By on March 27, 2012

The Infiniti JX marks the fourth SUV or crossover for the brand, slotting between the FX sporty crossover and the gargantuan QX56. According to Infiniti, the brand had nothing to stem the flow of customers who were dabbling outside the brand when it came time for a three-row luxury crossover. Instead of letting their clients go off and get an Acura MDX or Audi Q7, Infiniti took the underpinnings of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and co-opted them for a luxury vehicle.

The 2013 Pathfinder won’t be out until later in 2012, but the peanut gallery that ceaselessly criticized the car’s abandonment of a body-on-frame chassis for a front-drive based, CVT-equipped package will be eating a buffet of crow if the Pathfinder turns out to be as nice as the JX. Even though power is down compared to rivals – the JX makes 265 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 248 lb-ft at 4,440 rpm, compared to 300 for the MDX and 280 horsepower for the base Q7 – the JX is substantially lighter than the Q7 (872 lbs) and a little trimmer than the MDX (182 lbs). Despite the lack of instrumented testing on hand, the JX’s straight line performance is more than adequate. Infiniti’s Sean McNamara told me that the product team wanted to make sure that the JX could “get out of its own way”, as that was the primary concern of their customers rather than bragging rights, and in this area, they’ve exceeded all expectations.

The CVT gearbox’s calibration carefully mimics an automatic gearbox in most situations. Puttering around town, the revs stay in the low end of the rpm range, but when the throttle is pinned, they don’t drop down in quite the same way as a traditional automatic would allow for. The CVT is appropriate in this application, and Nissan’s CVT technology has come a long way since the early Muranos and their motorboat gearboxes. Worth noting is that the JX can be configured in either FWD or AWD. Fuel economy is 18 mpg around town for both. Highway and combined figures are 24 mpg and 21 mpg for the FWD, and 23/20 for the AWD.

While the mechanical bits may be related to the Pathfinder, the cabin is all Infiniti. Sumptuous leather and wood are featured throughout, and the layout of the dash is a near perfect copy of the Infiniti M. The materials are all beautiful, but buttons abound as a means of controlling the absurd amount of acronym-addled technology features. Right before I embarked on my drive, an Infiniti PR rep came over and pressed a button on the steering wheel. “We’re going to activate the LDW, LDP and BSI systems and we ask that you opt-in to that.” What he meant was that the Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention (that provides physical feedback to prevent the driver from drifting out of a lane, rather than just chirping incessantly) and the Blind Spot Intervention system would all be active during our drive. It’s a wonder we even needed to bother staying awake and driving the car ourselves.

Rather than feeling monstrous like the QX, the JX is “right-sized”, with far more comfort and usable space than the FX or EX. The ride is smooth and quiet rather than sporty or engaging, and the JX feels like a very good synthesis of the MDX and the Q7. Our test route outside of Charleston, South Carolina, was composed of flat, straight arterial roads and highways – the kind of driving that Infiniti customers are prone to do, but a poor place to accurately gauge the quality of the ride and handling over different (and poor quality) ride surfaces. Parking the car for a few moments allows for a better examination of the JX’s more practical features. Getting into the third row is made easier by the trick second row seats that slide forward and have hinged bottom cushions that allow for a fairly wide opening into the third row. Infiniti has famously been touting that the second row can fold without having to remove a child seat – there was no demo unit on hand, but we’ll take their word for it based on our own seat folding activities. Fold the third row down and the cargo area grows substantially.

Our JX AWD tester came loaded to the gills with every feature possible; voice activation for the audio and navigation controls, the aforementioned drive assistance features, a rear seat entertainment system, intelligent cruise control, an automatic-braking system for front end collisions and a dual sunroof are just a few of the options (and their associated packages) that took our JX from a base price of $41,550 to $54,800, including destination.  Buyers will have to determine whether the $12,300 in frankly excessive options are worth it. Gizmos aside, the JX is a great luxury crossover on its own merits – we barely scratched the surface of all of the vehicle’s technology and still came away impressed. Infiniti should have no trouble making the JX as ubiquitous as the G lineup has become, especially given the short attention spans of novelty-seeking luxury buyers who are likely bored of their four-ringed monsters after a few years of leasing. The FX and EX, for all the performance they possessed, had little practical use and were essentially compromised sports cars. The JX takes things in the opposite direction, sacrificing performance for practicality – something that the target demographic cares about more than acceleration times or rear-drive handling dynamics.

Infiniti provided travel, lodging and airfare to the author for this press event.

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94 Comments on “Review: 2013 Infiniti JX...”


