Crossover SUV shoppers, by the very nature of the vehicle they seek, are a demanding bunch. They're looking for something that drives like a sedan, yet is a capable people mover and competent cargo hauler. That's a tall order to fill. But not everyone seeking this versatility wants a vehicle that has all of these traits in equal portions. Some drivers are willing to sacrifice a measure of utility in exchange for an extra helping of sport. Enter the Infiniti EX.
The EX -- part of a growing group of small luxury crossovers -- has the "sport" part covered thanks to its mechanical similarity to Infiniti's highly regarded G Sedan. Packing a powerful V6 and sharp reflexes, the EX35 offers exceptional performance. It also boasts numerous high-end luxury features. The main downside is that the EX lacks rear-seat passenger room and cargo capacity relative to some rivals. Still, if you're more concerned about driving than people- and cargo-hauling, the EX is one of the best bets in this segment.
Current Infiniti EX
The Infiniti EX is a five-passenger small luxury crossover available in base and Journey trim levels. Both come standard with a 3.5-liter 297 horsepower V6 and a seven-speed automatic transmission. Either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive is available. The EX will go from zero to 60 mph in the mid 6-second range, which is quite quick for its segment.
Like all Infinitis, the EX comes very well equipped. Standard features include keyless/ignition entry, dual-zone climate control, power front seats, leather upholstery, a rearview camera, satellite radio and an iPod/USB audio interface. Stepping up to the Journey gets you a sunroof, a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated front seats and Bluetooth. Optional features include adaptive xenon headlights, driver memory functions, a power-folding rear seat, a Bose stereo, a navigation system, parking sensors, a multicamera parking system, a lane-departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, a collision warning system and a blind-spot warning system.
Since it uses the same platform as Infiniti's G Sedan, it shouldn't be a surprise that the EX shines in terms of driving dynamics. In fact, the Infiniti EX is really more of a sport sedan with a tall ride height. It strikes a near-ideal balance between ride quality and handling. Even with 18-inch wheels it feels comfortable over broken pavement, yet sharp and responsive in tight corners. The V6 pulls hard from almost any speed, and the brakes are strong and easy to modulate. Those who opt for the EX instead of the G sedan will not likely miss the G's slightly better overall dynamics.
As enjoyable as the EX is from behind the wheel, though, it doesn't exactly put the "utility" in sport-utility vehicle. The EX35 is short on rear cargo room compared to its competitors, and the rear seat offers just 28.5 inches of legroom -- also substantially less than what's available in rival models. However, for singles and couples drawn to the comforts and conveniences of SUV ownership, the elegant Infiniti EX35 is an appealing option. It's got plenty of power, and it also boasts one of the best ride/handling balances of any premium compact crossover. If you don't need a lot of space for kids, pets or cargo, we think the EX belongs on your short list of small luxury SUVs.
Used Infiniti EX Models
The Infiniti EX got a new name for 2011, but used shoppers should note that it was officially known as the Infiniti EX35 from 2008-'10. The most notable difference was that it then featured a five-speed automatic and, as such, had slightly lower fuel economy. There were also some small differences in standard and optional equipment, but in total, none of these changes are substantial enough to keep you away from a used EX35.
Read the most recent 2013 Infiniti EX review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Infiniti EX page.