- Coupe-like silhouette (for an SUV)
- Dynamic chassis with available all-wheel drive
- Comfortable cockpit
- Small back seat
- Lots of potentially annoying gadgets
- No manual gearbox offered
Because of the Infiniti EX35, 2008 could be year of the right-sized crossover. Many people are looking for SUV style without SUV size, and they should be particularly attracted to this offering.
Nissan launched its Infiniti division back in 1989. Back then, some of its models were nothing more than tarted-up Datsuns (what Nissans were called before they were Nissans). But there is nothing even remotely tarted up about the 2008 Infiniti EX35. As a matter of fact, the only Nissan that shares parts with the EX35 is the respected 350Z, a solid performer in everybody's book. In addition to tracing its genealogy to the Z, the EX35
shares even more with Infiniti's current G35 sport sedan and G37 sport coupe. These are good genes to have.
The genesis for the EX35 comes from a notion that traditional SUVs and crossovers are still too big for some buyers, so Infiniti kept the size of the EX on the tidy side. As a matter of fact, its wheelbase and key interior dimensions are smaller than those of the G35 sedan, which means there's not an excess of room in the backseat--though front-seat passengers will feel coddled. The look is handsome and sophisticated, with a techno-modern feel that's absent from similar vehicles from Lexus, for example.
Power comes from the G35's smooth-revving 297-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 and a five-speed automatic. The little crossover's suspension is buttoned down, making you feel as if you're piloting a sporty sedan instead of an SUV. Adding to this performance-oriented base, Infiniti offers a host of safety-related options that may warrant more of your attention: Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention, and Around View Monitoring. There's also an extensive set of airbags, along with stability and traction control and anti-lock brakes.