Great handling, luxury, performance, reliability, style. It's all there.
2011 Infiniti EX Journey AWD
2011 Infiniti EX35 - 12/21/2012
I was seeking a car primarily for long-distance, interstate driving, preferably with capacity for summer vacation trips to New England. After doing research for nearly 1 year, and after settling on a naturally-aspirated 6 cylinder as opposed to a turbo 4 cyl, I chose the EX. What a find: absolutely, THE perfect car for my needs. Although my model (Journey trim with Premium and Deluxe Touring packages) had more bells and whistles than I wanted in my vehicle, I ended being happy they came with the car I bought.
This vehicle is a beautiful piece of machinery, especially on the interstate. You need to merge ahead of a semi in the right lane? That punch is there. You need to climb past a packed tour bus on a 15 degree incline while doing 75? That power is there. You need to punch it, break it down to 55 because of a trooper, then wind it up again to get past a construction truck that is moving into your lane because of an upcoming on ramp? No problem. The engine's sweet spot is in the 65 to 95 range; I suppose it has 100 mph+ staying power, but I haven't really pushed it that hard for that long for fear of speeding tickets.
The surprise here is how well the EX handles. It's great on the interstate, but it also is superior on East Coast 4-lane parkways like the Bronx River Parkway (NY), the Taconic (NY), and the BWI (MD-DC). Steering is well weighted, and the vehicle is very well balanced, even with the AWD machinery.
The seats are outstanding. I'm broad and thick, and although I loved the G37 as a car, I couldn't imagine sitting in those seats for 4 hours at a time. Too much curve and too confining for me. The EX resolves this problem. In fact, the EX really is just a G series wagon, although Infiniti promotes it as a crossover because "wagon" means sales death in the USA.
Only two issues. First, gas mileage is not great. On the interstate averaging about 75-85 mph, I get about 24 mpg on premium unleaded. (The dealer will say you can use regular unleaded, and you can in a pinch, but you will notice a performance decrease.) Local mileage is about 16-18. I can accept 24-25 mpg on the interstate because the car performs so admirably well and is so comfortable, but I can't accept 16 or so locally, so I have another beater as my daily driver.
Second, the cargo space and back seat are tight. I can't sit comfortably behind the driver if my seat is set to where it should be when I drive the car, and the "trunk" is tiny. I have no kids, so with me and my lady friend, the drop down rear seats provide us more than enough room for a weeklong vacation road trip. If you have children, though, or are doing lots of local driving, I can see where the EX might not be for you.
Given my needs and applications, though, this car has turned out to be outstanding. Even in today's economic climate, I'll accept the mediocre MPG figures because the performance and comfort in this vehicle are THAT good.
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