Today was my first drive in the Infiniti EX35 wagon. Well, not wagon…SUV? Crossover? I don’t get why we’ve got to categorize every vehicle on-sale — because inevitably something won’t fit. The wagon-like EX35 is one of them.
And, despite committing a cardinal sin (it’s marketed as a crossover), it’s alright.
First, it starts at a reasonable $40,000 for a poverty-spec model — and tops out at 50 stacks for a fully-loaded, suburb-smashing machine. There’s one engine: a 297-horsepower V6, as-fitted to the G sedan. In Europe, it’s fitted with Infiniti’s new 3.7-litre V6 with 330-horsepower. I’m sure we’ll get that motor. Eventually. You know, ’cause Europe gets the cool shit first.
Anyway, when the automatic transmission blips downshifts for you, 297 horses are enough.
It’s a good purchase on value, styling is subjective but not wagon-hot, good mix of options, and it’s easy to drive. But its killer app is the technology packed beneath its self-healing paint (!)
When in reverse, an image pops up on the dash with a video feed of the vehicle’s rear. Cool. But beside that is a birds-eye view of the entire vehicle, being fed with live imagery of every obstacle around the car. Fucking brilliant.
Its got lane departure warning, active cruise control (it’ll adjust your speed according to traffic conditions), navigation, Bluetooth integration, and proper iPod connectivity.
The entire telematics system is absolutely tops, ahead of Audi and BMW. The iPod integration is seamless — and allows you to control every aspect of the player. Sound quality is good, despite being a Bose audio system (“No highs, no lows; must be Bose.”) Oh, and there’s a great fuel economy graph you can track mileage with. Yay for $1/L fuel.
Something I’ve said before in my review of the Infiniti G37 is this: whoever developed the system knows how people access technology. And it shows.
Increasingly, people are putting much more stock in electronics and wanting integration with the gadgets they have. Ford made a big deal of this when they launched (the pretty awful) Sync system. Despite the rub, Ford knows that competition in each class is so tight that the defining factor in many purchases may just be how advanced the vehicle’s telematics are.
For the executive wagon buyer, the EX35 is a great choice. It’s got a good mix of style and substance — plus it’ll play more indie act-infused CBC Radio 3 podcasts than your local college radio station.
Ratings (out of 10):