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2013 Cadillac XTS - Elegant and Refined

2013 Cadillac XTS Premium AWD

3.6L V6 304 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

White Diamond with Jet Black Leather

The photo gallery/slide show of the XTS

We first saw the XTS concept a few years ago in Detroit as GM was emerging from some dark moments, and having had a conversation with Clay Dean from Cadillac Design the following year regarding the styling of the XTS. We were more than anxious to finally experience an XTS for a few days.

From the outset we had our reservations on the shortness of the hood, from the perspective that luxury cars have a longer hood than the one on the XTS. On the street the short hood blends in nicely with the styling of the car, yes our hood reservations have dissipated. Needless to mention that White Diamond is a stunning color on the car, raising the street presence to new levels.

Everyone notices a White Diamond fastback sedan with an authoritative Cadillac grille...the car makes a statement.

We experienced the car during the "cold snap" and travelled to areas that were appreciably colder than the GTA. The XTS started seamlessly, the heated steering wheel is instantly warm, the heated/ventilated seats are appreciated. Even CUE worked flawlessly with no gloves at cold temperatures.

Interiors are often a personal preference, GM for the past few years has paid considerable attention to interiors, this XTS has a meticulously crafted interior with great attention to details. The delicate stitching on the dash, the adjustable seat cushions, the immense panorama sunroof, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel. We can keep on going, every feature that you expect in a luxury car is present, and functions seamlessly. 

Our tester was the Premium version with a simply awesome 14 speaker Bose surround sound system. You can configure your own XTS.

The rear seat is spacious with excellent leg room, easy to access, complemented with its own temperature controls. The trunk is a complete surprise, its huge, augmented by folding seat backs.

Our initial reservations of the short hood which were quickly dispelled seeing the car on the street, were also augmented by the fact that the concept was a front wheel drive car which is presumably not a desirable feature on a luxury car. As you know in Canada most cars in this segment are all wheel drive, our tester was the XTS4 version from our perspective should be the only version available in Canada similar to many of the German offerings.

How does it drive?

Phenomenal highway cruiser that immediately exudes and transmits the luxury car feel complemented by a sense of complete self assuredness, must be the Magnetic Ride Control suspension. Its a wow moment that there is something special about the car.

Easy to manoeuvre on surface streets, and what you cannot see there is a camera or sensor to warn you of impending obstructions, with the alert in the driver seat a cool feature.

Being an AWD the car is seamless on slippery surfaces with the ABS being the initial alert that its slippery.

The steering has a judicious amount of feels for a luxury sedan, the brakes once warm are authoritative. Its not a sport sedan while at all times communicating assuring driving dynamics.

The V6 with an authoritative growl in the higher ranges, provides adequate performance with good passing power, the automatic with subtle paddle shifts is well calibrated to the engine.

We came away from our few days with the XTS, our reservations dispelled, and if you are considering an AWD full size sedan make its point to experience the XTS, your hopefully your reservations will be dispelled.

The quick review


2013 Ford Fusion - Smooth and Handsome

2013 Ford Fusion SE Hybrid

2.0L Atkinson Cycle 4 cylinder 141 HP with CVT Transmission

Electric Motor rated at 118 HP with the Hybrid system rated at 188 HP

Ruby Red Tri Coat with Charcoal Black Cloth interior

The photo gallery / slide show of the 2013 Fusion.

We were anxious to spend a few days, and experience the new Fusion, yes we think its an appealing car, with styling that generates a strong street presence. 

The fact that its an hybrid is an added benefit, by now you know that we enjoy cars with electric motors. There is an undeniable cool factor in turning the key and simply having a green indicator telling you that the car is "ready".

Before we forget the Hybrid SE version starts at $29,999. which is exceptional value for a mid size hybrid sedan. 

While the styling, the 4 door fastback look grasps your initial attention, the spaciousness of the interior truly focuses your attention that its not only a good looking, but also a spacious, useful sedan.

