Slotted below the sporty FX in size and price, the EX35 is built on the same basic architecture. As such, it offers a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive — most crossovers are front- or all-wheel drive. The Infiniti’s chassis makes for responsive handling; helping matters is the fact that the EX35 is not overly tall. Ride quality is also pretty good. Unlike the larger FX, here the only engine option is a V-6. That V-6 is Infiniti’s 3.5-liter, which is one of the more capable sixes around (with 297 hp) but not exactly the most refined. It’s mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission, which replaced a five-speed unit in the EX35 last year. This four-door hatchback doesn’t have third-row seating and maxes out at five passengers — or, more realistically, four. There is no room for a third seat, and the back seat is pretty cramped, with legroom in particularly short supply. Cargo space behind the rear seats is modest but is easily expanded now that the EX35 is available with a power-folding feature for the second-row seats. Technology-wise, one of our favorite features on the EX35 (and a few other Infinitis), is the Around View Monitor, which upstages a regular rearview camera by letting the driver see his or her car’s surroundings from all sides. The full panoply of electronic driver aids is also available. Unlike its larger sibling, the EX35’s interior is not highly styled, but it is very nicely finished, as you’d expect from an Infiniti.

Drive: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel
Trim Levels: EX35 RWD, EX35 AWD, EX35 RWD Journey, EX35 AWD Journey
Body style: SUV/crossover, 5-passenger
Engine: 3.5L V-6, 297 hp, 253 lb-ft
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Passenger volume: 107.1 cu ft
Cargo space: (behind rear seats) 18.6 cu ft

The only enhancement made for the new model year is the addition of a HomeLink universal transceiver as standard equipment on the uplevel EX35 Journey, a feature that was previously part of Infiniti’s deluxe touring package.

Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard. A blind-spot warning system; lane-departure prevention; distance control assist; intelligent brake assist with forward collision warning; and the Around View Monitor are optional.

All: 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway

  • Potent V-6
  • Attractive styling
  • Sporty handling
  • Cramped rear seat
  • Not much cargo space

The crossover might have a cramped rear seat, but it’s definitely cute.

  • Acura RDX
  • Audi Q5
  • BMW X3
  • Mercedes-Benz GLK-class

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