Well there're here and I'm sharing it with you folks by bringing you an exclusive first hand review along with some never before seen pictures. The first thing that hits you upon seeing the EX for the first time is its size. It really is a "compact" SUV/CUV/whatever. Design wise...I like it but I think it'll have to grow on me in the way the V36 Sedan and Coupe did. It's not instead sex in the way the original FX or G Coupe was, but it's a good looking vehicle nonetheless.
The headlights have a pleasent shape but here's the kicker: even early literature stated that the EX would be equipped with bi-xenons should a buyer elect to equip their vehicle with either the Luxe Style or Luxe Elite package. WRONG. Like the M, the EX only comes with xenon low beams (when equipped with the LS or LE package mind you) as the high beams are halogen units. Not too much of a biggie but still. The fact that they went to standard bi-xenons on the G Coupe and Sedan kind of raises eyebrows as to why they didn't do it here. Folks who drive chickee grocery getters don't want xenon high beams?
The tail lights are IMO going to be an area of slight controversy just as they are on the V36 Coupe. They're ok looking, but not sleek and sexy in the way the original FX, V35 Coupe or V36 Sedan are IMO. Like the G37 they look "angry" from certain angles, but from others, they just look awkward.
As a whole though, the EX is a nice looking vehicle, but it's more "G35 w/ a hatch" than it is FX IMO. What I want to see is a model equipped with the optional roof rails. One thing that really adds some character lines to the FX are the roof rails and honestly the EXs profile looks a bit plain without them. The wheels are also too small. What I want to see are some G37 19s or some M 19s on this thing. The 18s are ok but the 17s are way too tiny.
Under the hood we find the familiar VQ35HR. From the looks of things the Stillen Intake should bolt right up to the motor. At least from the quick peek I took. The exhaust out pack is a different story. I took a quick peak under the car and it looks like there's a "true dual" X-Pipe setup but the pipes end up dumping into a single muffler G Coupe/Z/FX style. The exhaust note sounded like a muted combination of the G Sedan and the G Coupe/Z/FX.
Now on to where the EX really shines, it's interior. The first thing you'll notice before getting in is the puddle lamp LED on the drivers side mirror. I'm kind of irked that it's not on the passenger side mirror but hey, they gotta save money somewhere.
Inside if you've driven a V36 then you'll feel right at home. The materials used inside feel of slightly better quality though. I didn't get to sample a Luxe Elite vehicle with the upgraded leather surfaces, but the standard leather felt smoother and of higher quality. The dash felt smoother than the vinyl used in our Sedans and the seats felt like BMW leather. They weren't as firm as BMW seats, but the leather felt like BMW leather. A nice upgrade here. Another thing you'll notice is that unlike the G/FX, the gauges do NOT move with the steering wheel/column. The EXs setup is like the Ms where only the wheel moves.
Overall the interior is filled with pleasant shapes and feels a bit more upscale than the G. It's definitely a tighter squeeze though. The front doors are also asymmetrical in that the passenger has an "oh shiet" handle while the driver does not. A nice touch as it would get in the way of the controls on the drivers side.
Drivers side (aluminum trim)
Drivers side (wood trim)
Passenger side (wood trim)
Like the G the center stack is very neatly laid out and pleasant to look at. The optional wood trim is nice, but the best looking combo is the black wood/aluminum trim setup. The black laquered wood is drop dead gorgeous. I've been saying Nissan should bring this here since '06 as piano black wood is an option on the JDM Fuga (Infiniti M).
Graphite interior w/ aluminum trim
Chestnut interior w/ wood trim
Techwise I haven't driven the car yet but the AVM is pretty sick. Forgive the picture as there was tape on the front and rear camera. Honestly though after sitting in the EX, it seems a bit useless on a vehicle of this size. The QX would benefit from this thing big time though.
The center console also has a trick hidden compartment (two level cupholder) to hide your stash should the cops pull you over. A neat little touch I thought.
Now on to the area everyone has been wondering about...DA BACK SEAT. Oh yes it's small. So small that if you're fat, don't even try. Rear legroom is on par with that of the G Coupe, NOT the Sedan, but the Coupe. Head room is a bit improved over both the Coupe and Sedan from what I felt, but legroom is reduced from the Sedan due in no small part to the EX's two inch shorter wheelbase.
Cargo capacity also = FAIL. Talk about no space. You can probably get one big suitcase in the back, but the sloping hatch gets in the way of the cargo area and makes stacking suitcases close to impossible. Functional the EX most certainly is NOT.
But I will say that while it's a small cargo area, it is a good looking one. The switches for the power rear seats are surrounded by a nifty ovalish looking piece of trim. A small but nice touch IMO. The seats themselves work well. Dropping in an instant and more quickly than the FX and raising into position a bit quicker than the QX. The rear seatback itself doesn't recline as it does in the FX, but it doesn't really need to as it's not too straight up, but not too reclined. Infiniti got the rear seatback angle correct so the reclining rear seats from the FX won't be too missed IMO. They also moved the position of the fold down lever from the seat buckle area to the top of the seat back next to the headrest a la the latches used in the G37 Coupe.
I apologize for the hastily written review and the iffy pictures. I'll try to touch things up tonight. Overall I'm very pleased with the EX yet very perplexed as to who Infiniti is targeting exactly. I know they're aiming at a female demographic as evidenced by their focus on the interior and the lack of a sport model, but shouldn't they have at least built SOME functionality into this vehicle? Or at least a touch more than the G Sedan? I supposed we'll find out in the coming months whether or not the Infiniti marketing gurus know what they're doing.
*Update posted below*