Monday, April 16, 2012

Infiniti FX 35 - Swirly Curly

My mother was impressed with the Infiniti FX 35 luxury crossover. She's the one who called it "swirly curly." But you've got to admit that it is that.

The FX gets a new face this year, and a special new model--the Limited Edition. My test car was that model. Offered in a special Iridium Blue exterior color, it boasts 21-inch 10-spoke aluminum-alloy graphite finish wheels with P265/45R21 V-rated all-season tires, dark-tinted headlights with Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) and auto-leveling, and dark-tinted side air vents and lower door trim. Other features for this special vehicle include aluminum roof rails and roof rail crossbars with graphite finish, aluminum pedals, graphite floor mats with unique blue piping, Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System, Around View® Monitor (AVM) and much more.

The original sport utility vehicles (SUVs) were truck-based and boxy, but the tall, people-and-stuff-hauling crossovers are anything but. And Infiniti (Nissan) gave the sensuous exuberance of their cars to the big FX 35.

There's plenty of power from the 3.5-liter V6--303 horsepower to be exact--and intelligent all-wheel-drive handles the light offroading chores. There's a ski mode for going up to the cabin in Lake Tahoe, but you won't want to do much more dirty driving than that. You don't want to damage those 21-inch rims!

You get 16 City, 21 Highway (18 mpg average) from the EPA. I averaged 19.2 mpg. The EPA Green Vehicle Guide numbers are 5 for Air Pollution and just 3 for Greenhouse Gas. 

It's a world of leather inside, where the rounded look continues. You'll find hides on the seats, (with 10-way heating), steering wheel and shift knob. The panels have an "inflated" or convex feel to them, implying fullness and richness.

All this good stuff will cost you. The sticker on my tester was $52,445.

I like the way you can see the curving front fenders from the driver's seat. So often these days you can't see the outside of the car at all from there. It was smooth sailing for this big beauty.

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