  • avatar
    NulloModo

    I’m curious about how some manufacturers are able to quote equal mileage with and without AWD with the same engine/transmission. Generally adding several hundred pounds of weight is bound to cause a fuel economy difference, so either Infiniti is using a very lightweight AWD system, or the AWD vehicles are geared (numerically) lower to the point where fuel economy balances, but I’d imagine there would have to be a difference in acceleration.

    Just from the photos I can’t see how that seat could fold while a child seat in it, unless the claim means the seat can just slide forward without the bottom flipping up – which given the amount of travel it looks to have behind the front seat doesn’t look like it would allow for a very big opening with the child seat pressing up against the front seatback.

    Styling-wise, perhaps this is an attempt to subliminally market towards mothers who have listened to Raffi’s ‘Baby Beluga’ ad infinitum with their little ones.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      It’s possible that both the AWD drivetrain is very light and low-friction, and that Nissan didn’t remove much, for engineering and production simplicity’s sake, to make the vehicle 2WD.

      That said, I’m surprised that this car, in 2WD form, is a front-driver. I thought the Pathfinder was a more-or-less traditional truck.

    • 0 avatar

      The MPG is not the same, I made a mistake. Article is corrected.

    • 0 avatar
      suvshopping

      We test-drove this car today and also tried out the car-seat trick using our Orbit toddler car seat. Took the toddler out of the car seat for the trick, of course ! I’m not quite sure how it works but can confirm that it definitely works like a charm.

      I was sceptical because a similar trick didn’t really work with the BMW X5 where the 2nd row seat has a hinge that lets you turn it. The problem is that when you turn the 2nd row seat the car seat ends up blocked by the 1st row seat – perhaps it would work with a really small car seat.

      With the Infiniti as best as I can tell there are 2 horizontal sliders – the first is the regular slider for the 2nd row seat that moves it forward. This is the regular range of motion for a 2nd row seat and can be locked in whatever position desired. There is also a lever on the side of the 2nd row seat that can be pushed to further move the 2nd row seat more – this is only a temporary motion and cannot be locked. Nice thing is that you don’t have to remove the child seat at all during this process.

      Also whether or not there is a child seat the access to the 3rd row seat is amazing – and I’ve compared with the MDX, X5, Q7 and the Volvo. Finally the 3rd row seat also has LATCH connectors – that only the Q7 also has. Nice thing is that my toddler can actually be comfortable in his seat in the 3rd row if need be. Best of all, even I (5’11”) am able to comfortably sit in the 3rd row seat – not something I could say for any of the other 4 cars we looked at.

      Only irritating is that they make the Theater package (which I don’t need – don’t want my kid to demand a DVD and would prefer to just hand him an iPad when necessary) to get the Deluxe Touring package.

      The road test was only up and down the highway – unlike the Q7 and even the MDX which we drove around various curves and hilly terrain. Clearly this is not a “performance” vehicle.

      For the snark-artist complaining below thread about minivans, certainly a minivan has more space but it’s not like they are that cheaper.

      • 0 avatar
        MEJazz

        Minivans ARE cheaper, safer, roomier. I bought a brand new Sienna LE V6 FWD for $29K recently. You can certainly buy a cheaper model. By comparison, the JX starts at $41.5K – i don’t see how come a difference of more than $10K is not considered “cheaper”

  • avatar
    wallstreet

    A Japanese Buick.

  • avatar
    MrFixit1599

    Call me a Fan-Boi, but it just seems impossible to me that this thing’s base price is only 2 grand less than a base Ford Raptor. Loaded up, as best I can tell, a loaded Raptor is cheaper. Take me back 30 years and I would buy the Raptor any day over this and throw the kids that don’t fit in a seat inside the truck in the bed. Hell, I would probably have enough left over to put a small loveseat back there for them to sit on.

    • 0 avatar
      77MGB

      Half of my left front tooth got broken off slamming my face into the wheelwell of my dad’s 74 Chevy pickup cuz he did just that with me and my brother and sister. Lucky that was all that happened. We had a blast riding in the back of that truck for several years, but one low speed collision was all it took. And it happened just over 30 years ago. hey, wait a minute … dad, is that you???

  • avatar
    Thinx

    Ugly-ass piece of crap minivan in denial – just like damn near every other ‘crossover’ ‘active’ ‘utility’ vehicle out there. The only thing sadder than these platypuses are the desperately middle-class, middle-brow, middle-management customers that actually buy them.

    And the review reads like it was made-to-order by Infiniti’s marketing dept. Where’s Jack Baruth’s take on this thing?

