2013 Infiniti JX35
Base price: $40,450
As tested: $54,070
MPG: 18 city/24 highway
- Best-in-class fuel economy
- Room for seven
- Tech overdone
- Options add up
By Michael Hagerty
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to sell a crossover SUV that doesn’t have three rows of seats. So, some manufacturers cram a row in the very back of cars that really weren’t designed for them. Others are making bigger crossovers. Infiniti clearly chose the latter with the JX35.
It’s long, with lines more station-wagonish than SUV, enabling it to pack in people and their things with very few compromises. And, employing Infiniti’s owner, Nissan’s, 265-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 and a continuously variable transmission, the JX is able to deliver the best fuel economy in its segment, an EPA-estimated 18 city/24 highway mpg.
Without selecting a single option, you’re treated to 18-inch alloy wheels, leather-appointed seats (powered and heated upfront), a power moonroof, tri-zone temperature control, remote rear liftgate, a rearview camera, 7-inch color monitor, a six-speaker audio system with AM/FM/CD/mp3/SiriusXM, plus Bluetooth, USB connections, and auxiliary jacks. You also get antilock brakes, brake assist, electronic brake force distribution, vehicle dynamic control, traction control, tire pressure monitoring, and a security system. All for $40,450.
So, why does the “as tested” price read $54,070? Options. Option packages, to be precise.
A Technology Package ($3,100) is available with such features as back-up collision intervention, a heated steering wheel, lane departure warning and prevention, and intelligent cruise control. A Theater Package ($1,700) includes two 7-inch color monitors in the back with wireless headphones, a remote control, and more auxiliary audio/video jacks.
For the Deluxe Touring Package ($2,550), you get 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels, a Bose surround-sound system, advanced climate control, rain-sensing wipers, a moonroof for the second and third rows, and maple interior accents. And the Premium Package ($4,950) features even more security and convenience, including a hard-drive navigation system, an Around View monitor with moving object detection, a further upgrade of the Bose audio system, and lumbar support for the driver’s seat.
It’s your money. But in my opinion, a vehicle can have too much tech. The very systems intended to prevent accidents may become distractions in themselves (to say nothing of entertainment features). Instead, buy the stock model. You’ll have a capable luxury crossover and $14,000 in the bank.
Michael Hagerty is an automotive publisher and editor who has been talking cars on the air, in print, and online for more than 15 years.