By Peter Dushenski @carenvy
Beneath miserably heavy clouds on an drizzly Sunday afternoon, I found myself listening to XM Radio’s live coverage of Electric Zoo, one of the world’s premiere electronic dance music festivals.
Having already completed my chores for the morning, I was driving aimlessly through the city. With scattered light pouring into the cabin from the twin sunroofs, Axwell’s now famous set was playing on the 15-speaker Bose Cabin Surround sound system. Axwell was giving New York, and yours truly, a musical treasure.
Having attended the Electric Daisy Carnival this summer, I had a new appreciation for super-scale music festivals. On top of mind-bending lights and sounds, having tens and even hundreds of thousands of people singing and dancing together is an unmatchable experience. With EDC fresh in my mind, the 2013 Infiniti JX35 was my festival on wheels with everything but the lasers.
Oh, except it also has lasers.
The sound quality from the Bose system, part of the C$2,700 Deluxe Touring Package, was sublime. “Distracted driving” didn’t begin to describe my euphoric floating down the road. I sang along, smiled at other drivers and pedestrians, and let my free hand soar through the air. I somehow felt like I was at Electric Zoo with thousands of others, even though I was completely alone.
Subconsciously, I arrived in front of my friends apartment not far from the University of Alberta. I gave him a call on the in-car Bluetooth. Dring dring. Sure enough, he was inside with three more of our friends! Before I knew it, five strapping young lads were piled into the JX, visiting Electric Zoo from afar. Windows down and bass cranked, we gleefully toured Edmonton’s enormous river valley in opulence. It was fantastic!
So is all the tech jammed into the JX35. I’m a bit geeky with this stuff, so I began spouting off facts and features to my eager companions. Obviously my sales skills were working because my passengers were in complete awe! The new family-sized Infiniti was so loaded that I couldn’t cover all the bases, but the highlights were:
1. AroundView Monitor with 4 cameras and radar to give you an industry-first birds eye view.
3. An Eco Pedal that pushes back on the throttle to discourage inefficient driving.
4. Intelligent Cruise Control, which the “boys” (who count among them a lawyer, an MBA, a Master’s student and a PhD) found positively mesmerizing. Why? Because it meant that the family-hauler had freaking lasers. A car! with lasers! like on a space ship!
They were equally impressed, as was I, that this technology was in a vehicle that fit seven people in comfort for only C$60,395 (as-tested) with a starting price of C$44,900. The value alone is more bananas than Dada Life’s recent stab at the Body of Christ. Remember, that’s a solid C$20,000 less than a comparably equipped Audi Q7 or Mercedes GL. The Infiniti badge isn’t that much worse either. And the feature content and driving experience outmatch the comparably priced Lincoln MKT.
We continued – effortlessly whiling away the hours, conferring with the flowers, consulting with the rain. As improbably as the journey began we found ourselves at the Sherbrooke Liquor, renowned for offering no less than 1000 different beers. Being a set of handsome bachelors in our mid-20s, we were drawn to the diversity of craft beer like moths to a flame. I settled on an award-winning beer from Nelson BC and placed it carefully above the Bose Acoustic SoundWave hidden under the trunk’s floor.
Climbing back into the JX with our bubbly spoils lining the trunk, we continued the mobile concert as the afternoon rolled on. The flat-handling crossover kept the brewed fizzing to a blessed minimum. Surely, the JX was never designed with us in mind but it could’ve scarcely been better suited to the task of cheerily ferrying young gentleman through the city on an otherwise sombre Sunday afternoon.
Not only were my passengers treated well, but so was the man behind the wheel. There’s a lightness to the steering, ride, shifting, throttle, and brakes that imbues a sense of calming ease. The JX really lends itself to gliding across the road’s surface. In fact, it’s the only vehicle I’ve ever driven prefers being driven in Eco-mode. Credit the torque rich 3.5L V6 (related to the one in my soon-to-be-sold 350Z), the calculating CVT transmission and the low-for-the-class curb weight of 4,419 pounds. Everything about the vehicle oozed comfort and considerate design.
This Infiniti is just plain friendly, much like our unplanned visit to the Electric Zoo.
That afternoon would’ve never happened without the JX: the thrifty, spontaneous, seven-passenger mobile concert from Infiniti.
This vehicle was generously provided by Infiniti Canada for the purposes of this review.
[Photo credits: author]