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2013 Infiniti FX37 AWD Review By John Heilig

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The Auto Page
By John Heilig

Model: 2013 Infiniti FX37 AWD

Engine: 3.7-liter V6
Horsepower/Torque: 325 hp @ 7,000 rpm/267 lb.-ft. @ 5,200 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 113.6 in. 
Length x Width x Height: 191.3 x 78.9 x 66.1 in.
Tires: P265/45R21
Cargo: 24.8/62.0 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down)
Economy:  16 mpg city/22 mpg highway/16.2 mpg test
Fuel tank: 23.8 gal.
Curb weight: 4,321 lbs.
Sticker: $53,700 (includes $950 destination charge)

Bottom line: The Infiniti FX37 is all you'd expect in a mid-size SUV (although it's listed as a small SUV). It is very sleek, with a nice smooth design. It is a nice driver with a powerful V6 engine.

The FX37 is, after all, an Infiniti, and therefore it's no surprise to see an analog clock in the center of the dash. This in no way implies that the clock is the most important feature. It's just that seeing it there gives you a warm fuzzy right from the start.

The 3.7-liter V6 that replaces the previous 3.5-liter and gives the FX37 its name, is smooth and powerful (325 hp). It is essentially quiet all the time except under the harshest acceleration. The 7-speed automatic transmission is equally smooth. You can shift it manually, but why? When an engine has enough power and torque (267 lb.-ft.) there's really no need to shift the transmission manually.

But don't think that the FX37 is in any way harsh. No, it is the epitome of smoothness. Often, a vehicle will belie its smooth credentials when the road gets gnarly and less than perfect. The FX37's suspension and 21-inch tires mask all road imperfections, so that the total ride experience is pleasant one.

The heated front seats offer good side support. In addition, the padded center console and arm rests on the doors help keep you locked in the seats if you decide to get frisky when you're driving. That center console is deep and contains a 12-volt outlet and the AUX and USB connections.

Sitting in the front seat you are aware of the soft leather surfaces on the dash. There's no hard plastic here, but there had better not be in a vehicle that has a sticker of $53,700. The front passengers also have a sun roof.

Infiniti has installed its automatic driving position system up front. This moves the steering wheel and outside mirrors adaptively into the correct position when the seat is adjusted. This allows the driver to change the seat position and keep the same mirror viewpoint and relationship between the steering column and driver's shoulder position.

In the rear there is very good knee and leg room in the comfortable seats. There is a pull-down arm rest that has a pair of cup holders. The arm rest also has a small console for rear passengers to stow cell phones or other paraphernalia. Four assist handles help all passengers with entry and exit. I thought it was interesting that the rear door pulls are just that - door pulls. There isn't a place to put water bottles, for example, but you do have the center arm rest. The rear seat backs fold flat to increase the already substantial cargo capacity. Infiniti claims that you can fit four full-size golf bags back there, but it was too early in the season for me to check that feature.

Under the cargo floor is a temporary spare. You reach the cargo area through a power liftgate.

Entertainment for your ride has the usual symphony of choices - AM/FM/SAT/CD/iPod. We chose to concentrate on the satellite and iPod. My wife and I have different station choices on Sirius/XM, so we either toggle between those stations or let the iPod shuffle make the choices.

With the weird weather we've had in the Northeast this year, it was good to have an HVAC system that was flexible. There are two knobs for the dual temperature control and eight buttons for all the other functions, such as fan speed and direction.

Shift into reverse and the outside driver's side rear view mirror dips to give you an idea of how close you are to objects on that side. You also have a 360 degree look at what's around you when you're in reverse. Through the use of mini cameras, you get what amounts to a top-down view of the car. You can see parking lot lines as well ass objects around you. more than once we were saved by the Moving Object Detection that let us know there were cars coming from the side when we were backing out of a parking space.

While most luxury small (or mid-size) SUVs follow similar design traditions, the Infiniti FX37 adds nice surface and shapes to the rear tail lights and front running lights/head lights to differentiate it physically. All the other details only add to the differentiation.

(c) 2013 The Auto Page Syndicate.