I also have a heightened awareness when it comes to vehicle safety. I was baffled to recently see someone driving a topless SUV with an infant in the back, and, even worse, a young child on her father's lap "driving" through the carpool lane. As a "stay-at-home" mom who spends more time in the car than at home, the most important factor to me in selecting a new car is protecting my most precious assets - my children.
I'm thrilled to discover that the Infiniti FX35 AWD received five-star crash-test ratings across the board from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (although the rollover resistance has not yet been rated). That makes the 2004 Infiniti FX35 AWD the safest vehicle I've tested yet. All safety features come standard with each and every FX model. This is a policy I believe all manufacturers should adopt. Women shouldn't have to choose between the family's budget and their children's lives.
I really enjoy driving the Infiniti FX35. It has some very thoughtful features. I love the card/ticket holder above the sun visor, and the grocery bag hooks in the cargo area. The seat adjustment buttons are located on the top of the seats, so you can actually see which ones you're using. When adjusting the steering wheel column up and down, the entire instrument panel moves along with it. This eliminates the problem I so often have of the steering wheel obscuring my view of the speed gauge (although that would make a pretty good excuse for getting out of a speeding ticket). I also love the fact that the steering wheel moves up and the driver's seat automatically moves back when you exit the vehicle.
When installing my girls' car seats, I come across a pretty huge oversight on Infiniti's part. The Latch connectors are so deeply recessed behind and below the backseat cushion that accessing them is virtually impossible. I have a sponge for a daughter, who soaks up and files away more four-letter words in the 30 minutes it takes me to install her car seat than she's heard in her entire life. I later overhear her exclaim "Oh crab" when trying to buckle her baby doll into the car.
The funky shape of this vehicle leads to poor rear visibility. With car seats installed in the back you can remove the rear headrests to improve the situation. Even so, I recommend you splurge on the optional rearview monitor.