The EX35 may not get the G37's newer 328-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6, but the 3.5-liter unit does just fine. Throttle tip-in is easy to control, but, while the power will adequately serve nearly all situations with ease, pairing the engine with the new transmission could make the vehicle quicker and increase efficiency. The 2010 EX35 is rated 17/24 mpg city/highway for RWD models and 16/23 for AWD, which is a $1400 option on 2010 models.

When you judge the EX35's dimensions against other compact luxury crossovers, the Infiniti falls behind. Rear seat legroom is worse than the G37 and probably (can we be definitive?) every crossover with which one might compare the Infiniti. Kudos to Infiniti for carving leg cut-outs in the back of the front seats for more room, but we wonder why these trim pieces are made of such a hard material.

Thanks to the drivetrain hump, there's almost no room for the center rear-seat passenger, which gives us an idea for the next-generation Infiniti EX: Why not make this a four-seat-only crossover like the BMW X6? That would give Infiniti the opportunity to make the rear seats more spacious and comfortable. Through the first six months of 2010, the EX35 has been the automaker's lowest-selling vehicle -- what does it have to lose?

If a potential buyer is deciding between an EX35 or G37, salespeople can point to the crossover's additional 5.1 cu.-ft. over the sedan. Loading cargo behind the second-row seats is easy, thanks to the low load floor, but you'll need to pack smartly if you're loading lots of gear. The EX35 has 18.6 cu.-ft. of cargo space behind the rear seats, compared to 23.3 cu.-ft. for the Mercedes-Benz GLK and 27.8 cu.-ft. for the Acura RDX.

Neither of those little utes, however, have Infiniti's cool Around View Monitor, which uses cameras on every side of the EX35 to make parking and maneuvering into tight spaces easier. It's not difficult to get accustomed to the technology and, as a bonus, it also helps you figure out whether the car is parked against a red-painted curb solidly in a space.