Driving around LA, any observant motorist will notice plenty of midsize SUVs and crossovers. Some are just urban people carriers with a lot of ambition. Others are sporty powerhouses that let more than a driver and a passenger enjoy the ride.
In that flowing mishmash of vehicular sport utility-ness, you’ll see a healthy amount of Infiiniti’s entry in the fray, the 2012 FX35 AWD (All-Wheel Drive). Offering a nice mix of sporty ambiance with buku interior space and comfort, the FX35 lets drivers transport their lives while enjoying the drive.
We had the opportunity to take on a week-long test drive of the FX35 Limited Edition model. From certain angles, the FX35 looks like an SUV that got stepped on – or a sporty hatchback on steroids. It wears the rising, sweeping fenders that are an Infiniti design trademark. The Limited Edition also wears an aggressive grill and a smattering of chrome appointments to add a little extra flair to the general design.
The FX35 Limited Edition packs a 3.5 liter, six cylinder engine that puts out 303 horsepower. Teamed up with its AI-aided all-wheel drive and a seven speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control with Downshift Rev Matching, that power slams down on the pavement effectively. The first day behind the wheel of the FX35 was an experience in neck-jerking as such genuinely aggressive acceleration is unusual in most crossovers.
Steering is a little heavy in the nose, but some of that is to be expected in what can be considered a six-passenger vehicle.
Since this is an Infiniti and needs to live up to that luxury badge, the FX35 comes well-equipped in the cabin with heated leather seats, automatic climate control, power everything and AM/FM/CD/Satellite.
One useful feature on the FX35 also scores vey highly on the cool scale – The Around View system. By arranging wide angle cameras on the font, back and sport mirrors, the car's on board safety systems can join the four angles into one joint surrounding image.
When I first slapped the FX35 in reverse and looked at the in-dash monitor, my first instinct was to wonder where the overhead hovering Cambot watching over my car was. Snapping back to reality and realizing I need to do this seriously because I’m getting paid, I put the system to good use – maybe even too much use.
Once I got used to the overhead camera view with its collection of guideline marking, I confess I was using it constantly for parallel parking maneuvers. I realize admitting that might cost me my automating journalist writing license, but it should count as an endorsement of the FX35’s additional safety features.
At about $51,000, the FX35‘s price point fits nicely in between more ambitious SUV Crossovers like the Porsche Cayenne and the more family and consumer friendly Mazda CX-9. While maybe out of reach for the average driver or the typical middle class family, the FX35 Limited Edition is an impressive take on the luxury crossover.