    • 0 avatar
      hachee

      “The only thing sadder…” Really?

      You may not like this kind of car, but listen to yourself. I think your criticism of the people that buy these might be just a bit harsh, you know? Please let us know what type of vehicle you like, and drive, and your “class”, your brow, and your career, and make sure you let us know why that’s BETTER than those you’ve just lambasted without knowing them.

      • 0 avatar
        Thinx

        My point being that the people who buy this car would be better off buying a honest minivan that actually does what their family needs, than wallow in a (unconvicing) display of denial by buying this pathetic compromise. It isn’t a sports car, it isn’t an off-road car and it isn’t quite a roomy, convenient minivan. What, pray, is its automotive raison d’etre, let alone forte?

        Nothing wrong with being middle-class, middle-brow and so on, per se – and I realize that my comment was unduly harsh. The “sad” part is not their status in life, but paying $45K of the hard-earned for this, when more suitable and/or more capable transport can be had for a good $10K less.

      • 0 avatar

        Thinx: Have you SEEN minivans lately? They are almost all hideous, gargantuan, leviathans of ridiculousness. They are quite expensive, largely middling inside (especially the Toyota) and just generally reek of ubiquity. If I had the money and need, I’d at least try to do something a little better/different. Yes, sure, they realistically perform the same role, but do they really differ that much? The engines are the same, the power is the same, the fuel economy is nearly the same, the ride is the same, the handling is the same (or better, if you drive an MDX). Yet these manage to look a bit better, and have just the tiniest bit more character. Obviously a wagon would be far superior to everything here, but I digress…

      • 0 avatar
        mountainman

        Minivans are not expensive. Sure they are ugly, but I would put one up against a CUV any day with regard to MPG. Comparable CUVs/SUVs are definitely more expensive though…

        And wagons don’t have sliding doors. Gheeze, I am so sick of the Panther/Wagon crap. Neither sell anymore. They are dead. Get over it.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo2

      “The only thing sadder than these platypuses are the desperately middle-class, middle-brow, middle-management customers that actually buy them.”

      Congratulations on taking delivery of the new Aston Martin – after a comment like that, you do drive an Aston, don’t you?

      • 0 avatar

        We’ll all be able to pretend we’re driving Astons soon enough. Spied one approaching in my rearview mirror yesterday–turned out to be a 2013 Fusion prototype.

      • 0 avatar

        Michael, Ford paid Ian Callum a lot of money when he was at Aston Martin and then again at Jaguar. If any company is entitled to borrow styling cues from A-M, it’s Ford. No harm in evoking a more expensive car. Franz Von Holzhausen said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, it’s looks completely different” when, looking at the Tesla Model S, I asked “Maserati?”, but he also grinned broadly.

      • 0 avatar
        Thinx

        Not quite an Aston – I don’t particularly find them all that desirable to start with, and even less so when I see the sort of blokes that use them to crawl around Santana Row at 15mph every Friday evening.

        I have a CL500 for long distance touring, and a sports car for occasional weekend fun. My daily commute is by bicycle, and on days when bicycle commuting is rendered impractical, I commute in a 2010 Prius. That should give everyone enough detail to poke some fun at me. :)

    • 0 avatar
      Threxx

      As somebody who is cross shopping this new JX with the Honda Odyssey (and the updated 2013 Buick Enclave, for what it’s worth), I’d like to point out the primary reason I’m cross shopping the two:

      Odyssey Touring Elite: 44,485
      Infiniti JX w/ Premium & Theater package: $48,050

      There’s only ~$3500 dollars separating the price of these two vehicles, and the JX is unquestionably a more luxurious vehicle with a few features not available on the Honda, to boot.

      I’m not saying the JX is the obvious choice. The minivan is certainly more practical overall, but that’s something I intend to weigh with the nicer driving experience of the JX (and Enclave).

  • avatar
    amac

    Introducing the well-to-do soccer mom’s must-have ride for 2012.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    That commercial they keep showing during the NCAA basketball tournament just infuriates me. I keep screaming in my mind… “hey, you dumb yuppies! One of you get your dumb ass out of the car and LOOK behind it when backing up! Or maybe back into your driveway so you can see what’s coming when you leave!”

    It just annoys me… Car design more and more caters towards people who are so dumb they shouldn’t be driving in the first place. Can’t bother to look before changing lanes? no problem, the car will stop you from crashing into the car beside you. too busy putting on makeup to pay attention to traffic? the car will brake for you right before you rear end somebody.

