Infiniti FX Review

2013 Infiniti FX FX37 4dr SUV Exterior

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The Infiniti FX is no staid, family-oriented luxury SUV. It's mean, outrageous, curvaceous and available with a pair of stout engines. While other SUVs are based on sedans, trucks and even minivans, the FX can trace its lineage back to a sports car: Nissan's Z.

Indeed, through its two generations, the FX has been a different sort of sport-utility: one that puts an unmistakable emphasis on "sport," while "utility" is a mere bonus. Passenger and cargo room have never been what we call generous, so if hauling the kids to hockey practice is a priority, something else may be in order. As such, it's certainly not for everyone. But for those who like the idea of a sport sedan on stilts and are attracted to its one-of-a-kind styling, the Infiniti FX has carved out a cool little niche of its own.

Current Infiniti FX
The current Infiniti FX is available in two models: the FX35 and FX50. The numbers indicate their respective engines, one a 3.5-liter 303-horsepower V6 and the other a 5.0-liter 390-hp V8. A seven-speed automatic with manual shift control is the only transmission available. Rear-wheel drive is standard for the FX35; an all-wheel-drive system with a rear bias to preserve the vehicle's sporty handling capabilities is optional. The FX50 is only offered with AWD.

Standard features are abundant, with automatic xenon lights, a sunroof, keyless ignition/entry, a power tailgate, leather upholstery, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and a Bose surround-sound system, items that are typically optional on competitor luxury SUVs. Yet the niceties don't stop there. Besides creature comforts like heated and cooled front seats, there are a staggering number of high-tech features for entertainment (Bluetooth streaming audio, digital music storage), safety (blind-spot warning, lane-departure warning) and protecting your bumpers (parking sensors, multicamera parking assist).

In addition to its curvaceous styling, the FX is perhaps best known for its athleticism. It shares a platform with the Infiniti G sedan and the nimble EX, so carlike handling is encoded in its DNA. There's ultimately no hiding its higher center of gravity and hefty mass, but around corners, the FX displays impressive road-holding prowess and confidence, aided by strong, consistent brakes and a tight and direct steering feel. The trade-off, however, is a stiffer ride on the highway. Opting for larger wheel sizes only compounds matters, increasing road noise and impact harshness.

In reviews, we found the FX35 to provide more than enough power -- the FX50 is really just an example of overkill. The FX's most notable flaw is its lack of utility. Quite simply, its backseat and cargo area pale in comparison to its competitors -- even some small luxury crossovers are more spacious.

Used Infiniti FX Models
The current FX represents the second-generation model, which was introduced for the 2009 model year. It hasn't really changed since, although Infiniti restyled the grille and front fascia for 2012.

The first-generation Infiniti FX was produced from 2003-'08. Like today's car, it shared its platform with the G sedan and Nissan's Z car, giving it a dynamic driving experience that few could match. Its styling was also quite striking, though without the current car's flamboyantly exaggerated wheel arches, it was a little easier to maneuver in tight spaces.

This generation was broken up into FX35 and FX45 models, which like the current car signified differing engines. The 3.5-liter V6 produced 275 hp, while the 4.5-liter V8 had 315 hp from 2003-'06 and 320 hp thereafter. A five-speed automatic was standard. The FX35 could be had with standard rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive, while the FX45 came only with the latter.

Throughout its life, Infiniti made several changes. For 2005, a lane-departure warning system, adaptive cruise control and keyless ignition/entry were added to the options list, while all FX45s got standard side curtain airbags. There were significant changes for 2006, when the exterior was given the slightest of alterations, the engine was upgraded and the suspension was revised for an improved ride. Inside, a new center console design, gauges and interior trim debuted, along with several high-tech items like Bluetooth. As such, Infiniti FXs from 2006 and later are the picks of the litter.

Although the cabin was loaded with premium features, there was nothing fancy going on with the seats, controls and instruments. The leather upholstery was complemented by aluminum trim, not wood. The front seats were more supportive than plush. Many of today's high-tech features were also available, though more so in the later years.

In reviews and road tests, we found this Infiniti FX to be every bit as exciting as it looked. It truly felt like a sport sedan, with quick and responsive steering and agility. The engines were powerful and had the same sort of telltale exhaust howl as the G35 and 350Z. Even more impressive, the FX felt balanced and under control during all but the most extreme maneuvers, while remaining comfortable throughout. As with today's models, this FX suffered from poor rear visibility and a lack of space in the backseat and cargo area.

Read the most recent 2013 Infiniti FX review.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used Infiniti FX page.


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