Two words: Accident Avoidance.
I spent a fun week in the Infiniti EX35. It’s a fabulous crossover SUV for a small family (one or two kids). The Infiniti seats five very comfortably and kids always love stadium seating in the rear. Car rides are more fun when everyone has a view and it’s a lot easier to hand things to kids in the back seat when they’re up a little higher.
There’s a ton of storage space and a few compartments to hide your valuables. I am madly in love with the navigation system and the integrated Zagat restaurant guide. This is a good solid car. It’s not flashy but it’s luxurious. It’s not the fastest off the line but it’s powerful and accelerates nicely. It’s Infiniti so there’s a trim level that you’ve come to expect and this vehicle delivers.
Like I said, it’s a fun drive. The handling is very standard Japanese handling. It’s a squishy ride so you don’t feel the road like you would with a German automobile but you aren’t totally removed from it as you could be in an oversized luxury sedan. I drove fast (the freeway) and I drove slowly (carpool line), I drove responsibly, and I drove a little less responsibly and the car yelled at me.
Well, it didn’t scream Jeezus lady slow down before you kill someone, or WTF stay in your own lane. But it did beep those two things at me. The first time it happned I thought the car was falling apart.
As I was taking the kids to camp (maybe a tad bit late) I approached a car at the stop sign in front of me a little faster than I should have and the car started beeping at me, something lit up on the dashboard and I was jolted out of my reverie so that I could apply the brake (forward collision warning). Driving on the highway it had a similar feature. As I began to drift toward one edge of the lane it would ding at me that I was drifting (lane departure warning).
The kids and I thought the accident avoidance was incredibly cool so we spent ten miles on the 405 drifting to one edge of the lane and waiting for the beeping.
I’m including a window sticker for the 2011 EX35 Journey that I drove. The base price is just over $36,000 and the one I was in was quite well equipped.