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.