2010 Infiniti FX Review

2010 Infiniti FX - Infiniti nails the FX35


The original Infiniti FX featured a polarizing design that evoked immediate love - or perplexing disdain. The newest version of the FX revisits the bold styling that made it one of the most identifiable vehicles on the road while adding more whiz-bang technology to the standard mix.

The FX is like a Kevlar vest (only with cooled seats) with layers of outstanding materials and equipment making the whole SUV greater than the sum of its parts. The Infiniti FX35 features a V-6 engine, while the FX50 boasts a bold V-8.

All-wheel drive is optional on the base model and standard on the FX50.

Don't be fooled into thinking that its SUV moniker means the FX has anything to do with utility or going off the pavement.

On the contrary, this Infiniti is all luxury, comfort and sport-tuned driving. From its exterior looks, like its sloping roofline, it's easy to see that this vehicle is not about hauling or plentiful interior spaces - it's about looking and feeling great zipping around town in style.

On the outside FX's design cues are exaggerated to the fullest extent of fashion. From its low-slung grille and pit-bull stance to the bulging fenders and chiseled headlights, the little details of FX's design make one statement: "Get in."

Base priced at $43,850, the FX35's price tag can easily climb with Infiniti's "grouped" package option approach. The FX has a wonderful standard list of equipment, but you find that the option packages have lots of extra toys and gimmicks and must-haves packaged together that may be tough to say no to. My FX added a deluxe touring package ($2,650), premium package ($2,000) and navigation package ($2,800).

My FX35 tester featured a brilliant Blue Slate hue featuring Scratch Shield self-healing paint. Yep, it does exactly what it states - through chemistry and sunshine, scratches of minimal effect disappear.

Part of the touring package is the addition of 20-inch aluminum-alloy rims. These give an already-athletic exterior statement the proverbial grand slam. The FX feels planted to the ground all the time, sometimes maybe a little too planted with some stiff characteristics lending some fun to the driving but adding some soreness to the back side after long periods in the car. That's an easy tradeoff for this FX fan.

Inside the FX, you are pampered with high-tech gadgetry, refined leather, wood and metal surfaces and a quiet cabin that only occasionally suggests the power that belies its shell. This is not a big cabin, but it is a classy and cozy surrounding worthy of luxury status.

I found the well-bolstered seats to be comfortable for both front and rear passengers. Head and legroom is good in front while rear legroom can feel cramped for taller occupants. Rear seats fold 60/40 with little space behind the second row for storage.

FX's standard features impress and include dual-zone automatic temperature control, a Bose Premium Audio system with six-CD changer and a rearview monitor, XM satellite radio and a 2.0-gigabyte Music Box hard drive.

My tester featured a mobile entertainment system with a DVD player and ceiling-mounted, flip-down 9-inch color screen. A $1,600 option, the DVD system requires the addition of the technology package, which costs $2,800. Like I said earlier, it's hard to pull out these features from the packages.

My solution: It's all good; check all the boxes and enjoy - your kids surely will.

The FX35 offers a 303-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine while the FX50 delivers a 390-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8. Both engines are paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel-drive FX35 gets 16/23 mpg city/highway while the optional all-wheel-drive model gets 16/21 mpg.

This is better than average for this class.

Overall, performance characteristics for the FX35 are outstanding. It gives you a high view of the road, as opposed to a standard sedan, and it nails sport-sedan handling as well as any BMW SUV.

Safety features for the FX are at the top of the class. Even with its high base price, I believe the FX is still a great value in its class. The FX comes with a high level of standard features. Notable items like the self-repairing paint, amazing nav system and the overhead view from the backup camera do nothing but emphasize the technical wherewithal of the FX. This is one SUV I'd put my own money down to drive.


ENGINE: 303-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6

TRANSMISSION: seven-speed automatic

DRIVETRAIN: rear-wheel drive

FUEL ECONOMY: 16 city/23 highway

BASE PRICE: $43,850

AS TESTED: $52,900


John Stein

John Stein grew up in an extended family that valued the art of going fast. Spending plenty of weekends at U.S. 30 Drag Strip and Sante Fe Speedway, he fondly remembers the screaming machines and the flying mud that made those long-gone racing havens such special memories. With plenty of late nights spent ‘tinkering’ with cars throughout high school, he never anticipated his interest cars and his love for writing might find a common ground. After graduating from Eastern Illinois University in 1988, John started writing for the weekly Southtown Economist. So, when the Economist went to a daily in 1994, and needed an auto editor, John took the proverbial steering wheel. Featured weekly in the Sun-Times and its 17 suburban publications, as well as ELITE Magazine, John balances being the Automotive Editor for Sun-Time Media with being a husband and dad in Plainfield, Illinois.