Where the JX needs the most attention is in its steering. Designed to be light in the driver's hands, the system goes way too far and feels excessively numb and removed from the front wheels. This was especially disconcerting when going around long, sweeping curves; the driver loses nearly all sensation of control of the vehicle. Other than this frustrating oversight, the ride quality of the JX is comfortable if a bit plodding around corners.
Integral to the driving experience of the JX that I tested were the numerous high-tech safety features that were added as options.
This Infiniti had blind-spot monitoring and an intervention system, which softly tugs the brakes on one side of the JX if you veer into another lane. It also had active cruise control and a forward collision warning system that senses vehicles or objects in front of you and will first warn you with beeps and then apply the brakes automatically if it's determined that you're not responding quick enough.
What's nice about these systems is they're easily disabled with the touch of a button on the steering wheel, if driving in a perpetual nanny state isn't your brand of gum.
The JX also has a system that claims to automatically stop the vehicle when you're backing up and about to hit an object.
Repeated testing of this system in my driveway using cardboard boxes as children revealed two things. First, as long as the object is roughly 20 inches high, the system works as well as advertised, even if the driver's foot is nowhere near the brake pedal. Second, my neighbors think I need a hobby.
Of course, tech goodies such as this are never cheap, and these add-ons were integral in bumping the price of my tester up almost $13,000 above the price of a base AWD JX. But consider that the final $55,175 asking price is very close to what a similar Audi Q7 or Lincoln MKT would cost.
The JX does a commendable job of getting seven people into one vehicle without cash bribes or contortionist poses and then keeps them content and comfortable. With the exception of the steering, this Infiniti might even change Jerry's mind about fun. Too bad he's a Porsche guy.