2010 FX50 New Car Test Drive
The Infiniti FX runs like a bionic cheetah, with sporty handling and responsive engines. The FX35 comes with a 303-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, while the FX50 features a 390-hp 5.0-liter V8. All-wheel drive is standard on the FX50, available on the FX35. Fuel economy for the FX35 is an EPA-estimated 16/23 mpg City/Highway; the FX35 AWD is rated 16/21 mpg, and the FX50 AWD is rated 14/20 mpg.
The FX is a crossover SUV designed for performance and style, so it avoids the boxy proportions of traditional SUVs. It offers some usable cargo space, but not as much back-seat room and cargo space as the boxier SUVs in spite of its large size. The FX offers some exclusivity: It's unlikely one of your neighbors will own one. And we find the wild styling appealing. Certainly, it's not bland.
High style is maintained inside as well. Premium Package and V8 cabins feature fine details, nicely stitched leather, wonderfully stained Maple wood, and matte-finish surfaces that provide a nice respite from the chrome-plated plastic in many other vehicles. While the exterior styling of the FX is polarizing, its interior earns approval from most.
Technology abounds, including the Around View Monitor, which displays images of everything around the FX on the navigation display. Smart cruise control, voice-recognition navigation with real-time weather and traffic, rear-seat entertainment systems, and a host of electronics are available.
The Infiniti FX was all-new for 2009, with new styling, new engines, and new transmissions for the second generation of this performance crossover SUV from Nissan's luxury division. Based on the same platform as the Nissan 300ZX and Infiniti G37 sports cars, the Infiniti FX uses rear-wheel drive. (The FX has nothing in common with the Nissan Murano, which is a front-wheel-drive vehicle built on an entirely different platform.) Primary competition for the Infiniti FX line comes from the rear-wheel-drive BMW X6, which comes at a higher price point.
For 2010, changes are limited to technology features and packaging. Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity is standard on 2010 Infiniti FX models, as is a USB audio port and interface for iPods. Models without navigation (and its attendant 9.3GB hard drive) now come with a smaller, 2.0GB Music Box all their own. And when you do order navigation, you now get Bluetooth streaming audio, an in-dash DVD audio/video drive, XM NavWeather and NavTraffic, and the Zagat restaurant guide.
The 2010 Infiniti FX is available in three models, differentiated by engine, driveline, and equipment content. The FX35 is powered by a 303-hp V6 and comes with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (AWD). The FX50 has a 390-hp V8 and AWD. All three come with a seven-speed automatic transmission.
The Infiniti FX35 ($42,400) and FX35 AWD ($43,850) come with power leather seats, leather shifter and leather-wrapped manual tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, dual-zone automatic climate control, split-folding and reclining rear seats, moonroof, power heated folding mirrors with puddle lights, power door locks and windows, power hatch closure, automatic bi-xenon headlamps, fog lamps, rear privacy glass, dark chrome grille, Intelligent key, visors with illuminated mirrors and extensions, stainless scuff plates with the Infiniti logo, HomeLink, rear-view monitor, variable/fixed intermittent front/rear wipers, trip computer, and P265/60VR18 all-season tires on 18-inch alloy wheels. Even the standard stereo is an 11-speaker Bose extravaganza (300 watts, dual subwoofers, CD/MP3/XM); with a USB port, iPod interface, 2.0-GB Music Box hard drive (replacing last year's 6CD changer) and Bluetooth phone connectivity added for 2010.
The FX35 Premium Package ($2,000) adds quilted leather upholstery, climate-controlled front seats; two-position memory for the driver's seat, outside mirrors that tilt down in reverse, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and roof rails finished in what Infiniti calls sand blasted aluminum. The Navigation Package ($2,800) upgrades to a 9.3-GB Music Box hard drive, plus voice recognition for both audio and navigation functions, eight-inch color display, XM NavTraffic and XM NavWeather, Zagat restaurant guide, Bluetooth streaming audio, in-dash DVD audio/video player, front and rear park-assist sonar, Around View Monitor. The Deluxe Touring Package ($2,650) upgrades with maple interior accents, aluminum pedals, a cargo cover, and P265/50VR20 all-season tires on high-luster 20-inch alloy wheels.
The Infiniti FX50 ($58,400) comes with all of the above plus the V8 engine and AWD, larger brakes, and 21-inch Enkei metallic-finish alloy wheels. Real chrome replaces silver paint for the lower bodyside accents, and the aluminum roof rails are polished. The FX50 also adds an automatic entry-exit feature to the power steering column and features Infiniti's Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS) with Plasmacluster air purifier, auto-recirculation, and a grape-seed polyphenol filter. The FX50 Sport Package ($3,000) features an adaptive Continuous Damping Control (CDC) suspension; active rear steering; upgraded sport seats up front; magnesium shift paddles; and dark tinted headlights, side air vents and lower side trim. P265/45WR21 summer-rated tires are available with the Sport Package for no additional charge.
The Technology Package ($2,900) bundles advanced safety systems including Intelligent Brake Assist with Forward Collision Warning; Lane Departure Prevention; Lane Departure Warning; Front Pre-Crash Seat Belts; Intelligent Cruise Control; Distance Control Assist; rain-sensing front windshield wipers; Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS); and auto-leveling headlights. Port-installed options include an aero kit ($2,070), DVD monitors in the rear headrests ($1,510), a tow package ($680) consisting of Class II hardware and a four-pin harness, aluminum roof rail crossbars ($325), a cargo organizer ($225).
Safety equipment includes dual-stage front airbags, front seat side-impact airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, active front head restraints, first aid kit, stability control with traction control and antilock brakes, and tire pressure monitors. Available all-wheel drive can enhance safety in adverse conditions.