By on May 14, 2010

Many cars look and drive much like any number of other cars. They’re simply not special in any way. You might as well toss a coin to choose among them. The EX35 is not one of these cars. Infiniti’s compact crossover is unlike anything else in the U.S. market. And you’re either going to love it or, more likely, hate it.

Before the EX arrived for the 2008 model year Infiniti already had one five-seat crossover, the FX. Though the second-generation FX is something of a cartoon compared to the cleaner, future-classic original, it retains a distinctive, coherent, round-yet-macho exterior. Credit the long hood and huge wheels. Compared to the FX, the EX is nine inches less lengthy, five inches narrower, and three inches less tall–all sizable differences. The EX’s largest available wheels are 18s—huge a decade ago, almost small today—and its proportions and lines are a not fully resolved blend between the FX and the G sedan. The EX is not a bad-looking vehicle, but it lacks the FX’s bold stance, coherence, and striking originality.

The interior design is more successful. While other manufacturers seek a futuristic, high-tech ambiance, the EX’s interior has a warmer, more traditional vibe that owes much to the British. The materials are soft to the touch, the curvy surfaces flow smoothly into one another, and both the instrument cluster hood and the door panels are nicely upholstered. Wood rather than some sort of faux metal covers much of the center stack and center console. Logically designed and arranged controls avoid the overwhelming sea of buttons found in too many competitors. Knobs for the primary HVAC and audio system functions are relatively small and have a smooth, quality feel. Everything is close at hand.

Too close, perhaps? Well, it depends. Many, especially the big and the tall, will find the EX35 an overly tight fit. The cabin is quite narrow, the center console is tall, and the center stack is unusually close. Those not so big and not so tall will still find it cozy, but perhaps in a custom-tailored, cosseting way. After stretching to reach the controls in the majority of cars these days, and finding that many fit me about as well as shoes a couple sizes too large, I found the EX35 a welcome relief. This is the way Jaguars used to feel before they bowed to market pressure to provide as much interior room as everyone else. Generously sized windows and a seating position that is high relative to the instrument panel keep claustrophobia at bay.

Thanks to these windows and its tidy exterior dimensions, the EX35 is an inherently easy vehicle to park. You’ll want the optional “around view camera” anyway. By digitally combining the images from four cameras, this system shows a top-down image of the EX and its surroundings on the nav screen. Reversing down a curving driveway or perfectly backing into a parking space is not only easy with this system—it’s flat out fun. Every car needs this. And, with the prices of these camera falling as volumes increase, perhaps every car will eventually get it. But the EX35 had the around view camera system first, and the FX remains the only other vehicle to offer it. Oddly the gadget-laden new M sedan didn’t get it.

The front seats are comfortable, though I prefer the larger, plusher seats in the FX. They provide only a modest amount of lateral support, but no doubt this modest amount is all most crossover drivers will ever need. The rear seat is the most limiting aspect of the EX. Forget cozy—it’s tight for all but the smallest people. Even sitting behind my 5-9 self, my knees graze the backs of the front seats. Larger adults simply won’t fit unless the front seats are nearly all the way forward, and three across would be a very tight squeeze. If the front seats are nearly all the way back, only children will fit behind them.

Cargo space is similarly limited. With the rear seat up, there’s perhaps half as much cargo room as in the typical sedan’s trunk. Folding the rear seat more than doubles the cargo area, but even then there’s only about two-thirds as much as in the typical compact SUV. So it strikes me as odd that a power-folding rear seat is standard. The rear seat is such a short reach, why bother? Especially since it cannot fully fold if the front seats are most of the way back. If you have to move the front seats up before the rear seat can fold, what’s the point of being able to fold the seats using a button in the cargo area? Similar switches in the center console might prove a bit more useful. Rear seat folded and kids need to get into it? Then you can unfold it without leaving the driver’s seat. So it might be of some use in the school’s pick up lane.

