2008 Infiniti EX35 Review
Small crossover walks the line between sedan and SUV.
What’s New: With 2008 marking its debut year, the Infiniti EX35 is as new as new gets. It arrives in Base and Journey trims priced from about $36,000, can be had in front- or all-wheel-drive guise with a 297-horsepower V-6 engine, and boasts technology such as a lane departure warning system, a new Around View Monitor, real-time traffic information, and much more.
What We Think: On paper, the EX35 makes sense as a smaller yet equally powerful stablemate to the FX35. It offers an attractive design, class-leading technology, and high-quality materials, but that’s offset by performance and handling that left us wanting.
Infiniti EX35 – 2008 Review: We’ve all heard the story about a famous blonde and three ursine creatures. The young woman, who we’ll call Goldilocks, came upon a house owned by the Three Bears, found nobody home and invited herself in. She wasn’t sure what she was looking for, but she knew what she liked. Take for instance the Bears’ breakfast. Of three bowls of porridge, she only found one bowl that was neither too hot nor too cold. That vessel of cereal, she decreed, was just right. Then Goldilocks checked out the Bears’ furnishings. She had the same dilemma with the rocking chairs and the beds. She wasn’t sure which she would like until she tried them all.
2008 Infiniti EX35 front side">
Car buyers often face the same dilemma: They’re not sure what they want until they test-drive a few vehicles to see which one is “just right.” A buyer might want something with some utility, but doesn’t want to own one of the midsize or larger SUVs or crossovers. Something that drives and rides like a sporty sedan might be nice, but kind of boring to look at. The market is pretty segmented as it is, with the crossover label being applied to more new vehicles. Sizing of these car-based SUVs runs from large seven passenger models down to vehicles that strongly resemble what used to be called a station wagon. Even within the crossover category, buyers have a lot to consider before finding “just right.”
Infiniti is keen to have its new smaller crossover, the EX35, slot into that “just right” category in buyers’ minds. The idea is a vehicle with enough utility that’s not too big. While that’s pretty much the definition of a small crossover, Infiniti wants to be more right than its competition. So the EX35 is a little smaller than a BMW X3 and a little bigger than a 3 Series or G sedan. For those buyers who want utility mixed with sedan comfort and sporty performance, Infiniti’s EX35 could be just the right fit. It’s quick, nimble, attractive and offers luxury mixed with modern technology.
The EX35 shares important underpinnings with several Infiniti and Nissan vehicles, including the FX35, M sedan, G sedan and coupe, and the 350Z. All those models share the same well-regarded rear-drive chassis. The 3.5 liter V-6 engine is also used in G35, FX and Z. It’s a proven package, and Infiniti makes good use of it in the EX.