2013 Infiniti JX35 Long-Term Road Test

2013 Infiniti JX35: Needs More Power?

April 19, 2013

2013 Infiniti JX35

I'm hesitant to tell you that the Infiniti JX35 needs more power, but the Infiniti JX35 needs more power.

I'm hesitant because you may not feel the same way. If you're a driving enthusiast as I am, and that's for you to decide, you'll agree with me. If you are my wife or the dozens of other normal folks I've exposed to our long-term JX over the past 11 months, you will call me a power junky and give me an eye roll.

It's not that the JX is slow. In fact, its acceleration is on par with many of its competitors. And its 3.5-liter V6 is rated at 265 horsepower, which is a lot. It just doesn't feel fast. And I find myself pressing its throttle pedal all the way to the floor more often than I should have to, more often than I do when I'm driving other like vehicles.

Merging the Infiniti JX on the highway is a full throttle event, especially if it's loaded with people or things. Passing a slow truck on a two-lane road in the JX is also a pedal to the medal exercise, and there have been a few times when the JX just doesn't have the go to get the job done.

And that's a bad feeling. You pull out, introduce the JX's gas pedal to the carpet and quickly realize the Infiniti's V6 engine and CVT transmission just aren't getting you up past that truck quickly enough, so you retreat and fall back in line. Yes, even in Sport mode.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief


  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Yes, even in sport mode? How about yes, even on 91 octane? Yeah, I think it does need a drivetrain upgrade, but you're not helping anything running it on 87.

  • emajor emajor Posts:

    That's what happens when you pile on 4400lbs of metal atop a strong engine. This thing has a weight-to-power ratio similar to a 4 cylinder midsize sedan. That would be OK with me in a less expensive family-hauler, but personally I think something with the badge and price of an Infiniti should be quick.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    You would be a power junky worth of an eye-roll if you put the correct gas in this car and then made this comment. As it is, your are a curmudgeon who is abusing this poor vehicle because you won't use 91 octane.

  • jederino jederino Posts:

    Putting 87 in the VQ?! You are saving like a 5% premium on your fillup, which are are probably losing right back in lost efficiency and, more importantly, motoring pleasure. At most, you are saving less than $100 annually to abuse your feelings and engine!

  • motorstreet motorstreet Posts:

    The JX has enough power, what it needs is a real transmission. More torque will help a lot. There are other SUVs with similar power, torque, and weight that are faster and feel faster. The difference is this one has a CVT.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    @motorstreet If you look at all the test numbers around the Web the JX seems to have plenty of power and torque. However, those testers all used the proper gas. Scott Oldham has a long and questionable history at Edmunds of putting 87 octane in everything

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    still has to be quicker than my scoot-about honda fit and this is supposed to be a people hauler! i dont think quickness was anywhere near the top of the priorities list.

  • eric_l eric_l Posts:

    The CVT exacerbates the feeling of gutlessness, even if the vehicle is actually accelerating faster than if it has a regular automatic. I have owned a 2003 Murano purchased new, and it still remains a very unusual feeling to not hear the linear sound of the engine revving up during acceleration - it just hits a certain RPM and stays there, or if you floor it, it instantly fires off to redline and stays there. The lack of crescendo gives the illusion you are not accelerating quickly, when in fact you are doing so more quickly than if you have a regular automatic. Criticize the CVT however you will, but it does eke out that last bit of the engine.

  • mmartel mmartel Posts:

    I'm not going to say you're wrong, but this driving enthusiast disagrees with you (or maybe I just have to turn in my driving enthusiast card). It's like saying any of the 4-cylinder mainstream family sedans need more power. Of course they do. Except they don't. Extra power isn't free -- and you only "need" that extra power in such a small % of driving situations, so the question is, how much are you willing to trade off in terms of MPG for that extra power? I think you're *way* far off at the extreme end of power needs in whatever you drive, and you're willing to trade off things a few MPG over the vehicles lifetime to get that extra power you need in that 0.001% of driving situations where having 300 hp (like on an MDX) instead of 265 hp (like on a JX) actually makes any difference. Most people are not. Even if they're driving enthusiasts. We've owned our JX for about a year and have taken some road trips from Northern California to Southern California. It's not my daily driver but I've been the pilot on our roadies. I personally wouldn't want to pay 10-15% more at the pump every time I fill up for an extra 30-35 hp.

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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Infiniti JX in VA is:

$123 per month*
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