Infiniti EX35 Review


I was lucky enough to secure an Infiniti EX35 for an extended drive.
This was still a 2008 Model year. With the 3.5 Liter engine and a 5 speed auto.
For some reason, the 2009 doesn’t even seem available yet.
It is expected to gain the new 3.7 Liter engine, and a 7 speed auto.
And a bit more leg room in the back seat…


-HOW IT LOOKS

This is one good looking car, from about any angles. At first I thought the wavy line down the side was just too much.
But the whole thing looks great in real life. It also looks quite expensive.
Just how it should be, for the price.


-HOW IT IS INSIDE

The inside is as good looking as the exterior. A very well made, classy interior. It also reminded me of a Jaguar somehow. Or at least what a Jaguar interior could, or should be.
The finish and the detailing is impressive wherever you look and touch.
The seats are very comfortable.
The stereo is quite amazing. And like other Infiniti models, the iPod integration works flawlessly.
But I have to report I did have a few problems with the navigation system giving me wrong info.
And the lane departure warning is just way too annoying on a long trip. A couple of Expressos usually do the trick for me.
I don’t need my car to beep to remind me to drive straight…

As you can see, the rear seta leg room isn’t the best. It’s actually one of the worse of any cars I’ve driven.
But they do offer the FX if you need more room.
I did carry a couple of people in the back and they had no problem fitting. Once you’re back there, it’s mostly OK.
Just think of the EX as a coupe. One with rear doors to accesss the small coupe back seats.


-HOW IT DRIVES.

-Ride
It rides pretty much like other Infiniti cars. Firm yet smooth. And always comfortable.
The only problem I had was that it was a bit sensitive to grooves on the road. Weird for such a car.
You can never tell you’re driving an SUV/Crossover/Tall wagon . It just behaves exactly like a car.

-Steering.
Again, almost exactly the same as other Infiniti sedans.
Light, but with enough feedback to tell you’re not driving a “boring sedan”.

-Engine.
The engine is the same one used in their other mdels too. So it does behave the same way.
Very powerful and one of the smoothest around. And it still has that great exhaust sound when you push it. One that almost sounds like if it cam from the car next to you.
It is supposed to be updated to the new 3.7 Liter soon.

My gas mileage was pretty bad. It is pretty hard to get better than 16MPG in city driving alone.
And I also wasn’t able to get much more than 23 on the freeway.
These are the same figures quoted by Infiniti. But 23MPG freeway in 2009 is really bad. For a car that isn’t very large.
It does feel heavy and solid, sure. But something like this should be getting at least 27 in the highway alone.

-Transmission.
Nothing to report there. The 5 speed auto was always smooth and pretty quick to downshift. But with that much power, you don’t really need to than often.

-SO?

I think the Infiniti EX35 is a great car. It looks fantastic and drives like other Infinitis. Which means it is both luxurious and sporty.
These are the most Germans of Japanese cars.

But if gas mileage and rear seat room are issues, look elsewhere.
The updated models might squeeze a bit more room in the back, and the 7 speed auto will help a bit on the freeway mileage.
But these won’t be drastic changes.

It is not cheap, starting at $35 500. The Acura RDX is about $2000 cheaper. But you don’t get the great V6.
Or if you want to stay in the Nissan family, you could get a loaded, and much roomier Murano for a bout the same price.
The larger Infiniti FX starts at $42 000.

The EX offers a sporty look and feel with the convenience of a hatchback you won’t find in other cars.
It is basically mostly for people who might otherwise choose a coupe.
Almost like a high end coupe with a hatchback.

Conversation 16 comments

  1. How long did you have the car for, Vince?

    I think the car looks good, especially for a young professional.

  2. This car has an exceptionally well-designed, good-looking, well thought-out interior; but then, so do most Infinitys. Another "Home Run" for Infinity: Wake up Acura , Lexus & Lincoln!!!

  3. This is a joke of a vehicle.

    I test drove one when it first came out because I was REALLY excited to see Infiniti bring a CUV to the market. I was sorely disappointed, aside from the nicely finished interior (with some cheaper plastic bits used) and the power, I found nothing really compelling. The engine can sound a bit crude at times, the vehicle will crash over some road imperfections, and it has a higher starting price than many.

    The WORST thing about it is its size. Really, this is a very smaaallll vehicle. Rear seat room is coupe-like and pitiful. You would feel bad putting an adult back there for any trip over 10 minutes. The cargo area is also comically small for a vehicle in this segment.

    I really think that Infinity missed the mark here with a vehicle that could have been fantastic. I don’t know why anyone would buy this over a X3 or even the RDX which I found superior in almost every single respect.

