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Test drive by Kevin Bowe

fx35I had the great pleasure to test drive the luxurious 2007 Infiniti FX35 for my first review at carreview.com, and it was a great way to start it off with a grrrr!! I was given two hours and a tank full of gas to take the FX35 out and to get a feel for its true potential. At first glance, I was amazed at its beauty. From its all around great styling inside and out, to its plush adjustable leather seats and the sliding armrest; (I mean who has heard of a sliding armrest?) The FX35 comes in 2 and 4 wheel drives, as well as your choice of V6 and V8 engines pushing out 275hp and 320, quite a big difference. Before I got the behind the wheel, I made sure I did my research on the FX35 and its competition. I was surprised that the FX35 had the highest resell value and basic warranty over the BMW Z3 and Audi Q7, not to mention the only internal full size spare tire. Enough small talk, lets get to the driving part!



Build (Exterior)
My first impression was that I was excited to drive this beast, and I do mean beast. With 18 inch rims that look like 22’s, it gets style points right away. It has slight, gentle curves, with a huge hood and you know how much guys like a big hood! Outfitted with Bridgestone Pontenza wheels, it is a perfect match for those huge rims, which gives the FX extra ability through all different types of terrain. Hints of BLING (silver) can be seen spread throughout the car from front grill, to the door handles, to the large dual exhaust tips, providing a great sounding ride. Knowing what the FX is supposed to be, a station wagon, it sure didn’t feel or look like one, thus I named it the “stealth wagon” for the ways it cleverly hides the fact that it does fit five!

fx35 - front viewfx35 - 18 inch wheel

fold down seats

dashboard console

embroidered infiniti logoInterior
L is for LEATHER, which is what I think about when I hear the word luxury, which covers the interior. The “stealth wagon” has all the refined elements you would expect in a luxury vehicle, with added features only found in sports cars: small steering wheels, aggressive shaped seats and no exposed cup holders. Infiniti did a great job designing the interior to match the same principles applied to the exterior. From the analog clock, to air vents hidden on the door panels, giving clean uninterrupted lines throughout. Some manufactures just concern themselves with the driver, but Infiniti considers the whole vehicle, and it shows. Electric outlets are not just in the front, but one for the passengers, as well as for the rear trunk, making the whole vehicle ready for anything.

Another impressive amendment that caught my eye was the reclining rear seats, which makes the vehicle ideal for long road trips. In addition, I was amazed at how easy it was to fold down the back row of seats, in case more room was needed for those long hauls. With all of that said, it is now time to talk about the design and concept of the front dash. I like the telescoping steering wheel and dash, very impressive, but the display on the center consul seems a little too much. It was controlled by a very complex multifunction knob that slightly resembled a joystick for a gaming system. I would have liked Infiniti to have kept with the “simple is better” attitude throughout the whole car, but maybe they wanted to compliment their large digital display with rear camera capable screen, with such a futuristic control. Don’t get me wrong, I like technology, but it just didn’t work for me.


Performance

engine bayPerformance is very important to me. The car can have all the looks, but if it doesn’t have the go, it doesn’t quite do it for me. Unfortunately, due to the bulky nature of the station wagon (4,151lbs), the engine seems to be a little under powered, requiring a heavy right foot to awake the beast out of its slumber. Climbing hills was a little challenging; it could have used that extra pep to its step, but for everyday driving purposes, I guess I can’t complain too much. Bottom line, if you’re looking for more power, I might suggest the V8, even though you will be giving up extra miles per gallon (17/23 for the V6, 14/18 for the V8) and spending more than 10 g’s. One thing is for sure; this is not your normal station wagon.

Handling

I think I gave the FX a wide range of handling tests, from cornering, bumpy roads, straight-aways, to emergency braking. Going into the corners, I relied on the race designed seats to help me guide the FX through the twisty turns, but I was yet again unimpressed with the handling. I’m afraid the FX handled more like a truck than a sports car, or even a luxury vehicle. I was also unimpressed with the comfort of the ride; it seems that Infiniti forgot why people purchase expensive luxury vehicles--for the smoothness. It seems to me that the FX is going through a mid life crisis; it doesn’t know if it is supposed to be a truck or a luxury sports car. I will give the FX one thing, however. With all that weight, it does a damn good job bringing all its weight to a stop, quite impressive! Even though handling is not what I expected, it did give me the confidence to know that I could steer out of trouble if needed; something that is nice to have in a vehicle when hauling around your precious cargo, kids or bikes-- I am not here to judge!

Value

As noted above, I believe Infiniti raised the roof, even though I did hit my head upon entering the car for the first time, transforming a standard station wagon into the jaw dropping “stealth wagon”. With the remarkable clean lines both inside and out, the FX is able to have both elegance and sex appeal all under one roof and for under $40k! Even though there might not be enough horses under the hood for true aggressive driving, it still provides a taste of having the best of both worlds. From plush leather padded seats, adjustable armrest/steering wheel/relining rear seats, this baby was made for comfort, with the exception of a few bumps in the road. For the ability to go from sleek city nightlife driving, to rouged 4 wheeling outdoor adventure, the FX can take you there, and because it is an Infiniti, you know it will for years to come!

Pros and Cons

  • Stylish good looks
  • Nice rims
  • Interior that screams “Well done!”
  • A beefy sounding engine
  • Flexibility for all needs/hobbies
  • A little underpowered
  • Corners more like a truck
  • Poor gas mileage
  • Center consul design
  • A little hard to get in/out from drivers seat

Conclusion/who should buy it

fx35 badgeNow its time for the Report card. The votes are in and this judge has made up his mind. Exterior/Style 5, Interior 4 (only because I didn’t like the futuristic dash controller), Handling 3.5 (was expecting sports car handling), Value 4 (poor gas mileage is going to hurt the pocket book). Overall, I would have loved to give it a 5 because of its gorgeous body, but I believe there has to be more than that to be a winner. I’m giving it a 4!

So, if you have recently aged out of your 2 door couple, yet are still looking for a fun, agile, yet refined car that will be flexible for all your needs and hobbies, look no further. The FX is a perfect blend of both form and function with style galore! I hope you enjoyed yourself, I know I did! See you next time!

Exterior
Interior
Handling
Performance
Value
Overall
Rating
5
4
3.5

4

4

4

Kevin


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