- Coupe-like silhouette
- The handling of a sport sedan
- Front-seat comfort
- No manual gearbox
- Cramped backseat
- Tech options are very pricey
The 2009 Infiniti EX35 is an attractive choice for driving enthusiasts seeking a more moderately sized crossover.
The 2009 Infiniti EX35 shares a lot with Infiniti’s G37 sport sedan and coupe, along with the outgoing Nissan 350Z sportscar, so it’s no surprise that the EX35 is a solid performer.
On the outside, the new EX has the looks to match that performance, including styling cues clearly borrowed and refined from the larger FX performance crossover. Oversized wheel wells and flared fenders in back, combined with the arching, aggressive roofline, give it the same cartoonish yet serious look that dominates in the FX. The interior of the 2009 Infiniti EX35 is handsome and sophisticated, with a techno-modern feel that's absent from similar vehicles from Lexus, for example. The EX has a cockpit-style layout, with a wide center stack that wraps down into a console, so the front seating is a bit narrow but comfortable for most. The instrument panel is downright classy, with tasteful wood and matte finishes and none of the chrome overdose that plagues some luxury vehicles.
Power in the 2009 Infiniti EX35 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, and road feel actually carries through the steering—a pleasant rarity in this class of vehicle.
The genesis for the EX35 comes from a notion that traditional SUVs and crossovers are still too big for some buyers, so Infiniti keeps 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.
Infiniti offers an extensive set of airbags, along with stability and traction control and anti-lock brakes. The 2009 EX35 also has a host of safety-related options that may warrant more of your attention: Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention, and Around View Monitoring.