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With a substantial 390-horsepower, 5-liter V8 under the hood of an INFINITI FX50, that trip to the grocery store after collecting the kids from school may not take as long as it used to. Power is sent to all four wheels through a 7-speed transmission.
Thanks to an independent suspension -- double wishbone up front, multi-link in the rear -- the 4,500-pound FX50 stays impressively planted through the corners. It feels more like a car than an SUV. Brakes are impressive, as well, with 14-inch ventilated discs at the front wheels, 13-inch at the back.
All of this heft and performance has a drawback, though: The FX50 manages only 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway, a bit low even by performance crossover standards.
The exterior is sleek and sharp in all the right places. To say that it is more of a looker than the BMW X5 wouldn't be an overstatement. Where the BMW can seem reserved, the INFINITI begs you to stare as it slips by in the passing lane.
The FX50's interior is as good as most competitors -- outdone, perhaps, by the more expensive Porsche Cayenne S. Well-trimmed leather seats come heated, even in the back. Easy-to-read gauges have a classy look. There's an 11-speaker Bose audio system, and the FX50's navigation system may be one of the best on the market. Rear-seat legroom is good, as is cargo space. A small rear window hamper visibility, though.
The 2013 INFINITI FX50 comes in a single trim at a starting price of $61,500. The interior is well-equipped with standard features like heated leather seats, front and rear; Bluetooth connectivity; and a navigation system.
The BMW xDrive50i has a comparable 400 horses and all-wheel drive, but if you want the same handling dynamics as the FX50 you'll have to upgrade to the $88,000 X5 M
The Cayenne S also has 400 horsepower and maybe the best interior in its class, but the options are very expensive
Almost 130 more horsepower but the base price is $96,100
Immensely powerful and you get a legendary brand name, but the price tag may make you look twice