• November 17, 2011

How to find a Sporty SUV

It’s easy to find a safari or glamour van, offering anything from raw torque and traction control to fancy gadgets and shiny wheels. But to get a crossover that leaves behind some of the serious off-roading features and retains the stylish comfort of an SUV isn’t easy. The Infiniti FX is one of Nissan’s best-selling midsize SUVs, targeted at families and city commuters who appreciate sportiness with a bit of bling. It’s got a couple of advantages over rivals in its class, namely its precise Japanese engineering that usually adds up to value for money.

Its exterior is particularly recognisable for the way the sides of the bonnet sweep upward over the headlamps, creating a sporty feel without ostentation. Four-wheel independent suspension gives a smoother ride than you’d expect in a vehicle of this size, while rack and pinion steering provides great manoeuvrability in tight city streets and parking lots.

Pop the hood and you’ll find a 3.5-litre V6 engine that delivers 303 horsepower (in the FX35 model), which is connected to a seven-speed automatic transmission with rear wheel drive. Reviewers mention a “sharpness” and “quick handling” when putting this crossover SUV through the paces. Reliability is this brand’s strong point, meaning there won’t be much equivocation with finding parts or fixing minor issues.

One would be remiss not to mention this vehicle’s luxury, which is in keeping with the features in the full range of Infiniti luxury cars. Dual zone temperature control, leather-appointed seats, 8-way adjustable driver’s seat, power tilt and telescopic steering column, cruise control and maple interior accents are just a few features that place the FX firmly in the luxury category.

It may take some browsing, but it’s possible to find a crossover that’s neither ostentatious nor excessively appointed. The Infiniti range of mid to large luxury SUVs is a good place to start.

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