2012 INFINITI FX35 Photo

2012 INFINITI FX35 - Review


Aggressive, streamlined, sporty, and yet tall, the Infiniti FX packages crossover functionality into one of the most graceful forms on the market--and its performance matches.

High, swelling fender arches at the front flow smoothly into the raked windshield, then the arched glass line and roof before terminating cleanly into the neatly styled, if somewhat plain, rear end. The grille bears Infiniti's signature multi-bar layout and somewhat funky trapezoidal shape. Inside, the 2012 FX's style is laid back and sophisticated, though it lacks some of the high-tech panache of competing German offerings.

Two versions of the Infiniti FX are available, the FX35 and the FX50, with the names indicating the engines inside. The FX35 is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 303 horsepower, while the FX50 gets a 390-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8. Both are paired with a standard seven-speed automatic transmission. FX35 models come standard with rear-wheel drive, but can be upgraded to all-wheel drive; FX50 models are AWD-only.

Whichever model you choose, acceleration is brisk, though the FX50 certainly feels stronger. Both sound brilliant; Nissan's VQ V-6 is one of the best-sounding six-cylinders on the market, and the V-8 has the muscular sound you'd expect. The FX35 is likely plenty of power for most, and with the V-8's heavier weight, mandatory all-wheel-drive, higher expense, and poorer gas mileage, the FX50 has many factors working against it as the smart buy. The V-6's lighter weight and available rear-drive offer better handling and crisper, cleaner steering feel.

The cabins in both models are very nice places to be. Like the exterior design, the interior space is styled after sports car themes, with comfortable bucket seats up front and driver-centric controls. The rear seats are a bit tight, however, and cargo space is compromised due to the short overall length and low roof, compounded by a high load floor. Materials and build quality are very good, however.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the 2012 Infiniti FX range with top marks of "good" in front-impact tests, but hasn't yet conducted side-impact or roof strength tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn't yet tested the 2012 FX. Even with only partial crash results, however, the FX offers a strong selection of standard and optional safety gear, with lane-departure prevention, adaptive cruise control, and the usual slate of standard airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability control all on the menu.

For the full take on the 2012 Infiniti FX range, head over to the The Car Connection.

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