2013 Infiniti FX 37 Chicagoland Review By Larry Nutson

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2013 Infiniti FX37

2013 Infiniti FX37
A Performance Luxury Crossover

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

The Infiniti FX has been around since 2003. It’s a mid-size luxury crossover SUV that was freshened in 2012. It’s sporty. It’s fast. It’s luxurious.

The big news for the FX for 2013 is in the engine compartment where the previous FX35 with a 3.5-liter V6 is now renamed the FX37 with a 325HP 3.7-liter V6. It’s available in three models: FX37 RWD, FX37 AWD and FX Limited Edition. There’s also a top-of-the-line FX50 AWD with standard 390HP 5.0-liter V8. Both engines are paired with a standard 7-speed automatic transmission featuring Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) and available solid magnesium paddle shifters.

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Yes, the FX is indeed luxurious and that has a price. The rear-drive FX37 has an MSRP of $44,850 and the top-line AWD FX50 starts at $61,400.

I spent a week with the an FX37 AWD ($45,750) equipped with the optional Technology Package, a Deluxe Touring Package, and a Premium Package. All of which ran the total price up to $57,250 including destination charges. I liked a lot of things about the FX37 but I’m not sure under what circumstances and needs it would fit in to my household. I suppose if I were hauling youngsters to school and athletic or creative activities the FX37 would make sense. Or, if I often went on weekend escapes north to Wisconsin or over to the western Michigan lakefront then the FX37 would make for a comfortable, reliable, and confident ride. With 325 horses at your command it’s quick and does a fine job of highway merging and overtaking, although not without the obvious hit in fuel consumption. EPA ratings for the V6 with AWD are 18 combined mpg, with 16 city mpg and 22 highway mpg. By the way, both engines require premium fuel. And, a somewhat large 23.8 gallon fuel tank does help to minimize fueling stops.

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The FX feature I loved the most is the Around View Monitor. With small cameras in the front, rear, and in the outside mirrors a complete picture of your surroundings is displayed on the 8-inch touch screen that is also used for the Navigation system. Rear view cameras are wonderful to have in an SUV or van when maneuvering these larger vehicles in crowded cities or parking garages. To have a full view of what is around the FX37 really helps to provide a high level of confidence when maneuvering and helps prevent minor fender benders or close-calls with a nearby pedestrian. While on this subject, I liked the Nav system with its rotary knob to change the zoom feature on the map…quick changes without a long pause for the system to respond.

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I didn’t like two things about the outside power mirrors. One, the switch to adjust them is mounted low on the instrument panel requiring movement out of the normal driving position to adjust the mirrors. I prefer a door-mounted switch so you remain in your driving position when adjusting the mirrors. (I did drive a Nissan Altima just after the FX37 and that has a door-mounted switch…so maybe with the net-gen FX we’ll see this.) Also, I didn’t like that the power-fold feature for the outside mirrors only functions with the ignition on or in the accessory mode. This requires you to remember to fold-in the mirrors…often a wise choice on crowded Chicago streets…before you shut off the engine.

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All-in-all, the interior is very plush and luxurious. The seats are supportive and comfortable and also climate-controlled as a part of the Deluxe Touring Package. The Bose 11-speaker audio system punches out the sounds and having two tactile knobs for volume and tuning were a plus. A power liftgate gives access to the 24.8cuft of cargo space that expands to 62cuft with the rear seats folded. A Tonneau cover over the rear cargo area is part of the Deluxe Touring Package.

There is power everything and safety equipment galore. I liked the automatic front seat belt pretensioners that snugs the seatbelt across your shoulder and then slightly relaxes it. I demonstrated the Intelligent Brake Assist for my wife although it made her a little nervous. With the system engaged, the brakes are automatically applied if you are closing-in on vehicle in front, eventually bringing the FX37 to a stop.

So, acceleration is brisk, stopping is great and that leaves handling which is very car-like albeit a bit harsher. Ride is firm and steering is direct and responsive with a feel that I found comfortable…not too heavy nor too light.

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With seating for five, a decent (some competitors have more) amount of cargo space, roof rails for rooftop carrying, and towing ability for small trailers the FX offers versatility. It’s very stylish for going out on the town and with all-wheel drive will handle compromised road surfaces. Although I appreciate the high seating position with the benefit of improved visibility, I don’t love climbing up into a vehicle. Actually, I would prefer a station wagon, but I will agree that I’m in the minority as evidenced by what we have on the market today.

Larry Nutson

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