Roadshow Video Reviews
2009 Infiniti FX50 SAn interesting mix of sports car and SUV with a lot of tech to boot.
^B00:00:00 >> Merging the SUV with a sports car. History will tell us that it's just a drunkard's idea. But at this point in history, a lot of folks are doing it, and few as audaciously as Infiniti. Let's take out the FX 50 S all-wheel drive and check the substantial tech. ^M00:00:17 [ Music ] ^M00:00:25 Check out the head unit here, deeply recessed. The familiar Infinity controller. You can see we're watching a movie because we have a DVD deck in here, in the console. You're audio discs go in here, a separate drive, which by the way is also going to get you access to what they call "the Music Box." And that is nine point some odd gigabytes of storage. And the sources just keep coming. As you see, we've got the standard audio CD I'm ripping right now, compact flash. Now, right now it says "no compact flashcard." If I own this car, it would always say "no compact flashcard." Who carries music on a card? You never heard of a company called Apple? Now the next thing we got on our menu here is standard aux, and there is, hello, iPod adaptor. We've got a dock for that. Here in the console, right by a set of RCA audio and video auxiliary inputs. Whatever of that Universe you select, it's gonna go out through an 11 speaker Bose system, two of those are subs so you get plenty of "thump" out of this thing. It's a good-sounding system. Now let's get to our navigation system. Here's our map. Seen it before, standard Infiniti, Nissan stuff. I think it's two years dated. Neat trick on the navigation display, as you can set it to a bird view, which is nice enough. But then when you're in there, and you zoom in tight enough, look what happens. You can fly through, let's say, an urban area. Look at those buildings. First, they're little icons. Zoom in tight enough, and there are these blocks, representational 3D blocks. I don't know how valuable that is, but it sure is cool. Put the rear display, and that obviously shows us the rear seat entertainment system we have on this car. Not my favorite style, though. It's a drop-down monitor of generous size. That means it's a rearview mirror obstruction of generous size. But here's the problem. On this car, you already have so many obstructions to visibility; I don't need one more. That's where this trick comes in handy. Hit the camera button. Now you have the greatest visibility on just about any car. This around view monitor has the front camera active now because we're in park. And then I've got four cameras around me showing the bird's eye, front hood, one for each side mirror, and there's one in the tailgate, of course, like a lot of vehicles have. ^M00:02:30 [ Music ] ^M00:02:32 Infiniti calls this thing a marriage of SUV and sports car. Maybe so, but the SUV wears the pants in this marriage. There's a lot of power, 390 horses and 369 foot-pounds from that five-liter V8. But it comes on more in gobs than in shades, unless you assiduously manage the seven-speed auto by hand. And even then, it's kind of lumpy. We have the optional active suspension, and handling is good. But it still prints SUV. MPG is rated at 14-20, but you'll probably never see 20 unless you live on a mountaintop and never drive home. The gearbox is precise and the paddle shifters are large column-mounted ears right out of Ferrari's parts bin. Rear wheel steering. That's an oddity. It's accomplished by electric servomotors in the back that can deflect the wheels up to one degree for sharper turn in. And we have the full package of Infiniti's rode hazard toys. Lane departure warning beeps to let you know when you're drifting. Lane departure prevention uses the stability apparatus to yaw brake you back into your lane. And it really works. Adaptive cruise control is almost expected on a car in this class, but then there's distance control assist. If the FX 50 thinks you're about to rear end someone, it beeps and blinks and pushes back on the gas pedal and even applies the brakes rather forcefully. But in spite of all this, the FX 50 doesn't offer blind spot detection. Odd. All right, let's price this FX 50 S All-wheel Drive. About fifty-seven, five, and that includes just about all the media, entertainment, navigation, and communication toys I've showed you. One thing you might want to add though, being a CNET viewer, is the tech package. That's gonna add the lane departure warning and prevention. It's going to add the adaptive cruise and the distance control technology. That's all kind of one core tech. And it's gonna give you that pre-collision braking and assist. That whole bundle's about another three grand. Once you go that way, you've got just about everything in your sports car SUV. ^E00:04:45