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Details Show 2013 Infiniti JX Big in Lots of Ways Except One Important Area

Infiniti has gone against conventional wisdom by introducing the big 2013 Infiniti JX at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Except it appears to be lacking in engine size.

The 2013 Infiniti JX, the manufacturer proudly points out, has more 2nd and 3rd row legroom than a Cadillac Escalade and class-leading, segment-leading rear cargo volume, and segment-leading passenger volume. It is available in either all-wheel or front-wheel drive.

What's most amazing is the engine is decidedly not big. One wonders how it will do the job under full load with cargo onboard. The standard 3.5-liter DOHC V6 is mated to a sport-tuned Continuously Variable Transmission. The engine is rated at 265 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm and 248 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm. Fuel economy is expected to be rated at 23 mpg highway, 17 mpg city and a real-world 19 mpg combined.

Another feature of the new JX is the Infiniti Drive Mode Selector, technology exclusive to Infiniti vehicles. Using a rotary switch mounted in the center console, the driver can choose among four drive modes - Standard, Sport, Eco and Snow - depending on road and climate conditions. The system varies throttle response and shift schedules to optimize performance. One can only imagine what a snooze it will be trying to accelerate the JX in Eco mode. 0-60 can probably be timed with a calendar.

The Infiniti JX adds a new feature, Backup Collision Intervention (BCI), to the currently available Blind Spot Intervention (BSI) system. With this technology, when the transmission is in reverse, the JX will help the driver detect crossing vehicles and objects behind the JX and, if necessary, the system can automatically engage the brakes to help avoid a collision.

Another advanced system utilized as part of the all-around protection philosophy is the Around View Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD). Building on the capabilities of the AVM system, which shows the driver a virtual 360-degree image of the area around the JX, the new MOD function helps enhance the driver's situational awareness by providing visual and audible warnings (front or back range object detection) if the system detects moving objects (such as another vehicle) within the displayed image in situations such as when pulling out of a parking space. Using sophisticated image processing technology, the system detects moving objects within the "top view" (when the vehicle is in park). When starting off or backing up, it detects moving objects crossing within the front or rear views.

Infiniti says, as part of a one-year complimentary subscription, JX owners will get Infiniti Connection and Infiniti Connection Plus services that allows owners, among other things, to set up Drive Zone boundaries and Speed Alert, which parents will find useful in monitoring young drivers' vehicle usage. Infiniti Connection will send a notification via text, e-mail or phone if the boundary has been crossed or the speed exceeded.

The wheels also aren't as big as one would expect from a vehicle challenging the Cadillac Escalade. It has 18-inch split 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels with 235/65R18 T-rated all-season tires standard, with 20-inch split 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels with 235/55R20 H-rated all-season tires available. Polished 20-inch forged aluminum-alloy wheels are also available.

Leather-appointed seating is standard, along with heated front seats with 8-way power driver's seat and 6-way power front passenger's seat. Climate-controlled front seats (heating and cooling) are optionally available, as well as heated 2nd row outboard seats and heated steering wheel. Also offered is a dual occupant memory system for the driver's seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors.

An Enhanced Intelligent Key that stores an occupant memory position and last-used audio, climate control and navigation settings is also available (an Infiniti Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition is standard). Keeping all occupants comfortable regardless of the temperature outside are a Tri-Zone Automatic Temperature Control system with microfilter, rear-seat heater ducts under the 1st and 2nd row seats, and rear console-mounted and 3rd row side trim air vents. Available as part of the Deluxe Touring Package is an Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS) with Plasmacluster air purifier, Grape Polyphenol filter and auto recirculation.