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Drives, Infiniti — July 30, 2013 at 10:25 am

2013 Infiniti JX35 FWD: First Drive


2013 Infiniti JX driver assistance 2of2 7292013 113625 PM-001The latest Ride of the Week is a 2013 Infiniti JX35 FWD, a three-row luxury crossover that debuted for the 2013 model year.

For 2014, the JX35 becomes the QX60 to conform with Infiniti’s revised, Q-based nomenclature. A new hybrid version of the 2014 QX60 also joins the lineup soon.

Priced at $42,245 including a $995 destination charge, the JX competes not only with popular Japanese three-row vehicles like the Acura MDX, but also presents a more affordable alternative to the BMW x5. The JX is well-equipped and stylish, and compared to the X5 with an optional third row, the Infiniti is more accommodating for seven passengers.

Our test vehicle lacks all-wheel drive but is loaded with more than $13,000 in option packages. Still the base 2013 Infiniti JX35 FWD is nicely equipped with leather; heated, power front seats; xenon headlights; moonroof; tri-zone auto climate control; power rear liftgate; backup camera; proximity key and 6-speaker audio with Bluetooth and a USB port. A 265-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 coupled with a CVT is the only engine and transmission combination available for the JX.

For $3,100 (plus the cost of the required Deluxe Touring package,) Infiniti’s Technology package brings a list of active and passive driver assistance features. A rear collision intervention system alerts the driver to moving or static obstructions behind the vehicle when reversing. Should the driver fail to act, the JX steps in with an auto braking function. Distance Control Assist (DCA) does the same in forward driving, providing both an alert and preventive action. Similarly, blind spot alerts and lane departure warning are backed by active correction, provided the driver switches the system on. Finally, the Tech package adds adaptive cruise control that even works in stop-and-go traffic, thanks to DCA.

The $1,700 Theater package quiets passengers with rear entertainment. Dual 7-inch monitors are mounted in the backs of the front-seat headrests. Wireless headphones and a 120-volt power outlet are included, too. The $2,550 Deluxe Touring package adds 20-inch wheels, Bose sound, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, rain-sensing wipers, maple trim and a large second moonroof for rear passengers. Finally, the test vehicle’s Premium package adds navigation and accompanying goodies like Infiniti’s Around View monitor, which shows a top down view of the car that’s handy in low-speed maneuvering. Opting for the $4,950 Premium package also brings upgraded Bose sound and more comprehensive memory functionality for seat position and other settings.

Roof rails, priced at $370, and a tow package, priced at $630, round out the optional equipment.

The 2013 Infiniti JX35 looks sporty for a three-row crossover, and a relatively low and long design provides a more wagon-like driving experience than I expected from a vehicle of this size. The V6 is plenty potent, although I had to dig through the CVT to find its power. Still, no other Infiniti is better suited to a CVT than the JX. Efficiency is so-so, rated at 18 mpg city and 24 highway. In the real world, I struggled to reach the city rating in mixed driving. But my world in the JX didn’t stretch too far, and Atlanta is a hilly, hot and traffic-ridden town.

Like all Infinitis I’ve recently driven, the JX succeeds in delivering a luxurious experience to driver and passengers. In terms of comfort and style, it received plenty of compliments and just one complaint: the passenger seat could use a lumbar support.

Not all drivers attracted to three-row luxury SUVs or crossovers need the extra traction of all-wheel drive. That gives the more 2013 Infiniti JX35 FWD an edge over some competitors. But two-wheel drive versions of both the Acura MDX and BMW X5 are on their way for 2014, crowding the field for the Infiniti QX60 and QX60 Hybrid.

Quick Specs: 2013 Infiniti JX35 FWD

body type5-door, 7-passenger crossover
as-tested price (incl. destination charge)$54,700
engine size/configuration3.5-liter V6
horsepower/torque (hp/lb-ft)265/248
fuelpremium unleaded
EPA city fuel economy rating (mpg)18
EPA highway fuel economy rating (mpg)24
optionsTechnology ($3,100), Theater ($1,700), Deluxe Touring ($2,550), Premium ($4,950) and Tow ($630) packages