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Although it may not be the most luxurious nor the most practical SUV in its segment, the 2007 Infiniti FX45 offers a sporty driving experience that few others can match.
Sport sedan handling, powerful V8, roomy interior for four, long list of standard features.
Minimal cargo room, large blind spots, doesn't feel as upscale as some peers, no third-row seat available.
Available FX45 SUV Models
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After last year's refresh, the Infiniti FX45 sees just a few changes for 2007. Among them are power-folding side mirrors, a seatbelt reminder and optional iPod connectivity.
Upon its debut a few years back, the FX45 was billed by Infiniti as "the radical fusion of sports car and premium SUV." For 2007, the Infiniti FX45 stays the course. Last year's refresh saw a revised front end and a wealth of newly standard features, including a rearview camera, 300-watt Bose audio system and Bluetooth connectivity. But apart from the new gizmos, the FX45 retained its personality as a luxury SUV that puts the emphasis much more on Sport than it does on Utility.
An arched roof line, squat greenhouse and big (20-inch) wheels fitted with low-profile performance tires make the appropriate performance statement. Loosely based on the FM platform used for the first-generation G35 sedan and equipped with the engine from the recently discontinued Q45 flagship sedan, the FX features an all-independent suspension, a front-midship engine placement (that allows an ideal front-to-rear weight distribution) and of course a ripping 320-horsepower V8.
The 2007 Infiniti FX45 is more at home on a twisty two-lane than a rugged off-road trail. The FX45's muscular engine, buttoned-down suspension and quick reflexes are enough to make the driver forget he's piloting an upscale sport-utility vehicle, rather than a sport sedan. There is a price to be paid for such nimble, athletic dynamics, however. Compared to nearly all of its rivals, the FX45 is down on both cargo capacity and rear headroom and it doesn't offer a third-row seat. If you find it's not to your liking, luxury SUVs like the new BMW X5, Cadillac SRX, Mercedes-Benz M-Class or VW Touareg might be more to your liking.
The 2007 Infiniti FX45 is a midsize crossover SUV that comes in one well-equipped trim level. Standard features include 20-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, xenon headlights, a moonroof, leather seating with power front seats, a power telescoping steering wheel, a rearview monitor, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless start and full power accessories. Bluetooth connectivity and a 300-watt Bose audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer are also standard.
Options include a navigation system, satellite radio, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, run-flat tires, radar-based adaptive cruise control and a lane-departure warning system. Some of these features are available individually, while others are grouped into packages.
A 4.5-liter V8 making a potent 320 hp and 335 pound-feet of torque powers the Infiniti FX45. A five-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode sends power to all four wheels, as the FX45 comes only in AWD guise. With a 0-60-mph time of 6.8 seconds, the FX45 is among the quicker midsize luxury SUVs.
Antilock disc brakes with brake assist, front-seat side airbags, full-length curtain airbags, traction control and stability control are all standard on the 2007 Infiniti FX45, as is a rearview monitor and tire-pressure monitor. Optional is the Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system that alerts the driver to any unintended movement of the vehicle out of a designated traffic lane. In NHTSA crash tests, the FX earned top ratings, scoring five (out of five) stars for its protection of occupants in both frontal- and side-impacts. In IIHS frontal-offset testing, the FX earned the top score of "Good."
Although leather seating is standard, the Infiniti FX45's cabin is more sporty than luxurious, even with last year's upgrades that saw wood and aluminum trim sprinkled throughout. Honestly, the FX45 still seems more Nissan than Infiniti, as it just doesn't have the upscale ambience of its plusher luxury SUV rivals such as the SRX and X5. There is plenty of space for four adults, though the sloping roof can make headroom a bit tight for taller rear passengers. Ergonomics are mostly good, though some of the buttons on the console can be confusing at first, as there are many of similar size and shape and the handsome analog clock is mounted out of sight in front of the gear selector. Rearward visibility is poor, but a rearview camera is at the ready to make backing up and parallel parking much easier. Cargo space is tight, as there are just 65 cubic feet of space compared to the 70-85 cubic feet you'll find in most midsize SUVs.
Built specifically to excel on the pavement where most owners will use it most, the 2007 Infiniti FX45 thrills with its responsive V8 and handles more like a sport sedan than a luxury SUV. Minimal body roll, quick steering response and the powerful V8 engine all combine to provide a driving experience few other sport-utes can match. When driven at the upper end of its performance limits, the FX isn't as easy to control as a BMW X5, but the vast majority of drivers will find its overall road manners exceptional.
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