2010 Infiniti FX50 Review

FX50

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2010 Infiniti FX50 Overview

The FX is Infiniti’s attempt at what they call “cool fusion,” blending sports-car performance and styling with SUV utility, and the FX50 is its top-tier offering. While its smaller sibling (the FX35) gets a rather competent V6, the FX50 goes for grunt in the form of a 5.0-liter V8. Couple that with a platform shared with the Nissan 370Z, and it’s obvious the sports car end of its inspiration was more than just talk.

Available only with all-wheel drive (AWD), this crossover, midsize, four-door, five-passenger SUV has a 390-hp V8 and a seven-speed shiftable automatic transmission for a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. Compared to the previous 4.5-liter V8, the 5.0-liter offers an additional 70 hp and 34 lb-ft of torque for its full rating of 369 at 4,400 rpm. While this is enough for a 5.2-second 0-60 leap, the seven-speed automatic seems reluctant to settle, continually hunting for preferred gearing. Steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters help during spirited driving, but the hunt continues as the ride mellows. Required premium-grade gasoline returns an EPA-estimated 14/20 mpg.

21-inch alloys are a sight from the outside, and do deceivingly little to inhibit a smooth and comfortable ride, thanks in part to the FX’s Continuous-Damping-Control – a suspension system that automatically adjusts suspension damping to provide a better ride. It works, but the ride is still a bit short of cushy.

Additional problems have been noted with the lane departure warning and prevention systems. While the FX deserves praise for being the first production vehicle to include such systems, some testers and owners have noticed reluctance on the part of the system to engage, perhaps a comment on our increasing reliance on technology, but most likely an issue Infiniti will address and fix soon. Otherwise, handling is crisp, responsive, and tight, especially with the optional Sports Package, which adds more supportive and increasingly adjustable seats, steering-linked adaptive headlights, active rear steering, and the continuously adjustable automatic suspension with sport setting. A technology package adds the lane departure and prevention systems, intelligent brake assist, adaptive cruise control, and rain-sensing wipers, but even without either of these packages, the FX50 is quite well-equipped. A Bose stereo, leather upholstery, heated and cooled power bucket seats, a navigation system, and the Around View Monitor system are all standard.

As with many of the luxury Japanese offerings, the weak point in the FX50's design is its suspension, and only in comparison with the detail and design of the rest of the vehicle, not to mention its competition. Europe simply still has a stranglehold on proper suspension setup, easily blending comfort and performance. It’s not that the FX50 has poor or even mediocre handling, it’s just got some stiff competition. If you don’t need to have the best out there, it’s certainly a great option.

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A CarGurus contributor since 2008, Michael started his career writing about cars with the SCCA - winning awards during his time as editor of Top End magazine. Since then, his journalistic travels have taken him from NY to Boston to CA, completing a cross-country tour on a restored vintage Suzuki. While his preference is for fine German automobiles - and the extra leg room they so often afford - his first automobile memories center around impromptu Mustang vs. Corvette races down the local highway, in the backseat of his father's latest acquisition.

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    Infiniti FX50 Questions

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    Does It Have A Dvd Player?

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