2013 Infiniti JX35 Long-Term Road Test

Wrap-Up


  • 2013 Infiniti JX35 - Action Front 3/4

    2013 Infiniti JX35 - Action Front 3/4

    The MSRP on our long-term 2013 Infiniti JX35 was $54,800. | June 13, 2013

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Read the 2013 Infiniti JX35 introduction to our long-term fleet.

See all of the 2013 Infiniti JX35 long-term updates.

What We Got
The Infiniti JX35 was an all-new vehicle for 2013. It was the midsize crossover that Infiniti needed to round out its lineup and it was entering a very crowded segment. We opted for a wide-ranging list of options to test out its various capabilities, but the drivetrain wasn't a hard choice. All JXs are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 265 horsepower, and all are paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). We opted for the all-wheel-drive variant of the JX to add a measure of all-weather capability.

Standard equipment covered the basics. Leather seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated first- and second-row seats and tri-zone climate control were some of the notable comfort and luxury amenities. A power rear liftgate, 60/40-split folding second row, 50/50-folding third row and a rearview camera were some of the practical features. The base MSRP for the JX35 was $41,550 before options.

2013 Infiniti JX35

What is a family hauler without distractions to make those long trips more bearable? We chose several option packages to help us feel at home in the 2013 Infiniti JX35. The Theater package ($1,700) was added, which included two 7-inch headrest-mounted monitors, wireless headsets, auxiliary jacks and a 120-volt outlet for the second row. The Deluxe Touring package ($2,550) had comfort items such as an upgraded Bose sound system, improved climate-controlled seating and a rear moonroof. The Technology package ($3,100) increased safety by providing lane departure warnings, intelligent cruise control, parking sonar and Intelligent Brake Assist, which applies the brakes if it senses an impending forward collision. The Premium package ($4,950) added more technology. Hard drive navigation, a larger 8-inch display screen, voice recognition, satellite-based radio and navigation, around-view monitoring and the top-tier 13-speaker Bose stereo fell under this option. All-told, the MSRP for our 2013 Infiniti JX35 was $54,800.

Negotiations weren't part of the deal, as Infiniti loaned us the JX for the year.

Our Impressions

  • "The JX35 is a new direction for Infiniti. Forget fluid handling and pin-you-into-your-seat acceleration. The JX is about hauling seven people around in utmost comfort and quiet. Along with plenty of handy tech features and a well-engineered cabin." — Editors at Edmunds.com

  • "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.... It's not that the JX is slow. In fact, its acceleration is on par with many of its competitors.... 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... and there have been a few times when the JX just doesn't have the go to get the job done." — Scott Oldham

  • "The JX35 produces almost zero road noise. Once you get it wound up to highway speed, which is a noisy, commotion-filled affair as the CVT wants to keep the V6 pinned high in the revs, the big Infiniti becomes utterly silent. You're hard-pressed to hear the engine, or anything from those 20-inch tires. Some wind does rustle around the large mirrors and tall side windows. But I'll take a bit of wind noise in the name of safety and the ability to see around me." — Mike Monticello

  • "My mother-in-law is prone to carsickness, and has been reluctant to ride with me on this road (CA highway 18) before. A '90s-era Toyota Land Cruiser I once owned may have had something to do with this. There were no such problems on this occasion, and in fact she gave the Infiniti's flat cornering attitude and non-floaty ride high marks. And though she didn't say so specifically, I think the CVT's seamless power delivery, which never kicks down, never induces any head bobbing in the occupants, had something to do with it, too." — Dan Edmunds

  • "Long days in the saddle are no problem in this car. I found its range to be adequate as well. Does anyone really need to go more than 375 miles between stops anyway? I don't. I have to eat more often than that. But it's good for other reasons.... Its adaptive cruise control is absolutely brilliant in everything from thin traffic to stop-and-go slowing. I only found it obviously power-deficient once and that was on Wyoming's 9,659-foot Togwotee pass when I attempted to make a double pass. Certainly the combination of Nissan's 3.5-liter V6 and the CVT isn't as effective at motivating the JX as it is in smaller cars, but engine drone was never troubling and simulated shifting made power readily available.... Overall, the JX is a solid road tripper." — Josh Jacquot

