I’ve got to admit, that I may not be the best person to review a sports cross over mini suv/sportscar like the 2007 Infininti FX 35. Why? Because I really don’t get the whole sport crossover suv market segment. As regular readers know, I’m a car racing fanatic. What only a few astute readers may have noticed (or cared, for that matter) is that I’ve also spent a bit of time on the trails as well. As much as I love fast cars, I also love trucks. In fact, for daily driving, I have come to prefer the utility of a truck based suv. If I want to win the stoplight grand prix or carve up a country road, I’ll drive a sports car. If there is a bit of dirt, or kids to haul to hockey a funky box on wheels like an Xterra is my choice. What do we accomplish with a sports crossover? A sports car that is heavy and slow, or a truck that hauls butt, but can’t go off road.
And so we come to the FX. You could say that the FX was the first entry into the category, way back in 2004. The first time I drove one, I took it as a fast suv that happened to sound like a sports car. Now, 3 years later I have a slightly different view. A few people have asked what I’ve thought and were somewhat taken aback to hear that I haven’t fallen in love with it yet.
The truck still looks fabulous, with it’s blunt front end and bulbous rear end it just looks cool. The wide stance and wide rubber give the truck an agressive look, like a somewhat chubby panther ready to pounce. The giant 18 inch rims, wrapped in equally huge rubber look great and coupled with that wide stance give the FX unexpected cornering abilities for a vehicle this big. Twin sewer pipe sized tailpipes complete the exterior look.
The leather interior looks stunning. The seat heaters warm the front seat bums faster than any I’ve come across in ages, which is more than welcome on a brisk December morning. The analog clock that has become an Infiniti signature looks great, though a digital might be a bit more readable while driving. Rear seat legroom is plentiful enough to keep the kid’s feet out of Dad’s back, while the seat is plenty wide to keep 3 kids from annoying each other too much. That short and sexy rear end is the downfall of the cargo area. The available cargo space with the rear seats up is only adequate. Smaller wagons like the lowly Mazda3 would likely carry as many, if not more groceries than the FX.
At the heart of the FX 35 is the 3.5 liter V6 that Nissan’s 350Z made famous. As expected, the growl coming from those twin pipes is a treat that almost makes one forget how big the FX really is. Tooting around town, the truck actually feels quite heavy and almost clumsy. Open it up though and the truck comes to life, with a wail from the pipes. The FX really is fun to drive, once you get it rolling.
Perhaps the most popular feature of the FX here in The Garage has to be the back up camera. The kids just go crazy every time reverse is selected. Make no mistake, your kids will likely ask you to drive home in reverse, just like ours did! A nice feature on the camera are the reference lines to show where you are in relation to the parking spot lines. No more excuses for parking crooked! It’s a great safety feature, providing the driver doesn’t become too reliant on it and forget to look over the shoulder.
All in all, the FX 35 is a pretty cool ride so far. So why is it that I have absolutely no urge to run out and buy one of my own?