  4. You can get these right now at a darn steep discount – almsot 10k off. I’m actually tempted to go for it except the mileage is utterly pathetic and it requires premium fuel at that. If this thing got 4 or 5 more mpg I’d be at the dealership this evening.

  5. “You can get these right now at a darn steep discount – almsot 10k off”

    Another one simply spreading BS to stimulate his ADD brain. Edmunds suggests about $4,000 off MSRP for a loaded one.

    It is a great hatchback. But, do not get the 18″ wheels. Too much road noise down the road.

  6. acura and lexus, as usual , have nothing like it. A real winner. back seat is smallish but larger one is on the way. They should have known this before introducing it though.

  7. the rdx is an overpriced 4 cyl competitor to the mazda cx-7. the cx-7 incidentally beats it in every respect. the infiniti is a higher level, classier, better built, v6 powerhouse that trumps acura without even starting the engine. Acura is a dressed crv. Anyhoo, rear seat is too small, we all know this. it will be fixed…Ciao!

  8. Anonymous said: “Another one simply spreading BS to stimulate his ADD brain. Edmunds suggests about $4,000 off MSRP for a loaded one.”

    I didn’t write that post about $10k discounts, but they’re absolutely correct. I would suggest doing a little more research before flaming someone like that. In fact, you didn’t have to go very far…you were already there. If you like Edmunds so much, trust their “TMV” pricing explicitly and don’t look beyond your nose, you’ll miss out on some good deals out there.

    I suggest reading the “Prices Paid and Buying Experience” section IN EDMUNDS.COM for recent actual deals. Several people reported $5k or more BELOW DEALER INVOICE. This may have something to do with a $5k -OR- 0.0% financing deal from Infiniti?? (sarcasm intentional)

    I was also offered similar deals, but purchased (5 days ago) a FULLY LOADED (about $46k sticker) used EX35 with 12k miles for around $28k. Only a few dozen used ones for sale in the country, so way too good a deal to pass up. Especially with the relatively rare Chestnut interior!

    I suspect the fact that they had DOZENS of 2008 EX’s on the lot, much like many other Infiniti dealers, may also have something to do with their willingness to dump them like hot potatoes. I just hope this doesn’t mean the resale value is in the toilet a few years from now…the vehicle is simply amazing.

    – MA EX35 owner

  9. The reason Lexus and Acura lack a competing vehicles is probably because the EX is a sales disaster. Also, it seems to lack several amenities found in other types of crossovers.

  10. “Also, it seems to lack several amenities found in) other types of crossovers.”

    I disagree. I just bought my EX35 4 hours ago, this after spending 3 weeks test driving EVERY comparably-priced luxury cross-over (Volvo XC60, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Acura RDX). I also test drove the Honda CR-V for the practical side of me looking to save a bundle.

    Yes, I came out of a 2001 Toyota Rav4, very dependable and practical for my needs at the time, but this Infiniti was a steal (besides, my car was a total loss after a wreck and I needed new wheels)! I walked in, test drove an EX35 and loved the smooth ride and quiet interior. The nav package was ok, but I realized that I could get a portable Garmin for much cheaper. Either way, the iPod interface is something you don’t see much of outside of the Audi (the Murano had one, but I couldn’t get over the ugly exterior). I decided against German cars since they cost an arm and a leg to maintain.

    In the end, I closed the deal in less than 5 hours and walked away with a brand new ’08 for almost $2k below invoice. As a petite woman, the size is perfect for me. Yeah, fuel economy and backseat space leave much to be desired, but the mpgs are better than the Murano and it’s a much better looking car.

    The Volvo XC60 is way too big and has a relatively spartan interior. The drive is nice, but Volvo worries me these days. Ford wants to sell it off and I have heard nightmare stories about their reliability and service issues. The Audi was my first choice, but since the Q5 is selling like hotcakes, I couldn’t justify the price knowing that I would be bled dry for repairs once the warranty expired. The BMW X3 is in desperate need of an update…enough said about that!

    All in all, the EX35 had everything I needed and a sweet discount to boot. They were selling the model I bought for over $41K…the advertised selling price was $32K once the discount was applied (and I got it cheaper than that). The bottom-line was comparable to the loaded RDX, but the iPod interface sealed it for me. What kills me about the RDX is that the tech package could be awesome if it had an iPod interface. I hear they discontinued it, which is a shame. The car was in my top 3 (behind the Audi and ahead of the Volvo).

    I’m happy to get a luxury crossover for the price of a souped up Honda CR-V!

  11. Trying to figure out how to obtain the discount on the EX35. Planning to start a family soon with new hubbie, and so need to move out of my 98 BMWZ3 for a SUV. Anything larger than a 2 seater will be an upgrade for me. Since we'll be towing kids in the backseats, the space won't be much of an issue. Any starter leads would be great. Love the look, luxury, etc. of the EX35.

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