Road Test: 2013 INFINITI FX37
Rolling, tumbling boulders seem less threatening than the angry Infiniti FX37.
When one bounces in behind you, filling your rearview mirror with its excessive, aggressive snout, it can drive you to four-letter exclamations that might elicit a slap from your mom.
Even now, after nearly a decade of various tweaks, tucks and nips, the big crossover still looks like a lunar exploration vehicle that swallowed a hot rod.
And the question remains after all these years: What on Earth are we supposed to do with the FX -- effectively a tall, wildly exaggerated, high-end sedan with no trunk?
I'm not sure. But in a world where jellybean cars resemble jellybean crossovers that share lines with jellybean minivans, you have to admire something that looks like it could attack other cars in the neighborhood.
Everything about my 2013 FX37 Limited felt 150 percent; the sort of larger-than-life, silk-and-sunglasses vehicle you might see in South Miami.
Just take a look at that face. An enormous chrome four-bar grille was flanked by stretched headlamps that sort of hung off the corners of the front fenders. A long, mostly flat hood about the size of a picnic table gave the FX a crazy, almost classic-car dimension up front.
Then, about the time that Infiniti had the "big" thing really going, it decided to put lots of angle in the sloping windshield and give the FX a slightly chopped-down gangster top.
Though it didn't look much like a luxury interior at first glance, I thought it fit the FX's pugnacious personality well.
The curvaceous, half-acre dashboard had hoods over the instrument panel and large, prominent center stack, and a kind of terraced area above the glove compartment. The busy center stack housed a large navigation screen, stereo controls beneath that and a separate lower section for climate control.
Probably the most luxurious features in the interior were wide, smooth leather seats with pleated, perforated centers and reasonably good support.
Despite the promise of those big doors, the leg room in back felt limited -- even for those of us with downsized legs -- and that didn't seem particularly efficient in a 4,600-pound vehicle.
The FX felt plenty capable of handling the 325 horsepower from Nissan/Infiniti's ubiquitous 3.7-liter V-6. The top-heavy FX leans a bit in moderate-speed curves, though not in overly dramatic ways. It also manages only average grip, even with all-wheel-drive.
To be honest, kids, I'm not sure that the FX excels at anything other than looking really distinctive. Long may it strut.
2013 INFINITI FX37
Base price: $44,950
Price as tested: $53,700
EPA fuel economy: 16 mpg city, 22 highway
Weight: About 4,600 pounds
Engine: 3.7-liter V-6
Power: 325 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
0 to 60 mph: less than seven seconds
Length: 191.3 inches
Height: 65 inches
Width: 75.9 inches
Bottom line: a distinctive road beast