AroundView monitor, streaming audio.
• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2013 Infiniti JX35, click here: 2013 Infiniti JX35.