2013 Infiniti JX35
2013 Infiniti JX35
2013 Infiniti JX35. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Steven Bochenek

The JX35 isn’t the largest of Infiniti’s offerings, but it’s still huge.

The biggest is the QX at 5,290 mm long, 2,030 mm wide and 1,925 mm tall, while the JX comes close at a girthsome 4,989 mm, 1,960 mm and 1,742 mm. Assuming you have a lot of parking space or a lot of people to transport – and money – this may be the luxury people mover for you.

A hallmark of the JX is that despite having all that space, the engineers were smart with its use. So unlike other mid-size to large SUVs that ‘seat seven comfortably’, the JX actually seats seven comfortably divided into rows of two, three and two. Yes, comfortably, even in that third row!

They don’t assume you’re a child and leave you to eat your knees on a tiered level. There’s also decent legroom for all. Tri-zone temperature control means those in the back aren’t being cooked while you freeze up front trying to create equitable climate conditions throughout. Plus you can flatten both back rows, increasing cargo capacity by over 400 percent from 447 to 2,166 L.

But perhaps the best example of the JX’s intelligent use of space is that final row’s accessibility. You shift a lever built into the middle seat to slide it forwards – it rides on rails – and partially collapse it. Presto, the back is accessible. What’s even cleverer is that it still provides that access even if a child seat is installed.

If you’re considering such a big SUV, chances are safety’s important. The JX won a Parent Tested, Parent Approved award for its comprehensive suite of available safety features. (“I’d like to thank my orthodontist and kindergarten teacher.”) Some of the most notable came with the $3,500 Technology Package. Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Prevention are what they sound like, and are the first of their kind in the industry. If the computer senses you drifting out of your lane – the JX is packed throughout with radar and sonar sensors – the JX intervenes, guiding the car back to the centre of the lane. Really!

2013 Infiniti JX352013 Infiniti JX352013 Infiniti JX352013 Infiniti JX35
2013 Infiniti JX35. Click image to enlarge

Blind Spot Intervention is another industry first. Initially, you have the blind spot warning lights beside the side mirrors that go on whenever someone enters your blind spots. But, like Lane Departure Prevention, if you try to switch lanes, it guides you back into middle of yours.

Meanwhile, Backup Collision Intervention was also claimed as an industry first when introduced last year on the launch of the JX. It senses when another object is moving towards where you’re reversing. The object needn’t be another vehicle; it could be your toddler on her tricycle. It warns you that you’ve missed something. If you don’t brake, the JX does.

Be careful testing this feature. Once you put your foot on the brake, it stops intervening. So if your own braking isn’t aggressive enough and you have enough momentum, you may still collide with whatever was in the way.

Infiniti’s lawyers are careful to imbue all their marketing materials with warnings that these safety features aren’t a solution to bad driving. For instance blind spot warnings don’t replace checking over your shoulder. Still, with human error accounting for 90 percent of road accidents, it’s good to know that the driverless car is on its way. You wonder how long till the skill of driving is something we only practice on the track (and how fast we’ll be able to go!).

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