    • 0 avatar
      spinjack

      Just wait until the owner of one of these tries to drive a car without all the nannies. Crash-o-rama.

    • 0 avatar

      It would have been nice if they guy in the F150 last week had one of these systems before changing lanes into me.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        +1. I simply don’t understand the b!tching on this site about electronic nannies like backup cameras and lane departure systems. No matter how responsible you think you are (and disregarding the fact that lots of people _think_ that they would never be so stupid as to [_____] right up until they do), you could just as easily be the crashed-into as the crasher. I think I’m a pretty attentive driver, but I’d still be a lot happier if the blonde-ponytail-and-sunglasses with a cell phone glued to her face driving the Land Cruiser in the lane next to mine had all of the electronic driver aids known to man.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo2

      kvndoom,

      For all your complaining about nannies I’m willing to bet that you’re a far worse driver than you seem to think you are.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        It’s a cause and effect. I don’t complain about the nannies, as much as the fact that they exist due to the symptom of poor drivers. Have you even seen the JX commercial I’m talking about? 6 or 7 people in the vehicle and not even one bothers looking behind the car to make sure it’s clear. One person could have taken 3 seconds to turn their neck and have said “hey Dad, somebody’s coming.”

        I recognized very early on after I got my car that it has horrible blind spots, so I bought stick on blind spot bubble mirrors for both sides. The last straw came when I almost swiped a lady in an Eos because traffic was too tight for me to risk a head check (something I regularly do) and her car was perfectly in my blind spot. 4 dollars later and that problem’s gone. I absolutely did make a bad move, and I did what was necessary to better myself.

        Over 90% of the time I back into parking spaces because it is so much safer to back in (a bunch of parked cars is a known equation), than back out without assistance if I’m between two larger vehicles and can’t see who’s coming.

        The majority of “accidents” aren’t accidents. They are incidents, and could have been prevented.

        I don’t judge myself as a good driver or a bad driver. But I AM an aware driver. I am OCD about observing traffic ahead of, beside, and behind me frequently. No one’s going to convince me that these gadgets can do a better job than people actively paying attention.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo2

        “No one’s going to convince me that these gadgets can do a better job than people actively paying attention.”

        And how do you propose we make them pay attention? Do you object to the fact that a 747 will go Whoop, Whoop, too low gear. Or TCAS will go Traffic! Traffic! descend, descend. If we can’t expect 100% vigilance from former Air force and Navy 747 pilots – how much can you expect from a typical soccer mom?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_collision_avoidance_system

        “But I AM an aware driver. ”

        Except when you aren’t. Oh, you always pay attention? 100% of the time? No, and if you say you do I know you’re lying.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        I’ve never seen you drive, and vice versa. I freely admit my misgivings and attempts to do better, so go jump somebody else’s shit.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      Let me say– I don’t mind the existence of nannies, and I wouldn’t have a problem owning a car with them; I am only peeved by their marketing as a substitute for safe driving practices. If any of you have seen the commercial, maybe you will understand why it rubbed me the wrong way.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        By definition half of all drivers are below average, and at least some of them are willing to admit that they (and maybe all of us) can use a little assistance now and then. Volvo built a pretty good business around safety, and there are worse attributes you could promote in a vehicle.

        If you are a perfect driver the electronic nannies will never bother you. If/when you are an imperfect driver the nannies may save you, or somebody else.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    Looks nice. Disappointed the sides of the cargo area are not carpeted and instead black plastic. Disappointed in its slow 0-60 time, which will no doubt be slower when fully loaded. Easy to criticize, though, when just looking at pictures and specs. Will have to check this out in person.

  • avatar
    tallnikita

    let’s be frank, anyone who bashes this thing is a moron. this thing costs less than some “cars” such as the 3-series, 5 series, buicks, acuras, etc etc etc. and it does everything those “cars” do and much more and the interior looks fantastic and it is big, and it even managed to be lighter than audi and acura. its base price is within a grand of a loaded venza. wow.

    but, but, does it make that farting exhaust sound that the FX and G35 make? that would be annoying.
    a win for infinity.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      If somebody was to argue that the JX is a pretentious $50,000 minivan whose design is clearly a Mazda/Honda/Hyundai derivative, I would hardly call them a “moron”. I save that sort of label for people who truly deserve it.

