Review: Infiniti FX (2009 – 2013)
Good value when compared to rivals and very highly equipped as standard. Strong engines including V6 diesel from 2010. Well-built with a premium feel inside.
Small dealer network. V6 and V8 petrol engines are thirsty. Infiniti name only recognisable to those in the know.
Infiniti FX (2009 – 2013): At A Glance
The Infiniti FX is is the largest Infiniti that's sold in the UK but while it's a four-wheel drive, it's more of a sports offroader, so sits alongside cars like the Porsche Cayenne and BMW X6, focussing on driver appeal more that outright practicality. Initially available as a V6 petrol engine along with a monstrous V8 but the most popular model is the 3.0-litre V6 diesel that was introduced in mid 2010.
It's the kind of car that some people call a "Sports Utility Vehicle" or SUV for short. The Infiniti FX definitely leans more towards sport than utility with powerful engines, great on-road capabilities and impressive road presence. Infiniti claims it blends the shape of an off-roader with the performance of a coupe - indeed the V6 uses the same engine as the excellent Nissan 370Z.
Although it impresses on the road, it's left a little wanting when it comes to the utility part of its name: if you're looking for a proper load lugger, then the FX probably isn't for you. The boot is quite small for this type of car and although the back seats do fold flat for larger loads, it has little in the way of off-road capability.
Inside it feels pleasingly upmarket. Those who are familiar with Nissans will be able to spot some of the switches and buttons from other models, but they have been combined with new, high-grade materials. The result is an interior that that combines a tasteful look with first-rate build quality. The seats come in for particular praise: they're sculpted, highly adjustable, have Bentley-style quilting on some models and can be heated and vented. They're just about as comfortable as seats get.
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Infiniti FX (2009 – 2013): What's It Like Inside?
The blend of sports car and off-roader is particularly evident from behind the wheel. The driving position is excellent: elevated, highly adjustable and with a decent amount of forward visibility. It's well set-up for long motorway trips with an excellent sound system and standard cruise control. The swooping coupe-like roof does hinder rear visibility, but this is made up for with a sophisticated camera system. Not only does it show the view behind when reversing, but, on certain models, it uses cameras positioned around the car to give a 360 degree view - ideal when parking alongside high kerbs to prevent alloy wheel damage.
The interior is one of the FX's greatest strengths. The dash is smooth, well designed, precisely built and envelopes the occupants. All passengers are well catered-for with standard climate control, heated front passenger seat, lots of space and big, comfortable seats.
Boot space is a bit of an issue. The FX will comfortable seat five, but it will struggle to transport their luggage as well - there's just 410 litres on boot space on offer and that's quite small when compared to similar cars. But the seats do fold flat quickly, so it can be reasonably practical if there are fewer passengers. As the Infiniti FX focuses more on sport than comfort, the ride is on the hard side. This is particularly evident on models with larger wheels. Some are fitted with 21-inch wheels, which make even small bumps on the road noticeable in the cabin.
Standard on the FX is a new Automatic Driving Position System, which moves the seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors adaptively into the correct position. This system allows the driver to change the seat position while driving and keep the same viewpoint and relationship between the steering column and driver's shoulder position.
Equipment from launch (October 2009):
GT models have intelligent All-Wheel Drive, six airbags, speed sensitive power steering, I-Key with smart access and push button starter (as soon as the vehicle identifies a pre-programmed I-Key in the vicinity, the door can be opened and the car started without the key needing to leave a pocket or handbag), darkened rear privacy glass, wood interior finish, a six-disc and seven-speaker CD audio system with an RCA AUX-in jack socket for MP3 players, rear view camera with front and rear parking sensors and 7-inch colour display, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity, cruise control, power seats (10-way driver's; 8-way passenger's), auto-dimming rear view mirror, automatic lights and wipers, electric glass sunroof and integrated fog lamps. The leather-trimmed steering wheel incorporates controls for the audio system, cruise control and telephone.
