May 15, 2013
Even though we drove to Mammoth in the long-term 2013 Infiniti JX35 for a snow weekend, it was warm and sunny out. And, yes, amazingly there still was snow on those peaks. But during a long road trip there IS such a thing as too much sun.
For driver JayKav, on the return trip home, it meant sun blinging off the chrome of the center console and right into his eyeballs like a laser beam. For me it was the unwanted three-hour suntanning session in the passenger seat.
Here's how we dealt with it.
May 13, 2013
Our long-term 2013 Infiniti JX35 has adaptive cruise control which, like most such systems, is too conservative unless you're driving on very lightly trafficked freeways.
May 8, 2013
See that picture of my dog Mya in our 2013 Infiniti JX35? We're on our way to Mammoth for our annual trip to catch the very last of snowboarding season. At this point in the road trip, we only have about 50 miles to go and she can't wait to get out. Normally she's great on long road trips. We've taken her to Sacramento, San Francisco and Sonoma and she'd spend the entire trip asleep. So this time I couldn't figure out why during this trip she was all groan-y and fidgety. It couldn't be because of the car.
It's not as loud as the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, which she disliked. She had ample room sitting back there with my friend Esther and we stopped occasionally for doggy bathroom breaks. At one point we pulled over to the side of the road because she was all whiney. I figured she wanted to go potty. She didn't.
May 7, 2013
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.
May 6, 2013
Not all tucheses are created equal. The bossman Scott Oldham recently took our long-term 2013 Infiniti JX35 on a road trip and came back raving about the seat comfort.
April 25, 2013
Living and working in Southern California has many benefits. First, the warm weather and dry climate make people happier. Sure, the traffic and earthquakes can change people's moods, but the balance is more than fair towards the good.
When entertaining guests in any city, transportation is often the key to a smooth trip or calamity. Add to that brew three young children aged 4, 8 and 11 and the pressure is on to keep future drivers safe and the trip packed with happy memories.
After negotiating the proper times for traffic it was all on the shoulders of the vehicle that would be my visiting family's first impression of how my hosting skills would be judged.
April 17, 2013
I'm consistently impressed by the comfort provided by our long-term 2013 Infiniti JX35.
Two weeks ago I drove the luxury crossover about 1,500 miles including a road trip from Santa Monica to Scottsdale, Arizona and back, including a short side trip to the California/Mexico border. Such trips are a great way to evaluate the seat and ride comfort of a vehicle. After six hours behind the wheel you either appreciate a cars comfort or you're ready for that appointment with the chiropractor.
March 14, 2013
Last Saturday I drove the JX down the most poorly maintained (but still maintained) gravel road in Orange County. It was wet. This particular road is easily accessible and just about the only place in the county to find mud. So it's a homing beacon for fools after a rain storm.
February 18, 2013
Heated and cooled front seats have become a must in upper end luxury cars and crossovers, but Infiniti does them right. Our 2013 Infiniti JX35's Climate Controlled front seats are part of its optional Deluxe Touring Package, which costs $2,550. They offer six overall settings, three for heat and three for cool, and they perform wonderfully.
But my favorite part of Infiniti's package is the controller itself. Unlike the button found in most cars, Infiniti uses a little dial.
February 14, 2013
Our long-term 2013 Infiniti JX35 (as well as our new long-term Jeep Cherokee SRT8) is equipped with a 120 volt AC outlet, or a plug, as you might call it around the home. It's a great feature. And I use it. All the time.
It's on the rear of the console between the JX's front seats and it can be turned on with an easily reached button on the crossover's dashboard. Turning it off keeps things safer for little ones riding in the back seat.
February 12, 2013
Our 2013 Infiniti JX35's Climate Controlled front seats and its heated rear seats are part of its optional Deluxe Touring Package, which costs $2,550. But its heated steering wheel is oddly part of the optional $3,100 Technology Package, which also includes Infiniti's very cool Back-Up Collision Intervention (BCI), remote engine start and a laundry list of other worthwhile gadgets that seem right out of The Jetsons.
January 24, 2013
When it comes to luxury vehicles, it's often the little things that make a difference. A good example is the rear seat climate control setup in our JX35. As you can see, it's nothing particularly fancy, but it is there. There are plenty of luxury crossovers that don't go this far, so the rear passengers are left at the mercy of those in front.
It may sound trivial, but after driving carpool on a few cold mornings, the ability for my rear passengers to leave the heat cranked up well after I was plenty warm up front earned some high marks from the peanut gallery.
If I had to complain, I would only say that I wish the front seat controls were so simple. Obviously, there's more functionality involved, but it takes time to get used to where the ventilation controls are in relation to the more obvious temperature buttons. A small complaint, but one I've noticed more than a few times.
Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 13,842 miles
January 17, 2013
In case you didn't know, our JX35 is very serious about its glass roofs. Two of them. The front sunroof is standard equipment. The rear, however, which covers both the second and third rows, is optional and part of the $2,950 Deluxe Touring Package .
Here are a few photos for you sunroof enthusiasts out there.
August 17, 2012
Yes, that's a shot of the JX in front of Idaho's largest army surplus store. Can't ever have too much surplus.
