crossover vehicles may have had their start as off-road adaptations of the familiar station wagon shape, like the AMC Eagle and the Subaru Outback, but it wasn't long before an entirely new design aesthetic emerged to define these genre-crossing automobiles. While the stated purpose of a crossover was to offer all of the benefits of a sport-utility vehicle (great cargo space, high passenger capacity, available all-wheel drive) with none of the drawbacks, (number handling, bumpy ride quality, thirsty fuel consumption), past that point there were no real signposts which car companies could turn to for design guidance. This meant that for some automakers, a clean slate was presented upon which an entirely new styling vocabulary could be explored.
Despite this apparent freedom, several major automakers ended up treating their crossovers as little more than appliances, and far from realizing their potential as trendsetters, crossovers from companies like Toyota ended up sliding into relative anonymity. Strangely bulbous or drab, van-like designs permeated the market, and while consumers flocked to crossovers thanks to their excellent driving characteristics and gas mileage few were inspired by their exterior appearance.
This left a sizable hole in the crossover market that Infiniti felt they had a strong chance of exploiting. Of particular interest to the automaker was the concept of a crossover that maintain the sleek appearance of a sports car, albeit one with substantial ground clearance and a long wheelbase. The emergence of a new, performance-oriented crossover vehicle would dovetail nicely with Infiniti's plan to unveil a radically improved lineup that emphasized power, looks and exclusivity. The decision was made to take advantage of the same platform that would be used for the Nissan 350Z and Infiniti G35 coupes to produce a crossover that would resemble nothing else on the market.
The 2003 - 2007 Infiniti FX series would re-define what buyers expected out of a sporty crossover. Whereas previous quick SUVs had maintained the tall greenhouse of a traditional passenger truck, the FX's sloping roofline and aggressive front fascia were unique, and the vehicle's large dimensions served to make it much more than just another muscular wagon. This article explains why the Infiniti FX is the best used crossover to be sold wearing the Infiniti badge, and how it presents buyers with the opportunity to own a vehicle which is not only fast and fun to drive but also offers the hauling and passenger capacity that families require.
2003 - 2007 Infiniti FX
Unlike most crossover vehicles, the 2003 - 2007 Infiniti FX is divided across two distinct trim lines. The first is the FX35, a vehicle which is powered by a 280 horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine that also produces 270 lb-ft of torque. Those who crave more grunt from their crossover can move up to the FX45 and its 4.5-liter, 315 horsepower V-8. While the FX35 is available in both rear and all-wheel drive editions, the FX45 is all-wheel drive only. There are other differences between the two trims: the FX45 has larger, 20-inch wheels and enormous brakes, giving it a somewhat rougher ride in terms of comfort but ultimately more authoritative performance, back up by a sprint to 60 miles per hour in the 6 second range. With numbers like that, the FX45 can take on not only other quick SUV's but also several popular sport sedans, landing it near the top of the luxury heap when it comes to acceleration. Both the FX35 and FX45 use a 5-speed automatic transmission to handle all gear changes.
Like several other vehicles in the Infiniti lineup, the FX series underwent a restyling in 2006. In addition to mild alterations to the crossover's appearance, this saw the already comfortable interior of the FX improved through the addition of an upgraded navigational screen, standard heated leather seats and nicer interior trim. All versions of the FX come with HID headlights and the option of adding a rear-view camera and DVD entertainment system. The cockpit of the FX fits like a glove, with the driver being immersed in a comfortable environment that features easy to use entertainment and climate controls coupled with attractive gauges. Rear seats fold flat in order to provide almost 65 cubic feet of total luggage space, and when they are in use fully grown adults will have no issues in terms of leg or shoulder room on even extended trips.
The 2003 - 2007 Infiniti FX provides used crossover buyers with two appealing options. The FX35 is perfect for those who want a useful all-wheel drive vehicle that stands out from the rest of the pack, while the FX45 is aimed squarely at sports car hot shoes who enjoy teaching other SUVs a lesson or two when it comes to performance driving.