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Infiniti JX pampers family-oriented buyers

November 16, 2011|By Susan Carpenter
  • The Infiniti JX is displayed at the L.A. Auto Show.
The Infiniti JX is displayed at the L.A. Auto Show. (Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles…)

Infiniti is hoping to make diaper runs to Costco less of a chore with its JX, unveiled Wednesday. Targeting family-oriented buyers who appreciate a different type of pampering, the three-row, seven-seat is the latest entry into the fast-growing luxury crossover segment.

The JX "can carry both children and adults without putting them in a rear seat penalty box" that forces adults to climb over a second-row child seat, said Infiniti Executive Vice President Andy Palmer. Infiniti says its JX offers the most passenger and cargo volume in its segment, with more second- and third-row legroom than a Cadillac Escalade.

Both back rows fold flat. The third row is split 50/50 and can recline.

Priced at $40,450 for the front-wheel-drive version and $41,550 for all-wheel drive, the JX is powered with a 3.5-liter V-6 and uses, for the first time in an Infiniti, a continuously variable transmission to save fuel. Fuel economy is expected to be 23 miles per gallon highway.

Because safety is top of mind for family-car buyers, the JX incorporates features that have become somewhat standard for cars at this price point, such as lane departure warnings. But it also incorporates the world's first back-up collision intervention system, using sensors in the rear of the car to deter potential obstacles when backing up and, if it senses an obstacle the driver isn't responding to, apply the brakes to avoid potential impact.

The JX debuts new personal assistance technology, including a system that syncs drivers' schedules through Google Calendar and then provides Navigation to appointments. A personal concierge service that's free for the first four years of ownership offers 24-hour access to a live assistant.

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