Anyway, here are a few thoughts on the JX's drivability/usability on a trip like this.
First, it's comfortable. As I've already discussed, 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, too. Its nav system is handy for easily pinpointing potential stop locations and telling you how far away they are. And 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 in smaller cars, but engine drone was never troubling and simulated shifting made power readily available.
It is big, however. And you feel it. I attempted to follow a friend's Audi Q5 through the mountains and was working pretty hard to keep up. Then again, he wasn't able to stuff two bikes and two weeks worth of adventure gear in the back of his Audi. I'd call that a worthy trade off.
I do wish the rear hatch didn't beep so many times or so loudly when it's opened and closed, but that's a small issue. Overall, the JX is solid road tripper.
Josh Jacquot, Senior editor
August 16, 2012
I hereby declare the JX35 to have the most comfortable seat in our current long-term fleet. This Monday I spent more than 15 hours in its driver's seat and covered almost 1,100 miles. This feat by itself isn't so spectacular, but it comes with a caveat.
Here's that caveat: I started the day with terribly stiff neck which is a product of stomach sleeping and bike crashing. It was bad enough that looking from side to side forced me to rotate my entire torso -- Herman Munster style -- to follow my head. It's not the condition I'd choose for a drive like this, but I had to get home. My physcial therapist says that one of the best cures for this problem is good posture -- slouching won't cut it. So I made a conscious effort to sit upright in the JX. I adjusted the lumbar support aggresively, set the seat back upright and settled in for the haul.
Mercifully, I found the seat downright therapeutic. It was awesome. And by the end of the day most of the pain and stiffness was gone. Maybe it was dumb luck, but I've sat in plenty of car seats that made this problem worse.
Also, this little roadside gem is in Powder River, Wyoming. I'm going to go out on a limb and say they Tumble Inn hasn't served any sizzlin steaks in quite a while, but the place is certainly a gorgeous example of roadside decay.
Josh Jacquot, Senior editor
June 29, 2012
Ford Flex notwithstanding, three-row crossovers aren't exactly my bag. Don't need 'em, don't want 'em, can't foresee the day when I'd have more than one kid plus a Mastiff to lug about.
Having said that, I like the JX35. Yes it's front-drive-based and has a CVT when other Infinitis do not. Who cares? It's a proven powertrain we've enjoyed in Nissan's Altima, Maxima, Quest and Murano. No, it doesn't handle as well as other Infinitis or its main competitor, the Acura MDX. Who cares? It's not a lumbering pig either, and its steering is responsive enough to make you feel connected to the road. I don't feel tiny in the JX as I do in the Explorer, nor does this Infiniti seven-seater feel 8,000 pounds like an Audi Q7.
What I do care about is the legitimate amount of space in all three rows. If you're going to have a giant crossover with three rows and seven seats, they damn well better be useful. Too many large luxury SUVs are all size and weight, with less practical benefit than you'd expect. What I do care about is the Infiniti infotainment interface, which has to be the easiest to use on the planet. Physical buttons, a multi-purpose knob and a touchscreen create useful redundancy that gives the driver a choice of how he wants to accomplish any given task, while at the same time not being overwhelming.
I've yet to take the JX35 on a road trip, so I'm eager to experience its ride and the long-term comfort of its seats. Also, how will that slower-than-average engine handle the hills and grades that pepper California? I'll have to wait and see, but for now, I like this car.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor
June 19, 2012
My wife's parnets, Fred and Donna, had their 50th wedding anniversary this weekend. We celebrated in Lake Arrowhead, a nearby mile-high mountain town, and at the college campus where they first met, located at the base of the mountain.
And so our 2013 Infiniti JX35 was pressed into limo duty, shuttling the happy couple up and down the winding route between these two significant points. My mother-in-law is prone to carsickness, and has been reluctant to ride with me on this road (CA highway 18) before. A 90's-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 transmission's seamless power delivery, which never kicks down, never induces any head bobbing in the occupants, had something to do with it, too.
The JX's third row was full-up for the trip, of course, and the folks riding back there had no complaints either. Everyone piled out at the endpoints none the worse for wear and ready to party.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 2,695 miles
June 12, 2012
Like most back seats, the rear accommodations in the JX look pretty sparse. I mean, it looks like a bench seat it's so flat. Even the seat backs look like boards. So how is it so comfortable back there?
I'm not really sure. Maybe it's the fact that you can slide them fore and aft, or recline the seat backs to get more comfortable. Or maybe it's the prospect of having your own personal TV right in front of you. Not bad. Regardless of the reasoning, I found the second row a pretty nice place to be for a short time. I guess a longer drive will be the true test, but so far I'm pleasantly surprised.
Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com
June 06, 2012
The Infiniti JX35 is supposedly a family crossover specifically designed with a third-row seat in mind. This isn't a midsizer like a BMW X5 that has some dinky seat shoehorned in the trunk just so someone can write "7 Passenger Seating!" in ad copy. I mean, just look at those elongated proportions. Infiniti did a good job disguising them with some swoops and fancy details, but there's no hiding the general sausage shape.
So, the JX35 should in theory have a third-row seat that's actually useable. But the question is, will I fit?