The 2013 Infiniti JX35, soon to be re-named the QX60, was Nissan's upscale brand's play to get a bigger slice of the lucrative premium SUV market. Although it already had the jumbo-sized QX56, the sporting FX and sportwagon-like EX, it did not have a credible rival to take on archrival Lexus' mainstream RX. With the JX35, the brand finally has a practical offering that stands a chance at poaching potential RX buyers. We were additionally intrigued by the JX knowing it was a sneak-preview of the completely-new Nissan Pathfinder, which was the most thorough break from the SUV's truckish past in its history.

Along with its ample photo gear-toting capacity, Motor Trend photography editor Julia LaPalme was particularly impressed by the JX's advanced safety features, including its Around View Monitor system that gives a virtual aerial view of the vehicle and its surroundings on the center display. She was also impressed, and occasionally startled by the JX's Backup Collision Intervention system, which automatically applies the brakes when it senses an object in your backup path. LaPalme notes the system is not yet sophisticated enough to determine whether that object is a living creature, or an inanimate fixture, but was thankful for its intervention on occasion.

Like many of the rest of the staff, LaPalme was not a huge fan of the JX's CVT transmission, noting its tendency to want to "hang" around 4000 RPM, even during moderate acceleration. She noted the transmission's lackluster responsiveness in Standard and Eco modes, but said responsiveness was considerably improved in "Sport" mode, although there's no escaping the JX's 4541 lb weight in AWD trim being motivated by 265 horses from Nissan's proven VQ35 3.5-liter V-6.

Our Cars
Service Life 2 months/6143 miles
Average Fuel Economy 18.2 mpg
CO2 Emissions 1.07 lb/mi
Energy Consumption 185 kW-hr/100mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $0
Normal-wear cost $0