[YesAuto Test Drive] To say what kind of car is the most popular nowadays, it is not a sedan, an SUV, or a sports car. More and more manufacturers like to combine the concepts of different models to create the concept of CROSSOVER, which is like a mashup in the fashion industry or a genetic modification in biology. In any case, there are indeed many wonderful combinations under the CROSSOVER concept. The simplest is the car + SUV, which has both the controllability of a car and good road adaptability. Later, someone tried to combine a four-door sedan with a Coupe sports car to create a more wonderful four-door Coupe. But now the latest trend is to transplant the SUV gene to the Coupe sports car, such as the Infiniti EX35 we test drive today, which the manufacturer calls the Luxury Crossover Coupe.
The EX35 concept of combining SUV and Coupe sports car is similar to the recent popular BMW X6, and is also the latest development direction of the current CROSSOVER model. As for who came up with this concept first, we don't care (in fact, EX35 and X6 were listed overseas at very close time, and going back to the development link, it is even more difficult to tell who is first and who will be later). The key is can the SUV and sports car blend well together? In the traditional sense, SUVs need to increase ground clearance to improve passability, while sports cars reduce the center of gravity to suppress roll and ensure the ability to pass corners at high speed. SUV and sports car seem to be two completely contradictory models.
First look at the appearance. The slender engine cover, the graceful roof curve, the slanted rear window, and the narrow side windows are all classic elements of the Coupe sports car. Looking at the upper part only, the EX35 is a beautiful sports car. . But below the waistline is a standard car body. The 18-inch wheels and the height of the chassis from the ground are the characteristics of an SUV. The average hybrid is either beautiful or ugly as a durian. Of course, the EX35 is the former. It has won many awards for its unique and charming appearance.
As the newest member of the Infiniti family, EX35 certainly has its due family logo. The double-bow-shaped air intake grille, L-shaped headlights, and simple but highly textured wheels, even if you haven't seen it, you know that it is a member of Infiniti. From the front, it looks a bit like the G series in the family, but the EX35 has a richer surface effect. From the back, it seems that the design of the FX series is still retained, but the EX35 does not simply shrink the FX.
The EX35 has a wheelbase of 2800mm and a length of 4638mm, which is more than 10 cm longer than the CR-V. However, since the height is only 1540mm and the width is 1803mm, the EX does not look large. Although the 2800mm wheelbase is the same as the new Accord, the EX35 does not seem to focus on space performance, and the interior is only equivalent to a general compact car. The width of the front driver’s seat is very limited, but the driver is surrounded by the center console around him, and it really feels like driving a Coupe sports car. But the rear passengers will certainly not find any good feelings in the narrow space. A medium-height person sitting in the back row can hardly be said to have plenty of space, let alone tall passengers. According to visual inspection, if there are three people sitting in the back row, it must be a little nervous. In addition, due to the limitation of the body shape, the exit of the rear door of EX35 is relatively narrow, and getting on and off the car will sometimes be affected. The EX35's appearance is beautiful, and the interior is equally wonderful, and it can even be said to be full of artistic sense. According to reports, the interior design is inspired by the changes of the four seasons. The beige interior is fresh and elegant, which makes the atmosphere in the car active, and the maroon interior is elegant and luxurious. The interior design born out of Nissan has a clear Japanese car style, fully taking into account the user's feelings, rather than cold industrial products. As a luxury brand, Infiniti is also meticulous in the selection of interior materials, using a large amount of leather and solid wood materials, and the workmanship is equally exquisite.
The functional design of EX35 is also thoughtful and comprehensive. The world’s first panoramic image system (AVM) is equipped with cameras around the car body (respectively under the air intake grille, under the mirrors on both sides and at the rear of the car), which can capture images around the vehicle and then display it on the center console A bird’s-eye view is synthesized on the screen, and everything around the vehicle is well understood. During the test drive, a reversing and warehousing link was specially arranged in order to experience this function. Practice has proved that AVM can indeed make complex reversing easy. Reversing by staring at the screen is simpler, more accurate, and safer than looking at the rearview mirror or looking out of the window. However, it is precisely because of the poor vision of the EX35 that the AVM system is 120% effective.
EX35 is unique not only the AVM system, it also has a comprehensive care configuration. For example, there are four buttons on both sides of the luggage compartment, which can directly control the folding of the rear seat backs on the left and right sides, and not only can automatically fall down, but also automatically rise. Although it is not difficult to fold the seat manually, it is really convenient to switch to electric. You only need to move your fingers, and it also improves the grade of the whole car. When you walk into the EX35 with the car key, it will also turn on 8 lights to greet its owner, telling you that everything is ready and ready to go. A foldable hanger is designed on the back of the headrest of the main driver's seat. Although it is not a high-tech thing, the details can better reflect the designer's care.
The sound system is also within the designer's consideration. This part of the work is done by BOSE. The 11 speakers in the whole car have been carefully arranged. The position of the speakers is specially designed according to the space in the car. There is also a high-power subwoofer in the spare tire slot. With such a combination, the sound effects are of course beyond doubt.
It can be seen from the naming that the EX35 uses Nissan's star-rated power unit-VQ35HR, which has been awarded the title of the world's top ten engines for 14 consecutive years. On the EX35, the power has been lowered a bit, and it is now 302 horsepower and 341N·m. Such power is sufficient for EX35. The power output of the VQ engine is very linear and has sufficient reserves. If the speed is increased at 140km/h, the power will not weaken at all, making it difficult to explore its bottom line. From the perspective of power, the EX35 does have the style of a sports car. The brake pedal is as sensitive as the accelerator, and the effect is obvious with a single tap. When you step on the pedal deeply, the braking force is very linear.
Working with the engine, a 5-speed automatic manual gearbox is also tuned actively. Deepen the throttle slightly, the transmission will understand the driver's intentions, and sometimes even down two gears, if the downshift process is faster, it would be better. In addition, this gearbox also has a learning mode, which can record the driver's habits and then adapt to the driver, but there is no chance to experience it in a short test drive.
The EX series from Nissan’s E platform still uses a front-rear drive structure, which can maximize the driving pleasure. In addition, the intelligent four-wheel drive system can steplessly adjust the power distribution of the front and rear axles on roads with poor adhesion, and can transmit up to 50% of the torque to the front wheels to improve driving safety. As for a series of safety equipment such as traction control and stability control, there are also many of them.
Turn your attention back to manipulation. If the EX35 is required by the standards of a sports car, it would be a bit harsh. After all, its chassis is elevated, and for reasons of comfort, the suspension cannot be rock solid. However, the EX35's suspension support is much stronger than that of an ordinary SUV, and the body remains stable when cornering at high speeds, and the driver's confidence is also greater. In general, the driving experience of the EX35 is closer to that of a sports car, but it is more calm when faced with complex road conditions. The power steering assist with variable strength provides excellent high-speed stability. Although the steering is stable and even, it is not crisp enough. Of course, the advantage is that it is more suitable for daily driving.
EX35 uses a unique design concept to occupy a blank market segment, but it has no direct rivals, so the key to success or failure depends on itself. Judging from the current situation, Infiniti has added a bit of SUV adaptability to a Coupe sports car with excellent power and good handling, as well as a certain amount of space practicality. Coupled with Infiniti's unique design, inherent luxury and a series of innovative equipment, it is no wonder that it has been widely praised as soon as it is listed abroad.