While the Infiniti cars have moved on to a 3.7, the EX continues to be powered by the same 3.5-liter DOHC V6 that has powered nearly every other Infiniti in recent memory. In the EX, this engine kicks out 297 horsepower. Factor in that the EX weighs only a couple hundred pounds more than the G (for a total of 3,979 with AWD), and acceleration isn’t far off that of the G. In other words, the EX35 is quick, if not especially so by today’s warped standards. The engine note isn’t the most thrilling. Nissan’s VQ engine has received much praise, but ever since the bump from 3.0 to 3.5 liters it has seemed a bit gruff and unrefined to me. In Europe the EX has already received the 3.7-liter upgrade. If we get the same it will improve acceleration, but not sound quality.

Until the 3.7 arrives with a seven-speed, the automatic in the EX remains a behind-the-times fiver. Beyond the number of gears, this transmission has a somewhat syrupy, old-fashioned feel to it. The lever can be used to manually shift the transmission; no paddles, at least not yet.

Given it’s compact size and relatively low weight, the EX might be expected to venture farther on a gallon of fuel. Alas, perhaps due to the thirsty VQ engine, it does not. The EPA ratings of 16/23 are almost identical to those of the far larger, more powerful Ford Flex EcoBoost. I observed 16 in aggressive driving, and 19-21 in casual suburban driving.

Compared to other compact crossovers and SUVs, the EX handles well, with excellent balance and the sort of feel only a space-inefficient front-mid engine location and rear-drive platform can provide. It’s about as close to a car as a crossover can get without becoming a hatchback. And yet the EX still feels a touch tall to me. Body roll in hard turns and a slight delay in responses to steering inputs let you know you’re in a crossover and not a car. The EX’s steering is moderately quick and provides about as much feedback as any compact ute’s steering does these days. I’d like a quicker, sharper, more direct feel, but judging from what manufacturers offer this must be just me, right? Forgoing the optional all-wheel-drive would probably help. With it, the EX only oversteers readily on loose surfaces. And even on dry pavement the insufficiently sophisticated, overly intrusive stability control intervenes sooner and more often than it should.

The benefit of this moderate chassis tuning: a very livable ride, even with the 18s. Sure, the ride sometimes feels a touch busy, and some bumps register, but there no bobbling about and it’s never punishing the way the FX could be. Noise levels are moderately low, with a sound quality suitable for this class of vehicle. Your ears tell you you’re in a luxury car.

Sounding like an ideal car for the women in your life rather than yourself? Perhaps. For whatever reason, cars have never been sized like clothing. And automakers have generally avoided gender-specific models. But by offering the EX and FX Infiniti goes about as far in these directions as any automaker has gone. Want something bigger and more macho? Then Infiniti will be happy to sell you the FX. For those who, on the other hand, don’t physically require a lot of space and who want a uniquely personal, seemingly tailor-made crossover, the EX is without equal.

Infiniti provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Michael Karesh owns and operates TrueDelta, an online source of automotive reliability and pricing data

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69 Comments on “Review: 2010 Infiniti EX35...”


  • avatar
    eggsalad

    In the future, please begin all reviews with the following…

    “This car [is|is not] available with a clutch.”

    Then I will know which ones to skip. I did skim this review, and it seems like a neat thing, but I won’t ever buy one, since it has no clutch.

  • avatar

    I always found the EX35 to be an “intersting” vehicle. I hardly see any on the road and I think your review sums up quite nicely why that is the case, it’s too small inside. Should be a steal on the used market though.

    • 0 avatar

      I wish. My wife now wants one. Checked used prices, and they’re holding value a bit too well for my taste.

      They are offering sizeable discounts on new 2010s, such that you can get a new 2010 for perhaps $5,000 more than a used 2008.

      Color choices aren’t the best: either dark, silver, or white. My wife refuses to get a white car, though white is perhaps the best color on the EX. She’d prefer a medium color, but none is offered.

