Sunday, May 26, 2013

Infiniti FX37 Test Drive

 The Infiniti FX is a familiar face. The current version has been out for exactly 5 years. 
The front end was redesigned for 2012.
The design has aged pretty well in my opinion. It still looks upscale yet sporty.

 Everything feels solid and very well put together inside. But it has aged quite a bit more than the exterior. Even though all materials are 1st rate, it just lacks something. It feels “old Infiniti”. Nothing as modern as the all-new Q50.

It just doesn’t really seem like a $54 000 car in there. It has become a bit boring…
The seats are very comfortable. It is roomy enough in the back as well.
The 11-speaker Bose stereo in my test car sounded fine, but nothing amazing.
And the annoying “High speed warning 25 miles from your location” warning welcomes you every time you start the car. No matter where I was, there were some high winds exactly 25 miles away… (That feature was turned off quickly…)

The drive is a mixed bag. The engine is the smooth and powerful 325HP Nissan V6.
But in this case, it sounds very much like in the Nissan Z. Which is great in a Z, but feels out of place in a $54 000 Luxury SUV. 
You just always hear it. And after a while, it does become annoying. Because you know, you’re not driving a sports car.

The 7-speed transmission is pretty smooth, but slow to react most of the time. Which doesn’t match at all the sporty sounds of the engine.

The steering would be fine. A bit twitchy, like most Infiniti models. But the super hard 21 tires ruin everything. It becomes really hard to control the car most of the time, except when the road is perfectly flat. The whole thing feels pretty unrefined. More like an old fashion muscle car than an expensive SUV. It just becomes quite a handful to drive....

The tires are also noisy. And contribute to a very harsh ride. A hard ride on an SUV doesn’t make things feel sporty at all. I’m not sure what they are going for here…

The FX37 is rated at 16/22MPG. It was impossible to get over 15 in the city.
Although I did get 25 on the freeway. Thanks to the new 7-speed auto.

The FX37 is a bit of an odd car. Infiniti is pushing the sporty side of things a bit too much.
It is very powerful but the transmission isn’t sporty at all. Yet the “Z like ride” is really out of place in a car like this.

 I am sure the standard model with smaller wheels is a much better choice.
Which reminds me of reviews complaining of the same thing (Ride too rough with the larger tires) when the 1st generation was out. So they don’t seem to listen, or be able to improve things.

I think my $54 000 AWD “Special Edition” was just too expensive. Priced too close to the more prestigious European competition.  


Anonymous said...

This was always the automotive equivalent of the ugly girl with a great personality. But man, so ugly.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to simplicity in dashboard design? That sea of buttons is a hot mess and the Versa steering wheel does not impress!

Anonymous said...

Vince, regardless of the MSRP, you can buy your version for close to high $40s. The normal size wheels make it look boring, and the bigger size wheels make it drive rough. This rig should be driving with 20s like it drives with the 18s. 21" size is a little out there for any car anyway. I test drove it and although I liked it a lot, I ended up buying an MDX. The MDX is almost as athletic, but ease of entering and exiting the rear seats, cargo space, 3 rows, and a more practically handsome design where the top reasons, despite the abominable beak.

Anonymous said...

I actually prefer the "old" Infiniti design motif inside to the new Q50. I sat in two Q50 interiors at the NY auto show, including the top rung model, and was pretty unimpressed for a car pressing 50K. Take away the split info screens (one touch, one display) and that dash could be in anything from a Kia Rio up to, well, a Q50. Very boring.