From £45,001
Giant sports coupe shows Infiniti has finally come of age

Our Verdict

Infiniti FX
Infiniti describes the FX as “the crossover without compromises”

The Infiniti FX is an interesting alternative to the norm, but lacks space and comfort to compete in this class

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10 November 2009

What is it?

The new Infiniti FX, which first appeared in early 2008 and has now finally gone on sale in the UK.

Three models are available, the £42,600 FX37 GT and £44,600 FX37 S both of which are powered by a 3.7-litre V6 engine. However, £53,600 will get you the range-topping and spec-heavy 5.0-litre V8 FX50 S. Indeed, so replete is the FX50’s standard features list, that the only option (at £650) was the ‘Umbria Twilight’ paint.

Aside from the 5.0-litre V8, the FX50 gets a seven-speed autobox (with nifty magnesium paddle shifters), all-wheel drive, speed sensitive and even rear wheel steering. Bundle all that together with the FX50’s front mid-engine balance, wide track and lowish centre of gravity and you have a highly competent cross-country machine.

What’s it like?

Even on a winding and dipping narrow country lane it’s possible to keep up an impressive head of steam, without having to wrestle with car. Although it doesn’t step off instantaneously, this is a very quick machine and it can carry the speed in challenging conditions mostly thanks to the really excellent body control and accurate, well-weighted, steering.

It’s extremely well-balanced on the most laterally undulating roads and has a remarkably good ride on the standard-issue 21-inch wheels, for which we should partly thank the highly impressive Continuous Damping Control. The FX’s appetite for back roads was not just measured by the driver’s sense of progress, the stopwatch backed up the car’s ground-covering abilities.

Without disturbing the horses, I managed to knock a substantial amount off my usual journey time from Hertfordshire to central London and the Sunday evening traffic was possibly heavier than normal.

There’s something about the combination of the car’s poise and the driver’s seating position that makes the FX feel imperturbable, whether it is on a B-road or carving along the motorway. It’s difficult to pinpoint why this is, but the combination of the mid-engined layout and much of the car’s weight being low down is probably the majority of the equation, though the exceptionally subtle rear-steering is probably the real key.

While it’s a great pleasure for the driver, the FX50 is not outstandingly practical. The cabin is snug (being pulled nice and tight around the driver) and the boot disappointingly small. The cabin is lavishly specified and nicely built and the (extendable squab) seats impressive. The only cheap thing about the whole vehicle is the key fob.

The FX50s standard-issue Connectiviti+ package is a highly impressive piece of kit. It mixes up a 3D sat-nav system, 10GB hard drive for music storage, an ipod sync, Bluetooth and Bose premium sound system. The FX also gets intelligent cruise control and ‘Low Speed Following’ which automatically brakes the car in heavy traffic to keep a safe distance from the car in front. The FX also has cameras mounted front, side and rear to give a 360 degree view of the road surface around the car.

There’s little to really complain about. The high beam of the swiveling Bi-xenon headlights is a bit weak and the auto headlights can fail to cancel after leaving a tunnel (leaving the instruments under-illuminated) but these are minor gripes.

Should I buy one?

It’s clear that the new FX – while it may look like an MTV-inspired Los Angeles boulevardier and is shocking thirsty when driven hard – shows Infiniti has come of age in its 20th year.

If you generally drive no more than two-up, or at least don’t carry four people and their luggage the FX is definitely worth considering if you are in the market for a high-performance ‘off-roader’. In reality, however, this is an impressively mature and hugely competent giant sports coupe.

Join the debate

Comments
28

11 November 2009

It´s the new Batmobil, looks pretty cool, I´m surprised the review is so positive, I thought it would get slapped. But I like them.

11 November 2009

I do find this car strangely appealing

11 November 2009

Ha ha ha... Do you get a cowboy hat and spurs with the deal on this one? It makes the X6, Q7 and Cayenne look lithe,svelte and almost sensibly designed in comparison. (although being of Japanese origin it will probably be still running for a long time after its German and British opposition have hit the breakers yards) It still looks daft though in a outta-there Korean kinda way and with the weight,size and inefficiency all going against it, might just do brilliantly over here? Then again probably wont with prices of that magnitude and a "badge" that badge-pimps wont have a clue as to what it is and by whom...Wrong time to be launching this kind of car methinks plus you would wait for the new Cayenne if you were! A sports dont wanna go-offroader...

11 November 2009

In spec and looks it's a droopy X6. And it's generally agreed on these forums that this is an irrelevant vehicle too.

11 November 2009

I am really not an "SUV" person , but I do like this. I could probably get by with the V6 model though.

11 November 2009

Oh dear, even an X6 is appealing after that. Typical nasty Japanese interior as well. No thanks.

11 November 2009

Is this the new King of the BCSD brigade?

11 November 2009

[quote Lee23404]

Oh dear, even an X6 is appealing after that. Typical nasty Japanese interior as well. No thanks.

[/quote] I think this looks a lot cooler in a geeky i.t kind of way then the x6. But to be fair I do wrk in it and like this and the x6

11 November 2009

i love this car, i think its fantastic; the X6 is ugly (x10000) and does not know what it is, this machine knows what it is and i think it looks top; very tidy indeed, i want one.

12 November 2009

Loads of these here in the ME and I quite like em. I would not want to fill one up in the UK though as it would soon buckle my flexible friend.

I wonder if there will be a diesel for the uk range in time. Maybe Renaults 3.0l V6 ?

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