Daily Archives: August 28, 2012

2012 Infiniti FX

It’s astounding how much resemblance exists between the concept and production models of the Infiniti FX35. During the launch of the Infiniti FX35 back in 2003, the automotive culture for cross-over SUV’s had strong beliefs in either small sports utility vehicles, or large station wagons. Infiniti has lead the automotive industry into a new era of emphasizing style while pushing technology and performance beyond proving grounds.

There is no argument that the Infiniti FX35 drives as good as it looks. The muscular stance of the Inifiniti FX35 directly correlates with its power and handling capability. However, Infiniti has also reminded us of the imperfect world we live in. The subtle and bold styling of the exterior compromises for less cargo space and versatility compared to other SUV’s in its class.

The interior of the Infiniti FX35 gives you the feel of a warm welcoming every time the door handle is pulled. The cabin space is bordered and surrounded with soft quilted leather that is both comfortable to the touch and pleasant to the eyes. The seats are very well padded while offering stiff lateral support to supplement the sporty handling and feel. The smooth spline contours of the front dash module encased around Infiniti’s trademark analog clock truly accentuates the modern and elegant styling of the interior.
However, brawl for the front seats often occur when attempting to carry four additional passengers. While two passengers can fit comfortably well, fitting three full sized adults in the back seats leads to an uncomfortable ride and difficulty in working the seat belts. The pre-loaded features in the Infiniti FX35 falls nothing short of expectation for a luxury vehicle. The  entertainment system features an 11-speaker Bose audio system capable of producing a very broad and flat frequency band. The result is a very crisp and colourful musical sound stage. The on-board 8” front display module complements well with the quality of the Infiniti FX35. The front display module is very user intuitive and ergonomically placed in the cabin space making it very accessible and easy to read even with the presence of direct sunlight.

The Infiniti FX35’s true talent excels in the “pedal to the metal” throttle range. With a near perfect 52/48 front to rear weight distribution structured around a stiff chassis, the Infiniti FX35 corners very well with minimal body roll. The on-board power train control system furthers the handling precision of the FX35 by dynamically transferring the optimal torque power onto individual wheels in real time. The brakes also supply plenty of stopping power when demanded under heavy load conditions.
Although the Infiniti FX35 comes equipped with a basic engine, the VQ 3.5L 24-valve DOHC V6 still produces a generous 303 hp and the notorious alluring sound from the VQ series engines. The VQ engine produces 262 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm while redlining at a 7500 rpm. All of this power is transferred through Infiniti’s seven-speed automatic transmission and onto all four wheels. The Infiniti FX is also offered with available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, double-wishbone front/multi-link rear suspension and large 4-wheel disc brakes, along with available Continuous Damping Control (CDC)®, Rear Active Steer, Intelligent Brake Assist and 21-inch super lightweight aluminum-alloy wheels designed by Enkei.

The sales of the Infiniti FX models sold in Canada equated to only 934 vehicles. This falls very short in comparison to other mid-size luxury crossover utility vehicles available such as the popular BMW X5 series, or the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, both achieving sales figures of 3844 and 4185 respectively – this demolishes the FX series by more than four folds. Perhaps consumers rely their trust more in German engineering when it comes to cross-over SUV’s, but nevertheless, the Infiniti FX is an appealing and competitive offer in its class.

 

2013 Ford Flex Titanium

When it comes to advancement and new ideas, Ford shows nothing but awe and pride in the consumer spotlight.  Speaking of new ideas, the rather unorthodox box-car design is modern formula of sophistication, versatility and overall, better fuel economy.  The Ford Flex is a three-row; seven passenger cross-over SUV was designed to soothe the tasting buds of consumers who want to stand out from the crowd and enjoy all the benefits of a cross-over SUV and more.
The box-car design of the Ford Flex is either love or hate.  The simplistic looks of the Ford Flex flashed the idea of nothing but a super-sized funeral car.  However; as I drove the car more, my interest in the Ford Flex grew into me.  The looks of the Ford Flex may not stand up to more elegant styling of modern cross-over SUV’s such as the Infiniti FX, or the Mazda CX7, but when it comes to versatility, the box-shaped design offers a sheer level of room, comfort, and functionality that is near impossible to beat.
Who would’ve thought a mobile entertainment room exists?  The Ford Flex is one of the most roominess and comfortable cross-over SUV’s on the market to date.  The front bucket seats are very supportive and comfortable.  Equipped with heater and AC leather seats, it’s difficult to make any complaints, even after hours of driving.  Thanks to the boxed shape design, sitting in the rear seats is as relaxing as a leather sofa.  There is even an optional footrest for additional comfort to attenuate any complaints even from the most demanding passengers.  The third row seats also offers plenty of leg room and can easily fit small sized adults.
The Ford Flex comes bundled with many enhanced safety features.  One of the most notable safety feature is the world’s first production rear inflatable seat belts to reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear seat passengers.  The advanced airbag inflation design is capable of deploying over a vehicle occupant’s torso and shoulder in 40 milliseconds during  a vehicle crash event.  Other advanced safety features bundled on the Ford Flex include a radar-enabled adaptive cruise control, collision warning with brake support and a Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with cross traffic alert.  Last but not least, the model of our reviewed Ford Flex has “Auto Park Assist” that can automatically parallel park the vehicle for you.  Given the large size of the Ford Flex, this feature helps relieve the stress of parking in the city.
The Ford Flex is very pleasant and easy to drive.  The Ford Flex is equipped with a basic 3.5 liter rated at 285hp V6.  In addition, the turbocharged EcoBoost feature on our particular reviewed model bumps the horsepower rating up to 365hp and 350 lb-ft of torque.  With these poewr-train specifications, the ford flex makes passing and merging on highways a breeze.  Gear changes on the 6-speed transmission are smooth and pleasant.  For more demanding drivers that want full control, the transmission can also be set into Selectshift mode for manual shifting via the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
The Ford Flex has many trim levels with prices ranging from $29,000 up to the Titanium trim model spiking the price up to $55,000.  Once you climb up to the Titanium trim model, the Flex is as luxurious as any higher end cross-over SUV’s in its class with packed full of features.  The basic Flex model comes preloaded with an AM/FM/CD player, power windows, locks and mirrors as well as a capless fuel-filler system.  The upscale titanium series boasts Ford’s Ecoboost turbocharged engine, 20″ chrome wheels, panoramic sunroofs, Ford SYNC entertainment/phone control system, Sony Audio Sound system, rain sensing wipers, voice activated navigation system and Sirius XM satellite radio.  The Titanium may not be the conventional cult of cross-over SUV in the “looks” category, but when it comes to versatility, luxury and safety, the Ford Titanium is a highly suitable consumer’s choice.