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.