      • 0 avatar
        tallnikita

        Except for the pretentious $45K minivan, of course, right?
        http://www.cars.com/for-sale/searchresults.action?stkTyp=N&tracktype=newcc&mkId=20017&AmbMkId=20017&AmbMkNm=Honda&make=Honda&AmbMdNm=Odyssey&model=Odyssey&mdId=21734&AmbMdId=21734&rd=30&zc=10804&enableSeo=1&searchSource=TRAIL_HEAD

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    The CVT removes the JX from consideration, especially since Infiniti quietly halved the warranty to five years or 100,000 kilometers. I won`t underwrite the carmaker`s lack of confidence in its wares.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      So how do you feel about Honda’s automatics? Or Chrysler’s? Or, for that matter, _every other automaker_ that only offers five-year powertrain?

      Nissan brought it’s warranty in-line with the industry because the product is proving reliable.

      • 0 avatar
        TTACFanatic

        Gardiner can you give me a link regarding the new warranty.

        Psar : I wonder about the reliability of the CVT is this application. It is a heavy vehicle with an intended purpose of hauling lots of people and stuff (i.e. getting heavier).

        Ford once made the mistake of putting a CVT in the Freestyle (there are many TTAC articles), Audi keeps their CVT’s in cars with only ~200 HP. Nissan/Infiniti put a CVT in a heavy vehicle with a fair amount of horsepower and then conveniently cut the warranty … how can that not be seen as a vote of non-confidence?

      • 0 avatar
        Gardiner Westbound

        http://www.infiniti.ca/en/general/ownership/warranties.html

        A Nissan Canada press release gave the warranty at five years or 100,000 kilometers however the Infiniti owner’s manual states it is six years or 110,000 kilometers. Nissan previously warranted CVT transmissions for 10-years or 200,000 kilometers.

        I don’t trust CVT technology, especially on higher powered, heavier vehicles. Nissan’s rescission of the extended CVT warranty did nothing to bolster my confidence.

        A caller to a recent CP24 AutoShop program told the host his Nissan CVT, in a Murano as I recall, has been replaced three times since he bought the car new 13-months earlier. It is making worrisome noises again, aka the whine of death.

        CVTs are unrepairable, replacement only – with an OEM unit. Out of warranty reported cost $7,000+, way above my risk tolerance.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    The interior and exterior styling of this makes it literally look like a smaller SUV that has been inflated with a bicycle pump.

  • avatar
    j3studio

    Third paragraph: I believe you want “worth noting” instead of “worth nothing”.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    The styling keeps striking me as a mashup of Mazda CUV and Suzuki XL-7. Is this some sort of new direction from the Nissan styling studios?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      It started with the FX crossover, but the Essence concept really pushed it.

      I don’t mind this. I mean, it’s not pretty, but it isn’t the QX, either.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    Honestly, is this where we are regarding Japanese family vehicles? Why do I hate these vehicles?

    Oh. Because I recall feeling similar when forced to ride in a 1975 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, or a 1974 Chrysler Town and Country, or a 1972 Mercury Colony Park.

    These vehicles appeal to the same demographics who bought those giant turds back then.

    Congratulations Infiniti for helping us rediscover the pointlessness of giant station wagons filled with even more pointless gizmos of fake grandeur.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Vanilla, we don’t agree on much, but I couldn’t have written your comment better myself. This is nothing but a giant, ugly, pretentious station wagon. I hope they sell 1500 of them in two years and take it off the market, but I suspect I’m going to be disappointed.

  • avatar
    flameded

    Okay.. tell me they didn’t steal the headlight and taillight design from what Hundai just did the other year… they look VERY similar to the new Sonata. I suppose everyones doing the “stretch the headlight/tailights halfway down the side of the vehicle” look now.

    JMO?

  • avatar
    mcarr

    Anything with a CVT is off my list, at least for another 5 years or so when the real reliability stats come in on these transmissions.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Nissan has been selling CVT-equipped cars since 2003 (the Murano) and other than the Murano’s first year, it’s transmission is no more or less reliable than most automakers’ automatics, and actually more reliable than certain company’s (Honda, Volvo, Chrysler) offerings.

      Just because, eg, Honda and GM can’t make a CVT, doesn’t mean that anyone else cannot, or that the technology is inherently flawed. Nissan’s actually perform well and are reliable.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Yeah I haven’t heard of many issues with CVT equipped V6 Altimas or Maximas. I would certainly think the demographics that buy those cars would be a little more abusive. Having said that I also understand that transmission maintenance is much more important now than it was back in the days of the PowerGlide.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Anecdotes are not data, but both of my friends with V6 Altimas needed new CVTs before 75K miles. Good thing they have that long warranty on them…. And I have had a number of rental Altimas that did wierd things tranny-wise.

