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PERFORMANCE | 9 out of 10
born to run fast and hard
the FX35 accelerates with vigor
The automatic transmission is smooth but can delay downshifts
The 2008 Infiniti FX shares its basic platform with one of Infiniti's most aggressive performance sedans: the G35
Kelley Blue Book
For the Infiniti FX, 2008 sees no changes for its engines or transmission, but this shouldn't put off potential buyers, as the FX is still an enthusiastic performer.
As J.D. Power reports, "FX35 models feature 6-cylinder power and the choice of RWD or AWD. The FX45 is only offered with 8-cylinder power and AWD." The V-6 is rated at 275 hp and 268 pound-feet of torque, while the V-8 is rated at 320 hp and 335 pound-feet. Edmunds says the Infiniti FX 35 accelerates with "vigor" and suggests it "is quick enough for most and is much easier to find on dealer lots." The 2008 Infiniti FX is still "among the quicker SUVs...An AWD FX35 did 7.6 sec 0-60mph in our test; an FX45 did 6.7 sec," finds ConsumerGuide.
Like the previous years' Infiniti FX, 2008s still come only with a five-speed automatic. Various reviews read by TheCarConnection.com affirm that it is electronically controlled with a manual shift mode. ConsumerGuide says, "The automatic...is smooth but can delay downshifts, making the manual-shift mode attractive for quick passing maneuvers." On the Infiniti FX 35, "rear-wheel drive is standard," writes Edmunds, "though the optional AWD system has a rear bias to preserve its sporty handling characteristics." They add "all-wheel drive makes the entertainment a four-seasons deal."
All this exciting power extracts a hefty fuel penalty. According to fueleconomy.gov, the 2008 Infiniti FX 35 RWD achieves 15mpg city/22 mpg highway; the 2008 Infiniti FX AWD hits 15/20 mpg; and the 2008 Infiniti FX 45 comes in at 13/17 mpg. ConsumerGuide tested AWD versions of the Infiniti FX; 2008 FX35s averaged 15-16 mpg, while FX45s averaged 14-16 mpg. They point out "all require premium-grade gas."
The testers at J.D. Power enjoyed putting an Infiniti FX45 through its paces. They write, "[It] stuck with [a] Lamborghini Gallardo [on a curving freeway onramp], but just barely." They add, "The FX has serious stick...[and] handles like no SUV I've driven short of the Porsche Cayenne, and when stacked up against this German rival, it looks like a raging bargain." Edmunds has similar views. They note "the 2008 Infiniti FX35 could be considered a sport sedan in SUV clothing.... [It] attacks corners eagerly and generally feels alive on the road." The trade-off is the firm suspension setup. Edmunds warns, "its ride quality...might be too stiff for the average luxury SUV shopper." ConsumerGuide counters this opinion in their assessment: "FX compensates somewhat for its hard ride by being poised on smooth twisty roads, with great grip and well-checked body lean."
Reviews of the 2008 Infiniti FX's brakes and steering are mixed. J.D. Power feels it has "a touchy brake pedal feel and is equipped with heavy steering that will give the driver a workout in tight parking spots." Edmunds notes "its braking distances are short by even car standards and almost stellar by an SUV's." Finally, Kelley Blue Book comments, "The steering can feel a bit heavy due to the large tires...[but] under way, the FX's steering is tight and linear."
The 2008 Infiniti FX defines "sport" in "SUV" with its athletic handling, firm ride, and powerful if thirsty engines.