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2008 Infiniti EX35 Review – Luxury That Defies Classification

Tuesday September 16th, 2008 at 6:99 AM
Posted by: AKramer

Handling

Throw the EX35 around some tight switchbacks and it’s slightly higher ride height and softer suspension (when compared with the G sedan) is noticeable. On the plus side, ride quality is excellent, making the EX35 an outstanding choice for long drives. Steering response is a bit vague, which might be due to the speed-sensitive power steering, but the lower effort required at slower speeds is well worth it when running errands around town. The Dunlop all-season tires will audibly announce when you reach the limits of adhesion, but overall cornering grip is quite good for a car this heavy, and the brakes are powerful and fade free.

Build

Like most luxury cars, the EX35 has exceptional build quality and recently earned the J.D. Power award for highest initial quality in its class. All the materials used in the car are top notch and the workmanship is equally good. The EX35 even features self-healing paint, which somehow uses a physical process to make small scratches disappear. Kinda creepy, but impressive nonetheless. On the safety front, the EX35 features a full complement of airbags, along with vehicle dynamic (stability) control and traction control.

Interior

The interior of the EX35 is appointed in rich leather with maple wood trim and aluminum accents. The usual luxury goodies are standard, including dual-zone climate control, power folding second row seats (a true ode to laziness), and a power sliding glass moonroof. Our test car also came loaded with a host of optional features: the premium package, which includes a Bose premium audio system with 11 speakers, satellite radio, and 9.3 GB music box hard drive with compact flash slot, and the navigation package, which features a hard-drive based navigation system with 7″ display and voice recognition. The nav system is particularly well executed, with a variety of display modes and an easy to use touch screen interface.

About the only flaw is a disappointing lack of interior space. Second row legroom is quite cramped and even with the rear seats folded down trunk space is limited. Want to take that mountain bike out for a spin? You’ll have to remove the front wheel to fit it in the back. This lack of room is puzzling given that the main advantage in buying a crossover/hatchback/wagon is supposed to be additional practicality. Infiniti must be keeping the EX on the small side to avoid encroaching on its larger sibling, the FX.

Exterior

Despite the obvious family resemblance to other Infiniti models, the overall design of the EX35 is quite fresh, bold, and unique. With a longish hood, truncated rear end, and Inifniti’s signature flowy lines, the EX35 cuts a striking silhouette. The lush paint and chrome accents highlight the fluid, teardrop shape of the cabin, and a roofrack is included to add a touch of ruggedness. Our test model also included the luxe style package, which features optional 18” alloy wheels and xenon auto-leveling front headlights.

Value / Who Should Buy It

With an as tested price of $43,815, the Infiniti EX35 isn’t exactly cheap, but that figure includes almost 10 grand in options. When you factor in everything you’re getting, the EX35 is a pretty good value, and removing some of the more extravagant options should easily bring the sticker below $40,000. Fuel efficiency is also respectable, especially for a car this powerful. We averaged 19 mpg over a week of driving, much of it with the right foot firmly on the throttle.

The EX35 is an impressive automobile, even if it is hard to classify. With sports car moves and technological options galore, the EX35 will undoubtedly appeal to young, urban professionals, for whom the lack of abundant interior room probably won’t be a big issue. Adding to its already envious track record, Infiniti has produced another attractive option for those in the market for a stylish, cutting edge luxury car.

Build Interior Performance Handling Styling Value Overall
Rating 5.0 4.5 4.5 4.0 4.5 4.0 4.4/A-



>> See all of the Infiniti EX35 photos in our photo gallery

>> The Official Infiniti web site of Luxury Cars, Crossovers and SUVs: www.infiniti.com

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3 Responses to 2008 Infiniti EX35 Review – Luxury That Defies Classification

  1. Derek says:

    The premium luxury class of high performance crossovers is getting crowded. In addition to the crossovers listed above, we now have the Lexus RX 350, Volvo XC60, and Mercedes-Benz GLK 350.

  2. Derek says:

    There are a new breed of sport-oriented luxury crossovers that are smaller than a mid-size SUV. Because the X3 and LR2 proved to be popular and profitable, other manufacturers decided to jump in with their versions of a premium, sports-oriented, SUV. Now we have the Acura RDX, Mazda CX-7, and EX35 that provide the utility of a SUV along with the near-performance of a sports sedan.

  3. Photo-John says:

    Nice review! And it looks like an interesting car. From the review I can’t quite tell where it fits in, though. What other cars would it compare to? I drive a top-of-the-line Outback (a beat up one) and this EX35 sort of reminds me of the new small sport SUVs. Is that right?





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