The interior is well finished, in this version the cloth with the contrasting red stitching is appealing, complemented by navigation, satellite radio, a back up camera supported by rear parking sensors which are very useful. The power seats, automatic climate control are additional appreciated features. While rear seat leg room is for adults. We did notice a fair amount of black plastic under the center of the dash screen.

You expect a smaller trunk in an hybrid with space being used by the battery pack, which is the case with this car, the surprise is the folding seat backs which greatly enhance the versatility of the trunk.

How does it drive?

We had an opportunity to go for a road trip, while experiencing the Fusion on the highway for a few hours, its a wonderful highway cruiser, with an adequate level of power. The cruise control is enabled by technology which instead of accelerating the gasoline engine enlist the assistance of the electric motor when a slight increase in power is required.

On surface streets its the typical Ford hybrid system with a judicious blend of ICE / EV clearly visible on the dash, as well as the trademark leaves that grow with increased hybrid activity. A new feature is the scoring of the regenarative braking, which will score your brakes efficiency.

The steering feel is just right for a mid size sedan, the road holding inspires confidence, the regenerative brakes are aggressive until one get used to achieving a high regen score.  

Lets not forget that you can cover reasonable distances on just the electric motor, at lower speeds.

We agree that the mid size sedan segment is hyper competitive with formidable competitors. We are confident that the Fusion will not only hold its own, but certainly elbow some entrenched players in the segment.

If you are considering a mid size sedan, and perhaps the Fusion did not make your list, make it a point to experience the Fusion, the fastback styling is appealing, its surprisingly spacious, with exceptional performance within the parameters of the segment. 

The quick review. 


2013 Cadillac ATS - World Class

2013 Cadillac ATS 3.6L Premium

3.6L V6 321 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission/Paddle Shift

Crystal Red Metallic with Jet Black Leather

The photo gallery/slide show of the ATS

That we were anxious to experience that ATS is an understatement, we were excited! Having experienced a few CTS's and other sport sedans from GM, our expectations for the ATS were high.

Yes...the car met our expectations and more. Its a serious entrant in the hyper competitive market segment ruled by German cars. 

We picked up the car headed for a road trip, without referring to the owners manual or being overly distracted we quickly navigated our way through CUE to adjust the climate control, the flow of air, the navigation, and obvious set our favorite satellite radio stations. 

Is it a wow moment to grasp the basics of CUE by intuition? 

Picking up a car, and driving for a few hours is a unique opportunity to mentally compare the car to others in the segment, our conclusion was always the same..."this is a good car, a serious competitor". Accompanied by a good level of power, wonderful sounds coming from the engine, smooth shifting transmission, precise steering, enhanced by robust brakes with Brembo front calipers. An impressive Bose sound system...which is essential on a road trip.

Turning to the interior, with lovely stitching on the dash, power seats, everything fits well, no squeaks, and after a few hours we are not sore, the seats are very comfortable, and supportive. The other controls are easy to locate and use. The cruise control speed in the heads up display is cool. Lane departure warning that communicates through the seat alert is interesting. If you are closing too fast to vehicles in front the seat alert comes into play as well as the heads up display...interesting! To accompany the precise steering, the steering wheel is the right size, thickness, with thumb rests.

Cadillac provides the choice to select different colors and materials to configure the interior to your preferences. Our tester had the Jet Black leather with the aluminum panels on the dash and doors, there is wood or carbon fibre available to replace the aluminum.

The rear seat is destined for small adults or children, not so much the leg room, as the headroom being at the premium, with the space used by the sunroof mechanism. 

This car fits right, its snug and comfortable, with a low seating position which enhances the feeling of snugness. 

You can configure the Cadillac ATS here.

How good is the chassis? Its fall, its colder, its wet, not ideal weather for performance summer tires, but negotiating a tight left hand sweeper on the highway the car telegraphed that it could deal with much more, uncanny the seamless performance of this car. Yes...its rear wheel drive, for the enthusiast it feels like a proper rear wheel drive car with a positraction. 