        But I agree, another expensive poorly designed minivan by another name. Just buy a proper minivan already.

      • 0 avatar
        TTACFanatic

        Nissan has been selling CVT’s since 2003 and 2003-2010 models ended up getting a 10 year/120,000 mile warranty. Why did Nissan do that? … because the reliability was questionable and the cost of a NEW installed CVT was very high. Are things suddenly so much better for the ’11-’13 model years?

        Educator Dan: Is there any maintenance that can be done to a CVT? I thought they were a “lifetime” sealed unit.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Re: Transmissions – I just meant in general. Nobody builds them like the old TH350s or for “C” series, or Torqueflite. Transmissions are fragile little flowers now compared to the 60s and 70s when most transmissions were “overbuilt.”

      • 0 avatar

        Dan,

        One area where Detroit reigned over the Japanese and Euro manufacturers was automatic transmissions. The foreign slushboxes were pitiful, aggravated by the fact that those cars had limited horsepower as well. There’s a reason why owners of Jaguar XJ cars made into the ’80s replace the AW units with THM units up to the 700 models, and why Rolls-Royce specified transmissiosn made by Hydramatic in Ypsilanti. There are reasons why drag racers today still use automatic transmissions originally designed in the 1950s and 1960s.

        Come to think of it, guitar players like instruments and amps designed in the 1950s and ’60s too. A Fender bassman amp does have things in common with a THM350 or a Torqueflite: simple, robust design that can be improved with performance mods.

        In some ways it’s easy to understand why Detroit ignored the Japanese. American cars had automatic transmissions that worked, air conditioners that would chill your drink in mid August, and your average Japanese import was smaller and less comfortable than an American compact like a Dodge Dart.

  • avatar
    LKre

    This site was built on amazing writing, of which the main attributes were humor, wit and irreverence. (Farago, Baruch, Schmitt, Mehta.) I am interested in crossover reviews more than any in other segment, due to family-related needs. So, I read this review twice – and it seems to me that Mr. Kreidler either can’t write “ttac style” or won’t. This is a nice article for Autoblog, but it does not belong here. I have noticed this trend in other reviews by Mr. Kreidler and, also, that his reviews are becoming prevalent on the site. Why does JX look like a bloated wingless bird (at least in pics) but Mr. Kreidler never mentions his views on that? Where is TTAC heading with this particular style of reviews?

    • 0 avatar

      There’s no monolithic TTAC style. Those writers you mentioned could not be more different. And please, it’s KreiNdler.If anything, my 800-word reviews are more in keeping with the original spirit of the site.

      • 0 avatar
        LKre

        Apologies for misspelling your last name. As to the style, its not monolithic, of course, but TTAC writers do share certain traits. And this particular review is utterly devoid of them. Derek, I have been reading this site since 2005, and I say without any disprespect or intent to flame that this review is quite distant from the original spirit of TTAC. Check out the 2005 review of Pathfinder.
        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2005/09/nissan-pathfinder-se/

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      Much discussion has already passed regarding having the testers do a styling review on the vehicles that they test. I think that the concensus was that we readers could form our own opinions. That works for me.

      If you already don’t like the looks of this vehicle then why do you need Derek’s opinion?

      • 0 avatar
        LKre

        I though a sentence of two about exterior design from the reviewer who, unlike us, readers, saw and drove the vehicle, would be helpful to convey his impression of the whole product, especially since with JX the design seems to be a point of contention. What if the car looks much better in person? I would like to know that. If not, a killer metaphor or two would be appreciated, TTAc-style. (JX designers made a strong statement that they will resolutely concede victory in all approaching design competitons, including SsangYong Design Cup and Volga-Lada Design Wars. OK, Derek’s turn now.)

  • avatar
    geozinger

    This is the SUV I saw near Ann Arbor about six weeks ago. If my farkin’ smartphone camera didn’t have a shutter that takes sixteen seconds to snap, I would have had some great spy pix of it.

    They had the logos covered in black tape, but one could clearly see the were Infiniti logos.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    “We’re going to activate the LDW, LDP and BSI systems and we ask that you opt-in to that.”

    They should just change this to a much more friendly JLTCDTDDBIKB. “Just let the car do the darn driving because it knows best.”

    More sensors to go haywire, more possibility of people becoming complacent. Woohoo.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    Man, people are really offended by this thing. What’s wrong with a luxury minivan? It’s the R-class done right.

    If I had older children and lots of money, I’d buy this instead of a gussied up Caravan or Odyssey. (Toddlers might sully the leather).

    Or if I was a real estate agent. Perfect client vehicle.

