"Feels like a tallish sport coupe," says editor at large Arthur St. Antoine. Technical director Frank Markus agrees, at least that the EX seems little like an SUV, claiming, "It's a sport wagon in my book," while executive editor Matt Stone concludes, "It's not a car and it's not an SUV-it might best be thought of as a G35 wagon with a high center of gravity." Suffice it to say, the EX proved the most carlike entry in this year's field and, subsequently, the most difficult to classify. Apparently, Infiniti faced similar predicaments when categorizing its G sedan-based sport/utility, opting for the comparably catchy and appropriate title of "coupe-inspired luxury crossover."
While Infiniti's label for the EX is rather oxymoronic, the vehicle's dynamics parlay a much clearer message: The EX is a marvel to guide down a curvy road, delivering the most driver-focused experience of the group.
"The X6 probably generates more ultimate grip," says Markus, "but this one's low-to-the-ground stance and way tidier dimensions suit the task of twisty road driving much better." Detroit editor Lassa concurs, noting, "The EX is more fun to drive than most SUVs/CUVs, with light, precise steering," which, as Markus states, "was the only one that actually gave me some communication regarding the amount of cornering the car was generating."
In a straight line, the EX's appeal does not diminish-its 0-to-60 time (6.5 seconds) and quarter mile (14.9 at 94.5 mph) were quicker than those of the Volkswagen Passat 2.0T and the Acura TSX. The EX's biggest upside - that it's as sporty as a decathlete - is also its largest downside, magnifying the fact that it conspicuously lacks utility.
Do you think the 2009 Infiniti EX has what it takes to take home the title of 2009 Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year? Find out who the winner is at midnight eastern time on Oct. 16.
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