What is it?
The EX37 is tipped to be the new Infiniti marque’s biggest-selling model in Europe. It’s a ‘crossover’, mid-way in concept between BMW’s X3 and the 3-Series Touring, with power coming from a 3.7-litre 316bhp petrol V6.
The Infiniti brand is meant to be about luxury, and all models are packed with gadgets. The EX still manages some particularly impressive standard equipment, including a seven-speed automatic gearbox that has been engineered specifically for European consumers and unique self-healing ‘scratch shield’ paint.
The options list includes a system of four parking cameras to provide a bird’s eye view of the car, radar cruise control and a crash detection system which judges when a collision is unavoidable and intervenes to reduce the effects by about 20 per cent.
What’s it like?
From the first time you drive it, the EX is a cheerful, likeable car that comes across instantly as good value for its price — provided in these straitened times you still see a role for 3.7 litre petrol-propelled SUVs.
On the road, the 3.7-litre V6 engine’s 316bhp gives the EX37 a sporty character despite its kerbweight of nearly 1900 kilograms. The 0-62 mph acceleration time is just 6.4 seconds, and top speed is within an whisker of 150 mph.
The gearbox gives the car a powerful step-off when launching from standstill. And the engine’s wide powerband (thanks to variable inlet timing and lift) gives strong mid-range acceleration. On the move the EX37 feels supple, well-damped and stable. The ride is pleasantly comfortable, and cruising refinement is good.
Unlike the G37 saloon and coupe, the EX37 does without gearbox shift paddles, but the transmission always seems to have an ideal ratio available and manual control can still be taken by moving the selector to a push/pull channel.
Despite its size, the EX corners with a neutral precision and precise steering makes it easy to drive hard. It’s a well-made and rapid crossover with plenty of practical appeal – and its kudos will grow as people become more used to the Infiniti brand.
Should I buy one?
Infiniti’s Nissan origins mean the EX37 has credibility, even if the marque itself has very little name appeal at present. Prices are competitive, quality is good and – against its opponents – the EX has gadgets and performance to burn.
Taken all round, the EX looks like a more desirable and better equipped prospect than its obvious premium-badged rivals. It leaves you with a simple choice: flashy badge or value and equipment. I’d go for the latter.