Luxury brand Infiniti rolls seven-passenger seating into the crossover class with the 2013 Infiniti JX35.
The sleek JX35 is the Japanese automaker’s first seven-passenger crossover utility vehicle, base priced at $40,450, filling the gap between the midsize Infiniti FX five-seat crossover and large seven-passenger Infiniti QX56 sport utility vehicle.
“The Infiniti JX is selling like proverbial hotcakes and bringing a new buyer to our brand,” says Kyle Bazemore, senior manager of Infiniti communications. “It’s a big hole we were missing in the Infiniti line, and the JX has filled it well.”
Infiniti JX35 capitalizes on its flexible interior space with standard reclining three-row seating. An adjustable middle row slides 5.5 inches for adult-size legroom in the comfortable confines of the rear quarters.
A tilt-and-slide mechanism moves the second seats forward to create a generous 15-inch aisle to the rear cabin with convenient one-hand operation.
Ideal for young families, the slide feature opens an aisle for third row passage even with an outboard second row child seat installed.
Infiniti JX holds 15.8 cubic feet of gear behind the 50/50 split third seats. Collapsing the back row exposes 77 cubic feet of load capacity. A standard power remote rear lift gate gains access to the cargo bay.
Up front, driver and forward passenger are greeted by a clean ergonomic instrument panel with easy-to-reach controls and switchgear.
A center stack touch-screen shows images from the standard rear view monitor, while Infiniti’s Intelligent-View displays vehicle information on the gauge cluster for at-a-glance convenience.
Overhead, a standard power sliding moonroof provides open-air driving enjoyment. Second- and third-row riders get a skyward view through an optional fixed panoramic glass roof.
Power sunshades temper the heat and sunlight on both glass surfaces.
The 2013 Infiniti JX35 is available with a first-in-segment Back-Up Collision Intervention System that when in reverse, senses objects behind the vehicle. With no driver reaction, the system automatically applies the brakes for an immediate stop before contact is made.
Infiniti JX35 comes in front- or all-wheel drive powered by a 3.5 liter V6 engine for 265 horsepower coupled to a continuously variable transmission that yields 18 miles per gallon/city and 24 mpg/highway fuel economy.
Cabin acoustics in my front-drive JX35 test model are superb. So is the sound insulation to quiet road, wind and engine noise during our 555-mile road trip.
Seat cushions are very supple, surrounded by smooth flowing trim lines and soft touch surfaces that wrap the cabin in a luxurious feel.
For 2014, Infiniti JX35 evolves into the Infiniti QX60 with either a 3.5L V6 or Hybrid drivetrain.
The QX60 Hybrid offers a 24 percent increase in fuel economy touted to deliver the highest combined EPA mileage rating of any seven-passenger luxury crossover, including diesels.
According to Bazemore, the cost difference between the 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid and V6 model is expected to be around $3000.