Ann Arbor has been an icebox lately; it's the kind of weather that gives features like heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and remote start greater importance. Luckily, the JX35 has all three. "I love any vehicle with remote start," said associate web editor Jake Holmes, but he noted that this Infiniti's remote start system doesn't fire up the heated seats or steering wheel, unlike those from other manufacturers (Chrysler, for one).
This is also the season for rolling on winter tires, in this case Bridgestone Blizzaks mounted on 18-inch aftermarket wheels, rather than the 20-inch wheels that the JX wears from the factory. "The winter tires are very well suited to this car: not too loud and not too soft," copy editor Rusty Blackwell observed. Blackwell does think that the eighteens look small "and just a bit silly" on such a large vehicle, but then he admitted that he likes the look of black steel wheels for winter tires (which immediately throws his credibility into question). Jennifer Misaros, manager of digital platforms, commented that although the five-spoke wheels look good, the "Sport edition" written on their center caps is particularly unconvincing on the JX.
Many of us see Infiniti as a luxury-performance brand, and the lack of sport in the JX has opened it to criticism. Blackwell had previously characterized the JX as "unwieldy and uninvolving" on mountain roads in Tennessee, but executive editor Todd Lassa thinks "the cushy suspension is appropriate" for the JX, which he likened to "a modern-day Mercury Colony Park wagon."
Certainly, one item that saps the sportiness from the JX35 is its continuously variable automatic transmission. However, associate web editor Donny Nordlicht notes that the engaging the transmission's sport mode makes it act as if it has six forward gears, which helps relieve the mooing that is characteristic of CVTs. "No matter what," he adds, "the transmission itself is silky smooth."