Friday, May 6, 2011

Style and Substance: The Infiniti FX 35

Sportscar-like driving combines with SUV-like versatility in the 2011 Infiniti FX35.

The FX35 has a 303-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine linked to a seven-speed automatic transmission with auto-manual mode.  Standard rear-wheel-drive or optional all-wheel-drive are available. The FX35 gets 16 mpg in the city and 21-23 mpg on the highway. Infiniti says the all-wheel-drive version tows up to 2,000 pounds. 

The FX35's sweeping exterior styling is distinctive, with its elongated narrow hood, bi-xenon headlights and functional side air vents.  The FX35 has 18-inch alloy wheels standard, with 20-inchers are optional.  Infiniti says a key addition for 2011 is a power liftgate for added convenience. 

The interior is quite refined, with its power leather front seats, a reclining rear seat, dual-zone climate control and optional heated/cooled front seats.  Infiniti says maximum cargo capacity is 62 cubic feet with rear seats stowed.  Other features include Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port with an MP3 interface that are standard, while a hard drive navigation system with voice recognition, XM NavTraffic, a Bose audio system with 11 speakers, and a 9.3GB Music Box hard drive are optional.

For safety, there's an around-view monitor system, which utilizes several cameras for an overhead view of the SUV's perimeter, and a lane departure prevention system.  Infiniti says its Distance Control Technology helps keep an adequate distance between you and the car in front of you while in cruise control.  There is also adaptive cruise control and a forward-warning system, which applies the brakes in the event of an impending collision, which are optional.  Active head restraints, side-impact airbags for the front seats, side-curtain airbags for both rows, traction control, an electronic stability system, and four-wheel antilock disc brakes are each standard.

Priced from $43,000 to around $49,000, the FX is competitive with the sticker prices of other luxury SUVs.

With its sportiness and versatility, the FX 35 offers plenty of style and substance.

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