2009 Infiniti FX50 S AWD Long Term Arrival
Sport (Utility) Vehicle
Infiniti's FX is not a practical vehicle. It doesn't hold three rows of people, can carry only 25 cubic feet of cargo behind the second row, and has minimal off-road capability. No, it isn't practical, but it isn't supposed to be. It has tons of power and handles corners almost as well as a car and also provides that coveted SUV high-seating position. It's a sport sedan with cargo space.
Our intro to the new second-gen FX was earlier this year, when we discovered the FX50 rocketed to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. That's only a hair slower than our supercharged long-term Jaguar XF (5.0). Its topline V-8, a 5.0-liter, 390-horse engine features Variable Valve Event and Lift to broaden its prodigious torque curve. The 5.0-liter offers 70 more horses and 34 pound-feet more torque than the prior 4.5-liter, is backed by a seven-speed automatic, and provides better fuel economy than the 4.5. We had to try out the new FX for a year.
The Blue Slate long-termer arrived with the aforementioned rocketlike V-8 and seven-speed auto; that combination (which comes only with AWD) brings the price of an FX near $60 grand. We selected two option packages-Sport ($3000), which includes Continuous Damping Control, driver seat with power thigh support and power adjustable bolstering, rear active steering, and adaptive front lighting; and Technology ($2900), with numerous safety systems including those that alert the driver if the FX leaves the lane or gets too close to the vehicle ahead. We also ordered a cargo-area protector and organizer ($225), bringing the bottom line to $65,390. What was nice about getting the upgraded engine is that several features come standard with the V-8, such as larger brakes and 21-inch wheels, Bluetooth, quilted leather seats, power tilt/telescope wheel, paddle shifters, navigation system with 9.3GB hard drive for music, iPod-specific interface, and the stellar Around View Monitor, which provides an overhead view of the FX while you park, making maneuvers into/out of small spots incredibly easy.
So far, we've only had the chance to break the in FX and take it to the track. It was slower to 60 than the first FX50 we sampled, reaching 60 in 5.7 seconds, stopping from that speed in 126 feet. It completed the quarter mile in 14.1 seconds at over 100 mph and finished the figure eight in 27.4 seconds at 0.64 g (average). We've experienced no major problems with the vehicle, but the TPMS low-tire-pressure light is on and the tire-pressure screen doesn't properly display psi. It hasn't been to the dealer yet, but when we bring it in for its first service, we'll have the techs check this out.
|Price as tested||$65,390|
|Vehicle layout||Front engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV|
|Engine||5.0L/390-hp/369-lb-ft DOHC 32-valve V-8|
|Curb weight (dist f/r)||4686 lb (53/47%)|
|Length x width x height||191.3 x 75.9 x 66.1 in|
|0-60 mph||5.7 sec|
|Quarter mile||14.1 sec @ 100.5 mph|
|Braking, 60-0 mph||126 ft|
|Lateral acceleration||0.83 g (avg)|
|MT figure eight||27.4 sec @ 0.64 g (avg)|
|EPA city/hwy econ||14/20 mpg|
|CO2 emissions||1.16 lb/mile|
|Average fuel economy||16.7|
|Unresolved problem areas||False low-tire-pressure light|