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The cabin has undergone major changes, with new gauges, steering wheel, and standard seven-inch screen. There are more seat options, including front sport seats with S-Class-like air-inflating side bolsters; quilted leather; driver memory; and heating/cooling. If you've seen the inside of an M35/45 or G35/37, you'll have no difficulty recognizing the FX's center stack. The cabin is finished in Maple wood trim. As was the case with the original, utility is not as high a priority as is performance. There are only two rows, and cargo volume actually decreased for 2009. Standard and optional interior amenities include an ionizer, 11-speaker Bose audio system, 9.3GB Music Box hard drive, iPod interface, navigation, XM NavTraffic, and rear-seat DVD entertainment.

There is no shortage of technology, much of which is new or integrated in the FX for the first time. Vehicle Dynamic Control with traction control returns for 2009, as does ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive (standard on FX50, optional with V-6-powered FX models). New for 2009 is Continuous Damping Control, which comes as a part of the FX50's Sport package. This feature designed by ZF Sachs rivals Delphi's MagneRide (GM's Magnetic Ride Control). CDC uses an aperture-based valve instead of being a fluid-based system like Delphi's. Measurements are taken every two milliseconds by nine sensors to determine damping and CDC can control all wheels independently. The Sport package also comes with Rear-Active Steer, which moves the rear wheels up to one degree in response to the steering angle of the front wheels. The rearview monitor, standard on every FX, helps display what's behind the vehicle when in Reverse. The Around View Monitor, first introduced on the EX, shows either a top-down view of the crossover as you park or focuses on the curbside angle-you choose.

Much of the FX's new tech, though, comes under the umbrella of the Infiniti Safety Shield. This includes Intelligent Brake Assist, which beeps when you get too close to the vehicle (or tree, etc.) in front of you. If a frontal collision can't be avoided, IBA activates the brakes. It uses the Intelligent Cruise Control's laser rangefinder to determine the distance between the FX and whatever lies ahead. Distance Control Assist works with the cruise control's sensors to measure distance, but in this case, it's meant for rush-hour traffic, slowing or stopping the FX when it gets too close to the car in front of it. What was once called Lane Departure Warning is now Lane Departure Prevention for 2009, which uses VDC and a small camera to help keep the FX in the intended lane. The camera views lane markers ahead; LDP calculates position compared with the markers, braking the inside wheels to steer the car back into its lane when the vehicle starts to drift. All these systems can be shut off. Other safety features include the high-strength steel-reinforced cabin; dual front, side-impact, and rollover curtain airbags; TPMS; and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with ABS, brake assist, and EBD.

The FX is set to go on sale at the end of June. Pricing has yet to be announced, but we'd expect the FX35 to start at about $40,000 and climb quickly from there. A topline FX50 will likely crest $60,000.

2009 Infiniti FX
Base Price $40,000-$52,000 (est)
Vehicle layout Front engine, RWD/AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
Engine 3.5L/303-hp/262-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6; 5.0L/390-hp/369-lb-ft DOHC 32-valve V-8
Transmission 7-speed automatic
Curb weight (dist f/r) 4100-4600 lb (mfr)
Wheelbase 113.6 in
Length x width x height 191.1 x 75.9 x 66.1 in
0-60 mph 6.0-7.0 sec (MT est)
EPA city/hwy econ 14-16/20-23 mpg
CO2 emmisions 1.05-1.20 lb/mile
On sale in U.S. Jun-08