Full 2013 Infiniti FX Review
What's New for 2013
The 2013 Infiniti FX37 replaces the FX35 by virtue of its 3.7-liter V6.
The 2013 Infiniti FX sport-luxury crossover SUV is designed for those who value style, performance and technology over cargo capacity, rear seat space or a cushy ride. Built using the same architecture as the Infiniti G37 sport sedan, the FX offers a level of carlike performance rivaled by few crossovers or SUVs.
With lively, responsive handling and a choice of either a powerful V6 or world-class V8 under the hood, the FX always feels ready to tackle a twisting road. For 2013, the FX is a bit quicker, too, as the previous FX35 becomes the FX37 thanks to a larger 3.7-liter V6 engine generating 325 horsepower (up 22 hp from the FX35).
As before, the Infiniti FX offers impressive premium standard features and high-quality materials that distinguish it as a true luxury crossover. The plush, modern cabin looks great and features an easy-to-use electronics interface. Naturally, you can add a host of optional extras, including adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree parking camera, ventilated front seats and a rear entertainment system with twin displays.
Unfortunately, the Infiniti FX also has some drawbacks that its high-tech wizardry can't solve. Luggage space is smaller than that of its competitors, as is rear-seat space. The FX's impressive handling also comes at the expense of ride comfort. Some may find the stiff suspension a bit too harsh for their tastes, especially with the optional larger wheels installed.
With that in mind, the sporty FX series won't be your best choice if utility is a priority. The Acura MDX and Lexus RX 350 aren't as sporty but offer more passenger and cargo space and near-equal levels of refinement. Still, for a performance-oriented crossover, the FX is a solid pick and becomes even more appealing when you consider that it costs less than European competitors like the 2013 BMW X6 and 2013 Porsche Cayenne.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2013 Infiniti FX sport-luxury crossover SUV is offered in three trim levels: FX37, FX37 Limited Edition and FX50. The V6-powered FX37 is available with either rear- or all-wheel drive, while the V8-powered FX50 is only offered with AWD.
The FX37 comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlights, foglights, a sunroof, power-folding heated outside mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated eight-way power front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Standard electronics include a back-up camera, Bluetooth and an 11-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with a six-CD changer, an iPod/USB connection, an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio.
Options for the FX37 include a Premium package, which offers aluminum roof rails, driver seat memory, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 360-degree parking camera system, front and rear parking sensors, a navigation system, a larger touchscreen display, voice controls, expanded digital music storage and Bluetooth streaming audio. The Deluxe Touring package (which requires the Premium package) adds 20-inch wheels, quilted leather seating, ventilated front seats, maple wood trim and a cargo cover.
The FX37 Limited Edition features all-wheel drive, exclusive paint, 21-inch wheels, dark-tinted adaptive xenon headlights and some features from the Premium package, including driver seat memory, the navigation system and the parking camera system. Additional option packages aren't available for the Limited Edition.
The FX50 generally includes all of the above plus a more advanced climate control system with air filtration, quilted leather seating and ventilated front seats.
The Technology package (which requires the Deluxe Touring package for the FX37) adds automatic wipers, adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlamps, forward collision warning, intelligent brake assist and a lane-departure warning and prevention system. A twin-screen rear-seat entertainment system is a stand-alone option for all FX models.
A Sport package is available for the FX50 only, and adds dark-tinted exterior trim, active rear steering, adaptive two-mode suspension dampers, solid magnesium paddle shifters and sport front seats.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2013 Infiniti FX37 is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 325 hp and 267 pound-feet of torque. The FX50 is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that produces 390 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic with manual shift control is the only transmission available. Rear-wheel drive is standard for the FX37; 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.
At the test track, the FX37 sprinted from zero to 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds. The V8-powered FX50 got to the same speed in an impressive 5.5 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the rear-wheel-drive FX37 is 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined. All-wheel-drive models are rated slightly less at 16/22/18 mpg. The FX50 is estimated at 14/20/16 mpg.
Standard safety features for the 2013 Infiniti FX37 and FX50 include antilock disc brakes, front seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and traction control and stability control. Lane-departure warning/prevention and cross-traffic alert systems are optional, as are adaptive cruise control and intelligent brake assist. The latter uses the laser rangefinder from the adaptive cruise control to analyze closing speeds to an object ahead. If a forward collision is deemed imminent, the system sounds a warning to prompt driver action and can automatically apply the brakes up to 0.5g.
In crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Infiniti FX models its highest score of "Good" for frontal-offset impact protection. In Edmunds brake testing, an FX50 stopped from 60 mph in 124 feet while the FX37 did a little better at 120 feet ? about average for a luxury crossover.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2013 Infiniti FX's cabin environment yields nothing to its competitors. With supple leathers, rich wood trim, brushed metal accents, cool ambient lighting and soft-touch materials covering nearly every surface, this is about as luxurious as you'll find in the segment. The audio and navigation systems require a short learning curve, using both virtual and tactile inputs, but operating them soon becomes impressively simple and intuitive. The optional 360-degree camera provides a top-down view of the FX in relation to its surroundings -- helpful when negotiating tight spaces.
The front seats are quite comfortable and are aided by ample head- and legroom, but because of the FX's sloping roof line, the rear seats can be a tight fit for taller passengers. The FX's sleek profile also compromises cargo space, offering 25 cubic feet of luggage space behind the rear seats. Folding the seats offers total volume of just 62 cubes -- well short of what most competitors offer.
In terms of handling and ride quality, both the 2013 Infiniti FX37 and FX50 deliver similar experiences.
On twisting roads, the FX displays impressive road-holding prowess and confidence, aided by consistent brakes and a tight, direct steering feel. The trade-off, however, is a stiffer ride on the highway. Opting for the larger wheel sizes only compounds matters, increasing road noise and impact harshness.
The V6-powered FX37 delivers a smooth stream of power while the seven-speed automatic transmission executes shifts quickly and smoothly. Manually shifting provides slick, matched-rev downshifts. Most drivers will find that this engine provides more than enough power. For those who still need more, the FX50 obliges with a flood of torque that launches this midsize crossover toward the horizon with ease.