  • "The Infiniti's fuel range was far more disappointing than its mileage. The crossover has a 19.5-gallon fuel tank, yet it was difficult for me to drive it farther than 300 miles on a tank of gas. In fact, I only managed that feat twice over 2,000 miles.... As you can see, the Infiniti's computer says there are 355 miles' worth of fuel onboard. On the open road that just isn't enough. Four hundred miles per tank should be the minimum for such a vehicle under such conditions. And of course the JX's range is worse in the city, and that's going to drive moms crazy. Around town, during mommy duties like dropping the kids off here and there and visiting Target 10 times a week, the JX's fuel range per tank is far below 300 miles. I predict that JX owners will find this to be an issue." — Scott Oldham

  • "Not all tuchuses are created equal. The bossman Scott Oldham recently took our long-term JX35 on a road trip and came back raving about the seat comfort. Me, not so much. I found that the JX35's driver seat gave me road butt in less than two hours. It's the bottom seat cushion that's to blame. It's too flat and unsupportive, and it creates pressure points right on each cheek. Squirm, squirm. For long-haul comfort a seat should conform better to the various curves, nooks and crannies of one's backside." — Jason Kavanagh

  • 2013 Infiniti JX35

  • "The JX35's second row slides a great deal. Its seat bottom also flips up to make ingress/egress quite easy.... With the second row pushed as far forward as possible, all 6-foot-3 of me had decent legroom. At the same time, there was still decent legroom for the theoretical second-row passenger. In total, three 6-foot-3 people can fit in rows 1, 2 and 3 in the JX35, albeit with decreasing degrees of comfort as you go back.... Headroom could be a bit better, but that's usually the case in all third-row seats.... I think the JX35 indeed has a truly useful third-row seat.... I can't think of another seven-passenger luxury SUV that offers this type of space and accessibility to that third row." — James Riswick

  • "The technology interface in the Infiniti JX35 is simple and easy to use. Equally important, it's the landing spot for an excellent sound system and an elaborate but incredibly functional camera array. In the tech department, the JX35 ranks among my favorites in the Edmunds long-term fleet." — Travis Langness

  • "[The JX35] drives far better than most real SUVs. It has a precise suspension, quiet interior and good performance for a V6-powered vehicle of its size. It's easy to forget how big it really is. Then the other day I decided to buy a storage chest for my bedroom. It's about 5 feet wide and thankfully not very heavy. I was hesitant to buy it at first since I wasn't sure if it would fit in the JX. Turns out I was way off. After folding down the seats, there was more than enough room." — Ed Hellwig

Maintenance & Repairs

Regular Maintenance:
Our JX35 requested service at 7,500-mile intervals, with an additional early oil change recommended at 3,750 miles. For the purposes of our test, that meant three routine visits. We paid a total of $280 for preventive oil and filter replacements and tire rotations to keep the JX healthy. Our only non-routine maintenance expense was a windshield replacement that set us back $360.

Service Campaigns:
We coordinated warranty repairs with routine service, so there were technically no unscheduled dealer visits during our test. That didn't mean there weren't issues. For one, both roof molding assemblies were replaced after we found the front edge whistling in the wind at highway speeds. Some recall campaigns were also completed. Several systems required reprogramming, including the Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA), distance-to-empty meter and main ECM. A final recall involved rerouting a tube in the fuel tank. That said, our JX did not leave us stranded once.

Fuel Economy and Resale Value

Observed Fuel Economy:
The EPA prepared us for fuel economy returns of 18 city and 23 highway mpg. We didn't achieve those. Instead, after nearly 21,000 miles with the 2013 Infiniti JX35 we averaged 18 mpg. Our single best tank took us 401 miles, but in most cases the fuel light illuminated between 300 and 350 miles. This 4,500-pounder was not as efficient as we expected.

2013 Infiniti JX35

Resale and Depreciation:
The MSRP on our well-equipped JX35 was $54,800. After one year of service and 20,957 miles, Edmunds' TMV® Calculator valued the SUV at $44,749 based on a private-party sale.

We typically consider 20 percent depreciation to be good. The JX35 figured out to just 18 percent. In our experience, heavily optioned vehicles tend to retain their value well. We are betting that the $13,250 of extras on this JX helped it in the resale department.

