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low on refinement and luxury--avoid 19 inch wheels

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 8/6/2015 John Edwards

I owned an AWD version of this car for 15 months which had the premium and touring packages which meant it had 19 inch 245/45 tires. Bought it in March 2014 with 10k on it and just traded it with 17k. Avoid this car. Do not even think about buying one. Although it is a luxury-branded vehicle, it is NOT a luxury car. It is so low on overall refinement, noise and ride comfort that once my wife got a 2014 Kia Forte5, I almost exclusively drove the Kia because it delivered in every respect a superior driving and riding experience. The engine in this car is very loud when it starts at a fast idle and never settles down to a quiet purr even when it's warm. The engine is way louder than the Acura 3.7 and was actually louder than my wife's GDI 4 cylinder KIa. With the 19 inch wheels and 245/45 tires, it is extremely loud in the cabin, way way louder than my wife's Kia Forte and louder than virtually any other car I rode in during the time I owned it. With those tires, it also gave an extremely harsh ride on all surfaces except smooth highways. Even though the highway ride was "steady," it was still never a pleasant experience on account of tire noise and tire harshness over any imperfection. Detracting still further from any "luxury experience," there was an annoying and constant rattle (I mean you would hear the noise multiple times per mile) in the dashboard which I took it to the dealer at least 7 times and they could never fix it. The navigation system also was not very good. The screen wasn't that big and it really wasn't in the optimal location--the location of the screen and visibility of the screen were way better in a 2003 Acura MDX and our 2014 Kia Forte5 than in this vehicle. In addition, on this Infiniti, you have to pick a "zone" of several states to put in an address and to go to a state outside that zone, you have to reset it and go back several steps instead of just plugging in whatever state it is. That was an annoyance and I've never seen any other system make you do that--bad design pure and simple. Also, even more annoyingly, it will not let you put in addresses while on the move whereas my wife's Kia will, our 2003 MDX did and so did our 2011 VW Tiguan, and you can do that on the move in a GM car with OnStar. On the positive side, this car did have very strong acceleration and the 7 speed transmission shifted very smoothly. The steering was precise but on the highway due to the excessively wide tires, I found I needed to make constant corrections, which was taxing and tiring and I never arrived anywhere relaxed. In short, there was never any luxury feel or quality to this vehicle even though it is sold by an allegedly luxury brand. To give some perspective, I found a 2011 VW Tiguan and my wife's 2014 Kia Forte5 to both deliver a far superior driving/riding experience. Just now traded this Infiniti for a 2012 Cadillac SRX and the Cadillac is simply in a different universe. Can't understand how they manage to sell any of these Infiniti EX's considering how poorly they ride and drive. One other positive--the adaptive HID low beam headlights were fabulous and the H9 high beams were also very bright. Overall, virtually any car on the road delivers a better experience and value than this car does. Seriously, every single other car I rode in during the time I owned this car I thought was better. So, on a value basis, this car is essentially off the chart low. Gas mileage for the all wheel drive was also very poor--20 ish on the highway and around 15 in the city. Those numbers are what one would expect of a much larger and more substantial vehicle than this. I did think the paint job was nice though, and the Infiniti warranty is better than most. Overall, this was the least impressive and least enjoyable car I have owned during the last 35 years.

Average Rating : 1

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