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2010 Infiniti FX

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2010 Infiniti FX Review

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There are only a handful of true performance-oriented crossover SUVS. Among the more notable are the Porsche Cayenne, the BMW X6 and the trend-setting 2010 Infiniti FX. Like its competitors, the FX is more a tall performance sedan than a rugged off-road explorer. True to its Infiniti roots, the sleek FX is fast, loaded with luxurious trappings and technological gadgetry, and is one of the most alluring and fun-to-drive vehicles in its class. Plus, if you can live without the V8 engine, the V6-powered FX35 can even be classified as affordable – at least by luxury car standards.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need the versatility of a wagon or SUV, but you prefer a driver's-oriented vehicle that looks as good as it performs, the 2010 Infiniti FX is well worth a test drive.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you like open and airy cabins and need plenty of cargo space behind the second-row seat, the FX's cocoon-like cockpit and diminutive cargo hold won't cut the mustard. Enthusiast drivers with these needs might be better off in the Porsche Cayenne or Land Rover Range Rover Sport.

What's New for 2010

Newly added standard equipment for 2010 includes Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, a USB port and iPod interface and the addition of 2GB hard drive to the standard Bose audio system. Bluetooth Streaming Audio, XM NavWeather and Zagat Restaurant Guide have all been added to the available navigation system.

Driving the FX
Driving Impressions

We drove the FX50 on a number of winding mountain roads and it performed to expectation, exhibiting excellent steering and braking response, a well-balanced chassis and quick acceleration. The rev-matching...

... seven-speed transmission seemed to have a problem making quick decisions, but we were able to bypass the computer brain with the paddle shifters. Push the FX50 into a turn too quickly and you'll activate a whole host of electronic chaperones (the Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive, Vehicle Dynamic Control, Rear Active Steer and Continuous Dampening Control suspension assist) that quickly return control to the driver. When not pushing the FX hard, we thought the ride was a bit harsh over uneven or rough surfaces, with the large 21-inch wheels being a possible reason. Those looking for a softer balance between ride and performance might prefer the FX35.

Intelligent Cruise Control with Distance Control Assist
This feature not only maintains a set distance between the FX and a vehicle ahead of it, the Distance Control Assist can actually slow and even bring the FX to a complete stop with no driver intervention.

Around View Monitor
Using strategically placed cameras under the side-view mirrors and at the vehicle's front and rear, a full 360-degree outside view can be displayed on the FX's LCD monitor, helping reduce blind spots when parking.

2010 Infiniti FX Details
2010 Infiniti FX photo Interior

The FX's interior was designed to create the feeling of driving in a low-slung performance sedan. The narrow side glass and ten-way adjustable front seats (FX50) create a cozy cockpit, while the rear seat provides two adults with surprisingly good rear-seat head and leg room. Available steering wheel-mounted magnesium shift paddles help the driver keep both hands on the wheel when shifting gears, and a large console-mounted LCD display set at eye level provides at-a-glance access to the navigation and audio settings. Although the instruments are generally well arranged and easy to operate, the myriad of buttons that accompany the Technology Package can be a bit overwhelming, and are clustered near the driver's knee where they are difficult to see and reach.

Exterior
2010 Infiniti FX photo

Although the overall shape is still familiar, fresh sheetmetal and an aggressive new front end make the second-generation FX a bit more edgy than the original. The three-dimensional grille is patterned after rippling water, while the swept-back cat's-eye headlamps create a rather menacing scowl. When viewed from the side, there are prominent and massive wheels, a short hood, even shorter front and rear overhangs and a very short rear end. Infiniti has also tacked on a few things we think the design could do without, such as the cliché side fender vents that now appear on everything from economy cars to premium sedans.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The V6-powered FX35 features dual-zone automatic climate control, Intelligent Key with push-button start, a power moonroof, eight-way power seats with power driver's lumbar support, 18-inch wheels, leather seating surfaces, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, a rearview monitor and an 11-speaker Bose audio system with CD player, USB port, 2 GB hard drive storage and an auxiliary audio input jack. The FX50 adds a V8 engine, Intelligent all-wheel drive, Around View parking monitor, heated and cooled front seats, a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, 21-inch wheels, hard-drive navigation and an iPod interface. Standard on all FX models are front side-impact and front and rear side-curtain airbags, electronic stability and traction control and anti-lock brakes (ABS).

Optional Equipment

Most of the FX's options are bundled into packages, with many of the FX50's standard features being made available on the FX35. The Premium package adds climate-controlled front seats with driver's-side memory, tilt-down side-view mirrors, quilted leather seating pattern, aluminum roof rails and a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel. The Navigation Package adds a hard-drive navigation unit with voice recognition and 9.3 gigabytes of music storage, XM NavTraffic, Bluetooth Streaming Audio, Around View monitor and front and rear sonar parking assist. The Technology Package is offered on both trims and adds Adaptive front headlamps with auto-leveling feature, Intelligent Brake Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Control Assist and rain-sensing wipers. Unique to the FX50 is the Sport Package, with adjustable Auto and Sport-mode suspension, Rear Active Steer, and driver's seat with power side bolsters.

Under the Hood

The FX35 is powered by the same 3.5-liter V6 engine as in models past; with 303 horsepower, it's all the FX really needs. Status and speed will lure many to the all-new 5.0-liter V8, which employs Infiniti's Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) technology to maximize fuel economy and performance. Rated at 390 horsepower, the V8 provides a big increase in power over the V6 without much difference in fuel economy.

3.5-liter V6
303 horsepower @ 6800 rpm
262 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 (RWD), 16/21 (AWD)

5.0-liter V8
390 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
369 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20

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