Over the last several years, Infiniti's lineup has grown to better compete with luxury automakers, and the Infiniti EX35 is one of its newest models having debuted in 2008. The last time we tested the EX35, it was one of the newest models in its mid-size luxury crossover segment, but with the 2010 model year bringing updated or all-new competitors like the Lexus RX, Cadillac SRX, Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class and Volvo XC60, we get to take another look at Infiniti's entry-level crossover this time as a seasoned incumbent on the market. For this review, Infiniti dropped off its 2010 EX in the top-of-the-line Journey trim level configured with the standard rear-wheel drive layout.
Pricing for the 2010 EX35 carries over unchanged from the 2009 model year with the base EX starting at $33,800 and the EX35 Journey sitting at an even $36,000, but with a handful of luxurious and high-tech option packages, the as-tested price of this EX35 was $43,295. Despite being positioned in one of the most crowded luxury markets, the 2010 Infiniti EX35 is easily one of the top offerings in this class with its attractive styling, class-leading technology and, of course, its sporty ride.
For pricing information, see our Pricing page.
2010 Infiniti EX35 Exterior
While the Infiniti FX has more of an aggressive look, the EX keeps more of the elegant styling of the popular Infiniti G37 with many shared traits with the G's styling such as the long hood, swept fender lines, L-shaped headlights and chrome-tipped dual exhaust outlets. Even the greenhouse looks strikingly familiar when compared to the G37 sedan, but the roofline extends further back to squeeze in as much cargo space and rear passenger room as possible. Accentuating the sloped roofline, Infiniti added aluminum roof rails atop the EX, while the small but effective rear liftgate spoiler and slim LED taillights helped alleviate some of the rounded shape of the D -pillar. Finishing off the elegant, sporty look, this 2010 EX35 tester was finished off with Infiniti's Liquid Platinum exterior hue with 17-inch, seven-spoke alloy wheels.
For additional photos, see our Photos page.
2010 Infiniti EX35 Interior
As sporty as the EX35 looks and drives, once inside is when the crossover truly exposes its luxury roots. All EX models come standard with leather interior, heated front seats, power sunroof, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel and, new for 2010, a 2 gigabyte Music Box hard drive for music file storage on models not equipped with the navigation system. The 2010 EX Journey also adds Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity as standard equipment. The EX does offer plenty of luxury, but the sporty exterior design obviously took priority over interior space. Although the EX offers more interior volume than the larger FX, the available rear seat space is worse than the Infiniti G37 sedan with just 28.5 inches of legroom. Even worse, the rear cargo area is close to the bottom in this segment as it only provides 18.6 cubic feet worth of cargo volume and only 47.4 cubic feet with the rear seat folded - either way, these numbers are the lowest in this class.
The biggest package on this tester was the $2,250 Technology Package which added a handful of high-tech active safety devices. Lane Departure Warning (LDW) uses a camera mounted above the rearview mirror to follow the lines in the road. If the vehicle detects the driver drifting over the lines, LDW will sound an audible warning for the driver. If Lane Departure Prevention is activated, the system will activate the brakes on the opposite side of the car drawing the car back into its intended lane. Distance Control Assist (DCA), Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) and Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) all use a forward-mounted radar (located in the lower grille) to judge the distance to upcoming cars.
A must-choose option package for the 2010 EX is the $2,150 Bose and Around View Monitor Package. The Around View Monitor is one of the more innovative features on the EX allowing a bird's eye view of the car from all four sides while backing up, and making things even better, all models equipped with this package automatically upgrade to the Infiniti hard drive navigation system. In addition to increasing the size of the Music Box to 9.3 GB, the navigation system has been upgraded for 2010 to include standard features such as Bluetooth streaming audio, XM NavWeather and a Zagat Restaurant Guide as standard equipment. The $1,750 Premium Package finishes off our test model by adding luxurious features like an eight-way power passenger seat (replacing the four-way power seat), adaptive Xenon headlights, aluminum roof rack rails, power folding rear seats and a nifty headrest coat hanger.
For information on trims, see our Trims page.
2010 Infiniti EX35 Performance & Handling
For some reason, Infiniti has yet to put its bigger, more powerful 3.7-liter engine under the hood of the EX, but the 3.5-liter VQ35HR V-6 engine (previously used in the Nissan 350Z and Infiniti G35) still provides plenty of power and excitement with an impressive 297 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque. If Infiniti equipped the EX with a similar V-6 as to what is found in the Infiniti G and the new Infiniti M (both share platforms with the crossover), the EX would easily be one of the more powerful vehicles in its class. As it stands, the base powertrain helps the EX35 return decent EPA fuel economy estimates of 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. All 2010 EX35s use a five-speed automatic transmission that features sport and manual-shift modes, but it does offer the option of all-wheel drive to complement the standard rear-wheel drive layout.
As far as road manners are considered, the EX feels more like a sport sedan than some of the top-heavy and lethargic crossovers it competes against. Like many rival crossovers, the EX isn't designed to take on rugged, off-road terrain, but few competitors are able to deliver the impressive handling and acceleration of the EX. Most drivers should be more than satisfied with the EX's zero to 60 mile per hour acceleration that is in the mid-6-second range which is even more impressive when taking the 3,783-pound curb weight into account. Straight line acceleration was impressive, but taking the EX into tight corners are where the smiles are sure to emanate thanks to its confident four-wheel independent suspension and the precise speed-sensitive power steering.
For specificiations information, see our Specifications page.
2010 Infiniti EX35 Safety
The Infiniti EX35 received a perfect five-star rating for side-impact protection from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), while it received four-star ratings for frontal-impact protection and rollover rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the EX its top 'Good'? rating for frontal-, side- and rear-crash protection, but has not performed its new roof-strength test. Standard safety features for all 2010 Infiniti EX35 models include six airbags, active front head restraints, electronic brake-force distribution with brake assist, four-wheel anti-lock brake system, vehicle dynamic control with traction control system and tire pressure monitoring system.
As Infiniti's entry-level crossover, the Infiniti EX35 is no longer the new kid on the luxury crossover block, but it is still able to stand apart from its competition due to its sporty demeanor and abundance of advanced cabin and safety technology. The 2010 Infiniti EX35 may ride like a sporty sedan, but its sleek design limits rear seat space and cargo volume. That being said, the sporty EX35 is likely to be the vehicle of choice for a small family, or even someone moving up from the G sedan, rather than someone looking for a bulkier crossover.
- Impressive acceleration and handling
- Elegant styling inside and out
- Great use of technology and options
- Smallest cargo area in-class
- Smallest rear passenger area in-class
Infiniti provided the vehicle this road test review.
Select photos by Jeffrey N. Ross