2013 Infiniti JX

Brand-new seven-passenger crossover is packed with technology, either standard or available

Cynics might wonder if the auto marketplace really needs another crossover. A premium luxury seven-passenger model, at that. Obviously, marketers at Infiniti-Nissan's luxury division believe a niche exists, which can be filled by the brand-new 2013 Infiniti JX crossover wagon. Introduced in Spring 2012, the JX promises "real 3-row utility" along with "emotive" styling that includes a "low roofline that doesn't compromise interior headroom." Infiniti's new design language debuted with the Essence concept vehicle, and the double-arch grille/headlight shape leads to a double-wave hood, while "crescent-cut" D-pillars bring up the rear.

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Under the Infiniti JX hood, a 3.5-liter V-6 engine develops 265 horsepower at 6400 rpm, and 248 pound-feet of torque at 4400 rpm. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) works with front-drive or "intelligent" all-wheel drive. Fuel economy runs around average for a vehicle of this size. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gives the front-drive JX an estimate of 18 mpg in city driving and 24 mpg on the highway. All-wheel drive drops the highway figure to 23 mpg.

Unlike the FX wagon, with its undeniably sporty feel, the new JX leans closer to the ordinary side in both appearance and driving pleasure. Though not difficult to drive, the 2013 Infiniti JX feels really big. Acceleration is relatively tame at any speed. Highly quiet all around, the JX emits little engine sound-but not much is happening, either. Steering feel is suitable for this vehicle class, and the ride is smoothly appealing.

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Dimensions and Appearance

Built on a relatively long 114.2-inch wheelbase, the 2013 Infiniti JX is 196.4 inches long overall-5 inches longer than an FX and a foot shorter than the huge QX56 SUV. Ground clearance measures 6.5 inches. Standard tires are 18-inch on aluminum alloy wheels, but 20-inchers are available.

Each Infiniti JX has a front underbody spoiler, integrated rear spoiler, and rear tire deflectors. Zero front and rear lift promises to enhance roadholding. A four-position Drive Mode selector lets the driver choose Standard, Sport, Eco, or Snow. Available Active Trace Control can help improve cornering feel, according to Infiniti.

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Infiniti claims "segment-leading" passenger volume and rear cargo volume (with third-row seats folded and second-row seats slid into their forward-most position). The JX also promises more second- and third-row legroom than a Cadillac Escalade. A flat platform floor provides total fore/aft adjustment of 5.5 inches for the second-row seats. Access to the third row is available without removing an installed second-row child seat.

Leather-appointed seating is standard, with heated power front seats and tri-zone automatic temperature control. Heated/cooled front seats are optional, as are heated outboard second-row seats. Second- and third-row seats are split folding and can recline. Eight cupholders and six bottle holders are installed. Audiophiles can choose the available Bose Cabin Surround 15-speaker sound system.

Automatic high-intensity discharge xenon headlights are standard, as are foglights and large LED taillights. A power rear liftgate is standard, and rain-sensing wipers are available. Power-folding heated mirrors can have a reverse tilt-down feature. A power sliding moonroof is standard, with a panoramic moonroof available. Wide door openings and the sliding second-row seat should help ease third-row access.

A new Intelligent-View display includes Fine Vision electroluminescent gauges, along with a 7-inch color vehicle information display. Gauges are easy to read and the glovebox is huge, in an attractive interior. Front occupants get plenty of space, but the driver's seat bottom is short and support could be better-though it's reasonably comfortable. With second- and third-row headrests up, the rearward view is horribly constricted. As promised, the second-row seats slide fore and aft separately. Those seats are somewhat hard, however, and foot space is limited-not appropriate for a large vehicle.

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A 2013 Infiniti JX is loaded with technology-some would say overloaded-especially if some of the available option groups are installed. Infiniti says its available Backup Collision Intervention system is the world's first. When the transmission is in Reverse, the system helps the driver detect crossing vehicles and objects to the rear. The system can detect vehicles approaching from either side, providing three layers of warning-and applying brake pressure if necessary to help avoid a collision.

A RearView Monitor and welcome-lighting entry system are standard. This is the first vehicle in the lineup to offer Infiniti Connection and Connection Plus service, including 24-hour automatic crash notification, enhanced roadside assistance, and more. The system allows parents to set up Drive Zone boundaries and Speed Alert, to monitor vehicle use by young drivers. Other available extras include Lane Departure Warning and Prevention systems, a Blind Spot Warning, and Intelligent Cruise Control and Distance Control Assist that can apply brakes in slowing traffic. Infiniti's Around View Monitor features moving object detection.

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Bottom Line

The Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for a 2013 Infiniti JX with front-drive is $41,400 (including $950 destination charge). All-wheel drive adds $1,100 to the price. Available options can add a hefty amount, including a $4,950 Premium Package, $3,100 Technology Package, and $2,550 Deluxe Touring Package.

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