2012 Infiniti FX Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.
The Infiniti FX is one of the sportiest SUVs out there, and its powerful engines don't disappoint. However, that sporty handling takes a toll on ride comfort, so if you're using it as a daily driver over rougher roads, you may want to think twice.
- “Winding roads are dispatched with equal aplomb -- the FX shares its basic underpinnings with the G37 sport sedan, and it shows.” -- Edmunds
- “It’s very sporty, but the ride might be too stiff.” -- Car and Driver
Acceleration and Power
The FX35 comes with a 303-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine, while the FX50 upgrades to a 390-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8. Both are paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Reviewers find that both engines provide more than enough power. A few even venture to say that the V8 might be too powerful, though others are a bit more lenient, saying that the throttle is too touchy for most tastes. For most buyers, the V6 should suffice, and it will save you more than $10,000 compared with the pricey V8 model.
According to the EPA, the rear-wheel drive FX35 should achieve 16/23 mpg city/highway, while the all-wheel-drive model should net 16/21 mpg. The FX50 is rated at 14/20 mpg. Though those numbers aren’t very good for such a small SUV, few V8-powered SUVs with all-wheel drive get better gas mileage than the FX50 does.
- "FX35's 3.5-liter V6 is spunky from a stop, but only adequately powerful on the highway. FX50's 5.0-liter V8 supplies more than ample power in all situations. Non-linear acceleration and a touchy gas pedal make for lurchy starts with both engines. The busy 7-speed automatic is indecisive and too quick to upshift during hill climbs or highway passing maneuvers." -- Consumer Guide
- "The V6-powered FX35 delivers a smooth stream of power while the seven-speed automatic transmission executes shifts quickly and smoothly." -- Edmunds
Handling and Braking
The Infiniti FX35 comes with either rear- or all-wheel drive, while the FX50 is only available with all-wheel drive. Every reviewer says that the Infiniti FX has especially sporty handling for an SUV. The FX50 offers a sport package that adds an adaptive suspension with auto and sport modes, and test drivers say that either model drives more like a sports car than any other sport-tuned SUV in its price range.
But the FX’s tight handling also contributes to reviewers’ complaints that its ride is too harsh. While a stiff ride might help to mitigate body roll in a taller vehicle like an SUV, it also means that the driver will be able to feel any bump or pothole in the road. So, if your everyday drive is mostly on smooth, paved streets and highways, reviewers say you’ll appreciate the Infiniti FX’s sporty ride. But if the roads around you aren’t in great shape, you might find the FX more punishing than fun.
- "FX is nimble and exhibits excellent handling response with minimal body lean, particularly the sporty FX50. It finds itself at home on even the curviest of roads. Steering is firm, but direct and responsive. Solid, responsive brakes furnish smooth stops. Again, there is little difference between the 18- and 20-inch wheels on the FX35." -- Consumer Guide
- "On twisting mountain roads, the FX displays impressive road-holding prowess and confidence, aided by strong, consistent brakes and a tight and direct steering feel. The trade-off, however, is a stiffer ride on the highway. Opting for the larger wheel sizes only compounds matters, increasing road noise and impact harshness." -- Edmunds
- "In short, a balanced chassis, all-independent suspension and responsive powertrains combine to make the FX a good handler within the segment of sport utility vehicles." -- Kelley Blue Book