2009 Infiniti FX50: Road Trip to Napa, By Way of Laguna Seca
March 02, 2009
Last week I put a quick 450 miles on our long-term 2009 Infiniti FX50. Final destination was Napa with a quick stop for a track day at Laguna Seca. Don't worry: the FX50 was a spectator, not a participant, because no one here wants to pay the bill for new 265/45R21 104W Dunlop SP Sport 01 rubber.
The first thing I noticed is that the FX's cargo bay's liftover height is very high by crossover SUV standards. I'd overloaded my 20-inch rollaboard carry-on, and when I tried to hoist it into the cargo bay one-handed, I missed and smacked the top of the bumper with one of the bag's wheels. I was lucky not to have caused any damage, but this single incident convinced me that this is not a crossover SUV that you buy out of any concern for practicality.
Still, I certainly do enjoy the FX50's 5.0-liter V8, rated at 390 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 369 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. The torque band is big, and between the FX's rapidfire throttle response and excellent high-speed stability, it is capable of utter domination on Interstate 5 when given free rein. Remember, this is an SUV that hits 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and the quarter-mile in 13.7 seconds at 102.9 mph. Editorial addendum: Although, if you look at the track test numbers for this particular 2009 FX50, you'll see that our long-term ran a 5.5-second 0-60 and a 13.7-second quarter at 101.5 mph.
Fortunately, it has a 23.8-gallon gas tank, so you get some decent cruising range. I hit the road with only 3/8 of a tank, though, so I pulled up for an early refuel in Grapevine, California. There I checked the oil and it registered right at the low mark on the dipstick. I surmised that the FX50 was down a half-quart of 5W30. I topped it off and the level is now fine.
You really can't see anything resembling an engine when you go to add oil, by the way -- I guess that's why Infiniti had an elaborate working model when the 5.0-liter and the 2nd-gen Infiniti FX debuted at the 2008 Geneva Auto Show. I'll have more thoughts on the Infiniti's road-trip credentials tomorrow.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 7,801 miles