The configuration of the front LED's on this car is totally cool, while adding a discrete level of bling, augmented by the illuminated door handles.

Agreed there are numerous well established incumbents in this segment, and we all know the names. The ATS is as good, and better than the incumbents. If you are seeking a competent, precise, luxury sport sedan, we encourage you to visit your Cadillac dealer and experience the ATS for yourself. We had high expectations, this car did not disappoint us, it impressed, and surprised the entire Strada crew.

The quick review.




2012 Ford F150 

2012 Ford F150 Super Crew Harley-Davidson 5.5' Box

6.2L V8 411 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

White Platinum with Black Leather / Snakeskin 

The photo gallery/slide show of the F150

Its about time that we finally got around to experience the best selling vehicle in Canada for countless years running, especially that we had experienced a Ram and a Silverado. Yes...we are excited to have an F150, and not just any F150 the Harley-Davidson version.

You have noticed that pick ups have incrementally increased in size over the past several years, they are now positively huge. This F150 follows through providing a commanding view over most if not all SUV's and CUV's on the road.

Its a seriously cool truck with all the features of a well optioned luxury sedan, from the sunroof, heated and ventilated seats, great sound system, navigation to name a few. The fold away running boards are as cool as it gets, and a necessity to gracefully get in or out. 

The interior is immense, and well finished, the front bucket seats are comfortable even on longer road trips. The controls are easy and intuitive, and needless to mention that the visibility is excellent, and aided by parking assists in the rear, and back up camera.

The Harley-Davidson logo on the console cover with the VIN, the snake skin motif on the leather, and especially the steering wheel assert that this is a special, limited edition truck. While reinforcing the evolution of pick ups through the years to now having the same features as luxury cars.

How does it drive? Its a truck, its big, and with the 6.2L emitting a wonderful V8 rumble, and generating 411 HP its a phenomenal highway cruiser. On surface streets the size makes it cumbersome, but in open spaces and highways this truck moves with authority.  The size belies the performance and agility, keeping in mind that its not a sport sedan, and it will not attack on off ramps. 

In an urban environment when navigating surface streets, parking lots, often an additional maneuver is required simply to park. In open spaces, this truck comes into its own, we know that in many areas of Canada the spaces are wide opened.

A question that arose on several occasions: "Who would use such a well finished and featured truck to work?". We know that most folks that work with pick ups pull a trailer containing the tools, and equipment they require for their specific activity. This truck will pull a trailer all day, deal with reasonable off road conditions, and is as well finished and featured as a luxury SUV.

Why you should consider such a truck? You are not confined to an urban environment, you have a succesful business, do not have a desire to use a commericial truck, while appreciating the versatility of working a working truck, and a roomy sedan or SUV.

You can configure your own F150.


The quick review.




2013 Subaru BRZ

2013 Subaru BRZ

2.0L Boxer 4 cylinder 200 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

World Rally Blue Pearl with Anthracite Black Leather/Alcantara

The photo gallery/slide show of the BRZ

Its been almost 20 years since Subaru made a 2 door sports car, and I can’t even remember the last time I saw a SVX on the road. Fast forward to 2012 and out of a joint venture with Toyota the BRZ is born. Just looking at the car and its proportions, lines, and stance it easily pulls second and third glances from everyone.

Its traditional sports cars looks with a long hood, and short rear deck you could almost stare at the car for hours. Our 2013 BRZ was the fully equipped version with Automatic, and the Sport-Tech package, which adds Navigation, upgraded Stereo, xenon lights, and push button start just to name a few. Powered by Subaru’s new 2L boxer four from the 2012 Impreza but tweaked a little to make 50 more hp to a nice even 200. Thanks to Toyota's fuel injection system which uses both conventional and direct injection, this little boxer can now rev to 7,400rpm, and still pulls strong. The 6 speed automatic works very well, there is no gear hunting, with a snow, normal and sport mode which will sharpen up the upshifts, and even downshift for if you are hunting for on and off ramps. In manual mode the downshifts are quick with blips of the throttle. Makes you wonder if this is a dual clutch transmission.

