infinitMaybe it’s this job, or maybe I’m just a sap, but I get to drive a lot of different cars, and I fall in love with each one of them. So when Infiniti dropped off the FX 37 for us to drive to North Carolina for a long weekend, I was excited: who wouldn’t love five days in a luxury SUV? And then I got into the car and immediately wondered, who is this car for? Will I like it? It’s so masculine.

And I had to wonder, would we be able to get all our stuff in it for the trip?

infiniti-hoodInfiniti made sure you won’t miss seeing its sexy, curvy hood from the driver’s seatBut as I sat behind the wheel the first time, I was struck by the hood view, and started to fall in love with the FX’s design: It’s hood is not the typical “low drag” view, in which you don’t really see the hood, just the road in front of you. Infiniti has invested a lot of time and design talent into finely crafting voluptuous curves into this body; it’s a shame not to be able to see its curves from every angle, so they made sure you do.

But the hood’s curves, as well as the rest of the FX 37’s curves, took some getting used to; while driving I had the feeling that I had to accommodate the car’s exterior, even though it’s no larger than other cars in its class. So it took me some time to get adjusted to driving on the winding roads of my neighborhood and to park in tight parking lots.

Infiniti’s designers must have counted on this: As much as they focused on crafting each curve of the car, the low drag of the roof (the roof slopes down toward the back) reduces window size and creates blind spots. But this car is full of safety innovations (many are standard, but some important ones are options). From the round view camera (which looks bacward, forward and also offers a birds-eye view of your surroundings) to lane departure warning lights to Intelligent Brake Assist, which slows the car if cars in front are going too slow, to steering that responds to the car’s speed, and traction control that responds not only to the road but also has a separate snow setting–Inifiniti has tried to think of it all.

infiniti-cameraSafety is a priority: the back up camera also features a 360 degree viewAnother thing that Inifiniti has tried to completely rethink is the car’s technology. And while this has become a very competitive area, Infiniti has done a pretty good job. My phone was able to sync quickly the first time, and seamlessly each time I got into the car. The voice recognition system easily found people in my phone’s address book and made the calls I requested. And the navigation system operates on voice recognition if you like, or by toggle or touch screen and offers a birds eye view and 3-d graphics. The system also has real time traffic, weather and of course, to help find a port in the storm, Zagat listings.

Especially well thought out is the back up camera. Or forward view camera. Or what Infiniti calls the All-Around View Monitor. It’s all of that: if you a have small people in your family, or in your neighborhood, and if those small people tend to leave their diminutive things around the yard or driveway, this system is for you: You’ll never again get in your car and be surprised at the scooter that is suddenly and perhaps permanently stuck to your car’s undercarriage. You can see a demonstration of that, as well as many of the FX37‘s features in our video.

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What We Loved:

  • Leather quilted seating –pretty!
  • Heated seats (cooled, too!)
  • The exterior design, hood lines, wheels and side vents
  • Ample cargo space (25 cubic feet behind the second row seats; 64 cubic feet with the second row folded down)
  • A USB port, and A/V port and thee 120 volt ports
  • Lane departure warnings
  • Intelligent Brake Assist–great when in cruise control and a car pulls too close in front of you!
  • Side mirrors that tilt down when in reverse
  • Hands free Bluetooth that streams audio from your iPod or phone
  • Purifying air filter system (Ahhhhh!)

infinit-wheelsSmall details, like the side vents and 20″ wheels give this car a bossy, sporty feelWhat To Know

  • Seating for five (no third row)
  • V6 engine–plenty of power
  • 325 horse power
  • No convenient place for your phone or purse
  • No two pronged plug
  • 21 gallon tank, with about 400 miles to the tank (16-20 mpg)
  • Price of the model we tested: About $57,000

The FX37 was perfect for our family of four-plus-pup: it accommodated our stuff, provided plenty of comfort, and was fun for the driver, too. But for many families, more room for stuff and people is key: our friend Lara DiPaola road tested the FX37’s big sis, the QX56, for a week with her family of seven (and by the way, we are envious of the QX56’s in-car on-screen tutorial of all the car’s features and functions. SO awesome). See Lara’s review, here.

Disclosure: Infiniti provided the FX37 for our test drive; opinions expressed here are all our own.