Infiniti FX35 Test drive
-HOW IT LOOKS.
I loved the “old” FX when it came out. It was really one of the most striking design out there. With this and the first Murano, Nissan was on a roll.
But when I saw the first pictures of the new one, I hated it. I thought they ruined it.
But things changed when I started seeing a few (very few) in the streets.
I after driving one for a week, I really like the way it looks. It is one of these cars that has a very strong presence in person.
The interior is another home run for Infiniti.
The brown/black combo of my test car even gave it some old British pub atmosphere.
Everything is well made and all the plastics seem of very high quality. It is just one of the best interiors I’ve seen in years.
The back seat is a lot roomier than the smaller EX35, but it’s not as roomy as the Murano, or the Lexus RX.
The optional Bose stereo is excellent. And the Nissan/Infiniti iPod integration through the USB plug is one of the best around. Playlists and songs can all be controlled through the touch screen or steering wheel controls.
The only thing I didn’t like about the interior was the weird airbrush look of the wood trim. Where they made it darker at the edges. It just looks too fake for me.
Wood does not need artificial color gradation to look good.
I also noticed that, just like on the EX35, there is no remote switch for the hatch. Not even from inside the car.
And at that price (My car was loaded at $56 000), it’s just plain weird….
-HOW I DRIVES.
The ride is like most other Infiniti cars. Firm yet very comfortable. The car feels very stable and you’re not sitting too high. Unlike in the Murano or the Rogue.
Again, just like other Infiniti models. Light but sharp and precise. A pleasure to drive.
Same engine as in the other ones. And again, one of the best V6 around. Smooth, powerful and sporty.
But still pretty thirsty…
It is rated at 16/21 and I got 15/26. So I did quite well on the freeway part. But it was actually pretty tough to even get 15 in the city.
The new 7 speed auto is probably the main reason why I got 26MPG on the freeway. And the 5 speed in the smaller EX only got 23.
Just like in the other models, it still has a delay when you push it. But the paddle shift to work. And they are much quicker.
The new FX starts at around $42 000. My loaded AWD model was a bit over $56 000. That is a lot of money.
Its main competition in the US is the Lexus RX. Which starts at almost $4000 less.
A loaded version of the new RX with AWD is about $51 000.
Still around $5000 less.
Sure, the Lexus isn’t as sporty, or powerful.
But I still think the new FX is way overpriced.
It is a great car, but I don’t think Infiniti should price itself above Lexus.
No matter what people think of Lexus, it does have a great image among buyers.
The overpriced FX leaves the EX to compete with the Lexus RX.
But the EX is just way to small inside to do that job.
Both the EX and the FX need to drop about $5000 off their MSRP to better compete in this market.
No matter how great they are to drive.
Conversation 12 comments
I’ve only seen one of these in person, and that front is just as hideous as it looks in these pictures. I like everything else about it. But man, that front…
great review, vince. many thanks. how did you get the opportunity to drive this?
…i have an idea why they priced it high. after two different outstanding Q45s (the first one in 1990 and the last one in 2002) losing market share because they didn’t have the ‘bling bling’ image (they were the least expensive luxury car in their class), someone in a boardroom decided to go down the Mercedes road. “expensive = image”, thus they priced the FX to ‘compete’ with the porsche cayenne and the range rover sport at the upper end of the pack.
they decided if they’re perceived as being more expensive than lexus and caddy, they will carry a different image.
they certainly have a different image.
” how did you get the opportunity to drive this?”
I do have access to the press fleet. So I get to keep these cars for a week at a time.
I feel very fortunate.
I agree that it is very overpriced. I also agree that the fake wood looks bad.
I don’t agree with your comment about the engine. I don’t think the VQ35 or VQ37 are very refined engines at all.
vq series are some of the best engines ever built. as a matter of fact, wards suggested that audi and lexus could do well by attending a nissan engine clinic.
I think the EX is 5k overpriced and this car is 7k over at the base and 10k over fully loaded.
Good review thouh, Vince. Infiniti makes nice vehicles all around but the mileage across the board is sub-par and they exagerate the appearance to ridiculous extents. Usually cartoons don’t tranlate well to real life and the new FX is a perfect example.
“…as a matter of fact, wards suggested that audi and lexus could do well by attending a nissan engine clinic.”
Which is absolutely the most ludicrous statement of the day.
You are comparing apples and oranges. The FX, as you attest, is a much more engaging crossover than the RX. A better comparison is with the Porche Cayenne and the X5. I would even add the MDX, which gives such a nice balance between ride and handling. Why don’t you drive the new RX and give us an additional point of reference?
research under google these words………..audi should attend nissan engine clinic ward’s. then you ignorant prick, you will see that engine specialists find Nissan builds the best engines.
G37 sedan is competitively priced with ES, so there’s no cost reason for FX to be priced substantially higher than Rx. Infiniti is just charging design premium.
And I agree about the wood… supposedly it’s hand-stained to get that feathered effect, but it’s not the most attractive. Honestly, when they start cutting wood shapes into bizarre shapes, they start to look cheap.
Lexus of the 90s used to have great wood, with simple shapes and deep and thick lacquer. Their newer models… not so much. I hope they don’t think people haven’t noticed.
“Tomba bomba said…
vq series are some of the best engines ever built. as a matter of fact, wards suggested that audi and lexus could do well by attending a nissan engine clinic.”
“honda garbage said…
research under google these words………..audi should attend nissan engine clinic ward’s. then you ignorant prick, you will see that engine specialists find Nissan builds the best engines.”
That is why Wards dropped Nissan’s VQ off of their list this year, right? It is a thrashy, unrefined, engine that (apparently) now has a problem with oil consumption in some of their applications.
There are a ton of uninformed, ignorant comments on this site.
Just took delivery of the same $56K Fx35 Vince reviewed. 100% agreement. Spectacular fit, form and ride. Much less jarring ride than previous fx35 with ony a little less feel. The new appearance grows on you quickly, but certainly overpriced. Only caviet is the hefty discount and $2K Infiniti loyalty rebate I got.
9 on the enthusiast scale, 3 on the value scale.