Most vehicles I have tested do little for my visual senses while sitting behind the wheel. Sure, many of them are appealing to my eye as I walk up to them, but once behind the wheel there is little more. The idea is to keep your eyes on the road, right?
Well, Infiniti has this “Essence” design influence that finds its way into production vehicles, and the latest FX luxury crossover is no exception.
After climbing behind the wheel of the FX37 we recently tested, my eyes were immediately drawn to the hoodlines laid out before me; to be perfectly honest, it took a while for my attention to return to matters at hand. Choosing one word to describe the scene, I would have to pick “voluptuous.”
There, I said it. Riddle me with scorn, but I can think of nothing else other than this to describe the hood and fender lines the driver sees while piloting the FX and, you know, I am not going to scold Infiniti one bit because of it.
Infiniti made styling changes to the FX CUV lineup last year, and the big news for 2013 comes in the way of power and technology.
Previously, the V-6-powered ute was named FX35, denoting the 3.5-liter displacement under the hood. This year Infiniti has moved to the 3.7-liter powerplant, thus changing the badging to FX37.
The new motor generates 22 more ponies over the previous model (now 325hp and 267 lb. ft. of torque) and joins the larger 5.0-liter V-8 as engine choices for the FX lineup. Both engines are backed by slick seven-speed automatic gearbox (with downshift rev-matching), and running gear arrives in rear- or all-wheel drive.
While 18-inch wheels and tires come standard on the FX37; our tester arrived in the Limited Edition trim, which for us meant 10-spoke 21-inch alloy wheels at each corner shod with all-season performance tires.
Given the driving experience our FX37 tester provided, I don’t know why Infiniti even offers the V-8 anymore, especially given the approaching CAFÉ regulations. The V-6 offers more than ample power, and the delivery is smooth and evenly distributed throughout the rpm range. Were you blindfolded when walking up to the vehicle you might not even know this is a crossover, as it definitely feels more like a sports sedan with ample ground clearance from behind the wheel.
Infiniti has not forsaken other aspects in the FX37 for that of on-road performance. While packing in all of the latest in comfort and convenience amenities, as well as a full complement of safety equipment, the FX37 sees a new Moving Object Detection technology added to its Around View Monitor. This system utilizes four small superwide-angle cameras to provide a 360 degree view around the vehicle that now also detects moving objects coming into the field of view the driver may not see, such as in parking and backing scenarios.
Now for the bad news. Fuel economy is rated at 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway, and the FX37 requires premium fuel. Pricing begins at $44,850 for a “base” FX37, with our AWD Limited Edition tester rolling in at $53,700. For the more practical-minded, Infiniti does offer the EX crossover, and for those with growing families there is the new JX model. But for the driving enthusiast, the FX line will most likely be your cup of tea, just try to keep your eyes on the road and off the “Essence.”