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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
Infiniti appears to have edged the performance quotient even higher
FX35's 3.5-liter V6 is spunky from a stop and competent
A new engine lineup
weight distribution is some of the best in its class”
The CarConnection.com found that reviewers like performance of the 2009 Infiniti FX, though not necessarily in the base model.
Most reviewers from across the Web agree that the increased horsepower in both the Infiniti FX35 and Infiniti FX50 is a good thing. Cars.com reviewers were pleased with the improved performance of the FX; Infiniti now offers "a 390-horsepower V-8 powers the FX 50, while a 303-hp V-6 powers the FX 35."
Car and Driver adores the FX50. “This new V-8 packs a mega-punch. We saw 60 mph flash past in 5.0 seconds in our FX50S, with the quarter-mile dispatched in 13.6 seconds at 104 mph. That’s quicker than a Mustang GT.” ConsumerGuide, though, feels that the Infiniti 2009 FX35 is just "adequately powerful on the highway."
ConsumerGuide also notes that the "busy 7-speed automatic is indecisive and too quick to shift during hill climbs or highway passing maneuvers." Autoblog reviewers say when taking the FX on back roads, the FX's capabilities made them feel "less than impressed." Additionally, "shifts are somewhat sluggish and the paddle shifters aren't nearly as immediate as they need to be." In contrast, “the engine and transmission are well matched,” Motor Trend says. “Power comes quickly and effortlessly as the FX50 rockets to speed, and the transmission makes it easy to keep things in check when descending steep grades. Under light to moderate acceleration, the seven-speed's close-ratio shifts are quick and smooth; pushing it makes the shifts hard-thumping pulses.”
Fuel economy is not a strong suit of the FX Infiniti, though it’s improved for 2009. The Associated Press says “premium gasoline is required for both FX engines, and neither FX model is a fuel-sipper. In fact, the test FX50, rated by federal officials at just 14 miles per gallon in city driving and 20 mpg on the highway, averaged 15.6 mpg in my combined driving.”
In terms of handling, Autoblog raves about the fact that "the four-wheel independent suspension has been recalibrated (double wishbones up front and a multi-link rear setup) and aluminum has been used throughout the new FX, from the suspension to the doors, to shave 200 pounds off the curb weight." The Associated Press says, “the FX50 took curves with gusto and surprised me by how well it stayed connected to the pavement. Except for my higher seat height and occasional head toss, I felt like I was driving a car, not an SUV.” An optional “continuous damping control that measures such things as pitch, yaw, roll and lateral acceleration of the FX body and then adjusts the suspension accordingly” is an important part of the FX’s sporting handling, the Associated Press adds.
Motor Trend notes that “the ride isn't soft, not by a long shot, but it's much better than in the previous FX.” Infiniti has done better with the second-generation car; Autoblog feels “the ride is certainly better than the outgoing FX and even with the dampers set to Sport it's not the kidney-punishing affair we previously endured."
TheCarConnection.com sampled both the V-6 and V-8 versions of the new 2009 Infiniti FX. Though it’s softened somewhat, 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.
The 2009 Infiniti FX has urgent acceleration through its optional V-8, and handling is great, though the ride is still a little too firm.