Infiniti JX / QX60 Six-Month Road Test: Our Own Personal Assistant Page 2

April 16, 2013
2013 Infiniti JX Six-Month Road Test

2013 Infiniti JX Six-Month Road Test

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Get on the train. Weather can make LaGuardia an unreliable way to reach New York for the auto show, so I take Amtrak's Acela. The JX needed a safe place to park, but where to find it in downtown D.C.? I called up my staff and asked if the Union Station garage allowed overnight parking without permits for an indefinite period of time. Unable to find the information on Amtrak's site, the concierge asked if I'd accept the information shortly via text, email, or a call. Within a few minutes, my iPhone lit up: "Neither the parking garage nor the office were answering so I called the Center Cafe --gave a contact name, you can park there as long as you like, they charge a rate of $22 a day." (Feel free to add in my coolly delivered dismissal: "that will be all.")

So, so much baggage. The New York show falls just before Easter, which means a visit to family. I'd never carry three big bags on Delta--but on Amtrak, could I get three roll-aboards all aboard? My staff tried to locate information on the Amtrak site for a certain type of ticket, but it wasn't spelled out explicitly other than "passengers may bring two bags on board" and check more luggage. It wasn't quite the definitive answer I wanted--but largely, was the result of information provided by the train itself.

Make me laugh. With a free night in New York, I wanted to track down some entertainment. But on a Monday, options are limited. My trick question for my staff--just to keep them on their toes--was to see about a seat at Book Of Mormon for Monday, knowing that it's touring other cities, and knowing that the theaters are dark at the start of the week. After a quick minute searching for information, I opted for a text back--and new staffer Aaron advised that "Book of Mormon does not play anywhere in NY on March 25." Correct answer, if missing the incredulous gasp a real New York concierge could offer reflexively.

What's this about a recall? While en route, the NHTSA published alerts for a possible recall on the Infiniti JX35. Curious about the status of our test vehicle, I called to see if it was counted among the recalled vehicles. In this case, my staff was unaware of the recall at all, but offered to connect me with a local service point for immediate attention.

I live on my smartphone, and in truth, I could have found most of the help I received via Personal Assistant myself, at a convenient stop. That's the key takeaway from the service: it's not elaborately interactive like the best infotainment systems, or as slavishly devoted to my every need as I would require a full-time staffer to be. It does "strive to inspire you at every turn"--the tagline each call ends on--and it warms up the driving experience with a helping hand, if and when you need it.

Infiniti Personal Assistant is free for 48 months and available on a subscription basis after that terms expires. It can be extended to a second phone, and certified pre-owned Infiniti buyers can add the service for a fee.

We're rounding the corner to the end of our test with the JX. Over the next week, we'll be writing up its gas mileage, comparing it with another significant luxury crossover, and doing the third-row test. In the meantime, read the rest of our Three-Month Road Test coverage, and see our full review of the 2013 Infiniti JX--and of course, stay in the loop with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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