My plan for the media launch of the Infiniti JX35 in Dubai was super simple: eat the hors d’oeuvres, enjoy the day and when I returned home simply copy James’s previous feature replacing ‘Charleston‘ for ‘Dubai‘ and ‘Alligators sunning themselves by a pond’ with, um, ‘sand lizards sunning themselves in the desert’. Apparently this attitude doesn’t cut the mustard around these parts so, with inkwell uncapped and my trusty feather quill poised, here follows my (100% original) thoughts on Infiniti‘s new mid-size luxury crossover SUV.
The aforementioned hors d’oeuvres were tempting but the hour was still firmly planted in the ante meridian, and for me that means one thing takes absolute priority: coffee. The caffeine worked its magic and tickled my sense receptors to life just in time for the presentation, which was surprisingly brief and delivered in a friendly and occasionally humorous manner (I approve). It was also thankfully not too heavy on acronyms. Focus was placed squarely on four key attributes of the JX35: Style, Luxury, Space and Safety. Points of interest raised were the unique crescent-shaped D-pillar, unsurpassed comfort and interior space and a proliferation of new safety features that we would be experiencing for the first time. In a nutshell, what was being said was ‘here are some pointers, now get out there and drive it’.
A gaggle of journalists and a finite quantity of Infinitis meant a doubling-up of Dubai‘s finest car reviewers. I struck gold in my partner in crime for the day with the lovely Emma King from Auto Trader and as we saddled-up in preparation for our day of ‘follow the leader’ it was Emma (ladies first) who took the reins while I busied myself fumbling with the on-board gadgetry. I have always found Infiniti’s infotainment systems very intuitive to use and the latest version is no exception. The standard equipment colour 8” touch-screen now displays some new options including a Parking Assist feature which would be demonstrated for us later in the day.
Exhibiting the attention span of a ten-year-old (who has been overdosing on e-numbers all morning) I moved on from my computer interfacing and directed my energies towards comfort analysis. Seating position in the front row of similar vehicles has a propensity to be pushed forward, raised and tilted to the vertical to accommodate extra legroom in the back. The JX however has a comfortably reclined seating position up front with ample leg and headroom, and yet still manages ‘best in class’ legroom in the second and third rows. It also scores highly on luxury with the front row seats being the automotive equivalent of two La-Z-Boy chairs.
Before long though it was time for the driver change. While Emma shuffled her bum across to the passenger seat (taking over nob-twiddling duty where I had left off) I grabbed a few quick snaps of our little convoy before assuming the position in the Captain’s chair. Sliding the seat back a little to accommodate my longer legs was all that was required to attain a perfectly comfortable driving position. Emma took advantage of her first opportunity to engage in intelligent conversation and started chatting with the Infiniti Voice Recognition software, which controls the JX’s audio, navigation and safety features. Suitably replaced, I set off behind the lead car.