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2003 INFINITI FX45

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$44,225

starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown

SUV

Body style

5

Seating capacity

189.1” x 65.9”

Dimensions

All-wheel drive

Drivetrain

Overview

1 trim

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2003 INFINITI FX45 trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best SUVs for 2024

2003 INFINITI FX45 review: Our expert's take

By Cars.com Editors

Is your significant other hounding you that your next vehicle should be an SUV? Is this a problem because what you really want is some fancy pants sports sedan?

Nissan’s Infiniti division has the answer: the FX45.

You see, it has the general statistics of a luxury SUV, with all-wheel-drive and a big V-8, but it also has an athletic stance and sporty rounded shape.

How does it perform? I’ll get to that in a minute.

First, some specifics.

The FX45 and its sibling, the FX35, are built from the same platform as the rear-drive Infiniti G35 sports sedan. The FX35 is available in rear- or all-wheel-drive and can be had with Nissan’s ubiquitous 3.5-liter V-6 rated at 280-horsepower. Not a bad deal.

But the FX45 comes only with Infiniti’s 4.5-liter 315-horsepower V-8 (courtesy of the Infiniti Q45) and all-wheel-drive. Both vehicles are mated to a standard five-speed automatic transmission.

Infiniti provided an FX45 for testing.

It proved to be quite powerful. So powerful, in fact, that I can’t repeat the expletives I uttered upon initial acceleration.

This truck is invincibly forceful. There isn’t a gap in traffic too small to squeeze through, and few stoplight grand prix that a driver can’t win.

That said, there are some caveats.

All that power passed through an all-wheel-drive system means that gas mileage is anemic. Indeed, the test mileage of 16 mpg included quite a lot of highway driving.

But it’s the handling that is not garden variety.

The FX45 comes with huge 20-inch tires that do much to enhance its muscular looks. But those tires tend to wander, pulling the vehicle to the left or right, even if you are pointed straight ahead. The light steering is so quick, it’s of little help. While the steering does stiffen somewhat at highway speeds, it adds little to the driving experience.

With those large tires hooked to a sports-tuned suspension, I don’t have to tell you how firm the ride becomes over Pennsylvania’s third-world roads. It certainly doesn’t feel luxurious.

And while the firm ride might be excused for the sporty handling, it’s too easy to get in over your head in this vehicle. Push it hard into a corner, like a sports car, and suddenly the tires start to tango and the body lean kicks in. For enthusiasts, handling won’t be problem.

So, this is a beast that needs the driver’s total concentration. Do something stupid like talk on a cell phone or eat a burrito while driving and you could end up off-road unintentionally.

The interior has the traditional modern Nissan/Infiniti appearance, trimmed in a striking combination of bronze and dark gray. It is quite handsome.

The front bucket seats are firm but comfortable, although the passenger’s side front seat is lacking in the number of adjustments, considering that this is a luxury vehicle.

The back seats (Inf initi doesn’t offer three rows in the FX) are comfortable enough, yet access to them is compromised by the narrow opening at the bottom of the rear doors.

The rear cargo compartment is nicely trimmed, but space is at a premium due to the car’s styling as well as its full-sized spare tire. A nice touch is the placement of handles on either side of the cargo compartment to release the split-folding rear seats.

The center console has the usual video screen that incorporates a global positioning system, audio system, climate controls and trip computer. As on the Infiniti Q45, a blizzard of buttons makes all of it seem less than luxurious and more of a chore.

Over the top options include a rear-mounted video camera that turns on when the vehicle is shifted into reverse to compensate for the limited rear view.

The image appears on the FX’s video screen.

Another option is the intelligent key. When the key is nearby in a pocket or purse for example, FX sensors allow the car to be unlocked by pushing a button on the exterior door handle or start the car by turning the ignition.

All of this can be done without putting the key in the ignition, as long as the key is within close proximity of the FX.

While an enthusiast will say this car is filled with performance and character, an average buyer might find it over the top, especially at the car’s $44,225 base price.

The FX35 starts at just over $35,000.

Worrisome was this vehicle’s build quality. While I could chalk off the FX45’s squeaks and rattles to the fact that it is a well-used press sample, it’s harder to excuse the driver’s side window that balked at opening or the CD player that wouldn’t function.

With tons of speed and a driving experience that commands attention, the FX45 will capture the hearts of driving enthusiasts. For most others, it might seem like a frivolous purchase.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.9
  • Interior 5.0
  • Performance 4.8
  • Value 4.9
  • Exterior 5.0
  • Reliability 4.9
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Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

Buy a used one if you can

Just bought this 2003 FX45 from my neighbor who is a mechanic. I needed a commuter vehicle so I wouldn’t mile out my expensive diesel truck. Was looking for something inexpensive and cheap on fuel. I got it for a very good price but the fuel isn’t cheap and I DONT CARE BECAUSE I LOVE DRIVING THIS THING. 195000 kilometres and it’s still a rocket on rails for what it is. 21 years old and the body style is still relevant and gets looks. I love driving to and from work with the comfort and the premium sound system. The number of adjustments on the driver seat is awesome. Only wish it had a heated steering wheel like my truck. If you can find a used one that’s well taken care of then buy it!!

5.0

Reliable car

We love this car as a family vehicle, I t’s not only great as a family vehicle with a big trunk and comfortable seats it could also be used as a sport Car. it has manual mode and the 4.5 L V8 engine is fabulous This car has a lot of power and a beautiful color. Overall great car and all aspects of its kind the only reason why we’re selling it is because we bought a new SUV which is bigger because we need it for family you won’t regret it.

5.0

Can't Let It Go

Bought my FX45 used in 2004 with ~30k on it. Now have well over 200k and drives like a dream. Full power, great handing and just plain fun to drive. Like any car of this age, it is showing its wear, but the styling has remained relevant. It has been (and still is) the best car I have owned (over previous Ford, Audi (although got 300k), GMC, Subaru, Jeep (the worst), Honda and Hyundai).

See all 11 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by INFINITI
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
48 months/60,000 miles
Corrosion
84 months/unlimited distance
Powertrain
72 months/70,000 miles
Roadside assistance
48 months/60,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Months from In-Service Date (ISD): Less than or equal to 60 months from ISD | Vehicle Mileage: Less than or equal to 15,000 Miles | Greater than 15,000 Miles but less than or equal to 60K miles
Basic warranty terms
6 years/75K miles from original ISD | 6 years/unlimited miles from original ISD
Powertrain
72 months/70,000 miles
Dealer certification required
167-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?