This past week in Illinois I was presented an Infiniti FX35 to drive around the state. Ruth and I picked it up at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and set sail to the Northwest towards Rockford. Our ultimate destination was Galena, Illinois, an old lead mining town that is currently a resort, named a top ten “charming small town” by TripAdvisor for 2011. The 1989 movie, “Field of Dreams” was partially filmed in Galena, and it was home to Ulysses S. Grant after the Civil War.
The Infiniti was Iridium Blue and had Graphite leather seating. The Limited Edition FX35 is the top-of-the-line model that includes hard drive navigation, voice recognition information systems, “eye in the sky” parking assist, Bluetooth wireless, reverse tilt-down outside mirrors, 21” dark finish alloy wheels with ten spokes, adaptive front lighting (auto-leveling), dark aluminum roof rails, and aluminum pedals. The CD/stereo/satellite/USB system was made by Bose with 11 speakers and speed-sensitive volume control. The blue paint was specific to this model and floor mats even had blue piping around the edges. Of course, a moon roof and rear camera were on hand – the interior was stunning.
Infiniti has been producing the FX series of vehicles since 2003, and is the luxury division of Nissan Motors of Japan. Styling has always been a hallmark of the vehicle and power is supplied in V-6 and V-8 configuration. My FX35 had a 303 horsepower, 3.5 liter aluminum V-6 with 262 lb.-ft. of torque and 32 valves. I drove a V-8 in Phoenix over the winter, and both it and this Iridium blue vehicle had plenty of snap. The transmission is a seven-speed automatic with manual shifting and snow mode. Zero to 60 mph time for the FX35 I drove was 6.4 seconds, and with a V-8 that number is reduced to 5.8. Fuel economy ratings of the car are 16 city/21 highway (23.8 gal. tank), but during my week at the wheel the overall average was 22.3 mpg. The FX35 weighed 4,299 lbs., wheelbase was 113.6”, and overall length was 191.3”.
Ruth and I enjoyed the ride across the state in the FX, but I wouldn’t want it to be any firmer. This vehicle is somewhat of a sports car/crossover, with persons that ride in it at a low-to-the-ground attitude, despite the underneath clearance of 7”. It is not an “off-road” four-wheeler, but a weather-fighter, nonetheless. Cargo capacity behind the five-passenger seating is 24.8 cubic feet.
As mentioned, styling is the thing with an FX, and tourists all over the state were gathering at the rest stops to take a closer look at our ride. Twin exhaust finishers peek out from under the rear fascia, and those fender vents behind the front wheel wells are functional. The wheel wells that reveal the 265/45R21 V-rated all-weather radials, by the way. The dark gray alloys seemed to be a big draw for the onlookers.
The M.S.R.P. for the FX35 was $52,445.00, including the freight charge. That was about $14,000.00 less than the big V-8 we tested in Phoenix, and made this six cylinder buggy a pretty fair deal in my mind, and perhaps in those of the buying public.