Infiniti’s FX37 for 2013 is an aggressive-looking, attention-grabbing sport utility vehicle with a new 325-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6, replacing the 303-horsepower, 3.5-liter (FX35) V-6.Even with the extra power, it has nearly identical EPA fuel-economy figures of 17 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway. Also new for 2013: Moving Object Detection has been added to the Around View Monitor system — standard on the V-8 powered FX50, and optional on the FX37.Prices start at $44,950 for the FX37 rear-drive model, which I drove, and range as high as $61,500 for the FX50 all-wheel drive. A special FX37 AWD Limited Edition is available for $53,400.The Limited Edition color is Moonlight White, with special turbine-design 21-inch, 10-spoke graphite-finish wheels with all-season tires, dark tinted headlights with adaptive front lighting system and auto-leveling, dark-tinted side air vents and lower door trim, graphite-finish roof rails and cross-bars, aluminum pedals, monogrammed graphite floor mats with unique blue piping, the Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System, Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and much more.Infiniti FX styling, with a long hood, short overhangs front and rear, stretched wheelbase, bold front grille and fascia, kicked-back roofline, distinctive (functional) side air vents, and integrated rear spoiler, says “Look out, here I come.” The air vents behind the front wheels help reduce front-end lift by routing air through the engine compartment and out the side of the vehicle. The large LED taillights extending out from the body help create aerodynamic down force on the rear.All FX models come with a refined seven-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode, downshift rev matching and adaptive shift control — which alters shift timing according to driving style.Infiniti vehicles all come with Personal Assistant, 24-hour access to live professional assistants, free for the first four years, for help in making reservations, finding points of interest, getting directions, finding gift services, and a wide variety of other services including answering just about any question. It’s accessible from car or home.The interior of my FX37 was striking, with the signature Infiniti double-wave instrument panel, black lacquer trim, and Fine Vision electroluminescent gauges.My car included a Technology Package for $2,950 with intelligent cruise control, lane-departure warning and prevention, intelligent brake assist with forward collision warning, distance-control assist, adaptive front lighting with auto-leveling headlights, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.The lane-departure warning could be a little annoying on narrow two lane roads — beeping almost constantly. It can be turned off by pushing a button on the dash to the left of the steering column. But I was glad to have it on the long trip home after an exhausting weekend. Lane-departure prevention goes a little farther, gently applying the brakes on the opposite side if the vehicle drifts too close to the edge of the lane.Distance Control Assist, available with the touch of a button, gently reminds and helps the driver to maintain a safe following distance — especially in stop-and-go traffic — by using a subtle “pushback” on the accelerator if the system determines that braking may be necessary.The push becomes more insistent and an audible signal is added if the driver continues closing on the vehicle ahead. When the driver releases the throttle, the DCA automatically gently applies the brakes. Being a very careful, courteous, safe driver I didn’t experience the DCA pushback.Intelligent Brake Assist with Forward Collision Warning serves a similar purpose by using the same laser sensor as the Intelligent Cruise Control and warning the driver if a frontal collision is imminent. If the driver doesn’t respond appropriately, the system automatically engages the brakes to help reduce the consequences of any crash. My FX was also upgraded with a Deluxe Touring Package for $3,300. Both front seats were heated and cooled with quilted leather on all seating surfaces; 20-inch split-spoke wheels replaced the standard 18-inch five-spoke wheels; and maple wood accented the center console, doors and dash. The package included aluminum pedals and a tonneau cover.A Premium Package, $4,300, brought lots of technological upgrades including the navigation system with an eight-inch color touch-screen display, voice recognition for navigation and audio systems, NavTraffic and NavWeather (subscription required), Zagat restaurant guide and streaming audio via Bluetooth. The Around View system with Moving Object Detection used a split screen along with the backup camera, showing the ground on all sides of the vehicle in a “birds-eye” view, as well as objects behind the vehicle. The MOD detects moving objects within that view while in park and within the front and rear views when the vehicle is in motion. We drove through some standing water (not deep, not flowing) and the MOD went a little crazy.This package also upgraded to a CD/DVD player, dual-occupant memory system, entry/exit assist for driver’s seat and steering wheel, outside (power, heated) mirrors with reverse tilt-down, power tilt/telescopic steering wheel and painted aluminum roof rails. My Infiniti had a couple of nice standard hospitality features — Infiniti Intelligent Key with illuminated pushbutton ignition, and Sequential Welcome Lighting Illuminated Entry. The key fob can remain in a pocket or purse while a button on the door handle unlocks the doors with a touch and can be programmed to control the position of the driver’s seat, mirrors and steering wheel. The lighting system turns on the outside-mirror-mounted courtesy lights as the driver approaches, and then lights key areas inside the vehicle as passengers enter. Entry/exit of the rear seat was a little awkward, due to the curve of the rear wheel well into the door opening.FX37’s rear seatbacks could be folded flat in a 60/40 configuration to increase the cargo space from 24.8 cubic feet to 62 cubic feet. We had enough room for three weekend bags, three folding chairs and hiking sticks with the seatbacks in place.There was plenty of legroom — 44.7 inches in the front and 34.6 inches in the back — with the middle rear seat being a little more cramped.Because of the FX’s sport suspension, which gives it great road handling, the ride was somewhat stiff, though not uncomfortable.The cabin was quiet enough to enjoy the 11-speaker Bose Premium Sound System with MP3 capability and a USB port for our iPod. The FX37 comes with satellite radio (three-month subscription included for new buyers).There are lots of standard air bags, including front seat-mounted side-impact and roof-mounted side-curtain with rollover sensors for front and rear. The advanced front air bags had occupant-sensing deactivation for the passenger seat to prevent deployment if the front seat is unoccupied.Infiniti also includes LATCH child-seat hookups for all three rear seating positions, active head restraints in the front, antilock braking, electronic brake-force distribution, electronic stability control with traction control, tire-pressure monitoring, and vehicle security and immobilizer systems.My FX37 was powerful, responsive and quite attractive. But the curvy design — higher front quarters, larger outside mirrors, lower rear roof line — does limit outward visibility and cargo space just a little.There were three 12-volt outlets, four cupholders, Bluetooth for hands-free phone, dusk sensing headlamps, a power liftgate and a power sunroof with manual sunshade.With options and destination charges ($950) the total sticker price for my Infiniti FX37 was $56,450.
The automotive columns of Emma Jayne Williams appear weekly in the Star-Telegram. Contact her at email@example.com .