In a world where most cars in this class have 300 HP or more like the V6 Mustang, Camaro, and Genesis, the car on paper does look under powered, but Subaru wanted to focus on the driving dynamics, weight, and comfort. Strapping the car on for the first time you instantly realize that this is a drivers cars that will reward you. The suspension is firm, steering is telepathic, and brakes are strong. Weighing in 2700lbs the BRZ is at least 600lbs lighter then any of the 3 cars mentioned, and it shows. Body roll is minimal, and everything works well together. The short wheel base almost makes the car feel like a go-kart. The extremely low center of gravity that bests cars such as the Nissan GT-R, Ferrari 458, every Porsche model, I don’t need to say that this little car mean business when it comes to driving.

Getting in the car, the typical Subaru owner will instantly recognise the instrument cluster with the typical red glow, and that’s about it, everything else is “ oh that’s nicer than mine” , “oh that’s cooler than mine”, “ I don’t have that” with the sport-tech package the BRZ comes well equipped, with fully automatic dual zone climate, and heated seats. after the looking at the gauges, your eyes will migrate to the pioneer navigation system, which has every feature you could want from Bluetooth, BT audio, iPod connection, SD card slot, and the sound quality is good. Although it looks out of place, ruins the flow of the interior, and looks aftermarket, and is not the most intuitive system. The seats are excellent and with Alcantara inserts and leather bolsters, they make sure that you are going nowhere when the road gets a little curvy. Being a 2+2 car, the BRZ does have back seats but unless your friends are just torsos , they most likely wont fit, but being a sports car, and one of the smallest in the market, cargo is not its strong suit, and potential customers will easily accept the lack of cargo capacity.

Other cars in this class may have more room, or more power, but most of them miss the point of a true sports car.  Make it a point to drive the BRZ so that you can realise what you will be missing, and what other manufacturers are trying to cover up by adding flashy paint colors such as “Gotta have it green metallic tintcoat” or 320hp to try and motivate a car that weighs 1,000lb more.  


The quick review




2013 Acura RDX - Seamless and Precise

2013 Acura RDX

3.5L V6 273 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Silver Metallic with Ebony Leather

The photo gallery/slide show of the RDX

The RDX is "product planned" to attract customers seeking a luxury compact SUV, with features that resonate with the segment, and middle of the road appealing street presence. Needless to mention that its a competitive market segment, with formidable players, and literally a dizzying choice of offerings.

What immediately caught our attention about the RDX, its smoothness, and driving refinement. This truck immediately makes you feel good!

The interior is well appointed, and meticulously crafted, although the center of the dash display is conservative. The seats are comfortable, and power assisted as you would expect. The 410 watt sound system is clear, powerful, and enjoyable making your favorite satellite radio station truly come alive. In addtion there is navigation, back up camera, power tailgate to name a few features that we have come to expect on trucks at this price range, and aspirations.

The rear seat is roomy with ample leg room for adults, while the folding seat back increases the versatility of the cargo area. 

In the hyper competitive CUV segment with all the offerings having similar features, options, cameras, sensors, sunroof, navigation, satellite radio, power tailgates, and we can keep on going. You surely get our thought vector, that CUV from a feature perspective at quite similar.

From our perspective what sets the RDX apart is the seamless performance (for a CUV), its smooth, its precise, its relaxing to drive even in congested traffic, and inspires confidence on our habitual stretch of broken pavement. 

The engine provides a good level of performance, the transmission is well calibrated to the engine, the steering transmits a sense of accuracy, the brakes provide good stopping power. 

In a busy, crowded market segment, why should you consider an RDX? You prefer conservative styling, with a discreet street presence, and place a high priority on the driving experience, and the feel good factor. Make it a point to experience the RDX!

