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