2009 Infiniti FX50: Dude, It's Got a Plasmacluster
July 13, 2009
Start up our 2009 Infiniti FX50 and a grape-cluster-shaped icon appears on the climate control display. For a while I wasn't sure what it meant, but I looked it up today. In addition to having an automatic air recirculation function, the FX50's climate control system has an ion-based air purifier.
Based on Sharp-branded technology, the "Plasmacluster" operates in two modes: Clean and Control. The cleaning mode emits positive and negative ions out of the air vents to "neutralize airborne particles" such as dust and pollen. The control mode just emits stabilizing negative ions. It's fully automated, so there's nothing you can do as the driver to control it, but you can at least tell what's going on as the color of the icon changes from blue (cleaning) to green (control).
This feature comes on the FX50 only and not the FX35. Without a scientific test, it's pretty hard to determine how effective it is at improving air quality. But for what it's worth, I will say that our FX does seem to keep out outside odors better than other cars I've driven with automatic fresh/recirc air functions.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 16,398 miles