      Reliability is generally good, based on responses to TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey. The 2008s had two very common problems early on, with the motor for the steering wheel’s adjustments and with noisy fuel pumps. But these problems are now in the past for the most part.

      Not yet signed up to help with this survey? Details here:

      http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

  • avatar
    dswilly

    How much does that goofy thing cost?

  • avatar
    lawmonkey

    I agree, this is an “interesting” vehicle. I’m curious as to what the midcycle refresh is going to be like – the 3.7L + 7-spd is an obvious guess (unless they are dumbing it down to keep the products differentiated – see Chevy Cruze engine). I like what they did to the front of the upcoming G37…maybe they can make this vehicle a little less inoffensive? I don’t want them to go to the level of Acura, but a little bit of the swagger from the FX would go a long way with this car.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Looked at an EX when our car was in for service. It’s a very nice car, but small! It’s not much cheaper than an FX.

    Prefer the original FX. Cartoon-ish is an apt descriptor for the new one.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    It’s been a long time since I sat in this or a G: is the G37′s rear seat similarly cramped?

    • 0 avatar

      The rear seat is quite a bit roomier in the G, but probably still not roomy enough for you!

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Yeah, I know I’m a freak…

      I can’t figure out why this car was so cramped: it’s more or less a lifted G, and should have at least the G’s leg room, given it shares the same wheelbase.

      Are the seats much larger in the EX?

    • 0 avatar

      The wheelbase is two inches shorter than the G’s, yet there’s a half-foot less rear legroom. The higher seating position should actually help, but clearly it does not.

      I have no idea how Nissan managed to disappear so much interior volume. Magic trick?

  • avatar
    shoes

    My wife nixed this vehicle when she learned that there was no power hatch. She can lower the seats without electronic assistance, but the short people who fit in this vehicle (like my wife) need help pulling down the rear hatch to close it. This strikes me as a curious oversight.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    If the EX is going to buck current trends with a welcome low beltline and more traditional, ‘intimate’ interior, they should go a step further and offer a regular manual.

    Another jarring detail: the extremely light-colored steering wheel looks like it would be a distraction from the road, especially when it’s in direct sunlight. It would certainly seem to obscure the dark gauges behind it.

    Having seen the EX on the road, it’s distinctive looks are growing on me. Distinctive, that is, unless you park it next to a Lancia Delta.

    http://www.autospectator.com/cars/files/images/Lancia-Delta-Monte-Carlo.jpg

  • avatar
    BobJava

    Beating a dead horse, but a few of these major shortcomings might be solved with a proper wagon. But America likes to be tricked into their wagons by jacking them up and hamstringing them with a space-limiting shapes (we call them CUVs).

    Whoever on this site who described American buyers as “fickle” was right on.

    • 0 avatar
      Patrickj

      Even if Americans wanted wagons (and there is absolutely no sign that we do), CAFE regulations make them impossible for any manufacturer selling midsize or larger vehicles (cars or trucks) to sell.

      Manufacturers simply aren’t going to permit the extra weight of a rear hatch and other structures to hurt their “car” mileage category under CAFE. In the U.S., even small hatchbacks are sold at large price premiums to sedans to manipulate sales mixes under CAFE rules.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    I’ve always thought these were “interesting” vehicles too but when I read reviews talking about how the Infiniti EX and FX are very sport/luxury sedan like I always think; “That’s great, but why not just buy a luxury CAR?”

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    Why not just go the rest of the way and make a G wagon with the 3.7 and a manual? Sigh.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Badge-engineered Rogue….why bother.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    While I respect the originality of the FX, it really is a ridiculous vehicle. If I were Infiniti, I’d stretch the EX by 6 inches in the wheelbase and add the 3.7 to kill 2 birds with one stone.

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      Doing that would cannibalize sales of the FX35.

      I drove one of these over the weekend and it was a hoot to drive.

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      I fail to see how anyone can enjoy driving such a large vehicle.

