Miles to date: 19,620 miles
Months in fleet: Seven
What the heck is this vehicle? More than halfway through the EX's time with us, it's still a point of uncertainty and debate.
"The EX35 has been confounding staffers; and, based on its sales, which are less than those of the far pricier FX, it's been confounding buyers as well," writes senior editor Joe Lorio, continuing, "I can appreciate the EX35's higher seating position and certainly its hatchback utility, but I do wish it were a better sports sedan - on a par with its stable mate, the G37. The EX35's biggest letdown in the driving dynamics department is its overboosted steering."
Intern Jeffrey Jablansky likewise did some mental gymnastics as he tried to figure out how to categorize the tallish hatchback:
"Here's where Infiniti went wrong: It's calling this sporty hatch with scant headroom, rear seat room, or cargo capacity a crossover. Who are you fooling, Infiniti?"
Despite its quirkiness, the EX has consistently managed to charm us with its comfort, easy-to-use high-tech features, and reasonably strong performance.
"I think I get it now," mused Jablansky after driving the EX from New York to Ann Arbor, "I was evaluating the EX for what it looks like it should be. Problem is, I didn't see it for what it really is - a driver's car. I fully exercised the engine's 297 thoroughbreds at every legal, allowable on-ramp. Love the brakes, too."
Adds Lorio, "The EX stands out from the herd of more typical crossovers with its shapely bod and its rear-wheel-drive-based all-wheel-drive. I say, better something different than still more of the same."
2009 Infiniti EX35
Base price (with dest.): $37,117
Price as tested: $45,665
Body Style: 4-door SUV
Construction: Steel unibody
Engine: DOHC 24-valve V-6
Displacement: 3.5 liters
Power: 297 hp @ 6800 rpm
Torque: 253 lb-ft
Steering: power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Turns lock-to-lock: 2.85
Turning Circle: 36 ft
Suspension, Front: Double-wishbone
Suspension, Rear: Multilink
Brakes F/R: Vented disc, ABS
Tires: Bridgestone Blizzak (summer tires!)
Tire Size: P225/55VR-18
Headroom F/R: 38.1 / 37.7 in
Legroom F/R: 44.3 / 38.6 in
Shoulder Room F/R: 58.3 / 57.9 in
Wheelbase: 110.2 in
Track F/R: 62.7 / 64.6 in
L x W x H: 182.3 x 71.0 x 62.6 in
Cargo Capacity: 18.6 cu ft
Weight: 3975 lb
Weight Dist. F/R: 54.3 / 45.7 %
Fuel Capacity: 20 gal
Est. Range: 400 miles
Fuel Grade: 93 octane
Electronic stability control, traction control
-Technology Package (around view camera, lane departure prevention and warning, radar cruise control), $1950
-Premium Package (Bose audio; iPod interface; dual zone automatic climate control; heated front seats and mirrors; rear air conditioning vent; Bluetooth; memory seats, steering wheel, and outside mirrors; 8-way power driver's seat, 2-way power driver's lumbar, power steering column), $2150
-Luxe Style Package (18-inch wheels and all-season tires, Adaptive Xenon headlights), $1250
-Navigation Package (Navigation, voice interface, XM traffic, 9.3 GB music hard drive with compact flash slot, single in-dash CD, rearview camera), $2150
-Wood trim (maple wood trim on console/doors), $450