The Car Connection INFINITI EX35 Overview
Infiniti is altering its model naming strategy for the 2014 model year, and replacing current model names EX, FX, G, M, and JX with ones beginning with the letter Q. Read our story on the Infiniti naming strategy to understand more about these changes.
The Infiniti EX35 is a compact luxury crossover. As a somewhat smaller model that closely parallels the mission of the bigger, pricier FX crossovers—the EX35 has eschewed some comfort and interior space in favor of sharpened performance and standout styling. Top alternatives to the EX35 include the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Volvo XC60—as well as the new Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.
Sold since the 2008 model year, the EX appeals to those who want some of the utility in a crossover vehicle, but with performance that's closer to that of a sport sedan. Power comes from a strong 297-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6, with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Handling isn't quite as crisp as with the G25 and G37 sedans on which the EX is based, but it's far more dynamically deft than that of most other crossovers this size—it really drives more like a somewhat tall, rear-wheel-drive wagon. Its suspension hits just the right balance between a smooth ride and athletic driving feel; all-wheel drive is available, but we've noted that it adds weight and shaves off some handling prowess.
The weakness of the EX35 package is its interior. Upholsteries and trims are luxury grade—and the instruments are bathed in soft white lighting while the dash gets matte-finished woodgrains—but unless you're in one of the comfortable front seats, the cabin simply feels tight. And that extends to the cargo area, where even if you're willing to fold down the rear seatbacks the rather high cargo floor, and sloping rear hatch are prohibitive. Back-seat space isn't all that plentiful; adults will find both headroom and knee space to be tight.
Tech and safety features have been right up there with some of the best vehicles in this class, though, with Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention, and Blind Spot Warning systems all offered in the EX—as well as an Around View Monitoring system that comes in handy with the limited outward visibility that the curvy rear styling brings.
Over several model years, the EX35 has changed very little. Infiniti hasn't substituted its larger 3.7-liter V-6 into the EX, and that's fine as we appreciate the smaller engine's more tame, refined demeanor. For 2011 the EX35 got a few more standard features, including automatic climate control, leather upholstery, push-button start, and USB connectivity. A power-folding rear seat, Bose premium audio, and a DVD-based navigation system are among the major options.