2009 Infiniti EX35 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Infiniti EX35 SUV

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Infiniti EX35 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 297 hp @ 6800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Infiniti EX35

  • The 2009 Infiniti EX35 is one of the sportiest entries in the growing compact luxury SUV segment, with an attractive price to boot. Its appeal is tempered by a lack of space in the backseat and cargo area.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Handles and accelerates like a sport sedan, comfortable ride, high-class cabin, sleek styling.

  • Cons

    Small cargo area and rear seat accommodations, complex option grouping.

  • What's New for 2009

    The Infiniti EX35 gets revised standard and optional equipment lists for 2009.

Full 2009 Infiniti EX35 Review

What's New for 2009

The Infiniti EX35 gets revised standard and optional equipment lists for 2009.


It's hard to put a label on the 2009 Infiniti EX35, a luxury vehicle that exists smack-dab on the border between cars and SUVs. Considering the EX35's lower ride height, tapered roof line and smallish cargo capacity, some call it a sport wagon. Others call it a compact crossover SUV in light of its (available) all-wheel drive and general shape. And don't bother going to Infiniti looking for a definitive answer -- its marketing department cooked up the heretofore unknown "Dynamic Personal Luxury Vehicle" when categorizing the EX35. But whatever you call it, you can be sure that the EX35 will deliver a sporty driving experience and a luxuriously lined interior for a reasonable price.

Like most wagons and luxury crossovers, the EX35 is based on a car platform. In this case, it's the G37 sport sedan with a 2-inch wheelbase stretch and 1-inch ride height rise to go along with its hatchback body and different styling (although there's a definite family resemblance). The engine is similar to the smaller 3.5-liter V6 that used to be in the G, but with 297 horsepower sent to either the rear or all four wheels, the EX is certainly not wanting for power. However, the EX retains the G35's old five-speed automatic transmission, whereas the latest G37 has an improved seven-speed auto.

In terms of suspension, the 2009 Infiniti EX35 borrows its front double-wishbone setup from the G37, while its rear multilink design is derived from the larger, previous-generation FX SUV. This Frankenstein combination creates what is perhaps the best compromise between ride comfort and handling capability of any vehicle in the Infiniti lineup. Its ride quality is noticeably more compliant than the G and current FX, yet it will keep up with most sport sedans on a back road without feeling big and heavy like most SUV competitors.

The good feelings continue into the cabin, where the EX sports an attractive, dual-cowl dash design fashioned in high-quality materials and two-tone color schemes. Plus, for 2009, Infiniti has made the old Luxe Elite Package's higher-quality leather upholstery standard across the board. This gives the EX arguably the nicest cabin in Infiniti's garage, including the G37 and the more expensive FX, while still featuring the same solid ergonomics and lengthy high-tech features list found throughout the range. Interior space isn't as impressive, however, with significantly less passenger and cargo room than the compact luxury SUVs it'll be compared to.

Therefore, the 2009 Infiniti EX35 is a questionable decision for shoppers who require genuine utility. Competitors like the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK350 and Volvo XC60 are all better for hauling people and stuff (though none are particularly huge). Luxury wagon competitors like the Audi A4 Avant and BMW 328i are closer in regards to size. Yet none of the above vehicles offers the same combination of thrilling performance and driving enjoyment, and those SUVs are all more expensive when similarly equipped. So as long as you don't need that extra bit of room, the EX35 should be on your short list.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Infiniti EX35 is a five-passenger crossover luxury wagon available in base and Journey trim levels. Standard equipment includes 17-inch wheels, foglights, cruise control, keyless ignition/entry, automatic climate control, a tilt-telescoping steering column, eight-way driver and four-way passenger power seats, leather upholstery, two-tone cabin treatments, a rearview camera, and a six-speaker stereo with single-CD player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. The EX35 Journey adds auto on/off headlights, a sunroof, heated side mirrors, dual-zone climate control, a power-adjustable steering column, heated front seats, wood trim, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an in-dash six-CD changer.

Options are limited to the Journey. The Premium Package includes adaptive xenon headlights, driver memory functions, an eight-way power passenger seat, a power-folding backseat and upgraded interior trim. Eighteen-inch wheels can be added to the Premium Package. The Bose and Navigation Package includes Bluetooth, a hard-drive-based navigation system (includes voice commands and real-time traffic) and an 11-speaker Bose stereo with single-CD player, iPod interface and 9.3GB of digital music storage. Two packages can be added when the Bose and Navigation has been selected. The Around View Monitor is a free-of-charge option that includes front and rear parking sensors and Infiniti's innovative multi-angle parking camera system. The pricey Technology Package includes lane departure warning and prevention systems, adaptive cruise control, and intelligent brake assist with forward collision warning.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2009 Infiniti EX35 is available with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, but every model is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 attached to a five-speed automatic that includes manual shift control. Output is 297 hp and 253 pound-feet of torque. In performance testing, a rear-drive EX35 went from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds -- a quick time for its class. Fuel economy estimates are 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined with rear-wheel drive, and 16/23/19 with all-wheel drive.


Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. The optional Technology Package adds the Forward Collision Warning (FCW uses the adaptive cruise control radar system to alert the driver of an impending collision), Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA automatically engages the brakes when the driver ignores FCW) and the Lane Departure warning system (alerts the driver when he starts to veer into another lane).

In government crash testing, the EX35 scored four out of five stars for frontal protection and five stars for side protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the EX35 scored the best rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Last year's Luxe Elite Package is now standard on all EX35 models, and that gives the EX one of the warmest and inviting interiors in its class. High-quality leather and interior trim available in classy two-tone shades accents soft lines and pleasing contours. The front seats are supportive and the driving position is excellent -- the Journey's power tilt-telescoping steering wheel is a notably nice touch. The controls for the climate, stereo and optional navigation system are some of the most intuitive in the business. Specifically, the available iPod interface is tough to beat.

The rear seat is less impressive, with cramped legroom best suited for small adults and children. In this way, the EX35 is more like an Audi A4 Avant wagon than the Audi Q5 compact crossover. Ditto the cargo area with its scrawny 16.8 cubic feet of space with the seats raised (which can happen with the touch of a button from the driver seat). Infiniti doesn't publish the seats-down maximum cargo capacity, but it likely wouldn't be good news.

Driving Impressions

Driving the 2009 Infiniti EX35 is a thoroughly enjoyable experience, even if you don't normally like sport-utility vehicles (that's because it isn't one). For starters, the EX is quicker than other compact SUVs, even those of the premium variety, and its V6 is smooth, potent and aurally pleasing even at high rpm. In addition, the balance between ride quality and handling is close to ideal. Even with the optional 18-inch wheels, the EX35 is perfectly comfortable over crumbling pavement, yet it feels sharp and responsive when hustled around turns. The brakes are strong and easy to modulate.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Best small crossover

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Infiniti EX35 Journey 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Feels like a bigger vehicle while you're driving.Coming from a Nissan Murano, I can say it feels like driving a rocket ship.Totally beautiful inside and out.Quality and craftsmanship unsurpassed by any other manufacturer.It was worth paying a little more.

This is "the 4 door

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Infiniti EX35 Journey 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

If you're looking for a car that is fast, has great handling, is smooth riding, comfortable and super quiet - This is the car for you! After 6 months I still can't wait to hop in it each morning to head for work. I have owned 35 cars and this is as much fun as a sports car without the punishing ride and all of the other drawbacks. It also looks great and has plenty of room to haul things with the rear seats down. Yes the back seat is small but I'm an empty nester and the front seats are great. It's also exclusive. You won't see yourself coming and going like in an Lexus RX 350. If you don't have to haul around a bunch if kids; treat yourself and put an EX 35 in your garage.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

09 ex35 journey awd review

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Infiniti EX35 Journey 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Did lots of research and test drove several competitors and chose the EX and am glad we did! If U R looking 4 a modern, sporty luxurious 5 door hatchback that has sports sedan handling, a powerfully superb V6, useful cargo room and which is easy to enter/exit, thanks to the slightly elevated ride height put this vehicle on your short list. Up front it's roomy and most comfortable (dual power heated seats and dual climate controls). Overall, our EX has proven 2 B an exceptional driving experience every day with some cool tech features thrown in.

Best infiniti that i have

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Infiniti EX35 Journey 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I have owed G35 Coupe, G35sedan, G35X sedan, G37 Coupe and now the EX35. I can only say one thing WOW. This car has a great ride, great performance, and is so easy to get around in that I can say it has been the best infiniti thus far. Love the hatch back for easy access. The only improvement would be a little more leg room in the back seats.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Nice, but.

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Infiniti EX35 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I've been driving this for a month as a loaner from dealer. Car is a blast to drive. Power is unbelievable and transmission is silky smooth. Wife didn't realize once she was going 100mph. Everyone LOVES the backup cam. Interior isn't huge. Seems equivalent of a Camry. Blind spots are annoying. You have to really turn your head to be sure. Using this car for a road trip with spouse and 3 kids may work, but you will use roof for luggage.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Poor quality

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Infiniti EX35 Journey 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I have bought Infiniti EX35 in June 2008, since then I have not been happy with the car, the brakes starts creaking 5 days after each service, paid for brake pads a couple of times on recommendations. Still not closure to this problem, apart from this the outer side-view mirrors creak each time i put the car into reverse, the sun-roof vibrates continuously. With the money spent and the so called reliability of the car portrayed has left me in dismay. I think Infiniti could do a better job. Really disappointed.

Talk About The 2009 EX35

2009 Infiniti EX35 Discussions See all Started By

Infinti is planning an entry level sportwagon to fit in under the FX35/FX45. It will be aimed at the small luxury SUV market which includes the BMW X3, 2007 Acura RDX, as well as the upcoming Land Ro?...

Infiniti's , but at a price comparable to the EX35. (and ~$10K less than an equivalent FX35). (I am only comparing the redesigned 2009 Murano, which started shipping in early 2008.)...

We shall see. Every car has its downfalls. BMWs have great resale, but the cost of ownership (and repair) is really great. I was scared off of Audi's repair cost and reliability, same with Saab and...

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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