Pros: This is the first Infiniti that rides more like a luxury car than a sports performance vehicle. The brand-new JX is available in either a front-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration.
The Infiniti JX is spacious and roomy, offering three rows of seats. Unlike most vehicles offering a third-row, the sliding second-row seats in the JX travels six-inches forward, creating plenty of legroom for those who happen to be planted in the third row. In fact, the second-row seat design provides entry to the last row without removing a child who might be located in the second row. Furthermore, with this being the case, it’s easy for the third-row occupants to enter the rear without removing the second-row seat, as long as they enter from the right side of the vehicle.
Besides the spacious room and the car-like ride, The JX is available with Infiniti’s latest technology, too. Consumers can opt for a moving object detection system, a lane departure warning system, a lane departure warning system, a blind-spot system and a radar-activated cruise control system. Most of these options are a part of the JX’s Technology package.
The JX is also available with a Theater package, which consists of two 7-inch color monitors located on the back of each front headrest, two wireless headphones, a remote, auxiliary audio/video input jacks and a 120v power outlet.
Moreover, a Deluxe Touring package can be added to the option list. This package includes 20-inch aluminum wheels, a Bose surround sound audio system, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a rain-sensing windshield wiper system and a fixed sunroof for the rear occupants.
And the last package the JX can be outfitted with is a Premium package. This package consists of a 13-speaker audio system, a voice-activated nav system and dual memory seats.
Lastly, the JX can be accessorized with a few standalone features, too. Some of those features include illuminated kick plates, splash guards and roof rail crossbars.
Cons: While Infiniti is pitching this as a seven-seater vehicle. Realistically, it’s a tight fit for average-size adults to enter the third row. Furthermore, the third seats aren’t designed to accommodate adults for an extended road trip. Its designed for small kids. More so, when the third-row seats are in use it not only minimizes the cargo area, but the fold-away headrests obstruct the driver’s view. The engineers should consider offering captain chairs as an option to the bench second-row seats.
Added to that, for buyers looking for a performance oriented crossover, consumers should shy away from the JX, since it rides more like a luxury car.
Finally, the gas gauge indicator is mismarked. The gas door opener is actually on the opposite side of the fuel indicator light, which is located on the instrument panel. Go figure.
Verdict: The JX is a great addition to the Infiniti line up. Its larger than the sports performance FX and it’s easier to navigate than the truck-like QX. Not only does the vehicle provide a luxury-car ride, the JX provides an abundance of high-tech amenities, too. The JX is on par with the segment leader, the Buick Enclave. For consumers in the market for the JX, the name will only be around for one model year. Next year the name changes alphabets from JX to the QX. A hybrid model will also be available is in the on the horizon, meaning the JX (or the QX) will become the first hybrid in the seven-passenger luxury crossover segment.
Competition: Acura MDX, Audi Q7 and Buick Enclave
Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to JeffCars.com. Follow him http://twitter.com/#!/JeffCars/.