Nissan hasn’t really marketed it as such (and I commend them for that), but the EX35 could easily be considered part of the “premium four-door crossover coupe” crowd, along with the likes of the BMW X6 and the Acura ZDX. Of course, the attractive first-generation Infiniti FX35/45 could also be lumped into that group, if not for the fact that adults can actually fit in the FX’s back seats.
Unlike the aforementioned vehicles, though, the EX comes in a more compact package, which better suits its predilection as a surprisingly sporty wagon, rather than as a compromised SUV. The Infiniti’s shape also means that rear headroom isn’t sacrificed as severely as in the Acura and the BMW, although back-seat legroom and cargo space are quite poor, as we documented extensively during a year with our recently departed Four Seasons silver-on-black EX35. That vehicle held up quite well, but I still found it refreshing to get into a newer EX. I particularly liked this example’s tan interior, which likely wouldn’t have aged well under our yearlong care but makes the cabin look and feel larger. I’m not such a big fan of the “moonlight white” paint, however, which doesn’t flatter the EX’s svelte lines as nicely as other hues.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor
If you think of the EX35 as a tall coupe, it’s easy to love. It handles, brakes, and steers nearly as well as the G35, which is to say, really well, and actually rides better than its stubby stablemate. Although it looks more like a crossover than a wagon, its resemblance to the latter could turn off many American consumers. This is unfortunate as the EX35 is an amazingly well-rounded vehicle. It strikes a near-perfect balance between sport and luxury in the way it drives and looks, both inside and out, and, as evidenced by our recently departed Four Seasons 2008 EX35, it is reliable to a fault. Admittedly, the EX35’s utility is compromised but to me that’s where the compromising ends.
Jennifer Misaros, Production Editor
The EX35 seemed rather odd when it came out a year or so ago, but since then, as Rusty noted, we’ve been deluged with even odder “crossover coupes.” In comparison with the Acura ZDX, the BMW 5-Series GT, and the BMW X6, the Infiniti has a lot going for it. First and foremost, it’s actually attractive–no awkward proportions, ungainly rear end, or obnoxious grille here.
Infiniti also remains a leader in interior design, with supremely well-integrated electronics and a plush, yet not understated cabin.
I wasn’t able to drive all that far or hard in the EX this time around, but my short drive reaffirmed its intrinsic G37-based character. The 3.5-liter V-6 is strong, but needs a good boot to get going, especially if you have the five-speed automatic set in Drive rather than Sport mode (I typically leave it in the latter).
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor
As with our 2008 Four Seasons EX35, there are several things about the EX35 that I appreciate, among them its perfect height for ingress and egress, its responsive handling, and its comfortable, ergonomically designed cabin. Since I don’t have children or a need to carry many bulky items, the EX35 is a vehicle I could happily drive every day, because it can carry a suitcase or three and a couple of extra passengers in the back in a pinch. But for anyone who regularly hauls back-seat passengers and carries big loads, the EX would likely be a nonstarter due to its compromised cargo and passenger.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor
It’s hard to find a compact SUV these days that is truly compact, but the EX may be the exception. I parked it next to a new Subaru Impreza the other day — remarkably, the pair are virtually the same size and shape, although the Infiniti is billed as more of a crossover/SUV than the Subie.
That svelte size has both its merits and downfalls. On the one hand, it feels much more carlike than the larger FX and is amazingly nimble in the cramped parking garage I deal with on a daily basis. On the downside, you lose a lot of usable space within the interior cabin. Cargo space is roughly half of what Audi offers in its competitive Q5, and even the cockpit itself feels a little cozy for a large, broad-shouldered individual like myself.
For the most part, our tester was equipped in a similar fashion to our now-departed Four Seasons EX35, but I do think the slate-on-taupe two-tone interior looks much more attractive than the charcoal cabin we previously sampled (I’m also impressed that little things, like steering wheel function buttons, are also molded in a matching taupe instead of being left black). Also, the upgraded navigation system is much more attractive than Infiniti’s last iteration, although it isn’t a giant leap forward in terms of its usability-but it was pretty good to begin with.
Evan McCausland, Web Producer
2010 Infiniti EX35 Journey AWD
Base price (with destination): $38,265
Price as tested: $42,945
Intelligent All-wheel drive
5-speed automatic transmission
Adaptive cruise control
Vehicle dynamic control
Dual zone climate control with rear vents
AM/FM stereo with cd player and 6 speakers
7-inch color display
Options on this vehicle:
Bose & Around view monitor package – $2150
Illuminated kick plates – $280
Premium package – $1750
18-inch tire and wheel package – $500
Key options not on vehicle:
Technology package – $2250
Aluminum roof rails – $250
16 / 23 / 19 mpg
Size: 3.5L V-6
Horsepower: 297 hp @ 6800 rpm
Torque: 253 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm
Weight: 3979 lb
18 x 8-inch aluminum alloy wheels
225/55R18 Dunlop SP Sport 7000 all-season tires