For the latest model year, Infiniti updated its entry-level FX crossover with a more powerful V6 engine and a new FX37 moniker. Along with its V8-powered sibling, the FX50, the starter-kit FX continues to ride on the basic platform as the athletic Nissan 370Z sports car, which helps make it one of the sportiest mid-size luxury crossover vehicles on the market.
The new 3.7-liter mill produces 325 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque, making it 22 horsepower and 5 lb-ft more potent than the previous 3.5-liter unit. Allied with a seven-speed automatic transmission, the motor helps the crossover accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in just over six seconds. The FX37 returns 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway in standard rear-wheel-drive form, while an optional all-wheel-drive system lowers efficiency to 16/22 mpg but improves traction by sending up to 50 percent of available power to the front wheels in slippery situations. When properly equipped, the FX37 AWD can tow up to 2,000 pounds.
Outside, the FX37 continues to be highlighted by an aggressive stance and muscular lines. A recent mid-cycle refresh brought a more menacing chrome grille inspired by Infiniti's Etherea Concept, and the lowered front fascia was also revised with chrome bands around the fog-light nacelles. In profile, the FX37 features a gently arching rear window design, short overhangs and chrome vents aft of the front wheels that visually underscore the crossover's sporting intentions.
Step inside the FX37, and one will find a well-trimmed but slightly busy dashboard that incorporates a vertical center stack with sweeping side areas. Buttons abound thanks to the lack of an iDrive-style controller system. Materials are high quality, and space is ample for five adults.
Cargo space, on the other hand, is somewhat compromised for the sake of style: the FX37's short rear overhang and sloping rear window translate to just 24 cubic feet of trunk room, less than what is offered by some "compact" crossovers like the Honda CR-V. Fold down the rear seats, and storage space swells to a more useful 62 cubic feet.
Standard and Optional Features: the Nitty-Gritty Details
The FX37 comes well equipped with a sunroof, leather upholstery, power-operated, heated front seats, an 11-speaker Bose sound system, dual zone automatic climate control, a power rear liftgate, foglamps, cruise control, a dash-mounted seven-inch color information display and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Optional features are grouped into three separate packages.
The Premium Package includes a navigation system with an eight-inch touch-screen display and real-time traffic and weather services, an around-view parking monitor with front and rear sonar systems, memory functionality for the front seats, power tilt and telescoping functionality for the steering wheel, audio streaming via Bluetooth and more.
The Deluxe Touring Package brings 20-inch alloy wheels, maple interior accents, aluminum pedals and a tonneau cover.
The Technology Package nets a laser-based Intelligent Cruise Control system with Distance Control Assist, a lane-departure warning system, an Intelligent Brake Assist system (which primes the brakes for shorter stopping distances when a possible collision is detected) that partners with a Forward Collision Warning system, rain-sensing wipers and an Adaptive Front Lighting system (which turns the lights to provide better illumination in curves) with HID xenon auto-leveling lights.
Additionally, there's an optional Around View Monitor camera system that provides 360 degree views around the car during parking maneuvers. It is paired with Moving Object Detection, which provides visual and auditory alerts when it detects an imminent collision with a moving object.
Limited Edition Model
The all-wheel-drive "Limited" Edition features exclusive Moonlight White paint, special 21-inch alloy wheels, dark tinted headlights with an Adaptive Front Lighting System and dark tinted side air vents and lower door trim. Other Limited Edition equipment includes aluminum roof rails and roof rail crossbars with graphite finish, aluminum pedals and graphite floor mats with unique blue piping. The Limited Edition also features a navigation system, Around View Monitor and other features that are optional on more plebian FX37 models as standard equipment.
The same "Limited" package was offered last year with Iridium Blue paint.
All Infiniti FX37 models come standard with dual front, side and side-curtain airbags in addition to ABS, traction and stability control systems and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
Up until recently, the FX35 was unique among luxury crossovers for its emphasis on wild styling over interior space. However, it now faces competition from even more radically styled "coupe-crossovers" like the BMW X6 and Acura ZDX.