Pros Performance, Handling, iPod Integration, Luxury Interior, Technology
Cons Tight Back Seat, No HD Radio, 5 Speed Transmission Affects Fuel Mileage
Summary We were on our way to trade in our 6year old Infiniti G35 for a new G35, when at the dealer my wife spied the new EX35 and fell in love with the look of the car. After one test drive back-to-back with the G35 sedan we were hooked on the EX35.
We're not quite sure what the EX35 is - a station wagon, SUV, hatchback? It has elements of each of these but is not exactly any of these. It sits slightly higher than a station wagon, sits way lower than an SUV and has a fast back rather than a hatchback. Regardless of categorization, we like the look. My wife - who I like to believe has good taste, since she picked me - was smitten by the styling. It has a long nose and a body silhoutte that is flowing and coupe like.
My wife liked the looks, I liked the performance. The EX actually drives better than the G35. Although the two cars share a front suspension - the EX35 feels more compliant and more planted on the road. The V-6 engine has plenty of power - Infiniti quotes a 0-60 of about 6 seconds, versus 5.5 seconds for the G35 sedan. This is probably due to the extra weight in the EX35. Handling is exceptional for a taller vehicle - it handles with aplomb and has exceptional maneuvarability (real easy to drive in parking lots and get into tight spaces). Since the EX35 is a little taller, it tends to lean more in the corners than the G35 sedan.
The car is truly luxurios. We got the Journey with a premium package. The front seats are comfortable and the materials used seem first rate. The technology is useful - smart keys, bluetooth, voice activation, high quality stereo system. Infiniti must have hired Apple to help with their systems controller - it is probably the best execution of a car control unit. Significantly better than BMW's iDrive and Mercedes Command system. The unit uses a knob with four arrow keys to navigate the basic areas - stereo, climate control, car setting. This also allows a brilliant emulation of an iPod interface for the iPod integration. You have full control of the iPod and the screen provides all of the major iPod information (e.g., song, title, artist, album and playlist) but no cover flow. The stereo sounds great; however, there is no HD radio (although you get XM).
The interior room of the car is reasonable, but not spacious by any means. The back seat is comfortable, but certainly tight for taller people. The trunk is reasonable, but expands significantly when the rear seats are folded down.
I think where this car really scores - is that it is very woman friendly. The ride height makes it easy to get in and out of - my wife finds it an easier car to use when wearing dresses. Moreover, the car is low enough to make loading groceries and luggage pretty easy (lower liftover height). The self healing paint will fix itself from the scratches that invariably show up around the grab handles from long fingernails and rings. The rear lift gate is aluminum and doesn't require superhuman strength to open and close. The control knobs are easy to grip and have enough depth to allow operation by individuals with longer fingernails. Moreover, the EX35 got impressive safety ratings. Infiniti did their homework and it should be a satisfying car for my wife on a daily basis.
In the first month of ownership, we are averaging about 19-20 mpg (mixed city and highway). From our experience with our G35 - fuel mileage goes up significantly after the first oil change. I would expect 22ish after the oil change and a few more miles of breaking in the car. Infiniti relies on a 5 speed transmission - they could improve the mileage significantly if they popped in a 6 speed with a tall top gear for improved highway mileage.
Pros Technology, Speed, Fun to Drive, No room for carseat.
Cons Bluetooth cuts off intermittently, No Power Liftgate, No rear 12 Volt Power
Summary I waited 6 months for it and hoped that the hype that built up in my mind wouldn't be a disappointment. I got one of the first ones off the lot fully loaded and I love it. I hope no one finds out how great it is because I want to be the only one on the road with it.
Pros Exxterior/interior styling.Handling.well designed dashboard. Peppy engine. Solid and well built. Leather seating. Luxury feel. AWD. Vehicle sensors. Auto Temperature. Automatic back seat lifters are a KICK!
Cons Gas mileage. No daytime running lights, location of "seat heater" buttons easy to click on by accident. Limited storage area.
Summary First gotta say the EX35 is usually referred to as a crossover SUV - It SHOULD be called a sporty hatchback. It has limited storage but thats not really why I bought it. I wanted something stylish and sporty that handled well that also had the ability to haul some boxes etc. and it fits that bill nicely. I do love it! There is only seriously only one major negative - for a vehicle of this size gas mileage is low. I average between 19 - 21 mpg. Not horrible bit not great - but the size of this vehicle is not large. If it were 25 mpg I think I'd be extremely pleased. But to defend that the engine does have great pick up... so its a trade off I guess. I have the Journey with AWD and no navigation. I have some great extras - heated seats, garage door sync, and there is a feature that you can press a button in teh back to lower your back seats. then you can press a button near the front console and they come back up without having to pull them back up.. its pretty kewl..in all A great vehicle.. Dealer maintenance costs are a bit steep BUT service is BEST IN CLASS!
Pros It's not difficult to lane drift, so drift avoidance is very welcome.
Cons Not available right now in any online dealer.
Summary I'd love to have both Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Prevention technologies in my car. I'm sure I'd drive with a greater peace of mind.