Nuts and Bolts: 2010 Infiniti EX35 Journey crossover utility wagon

Sunday, February 14, 2010; F01

Complaint: We in the media should do a better job of explaining vehicle-use intent. We often describe cars, trucks and crossovers as if they are meant to serve the same purpose the same way. They are not. For example, the Mitsubishi Outlander, including the sporty GT, primarily is a utility wagon. Models such as the EX35 Journey are closer to sports cars. One will not effectively serve the use intent of the other.

Ride, acceleration and handling: It gets good marks in ride and handling, even on poorly cleared roads. Neither Ria nor I did much accelerating. We'd like to get this one back in dry weather.

Head-turning quotient: We're reluctant to call it and its rivals attractive, but we're getting used to the sleek-nose, big-butt look.

Body/layout: A compact crossover utility vehicle. It's a front-engine, five-door vehicle available with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and based on an Infiniti G37 sports coupe platform.

Engine-transmission: It gets a standard 3.5-liter, double-overhead-cam, 24-valve V-6 that develops 297 horsepower at 6,800 revolutions per minute and 253 foot-pounds of torque at 4,800 rpm. The engine is mated to a five-speed transmission that can be shifted automatically or manually.

Capacities: There are seats for five people. Maximum luggage capacity is 18.6 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 20 gallons.

Mileage: We did lots of idling and more than a little wheel-spinning on ice. Our combined city-highway mileage was a pitiful 17 mpg.

Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front, solid rear), antilock brake protection and electronic brake force distribution, electronic stability and traction control, and side and head air bags.

Recommended optional safety/entertainment item for the EX 35 Journey: Get the available "Bose and Around View Monitor" system. It includes an 11-speaker Bose sound system in tandem with four outside cameras that give you a nearly 360-degree view.

Prices: The base price is $37,400. Dealer's invoice price on that model is $34,549. Price as tested is $40,415, including $2,150 for the optional Bose and Around View Monitor and an $865 delivery charge. Dealer's price as tested is $37,276.

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