2010 Infiniti EX35 Journey AWD Review

Infiniti’s EX35 delivers plenty of sport, but not much utility

2010 Infiniti EX35 Journey AWD Review

Strap yourself into the luxurious wrap-around interior of the 2010 Infiniti EX35, stomp on the gas peddle to feel its sportscar performance, and chances are you’ll forget all about its tight rear seats and modest trunk dimensions. The truth is, Infiniti’s 2010 EX35 is a luxury sports coupe in a small SUV body, and a very stylish body at that. The fact that it’s got four doors, fold-down rear seats and a hatch at the back for added utility is just a bonus, because the true magic of the EX35 happens when you slide behind the steering wheel.

FAST FACTS

1. The EX35 is powered by a 3.5L V6 with 297-hp and 253 ft-lbs of torque.

2. Pricing starts at $33,800 and climbs to $37,400 like on our AWD Journey test vehicle.

3. AWD versions feature Infiniti’s advanced ATTESA E-TS system, also available on the M, FX and G sedan.

4. Fuel economy is rated at 17/24-mpg (city/hwy) for FWD models and 16/23-mpg for AWD.

5. The optional Around View Monitor (AVM) includes front and rear sonar systems that utilize four small cameras to give the driver a “top-down view” of the outside of the vehicle while parking.

GORGEOUS INTERIOR, BUT TIGHT ON SPACE

Excuse me while I gush like a schoolgirl who’s just come home from a Jonas Brothers concert, but the EX35’s interior quality and design is very impressive for a sub-$40,000 vehicle. Not too many years ago you would’ve paid cubic dollars for the pleasure of sitting in an interior this pleasing to the senses. Soft touch materials abound, and thanks to the wave-inspired wrap-around front cabin, where the dash and front doors come together in an encompassing embrace of soft leather and rich textures, the EX35 feels a bit like a spa on four wheels.

The heated 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat with two-way manual lumber support allow for the perfect seating position, enhanced by the telescoping power adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel. Add to that the extensive onboard technology included on this Journey AWD version like the 7-inch color display, Nav system with 9.3GB Music Box harddrive, iPod port, USB port, XM Satellite Radio, and an 11-speaker Bose audio system and there’s really no reason to ever get out.

Unless you’re sitting in the back seat, that is. Children, Gary Coleman, and perhaps a Geisha with tightly-bound feet will find getting in and out of the rear seats doable, if a little cramped, but for full-sized adults rear legroom and footroom is extremely tight. Despite the comfortable and supportive rear bench, most adults will find it rather uncomfortable jamming their feet under the front seats and their knees into the front seatbacks. So although the EX35 does have 4 doors and a rear hatch, the rear seats are really more reminiscent of a G Coupe than a typical SUV.

The trunk is also quite small and with just 18.6 cubic feet of room it’s better suited to mom and dad’s golf bags than a weekend’s worth of camping gear for the whole family. However, fold down the 60/40 split rear seats and you do create a large flat surface area capable of carrying some significant cargo, certainly far more so than any coupe or sedan. But with a total of 47.4 cubic feet, it’s still well short of competitors like the Acura RDX.

BABY FX STYLE, SPORTSCAR GRIP

On the outside, the EX35 is very much a baby FX in appearance. Not that that’s a bad thing. The FX and EX both have visually dynamic shapes, looking more like a hatchback sportscar than a boxy Sport Ute. Ride height and ground clearance are also more sports sedan than SUV or even crossover, and thanks to the EX’s compact dimensions, it feels agile and easy to manage both on the road and while parking.

The Journey AWD version used for this test also felt totally composed on snow-covered roads during a test this past winter, its highly advanced ATTESA E-TS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All Electronic Torque Split) all-wheel drive system doing an outstanding job of distributing power to all four wheels.

Utilizing its active torque distribution management system that includes an active center clutch designed for smooth starts and better traction and maneuverability on snowy roads than conventional all-wheel drive systems, the EX35 delivers confidence-inspiring grip levels even on some very slippery surfaces. There is a distinct sensation of computer intervention if you stomp on the gas or try to corner too quickly or brake too aggressively on slick or snow-covered roads, the most noticeable affect being the engine’s power being cut to a bare minimum to avoid wheel spin.

If you’re looking to do some donuts in a snow-filled parking lot, there is a button located low on the dash to the left of the steering wheel that allows you to turn off the VDC (traction and stability control systems). On dry roads the EX35 enjoys a spirited change in direction, carving up on-ramps and blasting down twisty country roads with the balance you’d expect from a RWD sports sedan rather than an AWD crossover.

SEXY ENGINE, SEXY SOUNDS

Adding to the sportscar-like feel of the EX35 is its VQ35HR 3.5-liter V6 engine carried over from the 350Z. Rated at 297-horsepower and mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission, sprints from 0 to 60 mph are achieved in under 7-seconds. Better still, when you put the transmission in DS Sport Mode there’s automatic downshift rev matching, where the computer blips the throttle to match engine speed to the lower transmission gear. This not only allows for smoother downshifts but also provides an added sense of sportscar performance. I found myself charging into corners and downshifting aggressively in DS Sport Mode just so I could hear those sexy sounding rev-matched downshifts.

Like all of Infiniti’s products, there’s plenty of cabin sound deadening so there’s less engine and exhaust noise available for the driver’s eardrums to enjoy. This reduces the sense of drama in comparison to say a Nissan 370Z, and it also subconsciously motivates you to press harder on the gas pedal if you’re the kind of driver who enjoys the sound of a sport-tuned V6 at full boil. When you do stomp on the go-pedal, that unmistakable VQ engine note is still present, just in a more subdued form.

The down-side of all this fun is in the fuel-economy department where the EX and it’s combo of a potent engine and 5-speed automatic transmission deliver just 17/24-mpg (city/highway) in front drive form and 16/23-mpg when equipped with an AWD setup. This isn’t the worst in class, but it could be better – something the addition of Infiniti’s 7-speed auto-box could most certainly deliver.

THE VERDICT: HEAVY ON THE SPORT, LIGHT ON THE UTILITY

The 2010 Infiniti EX35 is very much a driver’s car. From behind the steering wheel the EX provides everything you’d expect from a luxury sports sedan – high quality materials, a dizzying array of onboard technology, a powerful engine and a refined ride quality that is both firm yet surprisingly supple over bumps. Where the EX35 falls short is in the utility department, where the cramped rear seats and small trunk make it less viable as a family hauler and weekend workhorse than some SUV or crossover shoppers are likely to be looking for.

The EX35 should be categorized as a Luxury Sport Crossover. A description of this sort offers a far more accurate characterization of its capabilities and should help genuine SUV shoppers avoid disappointment. But if you’re a driving enthusiast who’s looking for a vehicle that can deliver the luxury and performance of a sports sedan without giving up anything in the style department while gaining the utility imparted by a hatchback and folding rear seats, then the EX35 is made for you. The question is, do you really need a hatchback, because for similar money you can get into Infiniti’s G Sedan, which has six inches more rear legroom, a more powerful 3.7-liter engine, a 7-speed automatic transmission, the same excellent chassis and available AWD system as the EX35.

RELATED READING

2010 Acura RDX SH-AWD 2010 Lexus RX350 Review 2009 Audi Q5: First Drive 2010 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 2009 BMW X3 xDrive 3.0i 2010 Cadillac SRX Luxury AWD Review 2010 Volvo XC60 First Drive 2009 Infiniti FX35

  • suemenow

    The seat of my EX35 2010 turned park bench hard…I am hurting in less than a 2 hour drive.

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. AGE/RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked