There’s an interesting niche market for automobiles, made especially for people who can’t seem to decide between a car and an SUV. Thus was born the breed known as crossovers; you can look at them as a squatty SUV or a car that’s been stretched on the rack. Either way, they’ve been a modest hit in America, including Infiniti’s FX line.
This year the FX37 has stepped up to replace the FX35, thanks to a new 3.7-liter V6 engine. It comes with Infiniti’s label, which means you go into any test drive with a preconceived notion that it will be stylish, luxurious and comfortable. But really, if we’re being honest, how stylish can a newfangled station wagon be, right?
Colorado drivers will be happy to know that the FX37 is offered with an all-wheel-drive option (which is the model I tested). The handling is good and certainly sporty, but there’s a trade-off for that: The ride itself was a tad below that of some competitors, a bit bumpy and (at times) jerky. It’s not overly noticeable, however, and you merely have to ask yourself what’s more important.
One other area where the FX37 trails its foes is in storage space. The cargo area in the back comes up a little short versus similar models from Lexus and Acura, and the rear passenger space is slightly cramped. Again, not overly so, and you can blame the sloping roof style of the vehicle.
That slope, by the way, gives the Infiniti crossover a distinctive look that I’ve found is a love/hate scenario. Fans rave about its unique style, while others shrug, saying it looks “like an insect,” as one co-worker said to me.
What you can’t knock, though, is the interior styling and craftsmanship. Quality materials, lush seating, and practical layout make the FX fit right in with its Infiniti playmates. Warm, ambient lighting give it a comfy feel, while the dashboard and console displays are well-designed - and not reliant on a mouse/knob concept, thank goodness. (I’m talking to you, BMW and Mercedes.)
Options packages offer cool extras; the one I especially enjoy is the overhead-view display when the vehicle is placed in reverse. There’s something comforting about being able to see all around your car for hazards - or just to check out your parking job within the lines. (Yes, I did that more than once.)
If you’re buying a crossover you won’t expect killer mileage, and the FX lives up (or down) to that expectation. The combined EPA estimates run about 18 mpg. The price tag of my test vehicle came in just under $54k. Yeah, it’s pricey, but it delivers on its promise of luxury.
This segment has grown a bit more crowded over the years, and you’ll be tempted by the BMW X-series, along with Lexus and its RX team. But the FX37 holds its own, swapping a bit of handling and cargo space for a luscious ride and an elegant experience. It’s definitely worth a look and a test drive.
Reviewed by Dom Testa. Vehicle provided by the manufacturer.