The quick review




2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Subaru in typical Subaru fashion is conservatively proud of the XV Crosstrek, and very excited launching the Crosstrek in the Canadian market. As you probably know Subaru is on steady path of increasing their sales, and market share in Canada. What is remarkable of the sales increase, its achieved again in Subaru fashion, earning their customers and sales contrary to buying their sales with incentives.

In one of the many conversations a comment that caught our attention from a Subaru executive "Used Subarus are hard to find, since they are handed down to family or close friends". 

At a time when every manufacturer is focusing on Gen Y / Millennials, and designing products that will appeal to this segment that is increasingly coming of age. With every manufacturer arriving at their own interpretation of the segment, while designing specific vehicles that will resonate with Millennials.

Subaru is launching a versatile vehicle that will accommodate Canadian climatic conditions, an active lifestyle, a family, with design that generates emotional appeal, having urban (smaller than bigger) and not suburban (bigger than smaller) size and capabilities.

From our perspective the XV Crosstrek is a Forester with increased attitude that will resonate with Millennials, and the folks that want an additional cool factor in their choice of vehicle. 

Its exciting to see Subaru break with tradition and enter a competitive market segment populated with established, and well entrenched competitors. 

There are 3 versions of the Crosstrek, with the Touring starting at $24,495. the Sport at $26,495. and the Limited at $28,995.

It seems that all manufacturers that want to appeal to Millennials which is the first generation of "digital natives" (born with PC's) make it a point to include connectivity, and technological features in the higher version (more expensive) of their offerings. 

For Millennials the dash display is a touch point that will immediately wow, or dissappoint. 

Contrary to some offerings in the compact crossover segment that are primarily front wheel drive, and become all wheel drive if the traction conditions are poor.

The Crosstrek is a full time symmetrical all wheel drive, and yes you would not expect anything less from Subaru.  

The engine is the classic Boxer 4, this one is 2.0L in displacement, with 148 HP, and 145 lb.ft. of torque. Obvious that a vehicle with urban aspirations will have a slightly smaller engine, in addition to improved fuel economy of 6.0L Highway and 8.2L City per 100 kms.

The available transmissions are a 5 speed manual, or a CVT with paddle shifts that emulates a 6 speed. By now you know that we prefer automatics in this type of vehicle, we enjoyed the CVT, and having the option of shifting gears or letting the transmission and technology do its thing. 

We had the opportunity to drive a manual transmission version, which is easy to shift up or down, with a smooth clutch pedal.

The electric power steering has the right amount of feel for this type of vehicle. The brakes were up to the task. We travelled on enough gravel, and broken roads to unequivocally say that the Crosstrek is solid, and inspires confidence in adverse road conditions. 

The missing element was snow, but we have had the opportunity to drive several hundred kilometers with different Subarus under totally awful snow was always an epic experience...the worse it gets the more seamless it is with a Subaru. 

The specifications, features, configurator of the 2013 Crosstrek.

The interior is well finished, with a good choice of materials, and tactile touch points. The rear seat is roomy, the cargo area is versatile with the folding seat back, and discreet with the sliding cover. 

All the safety features from airbags, ABS, traction control, stability, brake override, high strenght steel, are all present, and Subaru anticipates a 5 Star rating when the Crosstrek is crash tested.

We spent several hours, and drove numerous kilometers on surface roads, gravel, and rough gravel roads, what stands out for us, its a Subaru (handles challenging roads and conditions seamlessly), the interior is well finished, the seats are comfortable, the styling and street presence is appealing. The CVT with the paddle shifter is cool, while the power is adequate for a vehicle with an urban inclination. 

If you are seeking a compact crossover with more style than the habitual "flat roof", obvious that Subaru did not blip on your it does...make it a point to experience the XV Crosstrek, and the seamless performance of a Subaru.


Our quick overview...





2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet SparkThe Spark caught our attention in Detroit Auto Show a while back, and the instrument cluster really caught our attention with the sport bike look. When the opportunity presented itself to experience the Spark in a downtown Toronto urban environment...we about the power of an instrument cluster. 

