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Infiniti FX37 ladles on luxury, performance, high style

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There are sport utilities that emphasize the utility aspect, with their third-row seats and cavernous cargo holds.
Infiniti’s FX is not one of those.
2012_infiniti_FX35_14.jpgInstead, Infiniti has aimed the FX in less mundane directions, focusing  on luxury, performance and high style.
It succeeds on all three.
First up: luxury. The handsomely designed cabin is swathed with supple leather and high-grade, soft-touch plastics. Black-lacquer trim on the dash and console lends a fine-furniture feel to the surroundings.
The comfy front buckets are power multi-adjustable and, of course, heated. The sport-style bolstering positions driver and passenger in place while not proving too confining. The rear accommodations are less commodious, mostly due to the swoopy roofline that limits head space for taller passengers.
Infiniti FXThe FX is loaded up with such niceties as power tilt-telescoping steering wheel; power moonroof; dual-zone climate control; and power rear liftgate. High-quality sounds emanate from a Bose audio system featuring 11 speakers.
As for tech, there’s a hard-drive nav system with an 8-inch color touch-screen display with voice recognition and Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and front and rear sonar.
Unlike a number of other vehicles, the FX’s system is virtually intuitive after a brief initial introductory period.
Performance is provided by a potent, 3.7-liter V-6 driving all four wheels through a smooth-shifting, seven-speed automatic transmission featuring downshift rev matching in sport or manual mode. Acceleration is lively at most any speed, but drive it too hard and you’ll frequently be visiting the premium-grade gas pump.

2013 Infiniti FX37 Limited Edition AWD
VEHICLE TYPE: Four-door, five-passenger, luxury crossover utility vehicle
BASE PRICE: $52,750
PRICE AS TESTED: $53,700 (incl. delivery fees)
POWERTRAIN: 3.7-liter, DOHC V-6; 325 horsepower; 267 lb.-ft. torque; seven-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
WHEELBASE/LENGTH: 113.6”/191.3”
CURB WEIGHT: 4,321 pounds
EPA FUEL RATING: 16 mpg city/22 highway (premium unleaded)

Handling is sports-car grade with minimal body lean, while the huge, 21-inch tires grab and grip the tarmac. Spot-on steering accuracy and potent disc brakes add confidence. The highway ride is rather firm, maybe too firm for some who value comfort over sport.
Styling is, of course, largely a matter of personal preference, but there’s no doubt the FX presents an almost brutishly aggressive approach to SUV design. From the headlights’ ominous squint leading into the longish hood, through the curved roof’s plunge into the short rear hatch, this crossover exudes power. The oversized alloys and chromed vents behind the front wheels simply punctuate the effect.
So the FX isn’t exactly designed as a family hauler. But it does haul. With its in-your-face styling, cockpit-like cabin and muscle-car attitude, it’s attuned to those demanding a more exhilarating  experience.