      The design or concept is nice for aesthetics..

      But the weight is a performance turn off.
      Its size elevates any ability to ACTUALLY drive it.

      And Im sure its tires hit ya right in the face when they need to be replaced.

      Put it against the concept that it might have a “viscous coupling” and its just another poser vehicle without snows.. and too large / obese to actually be driven.

      Then again..
      Self healing paint is sales ploy / gimmick.. doesnt make me buy a vehicle.

      Neither does attaching a bubble to a 1/2 decent sedan (without snows) and asking for more money without actual utility.

      Yet its sold to the same generic customers who buy MDX, RX, Highlander / Venza..

  • avatar
    lzaffuto

    I’ve always seen this car as a G35 hatchback, marketed as a CUV to avoid the sales stigma of hatchbacks and wagons. The styling says hatchback, and look at the minimal increase in ground clearance and wheel gap compared to the G35… it really has no offroad pretense at all.

    Anyone know if you can get sport suspension bits for it? Swaybars, lowering springs, shocks, etc? Maybe even stuff from the G35 will fit…

    • 0 avatar

      Just checked the additional ground clearance–would you believe it’s only half an inch?

      Okay, maybe you would.

      The major change is overall height, nearly five inches.

      The point, it seems, is not SUV pretense, but a quasi-SUV seating position, much like Ford has with the Taurus / Flex / MKS / MKT.

      Though this only deepens the mystery of where all of the interior volume went.

    • 0 avatar
      SunnyvaleCA

      “The point, it seems, is not SUV pretense”

      Actually, I think the point is: “light truck” status in the eyes of the EPA and CAFE

  • avatar
    Lexingtonian

    While I find the G to be a brilliant car (so much so that I purchased one), the EX just seems to be too much… pandering, I suppose, to the SUV obsession.

    I mean, it doesn’t really have enough cargo room to justify it being a wagon^H^H^H^H^Hcrossover, and beyond that it has *less* rear seat room than a G?

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    It took Infiniti a LONG time to see the interior design light, but they’ve seen it. Until the new M came along, this (with options) had the best interior in their history. The new M’s interior makes its rivals from Lexus and Acura look embarrassingly cheap and chintzy, as well as 10 years out of date.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I am going to have to go by the Infiniti dealer and check out the new M. After reading about the special wood with silver dust massaged into it I’m interested to see it for myself.

      The Infiniti models we’ve had traded in (mostly various G35 models) haven’t been very impressive where it comes to interior quality, but if Infiniti is upping their game, more power to them.

  • avatar
    klossfam

    I just negotiated a lease on 2010 EX for a friend in March. Michael’s review is pretty accurate IMO. If you are the right size (5′ 10″ or less with no lanky kids), the EX is hard to beat for a luxury/limited utility mix. The power train – even in legacy form with the 3.5 and 5 speed – is a good match and the interior fit and finish is awesome and unique (even compared to most other Infinitis).

    Despite the price, large discounts are available (yet they retain their value), pretty much bullet proof reliability and great techno content…For the right person with specific needs, it’s a perfect vehicle (and still a lot more attractive than a X3 or the larger but useless Acura ZDX).

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I don’t plan to buy another car for ten years, but I had to read the review after reading that first paragraph. Nice hook!

  • avatar
    gottacook

    Seeing these photos made me think of comparing this car to the Subaru Impreza 2.5i Premium 5-door, a similarly “well-tailored” car that’s relatively easy to see out of; a few months ago I helped a friend purchase one as her first new car.

    For half the price of this Infiniti (base AWD, $38,265 per Mr. Karesh above, versus $18,995 for the 2.5i Premium), you get a car that, although less powerful and with only a 4-speed auto, is also much lighter (and a 5-speed stick is available, too):

    Passenger volume (EPA): Infiniti 92, Subaru 94
    Cargo volume (EPA): Infiniti 19, Subaru 19
    Curb weight: Infiniti 3953, Subaru 3240
    Length: Infiniti 182.3, Subaru 173.8
    Wheelbase: Infiniti 110.2, Subaru 103.1
    Fuel economy (EPA): Infiniti 16/23, Subaru 20/26

    True, the Impreza’s interior isn’t as nice – but most people have better things to spend nearly $20,000 on!

