2009 INFINITI FX35 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Sporty performance, plentiful technology- and safety-oriented gadgets, comfortable front seats, distinctive style.
  • Modest rear passenger and cargo space, pricey option packages.
Other years
List Price
$15,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

While still not the most practical midsize luxury SUV in the segment, the 2009 Infiniti FX35 offers a tempting mix of good performance, cutting-edge technology and head-turning looks.

Vehicle overview

Five years after its debut, the midsize luxury SUV that Infiniti deemed the "Bionic Cheetah" has morphed into a slightly different animal. While the redesigned 2009 FX35 keeps many of its lean, catlike lines, it now features a longer nose, a restyled black chrome grille and chrome-plated side vents -- an aggressive, controversial look that has drawn both praise and criticism for resembling an aquatic creature (think shark, piranha, catfish) as much as a wild feline.

Underneath the new styling, the second-generation FX (the V8-powered FX50 is also new) rides on an updated platform whose basic architecture is shared with Infiniti's G35 and EX35, so the FX's nimble, carlike handling comes as no surprise. And while the engine underneath the hood of this voluptuous machine is the same size as the one in the previous generation, this year's 3.5-liter V6 cranks out an additional 28 horsepower, though torque output has dipped slightly. Power is sent to the rear wheels or an all-wheel-drive system via a new seven-speed automatic transmission.

Perhaps more significant is the number of technology features available in the 2009 FX35. It's replete with sensors and systems and doodads that could practically control the car on its own, from a new system dubbed Distance Control Assist (DCA), which helps to release the throttle and apply the brakes in heavy traffic, to Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA), which can stop the car completely, then resume a preset speed. There's also a new hard-drive-based navigation system that can store music files, and a trick camera-based parking system as well.

The five-passenger 2009 FX35 starts at nearly $3,000 more than last year's model, and the packages that include the fanciest gadgets inflate the price tag considerably. Furthermore, the FX35's passenger space and cargo capacity are rather unimpressive. There are other options in this price range that serve up similarly luxurious accoutrements along with added utility. Both the Acura MDX and Cadillac SRX, for instance, offer more cargo space and seven-passenger seating. However, neither has the visual impact and performance capability of the Infiniti. Only BMW seems willing to target this niche, with its X6 xDrive 35i. It performs similarly, yet has seating for just four passengers and starts at about $10,000 more. For those who want a sporty and aggressively styled crossover with the latest and greatest in automotive technology, the 2009 Infiniti FX35 is a solid choice.

2009 INFINITI FX35 models

The 2009 Infiniti FX35 is a midsize luxury crossover SUV available in either rear-wheel drive or AWD. The single well-equipped trim level includes 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, full power accessories, power front seats, a manual tilt/telescoping steering column, cruise control with steering-wheel-mounted switches, dual-zone automatic climate control, a back-up camera, 60/40-split rear seats and an 11-speaker Bose surround audio system with a six-CD changer, an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio.

Options include a Premium Package, which includes heated and cooled front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, an iPod connector and a power tilt/telescoping steering column. A Deluxe Touring Package (which requires the Premium Package) adds 20-inch alloy wheels, adaptive headlamps and maple wood interior trim. The Navigation Package (which also requires the Premium Package) adds Infiniti's new hard-drive-based touchscreen navigation system with voice recognition, real-time traffic, a single in-dash CD player (in place of the six-disc changer), a parking system and a four-camera "Around View Monitor" that provides a 360-degree composite image of the vehicle from the outside.

The Technology Package (which requires the Navigation Package -- we're starting to see a pattern here) adds rain-sensing windshield wipers, adaptive cruise control with enhanced capabilities in congested traffic, Intelligent Brake Assist and a lane-departure warning and prevention system. Those who spring for the Technology Package can also add a rear-seat entertainment system. A tow package is available for AWD models only.

2009 Highlights

The 2009 Infiniti FX35 has been completely redesigned. Its 3.5-liter V6 gets a slight power boost and is now mated to a new seven-speed automatic transmission. The second-generation FX35 is rife with high-tech standard and optional features, including a hard-drive-based navigation system with real-time satellite traffic information, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and Distance Control Assist, which helps to release the throttle and apply the brakes in heavy traffic.

Performance & mpg

A 3.5-liter V6 powers the 2009 Infiniti FX35. In this application, the familiar V6 makes 303 hp and 262 pound-feet of torque. Last year's five-speed automatic transmission has been replaced by a seven-speed automatic with manual shift capability. Rear-wheel drive is standard, though the FX35 offers an optional AWD system with a rear bias to preserve its sporty handling capabilities.

Fuel economy is slightly improved over the old model; the 2009 FX35 AWD gets an EPA-estimated 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined, while rear-drive models are rated at 16 mpg city/23 highway and 19 combined.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes with brake assist, front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, traction control and stability control are all standard on the 2009 Infiniti FX35. This year sees the addition of other safety technology, including an advanced version of Infiniti's lane departure warning system that can help prevent the vehicle from inadvertently traveling out of its intended lane. Also, the new Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) uses the laser range finder from the adaptive cruise control to analyze closing speeds to an obstacle ahead. If a forward collision is imminent, the system sounds a warning to prompt driver action and can automatically apply the brakes up to 0.5g.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the FX scored a perfect five stars for its protection of occupants in both front and side impacts, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the FX its top score of "Good" in frontal-offset testing.

