Test Drive: 2013 Infiniti FX37 AWD

Nissan is the most American of Japanese car companies. Yes, Toyota?s trucks and sports cars feel more American than they do Japanese, too, but Nissan?s car lineup just feels that much more influenced by the American car buyer than any of its Japanese automaker brethren.

2013 Infiniti FX37 It would stand to reason that Nissan?s luxury brand, Infiniti, would also be quite Americanized. Interestingly, Infiniti seems to take the wild, rear-wheel drive recklessness even further than do the ?Big Three.?

Due to bankruptcies and cutbacks, American cars have calmed down a bit since their heyday in the late 1960s. Only until the 2013 model year are American car companies beginning to produce true wild machines like the Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang and the Camaro ZL1. But those are small-production cars. American car companies just aren?t making out-and-out daily driver rocket ships–in the shape of a mid-size crossover or otherwise. Luckily, however, Infiniti is.

Infiniti made a name for itself with high-power, rear-wheel drive cars like the G37, and the M-line sedans. For luxury buyers wanting the kick-in-the-pants of a Mercedes-Benz AMG or a BMW M but with the reliability of a Japanese car, Infiniti is an obvious choice.2013 Infiniti FX37  - Wheels

Aside from the sleek lines of the G37 and its predecessor the G35, I haven?t ever much cared for the looks of the Infinitis of late. I think they?re too rounded. The?FX37 is no different. When the body style first debuted in 2002, people likened its looks to that of a shoe. They were right. It is very shoe-like. But if customers are able to look past its less-than-gorgeous exterior, they?ll find quite the machine indeed.

The base-model FX is the FX37 RWD, which–not surprisingly–is a rear-drive only. My tester was one step above the base: FX37 AWD priced at $52,750. The FX37 AWD is fitted with all-wheel drive but features the same 3.7-liter 325 horsepower V6 as the rear-wheel drive, standard FX37.? Mated to the V6 power plant is a seven-speed automatic transmission, which is standard across the model line.

2013 Infiniti FX37  - InteriorThe interior of the 2013 Infiniti FX37, like so many Japanese luxury brands, isn?t as luxurious as one might hope. Don?t get me wrong; it?s pretty good. But if one were to compare the Nissan Murano interior to that of the FX37, they?d certainly see some differentiations but arguably not $15,000 worth. The 2013 Infiniti FX37 includes leather, power everything, an eight-inch color touch-screen display, Bluetooth, dual climate control, aluminum pedals, and all the other bits one would expect for the price.

Interestingly, one might assume the Murano and FX37 share a platform, being similar in width and height. However, they?re built on completely different platforms. The Murano is on a front-wheel drive Nissan Altima derived chassis as where the FX37 is built on the much sportier G37 platform.

I wasn?t expecting to like the 2013 Infiniti FX37 much, especially when I took a glimpse at the asking price. But its charms overwhelmed me. The power was just sensational. The interior, although not on par with Mercedes, was incredibly comfortable. And as many of us know, Infinitis are extremely reliable. So the investment made won?t be for naught in three years when the warranty expires.

The only recommendation I would make is to skip the all-wheel drive version and to stick with the standard rear-wheel drive unit. You?ll save around $1,500 and your mileage will be slightly improved.2013 Infiniti FX37  - Front View

I suspect that the FX37, when its redone and restyled sometime here in the next few years will lose the V6 and most of its madness. So if a mid-size SUV family hauler with the power punch of a rocket ship is your kind of rig, act now. You might wish you had in 2015.

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