As usual GM and Chevrolet are gracious hosts, we had a great time at the Gladstone Hotel, and participating "in person social media" with @George_S, and @Stephanie_Ruth of GM and many more. 

In the small car segment with a myriad of offerings from most manufacturers, here comes Chevrolet with its own offering, its great news, and the folks at Chevrolet are palpably excited with their new small car for the Canadian market. 

We have experienced the Sonic, the Cruze, and several others, there is en endearing cachet to small cars, and from our perspective the Spark has character, the styling is urban aggressive, the dash is cool, and its comfortably small.

Encouraging to see that Chevrolet has grasped that cars do not need a myriad of in dash technology, what they need is a seamless interface with a smart device. The Spark quickly and seamlessley adopts your smart phone on its 7 inch display, making the Spark adopt all the technology that is on your smart phone.

A few points relevant to the Spark:

> Its the most affordable Chevrolet in their portfolio of models.

> Base MSRP for the LS is $ 13,485. 

> Powered by a 1.25 L 4 cylynder with 84 HP and a 4 Speed Auto or 5 Speed Manual.

> Enhanced sound absorption (which means more Dynamat in critical areas).

> Standard 15 inch alloy wheels.


Needless to mention that 1.25 L, 84 HP, 4 speed automatic, raises a level of concern, the lingering thought of a small 4 cylinder, and only a 4 speed automatic kept on swirling in our mind.

When the time to drive arrived, we always leave it to serendipity to see which car is assigned, and who will be our "partner" for the drive. The results of the serendipity are always interesting, and generate fascinating conversations with the "partner".

In an urban setting of surface streets the car is nimble, reasonable power, easy to drive, while fitting in spaces that are small but also adequate for the Spark. It has an undeniable urban cool factor.

The interior space is more than adequate considering the size of the car, its comfortably roomy in the car. The colour co ordinate interior panels brighten the interior, and raise the cool factor.

The first highway use was heading east on the 403, we are driving, lets see what 84 HP and a 4 speed automatic in a Techno Pink Spark can do? It immediately became a WOW moment, this performance is much better than the numbers indicate.

The other comment being, the sound deadening really works, this car is much quiter than several other cars in the segment, which are "buzzy" on the highway with a variety of wind and road sounds.     

If you are at a stage where you require an urban car that is cool, fun, versatile, as well as having reasonable highway capabilities. You certainly have a few vehicles that are of interest to you. Probably the Spark is not one of them...

We urge you to experience the Spark prior to finalising your decision.

More photos of the Chevrolet Spark.




2012 Honda Civic Si HFP

2012 Honda Civic Si HFP Coupe

2.4L 4 Cylinder 201 HP with 6 Speed Close Ratio Manual Transmission

Crystal Black Pearl with Black Fabric Interior

The photo gallery/slide show of the Civic

It all started over a coffee at a local Starbucks with a good friend. The conversation gravitated that at this point we should experience a Honda. Not just any Honda but a Civic Si HFP. In addition the Honda head office is the closest location from the Strada office to pick up vehicles. Do we have to to tell you that the Honda head office is a cool place with cars, motorcycles, and a service department visible from the lobby...would you expect anything less from Honda. 

Perhaps because there are so many Civics on the road (its Canada's best selling car for over a decade) it easily becomes a case of just another Civic. By the Elgin Mills on ramp for the northbound 404, it starts to register "this is a cool car, it makes the right sounds, pulls pretty good in the higher RPM range".

Its endearing to experience a car with a classic 4 cylinder, coupled to a 6 speed manual. Yes the on ramp is longer than the usual ramps.

The street presence and styling even with the HFP body kit is conservative, and subdued. The fabric interior is well finished again in a conservative fashion, while some of the plastic could be more tactile to the touch. The HFP version comes fully equipped with Navigation, Sunroof, a great sound system especially when you crank up the volume of your favorite XM channel. The red contrast stitching, and floor mats brighten the interior. 

