- Trigger-happy V-8
- Slick-shifting seven-speed automatic
- Easy to use navigation system
- Distinctive styling turns a lot of heads
- Cartoonish styling can turn some heads
- Not top-heavy, but heavy nonetheless
- Abundance of expensive gadgets
- No lightweight
The 2009 Infiniti FX offers a truly distinctive shape and sportscarlike acceleration. If you need to haul plywood or lots of kids, though, look elsewhere.
The 2009 Infiniti FX may seem like a subtle renovation of the existing crossover, but comparing them side by side reveals a more dramatic change. The new FX is even more coupelike--just in time, as luxury brands like BMW are adding their own "crossover coupes."
The FX comes in either V-6 or V-8 form, with a base sticker of about $41,000. That base price will be for the V-6 edition, which keeps its 3.5-liter V-6 engine and 303-horsepower output, and a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. The $50,000 V-8 version is now powered by a 390-hp 5.0-liter V-8, and both get a new seven-speed automatic transmission standard.
Fuel economy and handling are improved over the previous car, but the 2009 Infiniti FX still has a smaller backseat than you might expect in an expensive crossover vehicle. It's intended for drivers with smaller families, and the sporty styling means it could even substitute for a hot coupe. Even so, handling is still more sport-ute than sportscar, and V-6 versions with rear-wheel drive have noticeably better steering than V-8 cars with all-wheel drive.
There are big-ticket electronic options like adaptive suspension, a great DVD navigation system, lane-departure warnings, and the like. But it's the big, blingy 21-inch wheels that set the top versions apart. That, and the new fender vents that adopt the trend filtering its way through all the car world.
It's neither the roomiest, nor the most comfortable sport-ute on the planet, and that's what Infiniti had in mind. And maybe they're right--BMW's new X6 is a clear take on the 2009 FX, and imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, isn't it?