    • 0 avatar

      That was basically my impression. I’m far from the target demographic but I thought it was better than the MDX, for example. Michael will have his take soon, and he noted that the Enclave may end up being a competitor more than the Q7 and MDX.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Um as long as the leather isn’t perforated, leather is better than cloth for spills and wiping them up. (Or naugahyde. :P)

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      If I had the need or money for such a vehicle the Ford Flex Ecoboost would be in my driveway. The Flex does the big, luxury, family hauler job better in just about every way.

      • 0 avatar
        bryanska

        I dunno, man. Look at that dash in the Infiniti! And Ford leather is nothing to write home about. Now I’m not too familiar with the Lincoln… that might be closer.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        There is more to luxury than leather on the dash.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        Crossovers sit up higher than the Flex. Once you get used to the SUV/CUV seat height and visibility it is hard to go back to a car. If you don’t like minivans (and the vast majority of buyers don’t) a vehicle like the JX is a great option.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        I drove an SUV for 5 years until 2001 and have been driving wagons ever since. I would never want to go back to that awkward high seating position not to mention the terrible ride and handling. I prefer smaller cars with a firmer ride, lots of steering feel and a seat closer to the tarmac. Tall vehicles with floaty rides, lots of body roll, and no steering feel make me feel nervous all the time like I have no control over the car. Different strokes for different folks.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      I would have to agree. What is it with the intolerance of “car enthusiasts” with practical family vehicles? If you have kids, this is a perfectly pleasant way to get around. Just because it wasn’t designed to address your current needs/wants, that does not mean you have to condemn it nor the folks who drive them.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Just looking at the specs and options, I’d rather have the MKT, but no one buys the Lincoln so what do I know?

  • avatar
    needsdecaf

    I really don’t get people who bash these types of vehicles. Please, someone tell me what else I can get?

    I have two kids, under the age of 5. They have a lot of crap. When we go out of state to visit relatives, we usually fill the entire (large) cargo area of our three row SUV. Yes, we use the third row when grandma visits us and we go out to dinner, or vice versa.

    So now, we have established that our family of 4 needs something this big on a frequent basis and a third row is very useful to not have to take two vehicles. What are my choices?

    Well, I could go out and get a station wagon. That would fit the bill. Except for the fact that only one maker sells one with a third row (Mercedes) and it’s rear facing and useful for kids under 8 only. And even if we were to drop the three row requirement, that means that there is exactly how many wagons on the market today?

    Or, I could get a minivan. Except that I would sooner drive a Lada than a Minivan. Why? It’s not the stigma, I could care less about that. It’s the fact that when I climb into a vehicle and sit in a chair (not seat) that gives me ZERO sense of being connected to the vehicle, has a freaking pass through between the first seats, offers the responses of a cube truck and the dynamics of an old Panther, my enthusiast glands are left wanting. Sorely wanting.

    So please, what else to buy. A Pacifica? An R Class? I even thought about a Mazda 5 but that thing has no guts.

    These are the types of vehicles being sold and that’s what I’ll have to purchase.

    Note, I have actually owned a station wagon and would have bought another had a certain German manufacturer not discontinued it for the current model line.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      Why do you care what we think? As far as what you have against minivans, did you read the review? This thing has no responses or dynamics either. If you want a big vehicle with dynamics an X5 or Ford Flex would better suit you and both look better. Of course a minivan trumps both in terms of real functionality. You could avoid the third row class altogether and just rent a van for when grandma visits.

      • 0 avatar
        needsdecaf

        Do I care what you think? No. Did i read the review? Yes. Hell, I am actually pretty disappointed by this car. I had much higher hopes for it. But in real life, and now in the reviews, it is disappointing. Hell, even my wife doesn’t like it.

        My point was, why does everyone rag on this segment, not this vehicle in particular, as being god awful, something no one should buy? That there are a million different better alternatives, but when you look at it, they all have some downside or another?

    • 0 avatar

      needsdecaf,

      If handling is a priority, in my opinion the Grand Caravan (and likely the T&C as well) handles AND rides better than any other vehicle I’ve driven with a usefully large back seat. And I tested the SE, not the R/T which has a sport suspension. Even the base suspension and steering are much firmer than those of the average crossover, but without being harsh. Some people find them too heavy and firm.

      • 0 avatar
        needsdecaf

        I remember reading that in Jack’s (and your) review. The problem is, however, that I will never buy another Chrysler / Dodge / Ram / Jeep / Eagle / AMC / Fiat product again based on previous experience AND that even if the minivan handled like a go-kart, every time I got in one I wouldn’t be able to help thinking that I’m driving a bus.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        If you don’t want to drive a bus then don’t have kids. A CUV/SUV is just as much of a bus as a minivan is.

