The original Infiniti FX explored the boundaries of sportiness in an SUV, though not without some drawbacks in utility. In its redesigned successor, which debuted as a 2009 model, Infiniti appears to have edged the performance quotient even higher: A 390-horsepower V-8 powers the FX50, while a 303-hp V-6 powers the FX35. A number of luxury SUVs, from the Lexus RX 350 to the Mercedes M-Class, compete with the FX.
Rear-wheel drive is standard on the FX35, and all-wheel drive is optional. The FX50 has standard all-wheel drive. Borrowing on several technologies introduced in the smaller EX35, the FX's options include an Around View Monitor system, which uses several cameras to create a bird's-eye view of the SUV's immediate surroundings. A Lane Departure Prevention system is also optional, and Infiniti's Scratch Shield paint can supposedly heal itself from minor scratches over time.
New for 2010
Bluetooth cell phone connectivity and a USB port with iPod interface are now standard on all models. On models without a navigation system, the Bose audio system adds a 2GB Music Box hard drive. Models with navigation gain Bluetooth streaming audio, XM NavWeather capability and the Zagat restaurant guide.
The FX's beady headlights and snout-nosed grille are at least as controversial as those elements on its predecessor — if not more so. Along the side, functional air vents reduce the FX's lift, Infiniti says. With rear-wheel drive, the FX35's front/rear weight distribution is 52/48.
- Standard bi-xenon headlights
- Standard Scratch Shield paint can supposedly heal itself from minor scratches over time
- Optional electronically adaptive suspension, which continually reacts to changing road conditions, for FX50 — Optional Rear Active Steer, which can angle the rear wheels slightly to enhance turning precision, for FX50
The cabin has the same high dashboard as the original FX. A ledge just below the windshield curls around to the window sills, and air-conditioning and stereo controls sit below an available navigation display. The leather seats can come with quilted center inserts. Power adjustments for the front seats are standard.
- Standard reclining rear seat
- Standard Bluetooth
- Standard dual-zone climate control
- Standard power hatch closing
- Standard USB input for MP3 players
- Optional heated and cooled front seats
Under the Hood
The FX35's 3.5-liter V-6 makes 303 hp and teams with a seven-speed automatic transmission.
- Premium gas
- Rear- or all-wheel drive
- 2,000-pound towing capacity (AWD)
Standard safety features include active head restraints, side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for both rows. Traction control, an electronic stability system and four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are also standard. The FX50's brakes sport four-piston, aluminum front calipers — hardware that suggests serious stopping performance.
- Optional Lane Departure Prevention
- Optional adaptive cruise control
- Optional forward-warning system can apply the brakes in the event of an impending collision
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