A few kilometers up the 404, nearing our off ramp, with the flow of traffic in our favor, it immediately became a Wow moment "this car rocks" with finely calibrated agility, precise steering, good brakes, it sticks, great splits in the 6-5-4 gears. The wow factor is increasing...

By now its obvious that its not just a Honda Civic, this is a really cool Civic, that is not conservative when it "comes on".

Contrary to cars in this segment that have more styling, more interior character, and then are conservative in the driving aspect. The drive of this Civic is not conservative, its competent, its precise, its fun.

If you enjoy a classic 4 cylinder that comes on (when the i-VTEC lights turn on), coupled to a close ratio 6 speed, with an Helical limited slip to neutralize torque steer, precise steering, agile suspension, sticky Michelin, and strong brakes.

This Civic provides memorable wow moments.

In addtion to being easy to drive on surface streets when doing errands, it has good highway performance the engine turning in the torque range at highway speeds without having the 4 cylinder in serious overdrive mode when having to gain some speed.

In a very competitive small car segment, why should you consider this car. If one of your priorities is to have a car that is rewarding, fun to drive, you need to experience a Civic Si HFP.

Being our first Honda some of our editorial comments..."Never spent so much time in a Honda in my life"..."This is a serious fun car"...."When the i-VTEC lights come on"...."Great sound for a 4 cylinder"...."The interior is conservative"...."Its a fun car to drive (again)"...."The transmission is easy to shift"...

The quick review.




2013 Infiniti JX35

2013 Infiniti JX35

3.5L V6 265 HP with CVT Transmission

Emerald Graphite with Java Leather

The photo gallery/slide show of the JX35.

2013 Infiniti JX35We were anxious with a tinge of excitement to spend a few days with the JX35, at the same time we were apprehensive that it would be just another "flat roof" (SUV/CUV) among all the others.

The exterior styling is appealing, especially the judicious application to chrome, and the treatment of the cargo area side glass, which is becoming a Nissan/Infiniti signature feature. 

With the 20 inch wheels adding a touch of character, in addition to camouflaging brake dust being finished in gun metal grey.

We have an inherent weakness for interior of vehicles, this JX35 took our breath away, simply stunning, an immediate wow moment. We absolutely did not expect such a richly executed interior, well finished, appealing texture stitching, piping, wood paneling, the interior makes a emphatic and compelling luxury statement. 

In addition to being roomy, the adjustable rear seat is great for leg room, while greatly enabling access to the rearmost third seat. 

All the technology that you expect is present, including a Bose Cabin Surround sound system with 15 speakers which enhances your favorite XM station, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Intervention, to name a few. In addition there are heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seat, and this tester even had the rear seat Theater Package with wireless head phones. 

Obvious that Navigation as well as a glass roof for the entire seating arrangement (front to back) with a power sunshade is stuff. 

The feature that truly grasped our attention, is the Around View Monitor which includes a back up camera, and sonar detectors. Since the JX35 is a sizeable vehicle, this feature is useful when navigated parking lots, as well a tight spaces. In addition to applying the brakes if it detects obstructions in the rear or front. 

With folks increasingly distracted when driving vehicles, a vehicle that detects lane departure, blind spots, and literally continues to brake or applies the brakes is very cool. If distractions are ever present, Infiniti is being pro active.

The specifications of the JX35, as well you can build and price your own.

How does it drive? 

Its not a rear wheel drive Infiniti sedan, and once this simple fact is acknowledged, that the JX35 has a transverse mounted engine (similar to a FWD platform) with a CVT transmission its easier to relate to the JX35.

The JX35 is destined to being a luxury family vehicle to haul family members, and a variety of items on surface streets or the week end trips to the cottage. Its smooth, its accommodating, with adequate power, the transmission is seamless while communicating that its shifting gears. 

The technology greatly facilitates driving, and manoeuvring the JX35.

If you are considering a family sized luxury SUV, the JX35 probably did not blip on your radar. We encourage and urge you to experience the JX35, you will be pleasantly surprised, and the interior is in a class by itself.

The quick review.