Last week in Phoenix I was able to test drive a 2012 Infiniti SUV, courtesy of PageOneAuto of Chandler, Arizona. Carrie Owens, of POA, was nice enough to have the vehicle waiting at Sky Harbor airport for my visit to the Valley of the Sun where Ruth and I visited the Colorado Rockie spring training and attended the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Speedway. The Infiniti was brand new and painted Graphite Shadow dark silver with matching graphite quilted leather interior.
Infiniti has been producing the FX series of vehicles since 2003, and is the luxury division of Nissan Motors of Japan. The FX is a mid-size upscale crossover and the FX50 has a 5.0 liter V8 with 390 hp (@ 6,500 rpm) under the hood. Torque is 369 lb-.ft., and the engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. Big magnesium paddle shifters are behind the steering wheel to take care of shifting with both hands under heavy acceleration. The economy ratings are 14 city/20 highway, and during the week I was pleased to observe an overall mileage rating of 18.8 mpg. The car has Intelligent All-Wheel Drive with snow mode, and reportedly accelerates from zero to sixty in 5.4 seconds.
On Sunday morning we jumped in the FX and blasted off for Avondale, AZ, home of the Sprint Cup race track and NASCAR racing action. It was a pretty good distance from Scottsdale, and allowed us to get a feel for the big Infiniti out on the Interstates. I’m calling it big, but in fact it is less than sixteen feet long with a wheelbase of 113.6”. But it weighs 4,557 lbs., so therefore it has a big vehicle feel and ride. The FX has ample clearance for a crossover, but is in fact built somewhat low to the ground like a sports car. It rolls on 265/45R21 V rated tires and 21” (TWENTY ONE!) 6 spoke alloy wheels. The styling of this four door is dynamite – I have admired them since they were introduced nine years ago.
The interior of the Infiniti is first class in both upholstery and electronic gadgetry. The hard drive nav/backup camera has an 8” split screen and voice command. In the screen the driver is able to view “eye in the sky” location of the car for parking or backing up. All the power options are on hand including tilt/telescope, seating (both heated and cooled up front), flop down rear seating allowing for 62 cubic feet of cargo space, 11 speaker Bose stereo with DVD player, Bluetooth music and phone connection and the technology package. The last item provided adaptive cruise control and a lane departure prevention setup that I found helpful. The package added $2,900 to the base price of $59,350, and a sport package was another $3,100. Total M.S.R.P. came to $66,545.00, a little below average for a vehicle in this class such as a Porsche Cayenne or BMW X6M.
I found myself enjoying our vacation in Phoenix a little more due to the top flight wheels Ruth and I had to move around in. We put on about 500 miles and were able to show it off in the Salt River Fields parking lot for a spring training game with the KC Royals. The Rockies were not winners on that day, but the Infiniti FX50s was and is one, both in looks and in operation.