"If I could choose one word to describe the JX, it would have to be 'smooth.'"
After suffering the indignity of a low-speed scrape in Chicago -- thanks, Toyota Camry driver -- we quickly whisked the JX35 off to the body shop, so it could be put right, in time for the summer road-trip season. May is the official kick-off to that season, and no one has embraced it more heartily than graphic designer John Kalmar. In fact, by the time the sun had set on Memorial Day Weekend, Kalmar had taken the JX35 on not one but two major in-state road trips in May.
He didn't do all of the 2248 miles we added to the JX35's total this month, but he did way more than his fair share. Thus, we will cede the floor to Mr. Kalmar.
Both trips -- one to the shore of Lake Michigan on the west side of the state, and one to the Upper Peninsula and another lakeshore, this one Lake Superior -- involved, as he put it, "lots and lots of highway driving." That meant plenty of time to check out the Infiniti's adaptive cruise control. At first, Kalmar was not a fan, but by Memorial Day, in heavy traffic on US-131, he was sold, saying it "definitely came in handy."
On both trips, seating comfort and roominess got full marks from Kalmar and his passengers. "I had three passengers in the car with me" on the Upper Peninsula trip, "and they all noted the spacious and comfortable interior. All three of them comfortably napped on-and-off in the back seats and the front passenger seat, while I tackled the seven-hour drive there and back." Such is the life of the designated driver. Still, he had no complaint: "The driver's seat was particularly comfortable; my back and legs weren't sore, and I didn't feel restless."
Although roomy and comfortable, "the JX didn't feel like a big boat from behind the wheel," he said. One complaint, however, is that it's not easy to see out of. "With the third-row seats up, I found that the blind spots are pretty bad. I found myself double- and triple-checking before merging because of the impaired view." What about the blind-spot monitoring system? While admitting that it was helpful, he also found it prone to false alarms.
Driving across the Mighty Mac, Michigan's often-windswept Mackinac Bridge, the JX was rock-solid in the gusty wind. Kalmar also gave the brakes a workout, thanks to crossing deer, and he spent some time on dirt and gravel roads, which the Infiniti handled with ease. "If I could choose one word to describe the JX," he said in conclusion, "it would have to be 'smooth' -- on the highway, in the city, and on rural country roads."
Fair enough, but next month, please let some other staffers have a turn.
|Body style||4-door crossover|
|Base price (with dest.)||$42,500|
|Price As tested||$54,800|
|Engine||24-valve DOHC V-6|
|Displacement||3.5 liters (213 cu in)|
|Power||265 hp @ 6400 rpm|
|Torque||248 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm|
|EPA Fuel Economy||18/23/20 (city/hwy/combined)|
|Turning circle||38.7 ft|
|Brakes F/R||Vented discs|
|Tires||Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport AS|
|Headroom F/R||40.7/38.3/36.5 in|
|Legroom F/R||42.3/41.7/30.8 in|
|Shoulder room F/R||603/60.4/57.1 in|
|Track F/R||65.7/65.7 in|
|L x W x H||196.4 x 77.2 x 67.8 in|
|Passenger capacity||149.8 cu ft|
|Cargo capacity||15.8/40.8/76.5 cu ft|
|Weight dist. F/R||55/45%|
|Fuel capacity||19.5 gal|
|Est. fuel range||390 miles|
|Fuel grade||91 octane (premium unleaded)|
|STANDARD EQUIPMENT||18-inch aluminum wheels Intelligent all-wheel drive Leather-appointed seats Heated power front seats Multi-mode second row w/easy third-row access 60/40-split folding/reclining/sliding second-row bench 50/50-split folding/reclining third row Automatic HID headlights Fog lights Power sunroof Automatic tri-zone climate control Power remote liftgate Sequential welcome lighting Power tilt-and-telescopic steering column Power folding and heated exterior mirrors Rearview camera Keyless entry and ignition Bluetooth 6-speaker audio system USB port SiriusXM satellite radio w/3-month trial subscription Auxiliary audio jack Vehicle dynamic control and traction control|
|Carbon black gravity leather||$4,950||Infiniti Connection, hard-drive navigation, and voice recognition 8-inch touchscreen color display SiriusXM traffic and weather w/Zagat restaurant guide Around View monitor w/moving object detection and parking sensors 13-speaker Bose premium audio system Bluetooth streaming audio Dual-occupant memory system 2-way driver's seat power lumbar adjust Enhanced keyless entry and ignition|
|Technology package||$3,100||Back-up collision intervention Heated steering wheel Remote engine starter Intelligent brake assist w/forward collision warning Blind spot warning and intervention Lane departure warning and prevention Adaptive cruise control Distance control assistance|
|Theater package||$1,700||Dual 7-inch headrest monitors w/wireless headphones and remote Auxiliary A/V inputs jacks and 120V outlet|
|Deluxe Touring package||$2,550||20-inch aluminum wheels Bose Cabin surround sound audio system Advanced climate control system Climate-controlled front seats Heated second-row seats Rain-sensing windshield wipers Second- and third-row sunroof and sunshade Maple interior accents|