Road Trip Steering Action - 2013 Infiniti JX35 Long-Term Road Test

2013 Infiniti JX35 Long-Term Road Test

2013 Infiniti JX35: Road Trip Steering Action

May 7, 2013

2013 Infiniti JX35

Road trips often involve long stretches of freeway driving. The boring ones do, anyway. Besides, you wouldn't choose the Infiniti JX35 for one of those road trips that involved fun roads. It just isn't a performance-oriented kind of carryall/wagon/crossover thing. But I digress.

On said long freeway stretches you get a really good idea of a car's straight-line stability. The JX35 itself feels well-planted here, but its steering requires constant corrections around center to maintain a straight heading. It's not Honda Insight-bad levels of steering corrections, but it is noticeable.

So, electric power steering (EPS), then, right? Nope. I originally assumed the same, that this hysteresis was a byproduct of EPS, as it so often is. But it turns out the Infiniti JX35 has hydraulic-electric steering, meaning it has an electrically-driven hydraulic pump. Go figure.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor


  • seppoboy seppoboy Posts:

    Don't blame electric power steering. Many cars on the road have lousy steering accuracy and stability in a straight line, and have had for years. It's more a function of front wheel location and articulation, castor angle, suspension design, rigidity of the steering rack location. Ever drive a full size US car from the seventies or eighties, with hydraulic assist? What a joke they were in the steering department. I've been spoiled by owning and driving some cars with really tight, precise, communicative steering. Ninety percent of the cars on the market have sufficiently lax steering that I won't consider owning them. If they can't pass a look-away test on a narrow two lane (deliberately look away from the straight ahead, out the side window, the car should stay completely and confidently within the lane by feel alone), it will prove to be tiring to drive on longer hauls. Even some expensive and supposedly desirable vehicles quickly fail that test.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Very true. Lots of cars just need a lot of minding and have no sense of straight-ahead. I have another culprit - tires whose tread design is for one reason or another not playing nice with the type of road surface.

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