As I approached the Infiniti FX50 in the parking garage, I was relieved to see Bridgestone Blizzak snow tires mounted to the massive twenty-one-inch wheels. With six to ten inches of snow expected that night, I wanted a vehicle capable of dealing with the white stuff and the long trip home.
Unlike my colleagues, my night with the FX was relatively clear and I had a few chances to stomp on the gas and unleash all 390 horsepower. This was my first chance behind the wheel of an FX and now I'm wondering what all the hype was about the BMW X6 and X6M's performance. Infiniti has been building a vehicle very similar to the X6 idea for quite a while and it's not slow by any stretch of the imagination.
I usually have to suppress a mildly disgusted yawn when I talk about one of these newfangled, sporty crossover confections, but the FX is actually quite charming. Like the BMW X6 and the rest, the FX is a heavy, gas-guzzling vehicle whose utility is dubious at best, but at least the FX has character. And by character, I mean an awesome sounding V-8. I risked flying off into the icy abyss a few times just to hear and feel its 390-hp roar. It's styling isn't half bad either. Sure it looks like a fish, but at least it's a well-proportioned fish.
I agree with Phil Floraday. In my personal pecking order, I'd be likely to choose the Infiniti FX50 over the BMW X6. Dynamically, the bulging FX lives up to every high expectation established by the insanely capable X6. Best of all, our well-equipped test vehicle had a total price below the base price of a V-8 X6. And it looks just as weird.
The FX50 is sort of an upsized version of the EX35. Like the EX, the swoopy, stylized exterior design makes for some compromised accommodations - a rear seat with less legroom that you'd expect from a large SUV and a cargo area that doesn't have the capacity you usually get in a vehicle this size. That doesn't mean, however, that the FX doesn't have a certain kind of charm. Like the EX, it clearly isn't for everyone, but its very responsive V-8 combines with a capable chassis to provide an enjoyable driving experience (especially for an SUV). At $65,000 as tested the price is quite steep, but it should definitely appeal to those with deep pockets who are looking for a vehicle that doesn't fit into the cookie-cutter SUV mold.