Review: The new Infiniti FX looks and feels different from other
luxury SUVs, opting for a more polarizing body style and a high-tech
Four video cameras
mounted on the Infiniti FX give a bird's eye view of the car when
parking. It's a useful feature that takes the concept of back-up video
cameras a step further. They may come packed with features, but nearly
all luxury crossover SUVs lack one thing: personality.
Consider the Lexus RX.
It's the best-selling luxury SUV in the world, filled with all the
gadgets and doo-dads you could ever wish for, but it also has the
personality of a saltine cracker.
Infiniti tries to
remedy this problem with its own luxury crossover called the FX. It has
all the electronic magic that its competitors do, and even some they
don't, but has a distinctive look and feel that truly make it stand out
from the crowd. It's like break-dancing while the rest of the market
does a waltz.
For starters, its body
looks like a Martian feline. There are no bland lines or predictable
curves, instead opting for a polarizing shape with a long hood and alien
bulges all over the body. I love the look, but not everyone will.
It also feels far
different from most luxury SUVs, even those designed to be sporty. It
doesn't drive with the flair of a big sports sedan like the BMX X5, nor
does it float as serenely as the Lexus.
Instead, the FX drives
like a little coupe on stilts. It's an odd feeling, one that takes time
to adjust to, yet it feels absolutely perfect for this particular
vehicle. With rear or all-wheel drive and a surprisingly firm
suspension, the FX can even be fun in the bends. It's a wonderful blend
of sumptuous and zippy.
Inside, the FX is a
showcase of the latest automotive technology. Of course it's got the
basics like a navigation system and available DVD player, those things
are becoming passť. but it also comes with some whiz-bang features you
wouldn't expect, like radar-equipped cruise control that keeps you from
hitting the car in front of you, and a beeper that warns you when you
start to stray from your lane.
Other fancy features
include heated and cooled front seats, an automatic climate control
system, an "intelligent key" that lets you start the engine while it's
still in your pocket, a hard drive to store your digital music files,
and a Bluetooth connection for your cell phone.
But my favorite feature
of all is something called the "around view monitor" that helps when
parking. Unlike a regular back-up video camera, which only shows what's
behind the car, this Infiniti has four different video cameras that show
what's on all sides. It's basically a bird's eye view of your vehicle,
On the downside, all
this technology makes the dash look like the Chernobyl control room.
There are buttons everywhere, four on the instrument pod, 10 on the
steering wheel, plus two paddles to shift gears, nine by your left knee,
and a whopping 60 on the upper console. Sixty!
Not only that, but some
of the buttons are labeled with such esoteric acronyms that it takes a
Yale-educated physicist to figure out what they mean, like FCW/LDW, DCH,
IBA and VDC.
What was tested?
The 2009 Infiniti FX35 RWD with a base price of $40,950. Options on the
test car: Premium package $2,350, navigation package $2,850, technology
package $2,900. Total MSRP price as tested including the $815
destination charge: $49,865.
Why avoid it?
The sheer number of buttons in the cabin can be overwhelming.
Why buy it? It
has a distinctive style, nimble driving feel and more technology than
most other luxury SUVs.
Still, I can overlook the Infiniti's button overkill on the FX because
it's got so many bright spots. It drives beautifully, looks great and
comes with eye-popping technology. And, best of all, it actually has
By Derek Price © AutoWire.Net - San
Byline: Infiniti Review provided by Tony
Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Infiniti Home Page
Column Name: The New FX
shines with style & technology
Topic: The 2009
Infiniti FX35 RWD
Word Count: 737
Photo Caption: The
2009 Infiniti FX35 RWD
Photo Credits: Infiniti
FX35 Internet Media
Series #: 2009 - 24
the Microsoft Word version here:
2009 Infiniti FX35
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2009 Infiniti FX35