2012 INFINITI FX50 Review


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2012 INFINITI FX50 Overview

Infiniti's FX50 is the Batmobile come to life. Dark, mysterious and sleek, this powerful luxury SUV has specs that would make even the Dark Knight green with envy. There is only one trim, because with this car, they give you all they’ve got: a 5.0-liter V8 engine with 390 hp, 369 lb-ft of torque and a 7-speed automatically controlled transmission with AWD.

Also included is an HD navigation system with 8-inch touchscreen, in-dash CD/DVD player, voice control, Bluetooth, power-tilt steering column and aluminum roof rails. Packages offered are the Technology, which includes intelligent cruise control, lane departure warning and brake assist, and the Sport, which gives you solid magnesium paddle shifters and sport-style front seats.

With an exterior color palate that includes Moonlight White, Umbria Twilight, and Black Obsidian, the FX50 is a sexy beast. Still, after three years it is time for a refresh—the only significant changes for 2012 are 21-inch standard wheels and a tweaked front fascia and grille.

The interior looks just as cool, especially in the darker colors. The high dashboard and dials are understated, and the matte-finish surfaces offer a nice alternative to tacky chrome. All interiors include quilted leather-appointed seating with heated front seats and maple interior accents. The 11-speaker Bose system will certainly rock you.

Also included is your very own “Watson,” aka the Infiniti Personal Assistant, a real-live human available (via Bluetooth-connected phone) 24-hours a day. Agents are purportedly trained to answer nearly any question and help with reservations, weather forecasts, sports scores and product reviews. This feature is free for the first 4 years and will make you feel like a high-powered executive (if you’re not one already).

But let’s get to the important stuff: how the FX handles on the road. At times feeling more like a sports car than an SUV, the car handles twisty-turn-y country roads with aplomb; urban speed bumps, not so much. The 7-speed automatic transmission, with downshift rev-matching, transitions smoothly between gears. Like an SUV, though, this sucker drinks gasoline, with a dismal 14 mpg city/20 highway EPA estimate.

And, while visibility through the rear window may be a bit of an issue, Infiniti’s Around View Monitor uses four cameras to create a virtual bird’s-eye view of your surroundings, displayed at eye-level on your touchscreen. This makes even the tightest parking spaces a snap.

Standard safety features include dual-stage front airbags, which adjust inflation depending on severity of impact, roof-mounted side-impact curtain airbags for the back seat, and a solid 4-piston aluminum front caliper braking system that will stop you dead in your tracks. You can add the aforementioned Technology package’s high-tech safety options, but for some drivers they may be more annoying than helpful.

Overall, the FX50 combines sport with stature, speed with stability. Bruce Wayne would be proud to own one.


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