Infiniti JX the Real deal for a soccer coach
"Aside from its upscaleness and attention to detail, that’s perhaps the top selling feature of the new JX – it can move up to seven people."
Halfway through my week in the new Infiniti JX and I suddenly get the thought that this is perhaps the ideal soccer coach vehicle.
Think about it: (1) soccer coaches are held in a certain degree of esteem (maybe not here, but elsewhere in the world for sure), so they deserve to drive something that shows they’ve attached that lofty level in life; (2) soccer coaches need to carry a lot of stuff for their practices (maybe not the guys in the Premier League, but certainly House League guys); (3) soccer coaches are often called upon to carry several star players to their games to make sure they’re in the line-up for their important game.
Okay, maybe I’m letting this under-8 house league responsibility go to my head, but I would bet that Jose Mourinho would love to have an Infiniti JX35 for the Champions League semi-final so he could ensure Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso, Kaka and Mesut Ozil all made it for kick-off. And still have room to carry a couple dozen soccer balls, corner flags, a first-aid kit, pinnies, drill cones and netting.
I know I would sleep a lot easier the night before the game … not that I’m comparing myself to Mourinho, mind you.
And aside from its upscaleness and attention to detail, that’s perhaps the top selling feature of the new JX – it can move up to seven people (six in reasonable comfort) and a fair amount of their stuff and still be easy to manoeuvre through the streets of Madrid, get it under Santiago Bernabeu stadium into the reserved parking spot (made way easier with Infiniti’s “bird’s-eye-view” around-view monitor), and quickly get everybody and the stuff out.
Unlike many seven-seaters this size, there’s a decent amount of comfortable room for adults in the rear seats, mostly thanks to sliding middle seats that allow shorter legged and taller occupants to sit in line. If there are more things to carry and fewer people, the rear seats go down fairly easily (with one hand) to quickly reconfigure the seating arrangements. It’s far easier than changing from a 3-4-3 on-field configuration to a 4-4-2, probably because Ronaldo is far more comfortable in the midfield than on the wing (personal observation).
Like one of the things you’d need to do is maybe put Ozil and Casillas in the back and keep the six-footers in the middle and front seats, since the cut of the roof toward the power liftgate does impact a little on head-room (made easier, however, by contouring the headliner).
And getting adult bums into those rear seats is far easier than most other seven-seaters (whether they’re competitors or not) because the middle seats hinge and fold and slid almost flat against the front seat backs.
And all the while, the surroundings exude a certain degree of luxury – leather seating, wood trim, more electronic gizmos than a proposed FIFA goal-line technology system – to give owners the feeling of having attained the niche in life, without having to show it off in a rinky-dink four-door premium sedan.
Now, moving those six bodies and their stuff, gets a little bogged down with the 265 hp and 248 lb.-ft. supplied by the 3.5-litre V6, especially with the leisurely acceleration provided by the continuously variable transmission, but it does the trick efficiently at most other times.
And finally, at $44,900, the JX35 is a premium vehicle that won’t break the budget … so you still have those $42 million Euros (roughly $52 million Canadian) to ink another high-priced bench-warming midfielder.
2013 Infiniti JX35
Price as tested (before taxes): $54,400
Options on test vehicle: Premium Pkg. ($5,000) inc.: navigation system with XM NavTraffic and NavWeather, Infiniti Connection Plus Services, around view monitor with moving object detection, Bose Premium audio system; Theatre Pkg ($2,300) inc.: dual 7-inch front-headrest displays, two wireless headphones, 120 volt power outlet, audio/video jacks; Driver Assistance Pkg ($2,200) inc.: backup collision intervention, blind spot warning, brake assist with collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, ECO pedal, remote engine start.
Configuration: front engine/ all-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 3.5L V6/ continuously variable
Power/torque: 265 hp/ 248 lb.-ft.
Fuel (capacity): Premium recommended (89L)
Fuel economy ratings: 11.5 L/100km city; 8.5 L/100km hwy
Observed fuel economy: 10.8 L/100km over 945 km
Warranties: 4 years/ 100,000 km (basic); 6 years/ 110,000 km (powertrain)
Competitors: Acura MDX; Buick Enclave; Lincoln MKT; Mercedes-Benz R350;
Strengths: functional and comfortable interior; room for six; manoeuvrable; nice looks;
Weaknesses: CVT performance when loaded up; likes premium fuel