Summing Up

Pros: Extremely quiet cabin at speed, compliant ride, ample passenger room, can swallow massive amounts of cargo with seats folded down, easy-to-use electronics, advanced safety features, strong resale value.

Cons: Can feel overburdened when loaded up, mileage did not meet EPA estimates.

Bottom Line: The 2013 Infiniti JX35 is a well-thought-out three-row luxury crossover that delivers the space, refinement and amenities that buyers expect in this price range. If you can live with 18 mpg, the JX won't disappoint.

Total Body Repair Costs: None
Total Routine Maintenance Costs: $280.05 (over 12 months)
Additional Maintenance Costs: $361.33 for windshield replacement
Warranty Repairs: Replace roof molding assemblies, reroute fuel tank tube, reprogram IBA, reprogram ECM, reprogram DTE meter
Non-Warranty Repairs: None
Scheduled Dealer Visits: 3
Unscheduled Dealer Visits: None
Days Out of Service: 3
Breakdowns Stranding Driver: None
   
Best Fuel Economy: 22.9 mpg
Worst Fuel Economy: 12.0 mpg
Average Fuel Economy: 18.1 mpg
   
True Market Value at service end: $44,749 (private-party sale)
Depreciation: $10,051 (18% of original MSRP)
Final Odometer Reading: 20,957 miles

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

Comments

  • vroom2 vroom2 Posts:

    So Infiniti gave you a luxury SUV for a year free of charge and in return you said nice things about it.

  • lonestar98 lonestar98 Posts:

    Here are some observations: No daytime running lights on US models, not even an option. Not happy abou that tone. There are LATCH anchor points in the middle row only. Unlike in a minivan, where there are anchors in the third row seat cushions. The seatbelt buckles coming out of the seat are very short, meaning kids in boosters have to really struggle to put belts on themselves. As they push down, the buckle falls down into the seat cushion like a scared turtle. We manage acceptable range from the fuel tank. More fuel capacity would be better, but it does not bother us. LED lights are only in the drive and passenger exterior pull handles, how much more could it have been to put them in the rear doors as well? Speaking of LEDs, on a 50k + car, LEDs should really used in a lot more locations such as the interior lighting and license plate. On top trim models, the exterior mirrors should really be electrochromic. In notice the new Q50 sedan offers this, why not on this model? Power is fine, more than acceptable for our needs. CVT is also very smooth, but longevity concerns, especially when this vehicle is used to haul so many people and lots of cargo is a concern. Quality is somewhat lacking, we have had to take our JX back for some incorrectly assembled items and there are flaws in the paint where dust appears to have been trapped inside the paint and the door jambs aren't thoroughly painted. Funny odors from the AC if you let the system manage recirculation, you have to turn off recirc before shutting down the vehicle or when you fire it back up you'll get a wet sock smell. Overall, a very capable vehicle. We like it a lot, no vehicle is perfect. I do think, however, that Infiniti should add a few more features such as LED lighting, dimming exterior mirrors, etc

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    I'd like to know how the fuel economy was compromised by Mr Oldham continually giving this car 87 instead of premium.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    How come you cannot view comments on this entry without leaving one? Somebody forgot to put the link on the page.

  • canddmeyer canddmeyer Posts:

    Do you folks realize the last 10 or more vehicles you've tested 90% of the population can't afford? Get real and test some Civic's, Corolla's Elantra's, Camry's, Accord's, and whatever there is under $30,000 as all the vehicles tested lately are $45,000 or more. Edmunds is out of touch with its readership, what little remains after IL got dumped.

  • obie1974 obie1974 Posts:

    This is a pretty fair discussion on the JX. My experience after 14 months is that it is an incredibly nice riding vehicle, especially with all the options. I'm getting 24.1 mpg on long trips, averaging 65 mph. For a cruising vehicle, it has more than enough power. It handles very well on windy roads even though some complain about excessive body roll. Driving the Oregon and California coast highway with a full load of luggage and 4 adults, it handled very well on those nasty roads and nobody got car sick. I understand that the late model JX and new QX60 have a different transmission. I'm very satisfied with the CVT especially since you can manually shift the transmission. My only beef is that Infiniti changed the name after the first year. Just doesn't make sense to me.

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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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