2009 INFINITI EX35 Review

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The Car Connection
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The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Trevor Wild Trevor Wild Author
April 8, 2009

The 2009 Infiniti EX35 is an attractive choice for driving enthusiasts seeking a more moderately sized crossover.

To bring you this comprehensive survey of the 2009 Infiniti EX35, experts at TheCarConnection.com have looked high and low for the most useful information in published reviews. Driving opinions from TheCarConnection.com editors are also included here so that you have the most information for your next car purchase.

The 2009 Infiniti EX35 shares a lot with Infiniti's sporty G37 sedan and coupe, along with the outgoing Nissan 350Z sportscar, so it's no surprise the EX35 puts the sport in sport utility.

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, sophisticated, and oozes techno-modern design absent from other models in the segment. 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.

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Power in the 2009 Infiniti EX35 comes from the previous G35's 3.5-liter V-6 with 297 horsepower, paired with a five-speed automatic. It also lets you make good use of the available power with superb road-holding abilities. The EX35 might be a crossover, but its handling feels more like that of a sports sedan—a pleasant rarity in this class of vehicle.

Much of the EX35's driving dynamics are due to its compact dimensions. Surprisingly, this SUV is smaller in wheelbase and some interior measures than the previous G35 sedan. This wasn't by happenstance, but by design--Infiniti believes most SUVs are too big for some buyers, and the EX35 is the answer. While that recipe makes for a nimble crossover, it also results in a tight interior--especially in the back seat, which lacks legroom.

Extensive airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, and traction control keep everything in control. EX35 buyers can also pick from numerous safety options, such as lane departure prevention, lane departure warning, and a 360-degree camera system called Around View Monitoring.

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2009 INFINITI EX35

Styling

The 2009 Infiniti EX35 is a good-looking vehicle—and it feels fresh, modern, and ultimately luxurious.

The 2009 Infiniti EX35 is a well-designed vehicle: tasteful, contemporary, and clean, according to a wide range of review sources.

ForbesAutos is smitten with the EX's sleek exterior and interior design. Motor Week points out Infiniti's devotion to style, which is evident in the sporty crossover's coupe-like roofline and other more aggressive design flourishes. The Auto Channel is especially complimentary in its review of the EX, opining its timeless design hints at an overall sense of grace, finesse, and speed. Meanwhile, Cars.com notes the EX leverages sporty rear-end design language from its larger FX sibling that significantly reduces cargo volume.

Cars.com enjoys the EX's interior, appointed with high-quality materials--specifically its sparingly used aluminum trim and black bezels--similar to other models in Infiniti's lineup. Edmunds says its distinctive dashboard flows like a soft cockpit around its driver. Motor Week notes its optional maple wood interior trim blends the best of style and sport.

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2009 INFINITI EX35

Performance

The 2009 Infiniti EX35 is designed with drivers in mind; it's pleasant, sporty, and fun.

Experts at TheCarConnection.com find that the 2009 Infiniti EX35 is fun to drive and is sportier than most others in its class.

Edmunds calls the 297-horsepower V-6 engine responsive with adequate passing power while noting the rev-matching ability of its five-speed automatic transmission on downshifts. Premium gas is recommended (and it's required to achieve stated mileage and performance numbers), but Edmunds reports the EX will run just fine on regular. Those who opt for all-wheel drive won't see a significant difference in real-world fuel consumption over the rear-drive model; both were tested at about 20 mpg average. Cars.com reports fuel consumption puts the EX on par with class rivals, but it's thirstier than the average sport wagon alternative.

Car and Driver swoons over good looking and better driving EX as the sportiest utility it's tested. The all-wheel-drive option—which costs $1,400 extra—can split power 50/50 between front and rear axles with its snow mode, reports ConsumerGuide.

Handling really is the best characteristic of the EX, with AutoWeek reporting it'll carve up freeway ramps while still delivering a stable ride. It doesn't sacrifice much when it comes to comfort either, as Edmunds says the EX offers arguably the best blend of ride and handling of any of its peers. Cars.com reports the EX's ride is similar to that of a sport sedan: firm, but not uncomfortable.

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2009 INFINITI EX35

Comfort & Quality

There are excellent materials in use in the 2009 Infiniti EX35, but the backseat is tight.

Most reviewers find the 2009 Infiniti EX35's quality and comfort satisfactory, though space is indisputably tight.

Front seats are superbly comfortable and made from high-quality materials, says AutoWeek, but it hits on a common theme regarding the EX's tight rear seats. In fact, Motor Trend points out the 28.5 inches of rear legroom found in the EX pales in comparison to the Acura RDX's 37.7 inches. Cars.com comments on the rear seat as well, calling the legroom sacrifice unnecessary. Elsewhere, Edmunds reports the Infiniti provides solid ergonomics, but many of the features contributing to that opinion aren't included in the base EX35.

The rear seat isn't the only tight part of the cabin. Motor Trend states the EX's paltry 16.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats is only 3.3 more than found in the G35 sedan and way below the 27.8 cubes of room in the rear of the Acura RDX.

Nearly all reviewers agree on overall interior quality, which uses aluminum trim in small amounts to give the cabin an upscale look, but it can also be optioned with maple wood trim for an extra bit of class.

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2009 INFINITI EX35

Safety

The 2009 Infiniti EX35 has the makings of a very safe vehicle, but government crash-test results aren't in yet.

The safety features available on the 2009 Infiniti EX35 leave no major stone unturned.

The Infiniti EX35 earns top "good" ratings and a Top Safety Pick accolade from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). NHTSA has not yet tested the Infiniti EX35.

Infiniti's Around View Monitor, which consists of four camera working together to produce a 360-degree bird's-eye view around the vehicle, is the crown jewel of the brand's safety suite and found here in the EX. It joins a usual complement of safety features, including a host of airbags, active headrests, and electronic stability control. More advanced features can be added as optional equipment, such as lane departure prevention, with Edmunds praising the EX for having more safety kit than any of its rivals.

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2009 INFINITI EX35

Features

The 2009 Infiniti EX35 has plenty of standard features and some nifty options—but you'll pay for them.

TheCarConnection.com's editors love the high-tech features offered for the 2009 Infiniti EX35—but some drivers will balk at the high price associated with many options.

The Auto Channel notes the EX35 has "a long list of available features," but everyone knows the special features make this vehicle shine--literally. According to Cars.com, "Scratch Shield clearcoat paint...can heal itself of light scratches over the course of a week." However, the reviewer is hesitant to actually test it out. ForbesAutos reports that the EX35's paint is described as "self-healing."

ForbesAutos also gives "major gee-whiz points" to the power folding second-row seat. It's an option on more expensive EX35s. The reviewer doesn't hesitate to point out that the EX35 has plenty of "leading-edge features for gadget fans."

Other optional extras include navigation, rearview camera, and a media drive with 9.3GB of storage for music, reports ConsumerGuide.

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Styling 8
Performance 8
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