  • avatar
    mythicalprogrammer

    Whoa, people actually like this? This looks like some clone of the Nissan Rogue with just an Infiniti badge. I think the Juke is cute, this… on the other hand, is just uninspiring design, that would have worked well when the G35 was around. Nissan and Infiniti does go crazy with designs but this car ugh. I lump this up with Sentra, new Murano, and the Versa. Yeah, yeah it’s subjective but come on, this is coming from a guy who thinks the Juke is cute.

    No more suv please. Bring the Sport Compact Coupe (RWD please) and the baby G. Give the baby G an inline 4 and a drop top option and I’ll get it else I’m waiting on the Camaro droptop with revised interior.

  • avatar
    BigDuke6

    The FX is the ultimate cartoon-car. OK, the Hummer probably is even moreso, but it’s not a car is it?
    And yeah, silver dust rubbed into the wood trim…….that’s what I look for in a vehicle…………..

  • avatar
    shaker

    Why anyone would buy this over a decked-out Murano is beyond me. Oh, that snobbery thing…

  • avatar
    Blunozer

    I quickly looked these up before buying my Grand Cherokee.

    For those who need to tow; forget it! This “SUV” tows nothing. Nada. Zip.

    Infiniti does not recommend towing any weight with the EX35. Can it still be called a Sport Utility if it can’t tow a utility trailer?

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      ITS NOT A SUV. – SUV is body on frame.

      ITS a CUV. – CUV is designed as a unit body just like a car.

      And as for towing..
      Few people even USE their SUVS to tow.. all depending on the 3 times a year thats needed.

      The rest can make due with a Pickup and a cover over the back..
      And without snow tires.. it further make the point / concept MOOT.

    • 0 avatar
      Patrickj

      I’m sure it. or any other CUV, will pull a 700 pound utility trailer to the dump just fine–including 70 mph uphill on the interstate, if need be.

      It’s a marketing and product liability thing to convince people that they need a much more profitable V8-powered, body-on-frame SUV.

  • avatar
    BMWfan

    Michael,

    Very comprehensive and informative review. Thanks!

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    This qualifies as the fugliest design I’ve seen in a while. I actually think a Crosstour is better looking. Yech.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    What sort of antiseptic lives do people lead that allows them to keep nearly-white interiors like this clean?

  • avatar
    gottacook

    “Nothing about the Subaru is nearly as nice. You might as well say there’s no point at getting a hamburger at a restaurant since McDonald’s will sell you one for a buck.”

    Yes, but I can and do patronize both fast-food restaurants and $10 hamburger places, and in each case I can make choices that will give me value corresponding to what I paid. Committing oneself to a car purchase (or lease) also involves running costs, but one still hopes to get good value. I find it very difficult to believe that this Infiniti offers fully twice the value of the equally useful Subie, despite the “niceness” differential – especially when taking into account its heaviness and worse fuel economy.

  • avatar
    mrh1965

    “Infiniti’s compact crossover is unlike anything else in the U.S. market.”

    There are no other smallish, overpriced, luxury crossovers out there?

    • 0 avatar

      Drive one. It provides a unique experience. I’m not saying you’ll like it, only that nothing else is like it.

      The Volvo XC60 and Audi Q5 come closest.

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      Michael Karesh:

      Volvo released the XC90 first.. (then as everyone else ALWAYS does, releasing the smaller cars next) which is why the XC60 came later..

      For more direct competition:
      Volvo has the XC70 / V70 which **cough SANDWICHED between the XC90 and XC60 cough**(in my opinion) take care of that sedan cum hatch / wagon “need” very easily. Being that BOTH wagons contain more HORIZONTAL (rather than vertical) room than BOTH “SUVS”.

