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2009 Infinity FX35 Test drive



 

-HOW IT LOOKS.

I loved the "old" FX when it came out. It was really one of the most striking design out there. With this and the first Murano, Nissan was on a roll.

But when I saw the first pictures of the new one, I hated it. I thought they ruined it.

But things changed when I started seeing a few (very few) in the streets.

I after driving one for a week, I really like the way it looks. It is one of these cars that has a very strong presence in person.

 

-HOW IT IS INSIDE.

The interior is another home run for Infiniti.

The brown/black combo of my test car even gave it some old British pub atmosphere.

Everything is well made and all the plastics seem of very high quality. It is just one of the best interiors I've seen in years.

 

The back seat is a lot roomier than the smaller EX35, but it's not as roomy as the Murano, or the Lexus RX.

The optional Bose stereo is excellent. And the Nissan/Infiniti iPod integration through the USB plug is one of the best around. Playlists and songs can all be controlled through the touch screen or steering wheel controls.

The only thing I didn't like about the interior was the weird airbrush look of the wood trim. Where they made it darker at the edges. It just looks too fake for me.

Wood does not need artificial color gradation to look good.

 

I also noticed that, just like on the EX35, there is no remote switch for the hatch. Not even from inside the car.

And at that price (My car was loaded at $56 000), it's just plain weird....

 

-HOW I DRIVES.

 

-Ride.

The ride is like most other Infiniti cars. Firm yet very comfortable. The car feels very stable and you're not sitting too high. Unlike in the Murano or the Rogue.

 

-Steering.

Again, just like other Infiniti models. Light but sharp and precise. A pleasure to drive.

 

-Engine.

Same engine as in the other ones. And again, one of the best V6 around. Smooth, powerful and sporty.

But still pretty thirsty...

It is rated at 16/21 and I got 15/26. So I did quite well on the freeway part. But it was actually pretty tough to even get 15 in the city.

 

-Transmission.

The new 7 speed auto is probably the main reason why I got 26MPG on the freeway. And the 5 speed in the smaller EX only got 23.

Just like in the other models, it still has a delay when you push it. But the paddle shift to work. And they are much quicker.

 

-SO?

 

The new FX starts at around $42 000. My loaded AWD model was a bit over $56 000. That is a lot of money.

Its main competition in the US is the Lexus RX. Which starts at almost $4000 less.

A loaded version of the new RX with AWD is about $51 000.

Still around $5000 less.

 

Sure, the Lexus isn't as sporty, or powerful.

But I still think the new FX is way overpriced.

It is a great car, but I don't think Infiniti should price itself above Lexus.

No matter what people think of Lexus, it does have a great image among buyers.

 

The overpriced FX leaves the EX to compete with the Lexus RX.

But the EX is just way to small inside to do that job.

 

Both the EX and the FX need to drop about $5000 off their MSRP to better compete in this market.

No matter how great they are to drive.

By Vince Burlapp for:

http://www.burlappcars.com

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