    • 0 avatar
      ktm_525

      Land Rover LR4. Get some 18″ wheels with At’s or mud tires and drive over stuff in your suburban environment. It’s working for me. Plus when you haul your Land Rover throught the twisties at just over the limit you will think you were going double the speed! It takes lots of drving skill to hustle the big boy around. Enjoy.

  • avatar
    WriterParty.com

    This might be the first time in my life that I’ve seen an Autoblog review and a TTAC review of the same car, and the Autoblog one is more critical (not counting cars which inspire passion in the TTAC writer, IE CX-5 with Baruth)

    Anyways, it looks okay but as far as I’m concerned, Infiniti had a really good thing going in that its cars seem to have definining characteristics – sportiness, aggression, ultra curvy interiors, etc. Did they just throw in the towel here or something? Even the QX seems more Infinitesque than this lump.

    • 0 avatar
      TTACFanatic

      It doesn’t feel like an Infiniti because it isn’t an Infiniti. It doesn’t have an Infiniti tuned engine, it has a CVT (a first for Infiniti), and unlike every other Infiniti its built in a Nissan plant in Tennessee. Its the new Pathfinder with bits of the M interior grafted on it.

      My friend is somehow enamored with this thing and got down right pissed when I dragged her to go look at the Pathfinder at the auto-show. Infiniti’s saving grace is that they can produce their higher profit version for a few months before the Pathfinder shows up on the market.

    • 0 avatar

      I reviewed it as if I were in the shoes of somebody with a couple kids who would cross shop it against an MDX, Q7 and the like, not trying to induce understeer like the Autoblog review. Nobody buying this car cares about that. Or knows what understeer is. There has to be some measure of empathy for who is actually buying this vehicle, rather than demanding that it fits one’s narrow criteria for what is desirable in a given vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        needsdecaf

        I own one of those cars and am cross-shopping this and one of the other as it’s replacement. I know what understeer is, and I do care about it.

        I understand the basis for your article, though, because 99.5% of the intended buyers of this vehicle won’t. Most of them barely can operate a motor vehicle of any kind based on the demographic in my area.

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    It’s big, it’s ugly, it’s expensive, and it has a CVT. What more could anyone want??????????

  • avatar
    V16

    Infiniti doesn’t have to apologize for its interiors.
    Nice colors, textures, and finishes all through the lineup.

  • avatar
    replica

    So boring….

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I always thought of the Q7 as a full size. It is very simmilar in dimensions to an Escalade/Tahoe and GL-Class.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    A rolling McMansion that escapes being categorized as a minivan. Well played Nissan.

  • avatar
    LA Folk

    We just test drove the JX this past weekend. In spite of the $4000 markup on the window sticker (the manager told me that as long as they could sell this car to the highest bidder, they were going to try to get the markup), we were still interested in this car except for one major problem that we observed (and, of course, the CVT which doesn’t seem right for a car of this quality).

    Am I the only driver who can’t get a decent view out of the rear window? I seem to have a small 2′ by 1 1/2′ view out the rear window when using the rear view mirror. The majority of the rear view is blocked by the enormous rear seat headrests and the shortness of the rear window.

    Of course, the salesman tried to push the rear camera controls and I kept using the rear mirror/side mirrors when I was reversing. But the lack of rear window view really concerns me. It was really claustrophobic if you are used to more window space.

    Is this just a standard factor with the potato-shaped SUVs/crossovers? Is that why rear cameras and blind spot warnings are so prevalent on these vehicles? You just can’t get a decent view using your rear mirror.

    • 0 avatar
      Durask

      Yes.
      A few months ago I rented a Tahoe and was surprised as to how easy it was to see out of the rear window and to feel the dimensions of the car when parking, undoubtedly due to the boxy rectangular shape. Much easier than any “potato shaped” SUVs like the Q7 or the MDX (on which IMHO a rear view and proximity sensors are a must).

  • avatar
    Blond_viking

    The nanny features are just that until you have tried them.
    I have parking sensors and a backup camera. Both things I did not ask for when I bought my car. Now that I have them I rely on them. parking sensors make a big difference and protect you from costly scratches on your bumper. The backup camera could save a child’s life.
    I hope the collision avoidance and lane drift become standard in the future. It might save some lives.
    Eventually the car will drive itself, when the tech is ready.


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