This week we’re looking at the 2009 Infiniti EX 35 AWD Journey. I have tested most cars manufactured around the world, and I’ve even tested them in much of Europe. Now I have to tell you I’m worried about the future of the auto industry in America. And the difficulty will not be limited to US car makers. Japanese car makers are also down in sales about the same as the Big Three.
The rumor is that Ford is considering chapter 11 bankruptcy. GM wants a $25 Billion bailout with a second round expected to be needed as well. Audi, BMW and Ford have all cut their press fleets dramatically. When they can’t afford free advertising from impartial reviewers you know they are in serious trouble. What it means for my column is that there will not be reviews on those car makers in the future.
An old boss of mine was very positive and would say that is a good thing. If one Ice Cream maker goes out of business the others will benefit since there will be fewer brands. Well I don’t believe anyone thinks there are too few car makers. And the survivor of the fittest is an important concept in the free market.
Will it break my heart to see Ford disappear? Indeed. I grew up with Ford and Chevy and I would miss them a lot.
Parts – n/a
Assembly – USA
Class: – Small Station Wagon
Cars: – EX, FX, G35, G37, M & QX56
I have always been impressed with Nissan products and the high end Infiniti brand like this EX is special because of all the high tech controls in braking, steering and traction that set this level of sophistication way apart from the average car on the road. The sensing features can be annoying especially the lane change sounding / warning. Like OK, I know I’m changing lanes already!
Ordinary in class.
Fit and Finish:
Cost is on the high end if you opt for all the cool high tech stuff like the smart cruise control and sensing systems to make the driving experience extra special and you will fall in love with the sophistication of this car.
Features and Conveniences:
The Sonar System front and rear is very cool and addictive, Smart cruise control works great except when cars pull in front of you too close and then slow down – Why do they do that?
It is easy to get used to smart key that allows you to keep the key in your pocket or purse and just use the push buttons to open the doors and start and stop the engine.
Convenient storage nooks and crannies are everywhere.
Resource – www.safercar.gov
Amazing how few cars you have to test drive in this class. I suspect that will stay this way for a long time. But consider this… when the Lincoln is thrown on the ash heap of history and BMW bites the dust all the rest are Japanese products. They were #2 and the “Try Harder”, as was the mantra of Avis Car Rental companies half a century ago. Wow, that is a scary thought if you were there.
Infiniti EX 35 $32-37,000, BMW X3 $38,600, Lexus RX 350 $38-39,000, Acura RDX $34-37,000, Mazda CX-7 $23-28,000, Lincoln MKX $37-39,000.
Technologically wonderful car to drive, comfortable, responsive V6.
Poor fuel stats.
3.5 liter 297 hp V6 engine, 5-speed auto trans, AWD system, adaptive shift control, 4-wheel ABS power disc brakes with brake force distribution, speed sensitive power steering, glass moon roof with sunshade, auto halogen headlights and fog lights, scratch shield paint, speed sensitive variable wipers, rear wiper / washer, green tinted UV glass windows, power mirrors, 17” aluminum alloy wheels, front and rear sonar system, leather seating steering wheel and shift knob, power folding 2nd row seats, aluminum accents, intelligent key with pushbutton start, tilt and telescopic steering column, 8-way driver and 4-way passenger power seats, cruise control with steering wheel controls, remote keyless entry with power windows & locks, climate control, stereo with CD and 6 speakers & steering wheel audio controls, XM satellite radio, dynamic and traction controls, security system with immobilizer system, front side and curtain airbags, tire pressure system and LATCH system for children.
Options: Technology Package including lane change monitor and warning system and intelligent cruise control – $1,950; Premium package including Bose audio upgrade for added speakers and 6-indash CD system, iPod interface, heated front seats and mirrors, Bluetooth, memory system for driver, 8-way passenger power seat, 2-way driver lumbar settings, power tilt wheel controls – $2,150; Luxury package including 18” wheels, auto leveling headlights – $1,250; Navigation Package including Nav system with voice recognition, 9.3 GB music box hard drive / compact flash slot – $2,150; Wood trim $450.
$2.49/ Gal avg. November 11, ‘08
for more information.
16 City and 23 Highway MPG
www.safercar.gov or 888-327-4236
MSRP $36,250 – With options $44,200.
Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is email@example.com
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