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When introduced nearly a decade ago, the Infiniti FX 35 was something special. There were very few luxury crossover sport utility vehicles on the road. And this one was sporty, attractive, and provided an enviable sedan-like ride.

Perhaps the Infiniti was a victim of its own success because these days there are plenty of competition in this luxury category. Some of the rivals include the Acura MDX, BMW’s X5, the Mercedes M Class and the Porsche Cayenne.

2012 Infiniti FX35

  • Performance: 3.5-liter, V6, 303 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 16-23 mpg
  • Price: $43,700 to $52,000
  • Warranty: 4 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain 6 years/70,000 miles; roadside assistance 4 years/unlimited; corrosion 7 years/limited

The Infiniti FX35 is not for everyone. If you’re a car shopper seeking an SUV with style, technology and performance, give the FX35 a good look. However, if a more practical ride is important, look elsewhere. The FX35 has a smallish cargo area, is on the pricy side ($43,700 to $52,000), and has a firm ride that will not be appreciated by some discerning drivers.

There are some changes for 2012 that are worth mentioning. This year’s models come with revised front grille and fascia. The standard features list is expanded and there are now three trim models.

The standard FX35 is still the mainstream choice in the FX lineup. Here’s a quick look at the new FX35 Limited Edition and the FX50.

* FX35 Limited Edition: This new addition features all-wheel drive, adaptive xenon headlights, exclusive paint, and several other niceties. It shares the same engine as the standard FX35 – a 3.5-liter, V6, with 303 horsepower. Cost is $52,000
* FX50: This is one powerful SUV that features a 5.0-liter, V8 that produces 390 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It has all the standard features of the Limited model and a few others, like an advanced climate control system, leather seating, and ventilated front seats. Cost is $59,800.

The FX50 is a high performance SUV, but the FX35 is no slouch. It has a 3.5-liter, V6 with 303 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. It travels 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds, while the FX50 goes the same distance in about a second faster (5.5 seconds). None of the FX models gets good gas mileage, averaging between 14-23 mpg.

The FX models don’t disappoint when it comes to luxurious interior features. The wood trim is rich, there are an abundance of soft-touch materials, plus the audio and navigational systems are first rate. The front seats are extremely comfortable with plenty of room. But note that the second row is a bit cramped for many adults.

Driving the FX35 is a pleasure, especially on challenging roads when its ability to hug the road and supply superior breaking is evident. But as noted previously, the ride is a little stiff.

The FX35 is still an appealing crossover SUV with plenty of upside. However, it has lots of company. So it’s a good idea to go comparison shopping when seeking a luxury SUV.

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