Driving

The redesigned 2009 Infiniti FX35 maintains and even builds upon the original FX35's athletic character. The strong, smooth V6 and well-matched seven-speed automatic provide snappy response, while the new double-wishbone suspension keeps body roll low. We worry about braking, however, as the FX35's more powerful sibling, the FX50, showed signs of fade during our performance testing. But overall, the 2009 Infiniti FX35 is a solid performer that offers sport sedanlike handling and performance in a stylish and respectably practical package.

Interior

The cabin of the FX35 is rich and luxurious, boasting a more upscale feel than its predecessor. However, though Infiniti claims the FX35's cargo area has been "reshaped to enhance comfort and utility," cargo volume has actually been reduced to 25 cubic feet with the rear seats occupied and 62 cubic feet with them stowed -- a loss of 2.6 and 3 cubes, respectively. Moreover, while the new generation has slightly more legroom in front, rear legroom, along with front and rear headroom, has shrunk. Most midsize crossovers are considerably more spacious inside.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2009 INFINITI FX35.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

AWD with Class!
Craig,05/09/2018
4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)
This vehicle has been the best car owned to date over Lexus, Acura, Honda with few if any repairs. The condition and paint looks new after buying in 2009. If you find this model 2009 AWD with paddle shifter's then buy it. I feel that I can go 300,000 miles +
130,000 miles later...
khl,11/22/2012
4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 7A)
FX35 FWD with Premium, Deluxe Touring, Navigation, Technology, and Rear Entertainment Packages. Original owner with 130,000 miles since 3/2009. A lot to still like: 1) Reliability: no problems to date except a cracked hose and routine maintenance. 2) Handling: great feel of the road; amazing for an SUV; handles the twisties like a sports car; 3) Interior: looks luxurious; 4) Seats: excellent side bolsters and heated/cooled 5) Wheels: super looking 20" alloys that resists brake dust very well. Gas mileage 20 MPG overall. However, I want to point out the many areas that I would love to see on my next Infiniti FX (see below).
8 Years of Ownership thoughts on first year model
Bionic Cheetah or Metal Scarab?,09/29/2017
4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)
After 8 years and 140k miles I feel like it's time to give a review of this car. In short, this car was definitely ahead of its time when it came out. The exterior design, while polarizing when first released, has held up to the test of time. I still get frequent compliments on the vehicle and when I tell them it's 8 years old they're in disbelief. The around view camera is a feature that makes it easy to maneuver into any spot that can fit the dimensions of the vehicle. The engine still runs strong with zero oil burn, an issue that has plagued this motor in other Infinitis. This car still hauls donkey when floored. The transmission was never great, sometimes it's slow to shift, but it's an issue I've had since brand new so I've learned to adapt to it. The interior has held up well, no bubbles on the dash (parked outside in the sun from 8a-5p at work), leather (maybe it's pleather?) has held up very well and all the interior lighting is still functional. Reliability wise, the engine wouldn't start once but that was due to a dirty intake, now they're cleaned at regular intervals of 15k miles. Other than that, and this being a first year model, I've been very happy with how reliable the vehicle has been. Couple notes on my vehicle: 1) always and still use synthetic oils at 7.5k intervals, 2) transmission oil, while the manual says forever, always changed at 60k miles 3) differential oils changed at 60k intervals as well 4) my vehicle is black with a factory aero kit, never took it to a car wash always self washed or detailed so the paint still looks great. 5)I have an Invidia cat-back exhaust installed (still makes me smile when I floor it through tunnels). I can only hope that my next car can hold up as well as this in the performance, design, and maintenance departments. Overall, I'm super happy with my purchase and will be sad when the time comes to sell it.
90,000 Miles Still Like New
jas74,03/06/2014
4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)
Purchased from dealer, one owner lease. We have owned the car for 2 years and all we have done is regular maintenance per the dealer. Very reliable car, most Japanese cars are! Just had the transmission firmware updated, seems to shift much better. Also had the trany power flushed and changed. Overall, I just don't trust European cars these days. The BMWs / VWs, I have owned seem to require little $100-300 repairs all the time. Not the FX, everything works! does not nickel and dime you to death.

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2009 INFINITI FX35

Used 2009 INFINITI FX35 Overview

The Used 2009 INFINITI FX35 is offered in the following submodels: FX35 SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 7A), and 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A). The Used 2009 INFINITI FX35 comes with rear wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 7-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2009 INFINITI FX35 comes with a 4 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2009 INFINITI FX35?

Price comparisons for Used 2009 INFINITI FX35 trim styles:

  • The Used 2009 INFINITI FX35 Base is priced between $15,995 and$15,995 with odometer readings between 99403 and99403 miles.

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Which used 2009 INFINITI FX35s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 INFINITI FX35 for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2009 FX35s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $15,995 and mileage as low as 99403 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 INFINITI FX35.

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Should I lease or buy a 2009 INFINITI FX35?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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