Infiniti FX

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Infiniti FX30d

Road Test

Infiniti FX driven

Driven August 2010

Additional Info

In TopGear's perfect world we'd all be driving 5.0-litre V8s, but we exist in something called The Real World, which is why most of us are forced into buying a sensible (diesel) car. And it's why new luxury carmaker Infiniti has just launched a 3.0-litre V6 diesel for its FX SUV.

Infiniti is Nissan's luxury arm, in the same way that Lexus is to Toyota, and it launched the curvy FX first with two petrols including a V8. But Infiniti always knew that to deliver a knockout blow in Europe it was going to need diesel power.

The block starts life as an ‘Alliance' unit, which does not mean it was built by Jedis, rather a pairing of Renault and Nissan. Lightweight materials and a turbo pump power to 235bhp and 405lb ft of torque - more than a Cayenne diesel.

Start it up from cold and you'll immediately be reminded of what Eighties agricultural equipment sounds like. But once the engine's warm it stops being mildly angry and the noise only becomes unruly again when you're pushing it.

The V6 delivers seamless power and pushes you forward firmly, more an eager manservant ushering you ahead than a kickboxer taking out your kidneys. The seven-speed autobox - with smart magnesium paddle shifters - works superbly and is neither jerky nor semi-conscious. Floor the throttle and the big V6 delicately ladles out a fruity dollop of boost.

Its all-wheel-drive provides plentiful grip and you'll lose your nerve with speed into the corners long before the FX30D starts losing traction. The steering is satisfyingly heavy and offers road information in a very easy-to-digest format.

There is however, a problem on the horizon. An X6-Cayenne-RangeRoverSport-sized problem.

The Cayenne has the kudos of being a Porsche, while the Range Rover Sport is an English country mansion on wheels. And the Beemer? Well, the X6 comes with the world's greatest 3.0-litre diesel six. Even with this strong diesel, Infiniti will still struggle against those established marques.

Not that Infiniti cares - it isn't looking to be a volume seller, preferring to offer a one-to-one service. Infiniti doesn't have dealerships, after all, but hotel-esque ‘centres'. However, the addition of a diesel powerplant to the range is likely to increase interest in the FX massively in the UK. Maybe the company's going to have to think about opening dealerships after all...

Vijay Pattni

On your drive for: £1,253
Performance: 0-62mph in 8.3secs, max speed 131mph, 31.4mpg
Tech: 2999cc, 6cyl, 4WD, 235bhp, 405lb ft, 2150kg,  238g/km CO2

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