Infiniti FX review
The Infiniti FX is part-SUV, part-coupe, and comes with a range of powerful V6 and V8 engines
The Infiniti FX is a crossover in the same vein as the BMW X6 – it's designed to be an SUV and a coupe at the same time. Its bold styling is backed up by a range of powerful engines which include V6 and V8 petrol units – with impressive performance but also staggeringly high running costs – and a more sensible V6 diesel. It's far from the most practical SUV on the market but it does handle well, and buying one guarantees you membership of quite an exclusive club, as you're not likely to see too many other FXs on the road.
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The Infiniti FX has brash styling with bulbous headlights, a bold chrome grille and a profile that sits somewhere between an SUV and a coupe. If that wasn't enough to make it stand out already then the fact that you won't see many of these on the road, will certainly be enough to ensure it turns heads. Recently updated with new wheel designs for GT models and a reshaped front bumper, all FX models have at least 20-inch alloy wheels, but 21-inch units are also available. The interior is packed with gadgets and quality materials but there's a few re-used switches and dials from Nissan cars that look a little out of place.
Infiniti offers buyers a choice of three different engines in the FX and all offer impressive acceleration – especially for a car this size. The cheapest model is powered by a 3.7-litre V6 engine that can launch the FX from 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds. The flagship petrol model gets a 5.0-litre V8 and completes the same sprint in 5.8 seconds. There is also a 3.0-litre V6 diesel model which is a fair bit slower than the petrols but offers the benefit of lower running costs. Handling is supposed to be more sports coupe than SUV and it succeeds in being far more agile and fun than it should be. The steering is a bit lifeless though and the ride is firmer than rivals like a Range Rover Sport. The seven-speed automatic gearbox is also slow to react to and can get easily confused if left to manage the changes on its own - so using the magnesium paddles on the steering column is advised.
The FX was awarded the full five stars when it was tested for crash safety by Euro NCAP, and that's partly down to the generous amount of airbags fitted and a range of hi-tech gadgets too. An Intelligent Brake system can bring the car to a halt without driver intervention and a lane keep assistant will brake the inside wheels to bring the car back into its lane if it should veer out. All the mechanicals are proven in various Nissans and no major faults have been reported either.
That low-slung coupe styling has done its part to damage the FX's practicality. The cabin for instance can feel a little bit cramped, which is mainly due to a lack of headroom, however legroom is plentiful and unlike some rivals the rear seats can recline individually but the boot is far from class-leading. With all the seats in place there's 410 litres of room but the back seats do fold down to liberate 1305 litres. Scratch shield paint heals small scratches, while a whole host of cameras on the sides, front and rear will help prevent bumps in the first place.
The FX is a big heavy car, it's equipped with four-wheel drive and it comes with an automatic gearbox. That's a recipe for high running costs and the figures confirm what we expected. Both the petrol engines have a fuel economy figure that's only just over 20mpg which means everyday driving will see you achieving something more like 12/13mpg. The 5.0-litre V8 is in the top road tax bracket and the 3.7-litre V6 isn't much better either. Best of the bunch is the diesel but that only just manages to break the 30mpg barrier and CO2 emissions of 238g/km are still very high as all versions go without start/stop technology.