      As far as Audi is concerned:
      They released the Q7 first, with the Q5. They wont release the Q3.. not until they see the X3 and or GLK sales to a point where they think they can make money.

      I also believe that the A5 Sportback or a A6 / A3 wagon would take care of any semi-quasi-suv/cuv needs.. just fine.

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      The RDX was another comparison I made and while it was a fun vehicle, the Turbo lag kills it. The VQ is a monster by comparison.

      My opinion of course :)

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      Hmmm
      Garbage Motors..

      Ya really cant compare the RDX against the EX. RDX is the CRV for Acura.. and has the same 2.3 I4.

      Nissan/Infiniti only uses a 2.5 in its base cars with the VQs in power most of the lineup.

      I wouldn’t want the Acura cause I think its a moot concept to drive a gussied up CRV (or the SUV / CUV concept).

      And

      The EX is also as pointless in the fact that it isn’t designed to carry anything significant.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I have never been a fan of this dull blobby body style or it’s fart can obnoxious exhaust note or the tight confined feeling interior. If there is wood trim in there it must be in very small amounts as they seem to have missed the steering wheel and center stack which when trimmed in the boring sea of light tan make it look more Kia than infinity. As with it’s FX brother, i’m far from impressed.

  • avatar
    mikenem

    The exhaust note on the VQ is definately not a “fart can” aftermarket civic- style whatsoever. Why do people have such strong opinions of cars they’ve never seen? Makes as much sense as hating an individual you’ve never met. For all intents and purposes, this does seem to be as close as we’ll get to a G wagon. I saw a light blue colored EX on the showroom floor a few months back. Surprisingly attractive

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    What is cool about these things (and Infinitis in general) is “self-healing paint”!

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    I still don’t understand what this thing is supposed to be good for? Why would I want this hideous thing over a more fuel efficient, better performing sports sedan?

  • avatar

    This thing is being marketed as a crossover SUV. It was hardly what we expected. It was very much like a taller wagon/hatchback, not an suv. Drives really nice, forget about towing anything, it has more than enough power, and has a nice set of options. Tight inside. Does not have the room that an XC60 has. Tighter steering compared to a GLK. Dealer quoted us 32,995 + tax and license for premium and technology package. The all around view monitor is fun but don’t really need it unless your confidence in parking suck. Wife an I passed not a real SUV. Ended up with a G37 instead and not disappointed at all. The G is plain sick!

  • avatar
    howcoolrutoday

    Michael –

    I have been eyeing this CUV to replace my trusty QX4 that will not die (but is starting to rust). I am 6’5″ 225lb and fit OK in the EX (once I bottomed-out the seat) when I drove it as a service loaner. I enjoyed the handling, the interior amenities, and the simple exterior lines just fine. I would miss the cargo space of a QX and the FX embellishments don’t seem to be worth the extra cash. I did not think the EX MPG performance was all that spectacular and am wondering if you are aware of any major changes for 2011 – performance and dimensions? An MPG here and an inch there might just make this a GREAT deal. Overall, though, I DO like this vehicle as is and your write-up was very useful!

  • avatar
    treedom

    I rented a G37 for a week. She rode like a truck and drank like a sailor and the hard plastic dash didn’t suit a luxury vehicle but HOLY CRAP, she was STUPID-FAST, stopped RIGHT NOW, and handled like a champ. Her dynamic virtuosity made me feel invincible in LA traffic, which is quite a feat. I left thinking I WANT ONE I want one I want one, but it has to be a WAGON (I have a dog). Which they don’t make. This oddball contraption you have reviewed seems to be the closest thing to a G37 wagon, so I checked one out at the local lot.

