2009 Infiniti FX50: Switched on!
February 02, 2009
This thing has got a lot of switches. It's no surprise -- because this sucker's loaded! It has nearly everything: Navi, Sat radio, backup camera, perimeter view monitor, sonar park assist, smart key/smart start, bluetooth, AFS adaptive (swiveling) headlamps -- everything except ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control). I counted 62(!) switches, not including the window, lock, and overhead console switches.
It could be a bit intimidating when you first enter the vehicle and see all the switches, but they are all big enough and logically grouped. You quickly get used to all of the switch locations and operation. Other cars, for example the Acura RL, also have a lot of switches, but in the Acura's case there are many small, similarly shaped switches crammed into a small area of the center-stack, so it's hard to find things. This isn't the case with the FX, but it does have several groups of switches, hence the initial intimidation, but that quickly goes away.
Some carmakers want to do away with most of the switches and put the controls in the Navi/multifunction display to make the switches easier to find and to also clean up the interior styling. But then you could end up with iDrive or MMI controlling almost everything, and that has far from universal appeal. A balance between center-stack hard switches and soft switches in the Navi display is probably the best solution.
On a related side topic: while driving the FX50 over the weekend, I saw many FXs around SoCal (but none of the new model FX50/35) that I never noticed before. It's interesting that sometimes you don't notice other vehicles unless you're in the same model.
Is this why Corvette drivers wave to each other?
Albert Austria, Sr Vehicle Evaluation Engineer @ 6,165 miles