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Roadshow Video Reviews
2012 Infiniti FX 35The Infiniti FX 35 is loaded with features, tech, a good power train, and an optional tent. Just don't call it a Nissan Murano.
-Its mother appears to have been a tall sports car and its father, an SUV that didn't hold much. Let's drive the 2012 Infiniti FX35 all-wheel drive and Check the Tech. Now the first thing I love about this FX is that it's a limited edition. They're only gonna make like 500 of these, I think. But it's probably the first Infiniti I've seen in a long time that isn't gaudy, that doesn't have like blond beechwood and too much polished metal. It's just got piano black or some super dark wood. I can't tell what that is. And black, it's actually grown up. Beyond that, we've seen this whole tech load 100 times and it's very good. My main gripe as you probably know if you've watched my reviews of Infinitis before is that childish display of map. I don't like the colors. I'm not really cool on the rendering. I mean, what is that street name doing over that building? If I wasn't from here, I'd have no idea what that is. It does have 3D rendering of buildings. It has lane guidance when you get right to a turn, it has traffic, it has weather; pretty much all the bells and whistles here. I just find the aesthetic and to some degree the informational execution of the maps is a little childish. You can go touchscreen if you want. As you see, that's an 8-inch LCD you get when you go to the nav system. That is not standard by the way. It's part of a pricey package. Otherwise, you get a 7-inch screen to control other vehicle systems. And good but not completely comprehensive voice control for navigation and media. -What do you like to access? -Navigation. -Navigation. -Address. -Address, what state? -California. -California. -Now all this stuff is part of the premium package that I'm in the middle of right now, like $3950, chunky. Also brings you a DVD ability in the optical slot. No 6 here because among your sources, you've got a hard drive to rip to. We're getting real cool on that idea around here but the auto makers are still thinking it's kind of hip. It ain't. The last bell and whistle in that premium package that helps to make it worth the fact that it's about 3 house payments is the camera technology. It bumps you up from rear cam to around view, so I can look at the back. I can look all around because I have a front, a pair of side, and a rear camera of course. Or I can change that to a side view if I'm doing some curve nibbling or go back to top if I wanna pretend like I'm God. Now if you really wanna take that power train CNET-style, get the tech package. It brings you adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and prevention, thanks to yard braking distance assist using laser sensing. It'll even pull back on the accelerator and auto-brake if you're about to run into someone, and the related break assist with forward collision tech. Lots of ways to keep you from rear-ending something or someone. Now, FX35 means 3.5 under the hood. One of these outstanding 3.5 liter V6'ers is the Nissan Infiniti do so well it built a company around it. This guy is gonna give you 303 horsepower, 262 foot-pounds of torque; good numbers except this is a 4200-pound vehicle, so 0 to 60 happens in a little under 6 seconds. Nothing slouchy about it. You'll get 1623 MPG on the rear-wheel-drive-based configuration. Go for all-wheel drive and that drops down to 21 on the highway. You have one choice only on the gearbox, 7-speed automatic that comes back to drive over for sport back and forth for intended shifts but no paddles on the wheel. Now underway, there is nothing about this FX35 I don't like. The ride is very good, sporting but not harsh. Power delivery is great. That's a great motor. And through the 7-speed automatic, it does all the right things. It's a very smart gearbox I find for everyday driving on up to athletic driving. Basically, this car is the expensive sneaker of SUVs. It's not real practical. It's never going to be used in a hard serious deeply vertical way. It's kind of sporty but not a sports car. Kind of an SUV but doesn't carry a damn thing. You have a second row and a tiny cargo bag. It's for looks. It's for style. It's something that makes you feel good about yourself when you give your Murano driving friend a lift home. So here's the bottom line on this guy. I like the FX35 a lot. It's about 44 in change base by the time I had premium package for 4 grand with a tech package for 3000; those really are all pretty tasty to go CNET-style. I've been around 51, 52 and now I'm thinking I shouldn't have gotten the Murano with a lot of the same tech and the same engine though a very different transmission. So if you reach for this guy because you love the look so much and the tech payload, you're gonna be paying a decent amount of money. But the nice thing is they've got a rear hatch tint option for under 300 bucks. So if you go broke, you can live in it.