2009 Infiniti FX50 AWD: Great Steering Wheel
August 06, 2009
I went from alternating among three performance cars for a big comparo (it will be going live in the coming days) straight into our longterm 2009 Infiniti FX50.
And you know what? This big SUV has a better steering wheel than any of those performance cars.
I'm not talking about the ancillary stuff like the buttons, I mean the actual wheel itself.
The overall diameter is right. Its leather wrap looks and feels great--neither sticky nor slippery.
There are nice little pockets for your fingertips on the undersides of the spokes at 9 and 3, and the rim itself fits human hands (what a concept). Your thumbs fall to rest naturally on any one of several spots at the "saddles" on the front side of the spokes.
More FX goodness: local perforations in the leather in the "grip me here" regions (see pic to the right) add tactility and grip.
Also, you'll notice that the stitching is oriented such that your fingertips don't come in contact with it when you're grasping the wheel correctly.
All of this sounds so simple and basic that it's almost daft, yet there are still automakers that get steering wheels so wrong its as if they've never made one before.
Infiniti / Nissan got this wheel right. If you're gonna parts-bin something (I think this wheel is used in other apps too), it might as well be good.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 17,724 miles.