    The one I saw had custom-order paint and interior colors — a sort of metallic root beer outside and dark tobacco-y men’s club leather inside — which served to man-up an otherwise feminine car. The styling of the seats, the cocoonish seating position, the thick carpet, the curvy feminine rump combined with a phallic-symbol snout outside all shouted JAGUAR, OLD SCHOOL STYLE… although Infiniti typically walks the line between classy and gaudy a little close to the latter. The cargo space was ridiculously skimpy; the back seats would have had to be down at all times for my dog to ride along. The powertrain did not benefit from fewer ponies and fewer cogs compared to the G. Lifting the step-in and seating height served mainly to dull the handling and make it harder for my dog to jump into the back. I want a G37 wagon, so I want to like this car… I really, really want to like it… but it’s not quite right.

    Unless you’re a childless female that does a lot of antique shopping, in which case you’d enjoy being able to see over the next rise in the road, and to load your finds into the hatch, and to feel embraced and pampered by the tidy cockpit. Infiniti made this car for someone specific, and unfortunately I don’t think it’s me.

  • avatar
    phez

    I own and drive a 2009 model. I love this vehicle. Its extremely well valued; the price you pay for options and performance is unbeatable – I know because I’ve rigorously compared almost all vehicles in the size/price range when I was car shopping. Its the best bang for buck on the market for this class of vehicle.

    You are not going to purchase this vehicle on the basis that it’s a small suv. Its more akin to a tall G37 wagon. The cargo space is ample – I have fitted 3 large sized travel suitcases in the back with the rear seat up with no squeezing issues. But again, don’t expect to carrying plywood sheets in this thing.

    The front seat/rear seat issue described in the article is non existent – there is enough ample leg room for the front passenger that they should never really need to move the seat that far back to interfere with the rear seats going down. Though I will agree that rear leg room is at a premium, especially the middle seat which is almost non existent, due to the drive shaft protruding into the floor.

    The performance and handling of the car is something you must drive to believe. It accelerates, corners, and handles like any sport car. There is body roll on very fast turns for the reasons described in the article, but stays virtually planted at normal speeds thanks to nissan’s AWD system. The suspension is smooth and luxurious, but not so much as to disconnect you completely from the road, and it gets noticeably stiffer when you put it into sport mode. 0-60 numbers is just around 6 seconds, depending if you use sport-automatic or if you manually shift.

    The around view monitor pays for itself the first time you decide to parallel park. You’ll never have it more easier – you get it perfect every single time.

    I opted for this vehicle over the G due to cargo. The G does not have folding rear seats – just a little cubby hole you can stick a 2×4 through for whatever reason. The EX offers substantially more cargo area.

    To note, I am 5’6, so this vehicle is perfectly sized for me. Though, I have had friends upto 5’10 drive this without issue.

    Lastly, if you somehow cannot find beauty in this vehicle, you’re a lost cause. I’m not even going to bother. If you enjoy square escalades, good for you – others also enjoy some curves in their lives.

    The EX (and most of infiniti’s lineup) is a hidden gem in the automotive world. Thanks for reading.

  • avatar
    ccd1

    Michael:

    If the price of a used EX is still a little steep, try to find a cherry 2008 Mazda6 Grand Touring “S” 5 door. You won’t have AWD, but just about everything else is there. The car has only two options, nav and sat radio. It compares favorably with small CUVs like the EX and RDX in terms of storage capacity, costs FAR less and can’t imagine either CUV handling nearly as well. This Mazda deserved to be much more popular than it was.

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      Hmm..

      The Mazda 6 hatch from 2008 was available in 2 versions.. the hatch and the wagon.

      It was about as big as the similar year Accord and or Fusion. What set it aside from the rest.. was the sedan’s availability of the hatch AND or wagon.. a feature EVERY car in that class didn’t have. The wagon / hatch got canned.. cause it was in fierce competition against the Escape for Mazda along with the CX7-9. Ya put 1 sedan with 2 variations against 3 SUVS / CUVS.. and it looks bad for the sedan.. simply because of choice.

