By Barbara & Bill Schaffer
We hadn?t driven the Infiniti FX37 for several years, so we decided to get reacquainted by driving the 2013 Infiniti FX37 AWD on a road trip from our home in Washington to Central California and back — in the winter.
The Infiniti FX is a vehicle we?ve admired since it debuted 10 years ago. The styling is unique in the mid-size luxury crossover category and we think it?s still a head turner.
The 2013 Infiniti FX37 and FX50, specialize in luxury appointments and superb crossover performance. The FX rides on the same rear-wheel drive platform as the Nissan 370Z sports car and uses the same basic engine in the FX37.
The vehicle we drove to California was the Limited Edition of the FX37 AWD, which was perfect for the winter road trip. With snow in the forecast and chains required we were apprehensive as we started climbing toward the Siskiyou pass that bridges the Oregon-California border.
Having grown up driving on snowy roads in Montana, Bill is adept at driving in slippery conditions roads and enjoys the challenge, plus he hates to put on chains. The chain element was further complicated by the fact that our chains didn?t fit the massive 21-inch tires on the FX. As we arrived at Ashland, Oregon, there were literally hundreds of vehicles lined up along the roadside putting on chains, so we were concerned about our ability to continue south without having to deal with the ?chains situation.?
However, we discovered the ?chains required? also meant that all-wheel drive vehicles, like the one we were driving were exempt. We rolled back onto the highway to the Oregon Highway Patrol checkpoint and we were waved on.
The roads were snow packed but the Infiniti FX37 with its 265/45R21 all-season tires seemed in its element and we drove over the often challenging road, not breaking a sweat or spinning a tire. The Infiniti Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system is a rear bias system in normal conditions, but distributes torque to the axle with the best traction as slippage is detected up to 50:50 front-rear split.
The 2013 Infiniti FX37 is powered by a new 3.7-liter, 325-hp V-6 engine. The award-winning DOHC engine was increased in displacement this year from 3.5-liters (303-hp) and now has Variable Valve Event & Lift, an electronically controlled throttle system and some other enhancements. The FX37 accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds on dry roads and has an EPA fuel economy rating of 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. We actually averaged 21.0 mpg on our 1,500 mile round trip.
A 390-hp, 5.0 liter V-8 powers the upper-level FX50. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in only 5.0-seconds, putting it in the same performance league as vehicles like the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5 and Ranger Rover Supercharged. Fuel economy is listed at 14/20 mpg.
All FX versions have a smooth shifting seven-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode, unfortunately the magnesium paddle shifters are not an option on the FX37, so we had to be content manually shifting the console mounted gated shifter. The transmission has a unique Downshift Rev Matching and Adaptive Shift Control that makes downshifts exceptionally smooth.
One of the fun new features on the 2013 Infiniti FX is the Moving Object Detection (MOD) system in the Around View? Monitor system (standard equipment on the FX50 and part of the Premium Package on the FX37). The monitor shows the driver a virtual 360-degree view of the area around the vehicle on the navigation screen. MOD provides visual and audible warnings if system detects an object moving, such as another vehicle.
As an upscale luxury vehicle, the 2013 Infiniti FX37 comes with an extensive list of standard features including nearly everything power and an audiophile quality Bose audio system. Our Limited Edition model included the Premium Package with features like the HD navigation with traffic, weather and Zagat restaurant guide, Bluetooth, Around View Monitor and other comfort and convenience features.
The 2013 Infiniti FX37 pricing starts at $45,945, including the destination charge. All-wheel drive adds $1,450. The Limited Edition version is $7,000 extra and includes a long list of tech features in addition to the rear seat DVD entertainment system built into the headrests and other cosmetic enhancements.
The FX50 is priced at $62,495 with the only available option being a $6,250 Sport Technology package, which includes a Continuous Damping Control suspension with Auto and Sport modes, Rear-Active Steering, magnesium shift paddles and sport seats.
The 2013 Infiniti FX37 is not only a distinctive looking crossover, it has impressive performance and handling. Between the long wheelbase and wide track it feels especially stable and anchored to the road, while still maintaining an agile demeanor, with a tight 36.7 turning radius. Large, four-wheel ventilated disc brakes provide good stopping power. Traction even on the snowy roads was impressive.