Infiniti JX Performance
The Infiniti JX’s performance isn’t its strongest point. Testers write that although the JX has enough power for around-town driving, it feels weak on the highway and it has less power than most of its competitors. Reviewers say that this SUV’s handling is equally disappointing, with lots of body roll and light steering that feels disconnected from the road. Still, many point out that while it’s not especially powerful, it does get good fuel economy, and the floaty handling means it absorbs bumps comfortably, so buyers may not mind the JX’s decidedly un-sporty demeanor.
- "So it's not exactly a driver's car, but few crossovers are.” -- Car and Driver
- "What you don't get much of from this latest addition to the ‘Inspired Performance’ brand is either inspiration or performance.” -- MSN
- “Performance is sleepy and uninspired from the driver seat.” -- Edmunds
- "It's a convincingly upscale vehicle, but it also feels a bit less maneuverable and a bit more cumbersome in tight spaces than some of the other vehicles in its class.” -- Consumer Guide
Acceleration and Power
The 2013 Infiniti JX comes with a 265-horsepower V6 engine and a continuously variable transmission. The base front-wheel drive model earns 18/24 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA, while the all-wheel drive trim nets 18/23 mpg. That’s above-average for a luxury crossover, though a few affordable three-row crossovers get better fuel economy.
Test drivers have a lot to say about the Infiniti JX’s powertrain, and most of it isn’t good. Many note that the JX has less horsepower than most of its competitors and feels underpowered in many situations. Though a few testers say that the JX likely offers enough power to meet the needs of buyers who plan to use it for carpooling or around-town errands, most say that it needs better acceleration to be competitive in its class. They concede that its CVT is one of the best on the market, but say that it still feels unnatural and doesn’t make the best of the JX’s limited horsepower. The JX does offer a drive mode selector, which offers standard, sport, snow and eco modes. But although Infiniti says the sport mode makes the CVT feel more like a regular automatic transmission, with fake shift points programmed in, most testers say it doesn’t really help.
- "In its quest for respectable fuel economy, however, Infiniti has hampered the JX with a V6/transmission combination that offers adequate power at best.” -- Edmunds
- "There's plenty of power for scooting around suburbia, but it can feel a little weak at highway speeds, which we mostly attribute to the CVT transmission. Even with manual shift capability, we're not big fans of CVT's although Nissan does make one of the best.” -- Motor Week
- “Furthermore, it's pretty much impossible to hustle in the JX. Apply half-throttle and you'll get decidedly ‘meh’ forward thrust. Floor the pedal, and you'll pretty much get the same. She's only going to go as fast as she's going to go.” -- CNET
- “Our feelings ‘shifted’ from tragedy to comedy when we tested the manual shift mode in the JX. The transmission provides simulated shifts that feel utterly inauthentic, which makes us wonder why engineers keep bothering to include these faux shift programs.” -- Autoblog
Handling and Braking
Many test drivers complain about the Infiniti JX’s numb, ultra-light steering and available 20-inch wheels that significantly detract from ride quality. With the standard 18-inch wheels, reviewers say the JX’s ride is composed and smooth. Many reviewers say this SUV’s handling is much less sporty than most other Infinitis’, with more body roll than they were expecting. Still, a few writers point out that luxury SUV buyers might not care about the JX’s light steering and floaty handling, since these shoppers likely care more about a comfortable ride and luxurious cabin than sporty handling. Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.
- "Designed to be light in the driver's hands, the [steering] system goes way too far and feels excessively numb and removed from the front wheels. … Other than this frustrating oversight, the ride quality of the JX is comfortable if a bit plodding around corners.” -- Los Angeles Times
- "Instead, body roll rules the day, and the steering is dialed in somewhere between light and feather. These attributes tend to turn off enthusiast drivers, but many luxury crossovers buyers will identify them as signs of progress.” -- Autoblog
- “The suspension does its best to absorb whatever road irregularities it encounters, but there is some noticeable crashing. If it's like this on South Carolina's relatively smooth roads, we dread to think how JX will behave when it traverses Chicago's pockmarked streets.” -- Consumer Guide
- “Slack, slow steering response and an overall feeling of portliness do little to encourage an expressive driving style.” -- MSN
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