Out of character for Infiniti, but solid family hauler
The Infinti JX gives us the feeling that it might have a different biological father than the rest of the lnfiniti clan.
And if this is the case, we’re pretty sure the unnamed father is an accountant.
Because the Infiniti JX is all about family values, safety, and paying your taxes. It doesn’t seem to have a natural predisposition to Infiniti's tagline of “Inspired Performance.”
But we really like it.
Good size and right attitude
Based on the new unibody [link artid"149302"]Nissan Pathfinder[/link] platform, the Infiniti JX fills a much-needed SUV role for Infiniti above the smaller, sportier FX37 and below the same-size (but sportier and more expensive) FX37 and FX50. The massive Infiniti QX56 sits atop the Infiniti SUV line-up, oblivious to all.
The 2013 Infiniti JX makes great use of its 4,989-mm length. It’s a full, three-row, seven-seater that doesn’t look too long. It has great “midsize” proportions. It’s an attractive shape and style, which looks more expensive than its $44,800 MSRP. Inside, you’ll find 4,242 litres of total passenger car volume -- great for its size and class.
The third row is quite useable for adults, though the floor is not far away; your thighs and knees won’t be resting on the seat cushion. The second row in the 2014 Infiniti JX is spacious, and promises that you can keep a child seat affixed and still slide the seat far enough forward to allow third-row access.
At the front of the ship, you’ll find the IP, console, and switchgear are attractively laid out in the Infiniti motif. There are actual knobs and switches, virtual ones on a touchscreen, and Infiniti's main Controller. So you’re not hostage to only one way of making things happen in the 2013 Infiniti JX.
The front seats are big and plush.
The plushness extends to the ride and handling in the 2013 Infiniti JX. Not only is the ride soft, with some body role, but there is not much steering feedback for the driver. This is where it is most out of character for an Infiniti. However, for a family hauler, it makes sense. When you’re travelling with an angry brood, you don’t want to make them angrier by bouncing them around, and the driver has probably already given up his dream to be a Formula 1 teammate to Michael Schumacher.
The exclusive powertrain is Infiniti’s mainstay 265-hp 3.5L V6 mated to a CVT. Intelligent All Wheel Drive is standard. The 3.5L V6 is all you need for sure, but not “top of the charts” either for a premium SUV. The towing rating, at 3,500 lbs, is also lower than some of the JX’s competitors who claim they can pull 5,000 lbs and beyond.
The CVT in the 2013 Infiniti JX is another non-Infiniti like move, but helps JX in the fuel efficiency department. It’s rated at a very reasonable 11.5L city and 8.5L/100km highway.
Overall driveability is excellent. You can also put it into Sport Mode for a livelier throttle and steering feel.
Keen value proposition
Everything feels premium on the 2013 Infiniti JX, but maybe one slight notch lower down the upscale ladder than other Infiniti products. However, maybe that’s a part of what helps its competitive pricing. Only one model is offered, and it starts at a very keen $44,900.
Standard equipment highlights include all-wheel drive, 18” aluminum wheels, leather seats, and Bluetooth handsfree phone system.
Our test vehicle had $13,500 worth of extras.
The $2,300 Theatre Package gives you 7” screens in each front headrest and wireless headphones. Very decadent.
The $5,000 Premium Package includes such niceties as Hard Drive Navigation, Infiniti Connection for third-party assistance, and a 360-degree monitor.
The $2,700 Deluxe Touring Package adds 20” wheels, a moonroof, and Surround Sound.
And, finally, there is the $3,500 Technology Package, which elevates the safety factor with Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, Remote Start, Intelligent Brake Assist with Collision Warning, and the just-developed Backup Collision Prevention system, which actually brakes the vehicle if it figures you really are going to back into something.
That’s a pre-tax, pre-PDI total of $60,395. So, a keen base price, yes, but ready to fly high as well.
My week with the 2013 Infiniti JX was very enjoyable. Satisfaction was high. Quibbles were few (slow power tailgate, rear-view visibility). If you’re looking at premium seven-seater rides like Acura MDX, Buick Enclave and Lincoln MKT, you should also be seriously contemplating the 2013 Infiniti JX.