EX 35: Midsize Luxury Crossover SUV

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Infiniti FX35

The Infiniti FX35 is a rare car in that it is one of the very few that made it all the way to showrooms while still maintaining its concept-car looks intact. Here is everything you need to know about it.

The Infiniti FX35 is one of the rare cars of today that managed to maintain its concept-car appearance all the way from the drawing board and into the showroom. Most crossover SUVs resembled either large wagons or small SUVs when the FX35 first came out, even though the concept had long been celebrated as a completely new brand of vehicles. Thanks to its hulking stance and sports car muscles, the debut of the FX35 in 2003 had left competitors scrambling to match its good looks. It doesn’t end with the looks, though – this is an SUV that has been engineered to drive and handle exactly how it appears on the outside. Here’s what you need to know.

Exterior Muscles Weren’t Just For Show

Offered to customers between 2003 and 2008, the first generation of the remarkable FX35 only boasted on fully loaded trim level. Making its presence known via a distinctive exhaust roar, the FX35 was powered by a 3.5-litre V6 that generated a more than sufficient 275 horsepower, each of which was harnessed through a five-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety equipment included antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control. The SUV was updated for 2009 (continued through to 2011), which included a bump in the horsepower department to 303 as well as a seven-speed transmission. There were more trinkets to be found in the second-gen FX35, such as a hard-drive-based navigation system with digital music storage and adaptive cruise control.

Inside Goodness

One of the most eye-catching features in the original SUV’s cabin was a very-well thought out gauge layout with aluminum trim, even though the entire cabin was luxurious and sporty at the same time. Among standard equipment to be found within were a six-speaker CD stereo, HID headlights, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, reclining rear seats and even power-adjustable front seats. On the other hand, there was a choice between rear-wheel or all-wheel drive in the well-equipped single trim level of the second generation. A USB port, six-CD changer and Bose surround-sound audio system were present, as well as satellite radio, Bluetooth, back-up camera, leather upholstery, xenon headlights and 18-inch alloys.

Road Manners

Excitement was abound in and around the first generation FX35 as is steering was responsive and quick, especially when combined with the potent V6. It felt under control and superbly balanced – much like a sport sedan – even in fast corners and despite the elevated ride height. Because it was done right from the beginning, there were very few changes that took place during the first generation. Examples that took place in earlier models (between 2003 and 2005) include fewer standard features and a slightly weaker standard stereo. More revisions happened in 2006, which included a number of new standard features such as a rearview camera, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery and a Bose audio system.

Is This The Car For You?

There’s no hiding the fact that the Infiniti EX35 is a highly-desirable crossover SUV regardless of its age. Its DNA is encoded with sports car handling, it shares a platform with the nimble EX and the highly-praised Infiniti G sedan, though it does come with a higher centre of gravity. Add to that the safety- and technology-oriented gadgets and features found from bumper to bumper and it becomes clear that there’s no reason not to consider this particular SUV a top contender for an investment. If you’re looking for an energetic and unique alternative to typical SUVs, definitely keep this looker in mind.