2011 INFINITI FX Introduction

The INFINITI FX is a big crossover with sporty handling and responsive engines. Designed for performance and style, 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.

We find the wild styling appealing. Certainly, it’s not bland.

And it runs like a bionic cheetah. The FX is based on the same platform as the Nissan Z and INFINITI G sports cars. All-wheel drive is available, but it’s a rear-wheel-drive platform, meaning sporty. (Note the FX has nothing in common with the Nissan Murano, which is a front-wheel-drive vehicle built on an entirely different platform, a common misperception.) Primary competition for the INFINITI FX line comes from the rear-wheel-drive BMW X6, which comes at a higher price point.

The INFINITI FX35 comes with a 303-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, while the FX50 features a 390-hp 5.0-liter V8. 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.

While the exterior styling of the FX is polarizing, its interior earns approval from most. Touring Package cars 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.

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.

For 2011, changes are minor. A power rear liftgate is standard and the FX50 comes with 20-inch wheels and black lacquer cabin trim. The 21-inch wheels and Maple wood trim previously standard on FX50 are now optional, but even including them the price is about $400 lower. We think both of those moves are in the right direction. The INFINITI FX was all-new for 2009.

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