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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 EX35.
The EX35 -- 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 EX35 lacks rear-seat passenger headroom and cargo capacity relative to some rivals. Still, if you're more concerned about driving than people- and cargo-hauling, the EX35 is one of the best bets in this segment.
Used Infiniti EX35 Models
The Infiniti EX35 was introduced for 2008 and remained unchanged until 2011 when its name was officially changed to Infiniti EX. Actual vehicle changes consisted of a new seven-speed transmission that improved fuel economy, and some newly available equipment.
The Infiniti EX35 built between 2008 and '10 was available in two trim levels: base and Journey. Both came standard with a 297-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and a five-speed automatic transmission. Buyers could choose either rear- or all-wheel drive. Standard features on the base model included automatic climate control, power front seats (heated on AWD models), leather upholstery, an iPod/USB audio interface and a back-up camera. The Journey added niceties like a sunroof, dual-zone climate control, a power-adjustable steering column, Bluetooth and heated front seats. Among the options were a Bose audio system and a hard-drive-based navigation system. Also available was the Around View Monitor video system, which used four "top down" cameras at each corner to assist with parking maneuvers.
Since it came with the same engine as the G35 sedan as well as similar suspension components, it shouldn't be a surprise that the EX35 shined in terms of driving dynamics. During testing it showed strong acceleration, taking only 6.6 seconds to get to 60 mph, and provided stable, predictable handling without a sacrifice in ride comfort. The EX35 also stopped from 60 mph in just 118 feet, an impressive number for a crossover SUV.
In reviews, our editors found that while the Infiniti EX35 rewards you with a lively experience behind the wheel, 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 used small luxury crossover SUVs.