2013 Infiniti JX Concept

Though the luxury midsize SUV shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last week is technically a concept, Infiniti says this Infiniti JX is pretty close to the production version that will be introduced to American buyers for the 2013 model year.

According to a press release, Infiniti says that the JX will hit showrooms in spring 2012 as a 2013 model. The JX will offer a V6 engine and a choice between front- and all-wheel drive, as well as a “sport-tuned, but fuel-efficient continuously variable transmission.”

However, some reviewers have their doubts about the JX’s performance. “Although Infiniti is sticking with its ‘Inspired Performance’ mantra, a V6 fitted with a CVT and sending power through either the front or all four wheels doesn't strike us as particularly sporting,” writes Autoblog.

Still, the auto press is looking forward to learning more about Infiniti’s most family-friendly SUV offering to date. Though the automaker certainly isn’t suffering from a lack of SUVs, with three already in its lineup, none of them are quite as practical as reviewers would like. The Infiniti QX56 is enormous, and its high starting price and poor fuel economy make it less feasible for family buyers than many other luxury large SUVs. Reviewers say the Infiniti FX is sporty but lacks enough cargo space for family use, and the Infiniti EX is smaller than most other compact SUVs.

By contrast, some reviewers are optimistic about the JX. “Expected to offer class-leading room and set new benchmarks for style, features and flexibility, the spacious Infiniti JX cabin was designed to provide all aboard with an outstanding experience, regardless of seat spot or journey distance,” writes Kelley Blue Book.

Like most of Infiniti’s other offerings, the JX’s styling has already begun to polarize automotive journalists. Some appreciate the distinctive styling, predicting it will stand out from the crowd of other three-row crossovers. Car and Driver writes, “There are only so many ways to go about wrapping a two-box, seven-passenger SUV, and the JX does so in attractive fashion.”

But this same design theme seems ho-hum to enthusiasts like those at Autoblog, who write, “We're hardly enamored with the design, but its specs are sure to appeal to a certain subset of families looking for a premium alternative to a minivan or SUV.”

The production version of the Infiniti JX will make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, when more details about pricing and standard features will be announced, according to Consumer Reports.

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