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March 27, 2012

Infiniti Charmed us in Charleston with their new JX35 CUV

Jx logo Recently I took a trip from Dallas, TX to Charleston, SC to learn about a new CUV from Infiniti.  During the flight to SC, thoughts of the old south with blue skies led to bright and cheery images of cobbled and brick streets, antebellum architecture and horse drawn carriages.  Transportation within the city was on my mind as well as test driving the new Infiniti JX35. Yes, going to the East Coast would be a welcome opportunity and visiting Charleston, (the epitome of the true South) would be both exciting and refreshing.  Springtime in Charleston, just the thought conjured a welcome respite nestled in warm layers of true southern comfort.  I continued to meditate on this peaceful image in an effort to keep my mind calm and my breakfast down during my moderately bumpy flight.  Thankfully it worked.

HorsesAfter touchdown I found my awaiting ride and enjoyed a smooth drive to downtown.  As we drove through the city's main park we passed the infamous horse-drawn carriages trollying tourists throughout the town and hundreds of sunbathers in the square lying in the grass – ah, East Coast living!  We soon arrived to our hotel, the Restoration Inn located on the infamous King Street. 

The hotel:

After a quick walking tour around town and through the market, it was time to settle in for a few hours in my 900 sq. ft. hotel room/loft.  To say the room was contemporary and extravagant would be a big understatement.  It consisted of Charleston brick walls, a large living room and gourmet kitchen with wood block island.

Down a very long hall and up a couple of steps was a full California King piled high with welcoming pillows, numerous chairs and a larger than normal bathroom.  The hall between the bath and bedroom also had many doors, one of which opened to a full size washing machine and dryer.  I learned that rooms at the inn average $600/night.  The AAA four diamond hotel also contains residences for those who can afford their high-end price.  I must admit to having the best sleep of my life within the extravagant loft on the luxuriously-pillowed bed.

The next morning we were up and greeted by an omelet bar and ‘low country grits’ that were smooth and not gritty..  Apparently out of the box grits do not compare to the real thing.  After breakfast our day began with a presentation informing us about Infiniti's newest model CUV, the JX35.  Infiniti Senior Manager Sam Chung explained how the JX35 would be a perfect addition to Infiniti's fleet.

Jx kiawahIn previous years Infiniti had three CUVs/SUVs on the market, the ES, FX, and large SUV, the QX.  Through the years Infiniti began to realize that they needed another CUV/SUV to fill the size gap between the FX and the QX.  Their answer was created by the design and now manufacturing of the 2013 JX35 which is perfect for up to seven passengers, and ideal for family’s with three or four children.

2013 Infiniti JX35

 “We were underserving the market for families with three or more children,” Senior Manager of Product Planning, Sean McNamara said.

Infiniti has listed the JX35 as a CUV and the maker says they were inspired to create it specifically for those who want something comfortable and stylish.  The Designers were encouraged to create a CUV which would have smooth lines blended with sharp, luxurious and at times edgy accents.  Designers were also told to keep five main focuses in mind.  “Our customers expect a certain level of interior, and want a vehicle with space, flexibility, confident handling, is safe and fuel efficient,” Mc Namara said.

What they believe to have created is a CUV with, “Best in class interior volume and lots of utility/cargo space.  We kept both the driver and all passengers in mind when it came to the JXs design,” Mc Namara added.  The JX35 is comparable to an Acura MDX and an Audi Q7.  Inside the berth are three rows of seats, each row is equipped with its own air vents and, “We even put in a second air system for second and third row passengers.  There is also a Tri-zone climate control so rear zone passengers can set their own temperatures- it is about keeping people comfortable.”

Also, the second row features 60/40 split seats and is designed for the seats to easily move and invert forward even when there is a child seat in the second row.  The third row is spacious and can comfortably fit adults while providing plenty of leg room.  Compared to its competitors, the JX35 boasts the most interior volume, 149.8 cubic feet.

Jx 35 waterThe base model features a moon roof while the premium includes a panavista moon roof which extends over the second and third row.  The soundstem used was created by Bose using the same wave system technology as seen in their home stereos.  The JX35 includes 15 speakers, dual LCD screens behind the main headrests, (in their technology/entertainment package), complete with power outlets, and multiple headphones. 

Safety

When it comes to safety Infiniti did not scrimp but instead added cutting edge safety features such as a blind spot and departure warning, prevention, and intervention system.  There is also intelligent brake assist, forward and back-up collision warning, distance control assist, and around view monitoring.  “This is the world’s first monitoring system which combines radar (located in rear quarter panels) and sonar sensors along with, visual and audible warnings,” Mc Namara said.

Radar will also pick up cross traffic and tell the driver which way the traffic is coming from.  This is a helpful feature especially when the system senses a backing up collision.  In this event it not only senses the possible impact but automatically engages the brakes to avoid the possible impact. 

For those who want both safety and technology, (telematics) the JX35 features personalized convenience services through their Infiniti Personal Assistant concierge which is available 24/7 and free for the first four years.  The system is also Bluetooth® capable, and can link with home, cell, and work phone, “We are about giving a premium experience and making life a little bit easier,” Mc Namara said.

The premium experience can be seen in all JX35 packages.  The first package includes, auto collision notification, emergency calling, remote door lock/unlock, alarm notification and even a personal scheduler in the telematics system powered by Google.  The second package includes Destination Assistance®, Perimeter Drive Zone®, valet and speed alert which will automatically text or email when a vehicle has traveled outside of a designated perimeter or is going over a programmed speed.  These features are especially perfect for families who have young drivers in the household.

The Drive Zone® feature is also helpful when trying to recover the vehicle in the event it is stolen. The JX35s GPS can view the vehicles location from any personal computer.  There is also a scheduling program which will synchronize your personal calendar through the computer’s web portal. The scheduler is a must for busy families who are always on the go!

The JX35’s pricing starts at $40,450

Diana Merrill Claussen
Senior Editor
 

 

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