S versions add active Continuous Damping Control, 14-way power adjustment for the driver's seat, front sports seats and 21-inch alloy wheels. The FX37S and FX50 can be easily indentified by their dark chrome exterior trim and smoked headlamps. Options on the FX37 models include black lacquer and aluminium trim, Multimedia pack (DVD navigation, voice recognition, BOSE sound system), Around View Monitor, metallic paint and a temporary spare wheel (replacing standard tire repair kit). The Around View Monitor uses small cameras mounted at the front, rear and in the door mirrors of FX to project an all-round view of potential obstacles on every side of the vehicle. A natural extension of Infiniti's rear view parking camera, the Around View Monitor uses the standard seven inch colour screen to display a bird's eye view of the car as it parks, enabling the driver to negotiate a tight parking spot without mishap.
FX50 S models have a multimedia pack (with a larger 8-inch display) and Around View Monitor, a BOSE sound system, intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Brake Assist and Active Rear Steer. The only options are metallic paint, the black lacquer/aluminium interior trim and a temporary spare wheel.
Premium models are equipped as standard with virtually every feature in Infiniti's portfolio. That means that as well as the suite of active safety technology, every Premium version comes with Around View Monitor and a 30GB hard disk drive satellite navigation system complete with Michelin Guide recommendations, key ingredient of Infiniti's much-praised Connectiviti+ information and entertainment platform. On the music front, Premium versions of both GT and S get a 10GB Music Box which can store the equivalent of 300 CDs and an 11-speaker Bose Premium Sound System on which to enjoy them.
Child seats that fit a Infiniti FX (2009 – 2013)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Infiniti FX (2009 – 2013) like to drive?
Under the bonnet of the Infiniti FX is either a 3.7-litre V6 or 5.0-litre V8 petrol or, from mid-2010, a 3.0-litre V6 diesel. The 320PS 3.7-litre V6 will be more than sufficient for most buyers needs. It's a refined engine that's as happy cruising the motorway as it is being worked hard on backroads.
It will get to 62mph on 6.8 seconds and onto a top speed of 145mph. Opt for the 5.0-litre V8 and you'll have a true muscle car that boasts performance figures on a par with some sports cars. It also compares well with its three chief rivals, the BMW X6 XDrive 50i, Range Rover Sport and Porsche Cayenne.
The diesel, from late 2010, will be of most interest to buyers. It brings CO2 emissions down to 238g/km (it's 282g/km for the V6 petrol and 307g/km for the V8) and significantly improves fuel economy. The diesel will manage 31.4mpg, while the V6 will do just 21mpg and the V8 is just 23mpg.
The V6 diesel really suits the FX well, so although it's a diesel, don't imagine it's not as good to drive as the petrols. In fact, thanks to its 550Nm of torque - more than the V8-powered model - it's actually the perfect engine with huge amounts of in-gear pulling power and great engine response when you need it. This makes for safe overtaking and the effortless performance from 50-70mph comes in useful when joining fast flowing motorways or dual carriageways.
Infiniti has made sure it sounds good too, so you get the muscular V6 noise as well as a sporty note from the exhaust. Yet it's still incredibly refined so even if you push it to maximum revs (which you never need to) it's never coarse. This makes it the perfect long distance car and at 70mph on the motorway it's barely touching 1900rpm which means minimal noise and good economy.
All models come with an Adaptive Shift Control seven-speed automatic gearbox which delivers smooth and rapid changes with no turbo lag inbetween. Having seven ratios may seem over the top, but the Infiniti system works well and doesn't 'hunt' for the right gear plus it responds well when you ask it to kickdown a gear.
With sharp, direct steering, good levels of grip and minimal bodyroll, the FX feels a lot more agile than you'd expect a car of this size to be. The only indication of its size is the steering. The big wheels (up to 21 inches) mean it can feel a bit heavy out on the open road, but is much lighter at parking speeds. Go for the top-end V8 or diesel S and you'll get Active Steer, a which turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front ones. This has the benefit of improving handling at higher speeds and makes parking and three-point turns easier. It's certainly useful in tight corners too, as you don't need as much steering input to get round smoothly.
The four-wheel drive system is designed to aid traction, rather than give the FX genuine off-road ability. The power distribution is split automatically between the front and rear wheels, from 50:50 for maximum traction (when it's wet for instance), to 100 per cent to the rear axle in dry conditions. This means traction is excellent, even in slippery conditions or when pulling away from junctions in the wet.
|FX30d||33 mpg||8.3 s||225 g/km|
|FX37||23 mpg||6.8 s||282 g/km|
|FX50||22 mpg||5.8 s||307 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Infiniti FX (2009 – 2013)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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