      The ’08 6 sedan / wagon / hatch was in comparison against the Freestyle / Taurus X or the Legacy wagon from that year. I believe the Passat had a wagon for that year as did I believe the Jetta did also.

      The RDX (CRV) has a turbo 4, that’s more expensive than it should ever be.
      The EX / G37 is a larger-than-mid-sized car with the that weirdly done / incompetently done hump in the back.. just enough to be 1/4 smaller than the Rogue. The least they could have done is incorporate the Skoda Twin Door concept.. same b.s BMW is trying with its jacked 5sedan. http://www.autoblog.com/2008/03/07/skodas-twindoor-an-innovative-all-in-one-trunk-and-liftback/

      http://www.autoblog.com/photos/skoda-superb-twindoor-system/full/#688259

      The 08 6 sedan, with the hatch and or wagon, isn’t comparable in any way, shape and or form of any kind.. with ANY CUV / crossover of any kind. The 6 of 08, has more USABLE room for cargo of any kind, bags, boards, luggage.

      The vehicle has no issues or little issues with emergency handling.

      It has no issues with being top heavy

      The full space can be utilized for just about anything..

      NTM its different – WAGON!

      The AWD concept is a pointless feature on the majority of vehicles on the road.. because with the unit.. there is no snow tires to be used. Makes no sense to have the unit.. if snows aren’t involved. Also makes no sense if most times the unit isnt even in operation. AWD / 4wd is a weight hogging nature only used when its raining (if you’re tires are bald or as a expensive nanny feature.)

      As far as having nav.. ya can purchase $100 units off the shelf with a longer lifespan.. and less overall depreciation, on top of bringing ya own receiver for sat radio.

  • avatar
    JRJenks

    OK. Not withstanding the comments on this site, and after a fairly exhaustive parsing through what was available, combined with test drives, I just popped for a 2011 EX35. My early reactions on this vehicle are:

    1. “Too tight / lack of space / cramped …”.
    Really? Really? Just how big are you all, anyhow? I am over 6’4″ and 280 pounds. I fit. I have headroom. Just how durn big are you all that you can’t fit in this vehicle? Yes, back seat legroom is sorta skimpy. Front leg room is not, front head room is not. It all depends on your needs. Strangely enough, Dwight Howard doesn’t ride in the back of mine very much.

    2. “Re-badged Rogue”
    Nope, do your homework. Covered above, but if you don’t read the comments that ruin your bias, then what can I say?

    3. Transmission
    Wish it had a manual, but unfortunately manuals seem to be going bye-bye. Lots of vehicles don’t offer a manual anymore, especially as you climb the price ladder. 7-speed auto/manumatic now in 2011 models is an improvement.

    4. Engine
    Smooth under low to medium demand, but a bit harsh under full zoot power. But, full zoot power for a CUV is quite respectable, and will likely surprise a few folks in “sportier” cars. And most other CUVs and SUVs.

    5. Handling
    The jury is still out here (will report later), but while it certainly isn’t a Porsche Cayman, it seems to do alright for an AWD CUV w/ slightly elevated ride height (and a comfy ride). Compromises, compromises. Again, I doubt too many CUVs or SUVS are gonna dust me in the corners.

    6. Interior.
    Among the best, fit and finish, materials, ergos, for anywhere near the price.

    7. Technology
    Ditto. Forget the electro-nanny stuff, but the Nav, all-around view cameras, etc. work great. If you’re going to do better than the EX in this department, bring your checkbook and an extra $20-30,000.

    8. Exterior design.
    Smooth lines, kinda low profile fly-below-the-radar looks. Hate to inform you, but if you go fast, standing out isn’t the best idea.

    All-in-all, this is a vehicle that tries to cover a number of bases at once. Whether it succeeds, and whether those are the bases that *you* want covered, is up to you.

    But, it floats my boat in terms of satisfying a balanced set of needs.


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