On paper, the 2007 Infiniti FX45 and the 2007 Mercedes-Benz M-Class are comparable luxury SUVs. In use, the FX45 has the sport and the utility.
Mercedes describes the ML500 as “an SUV with sports car spirit.” The ML500’s 302-horsepower V8 engine and 7-speed automatic transmission combine for 0 to 60 mph in just 6.7 seconds (MotorTrend Test Results). Its uni-body structure helps endow the M-Class with a smooth, quiet and well-controlled ride. MSRP: $49,850.
Infiniti describes the FX45 as “the radical fusion of sports car and premium SUV.” The FX45 is powered by a 320-hp V8 and 5-speed automatic transmission that are good for 0 to 60 seconds in 5.5-6.3 seconds dependant on the review. The FX45’s muscular engine, buttoned-down suspension and quick reflexes are enough to make the driver forget he’s piloting an upscale sport-utility vehicle rather than a sport sedan. MSRP: $49,200
Which one is truer to its soul? It would have to be the FX45. Unabashedly a sports car in SUV guise, the FX45 puts its emphasis on sport driving. The ML500, with its boxier body and column-mounted shifter is far more utility oriented.
Since we really like driving, the FX45 wins this comparison. And, since we believe in explaining our decisions, here’s why we like the 2007 Infiniti FX45:
The 2007 Infiniti FX45 is a midsize crossover SUV that comes in one well-equipped trim level. Standard features include 20-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, xenon headlights, a moonroof, leather seating with power front seats, a power telescoping steering wheel, a rearview monitor, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless start and full power accessories. Bluetooth connectivity and a 300-watt Bose audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer are also standard. Options include a navigation system, satellite radio, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, run-flat tires, radar-based adaptive cruise control and a lane-departure warning system.
With its “if you’ve got it, flaunt it” styling, the FX45 is a rolling statement. You won’t forget its chopped and channeled cabin with sharply arching roofline or its bodacious (20-inch) wheels fitted with low-profile performance tires.
The FX45 backs up its visual presence with a 4.5-liter V8 that produces a potent 320 hp and 335 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode sends power to all four wheels. The FX features a front-midship engine placement that allows an ideal front-to-rear weight distribution.
The Infiniti FX45’s cabin is a pleasing combination of luxury and sportiness with wood and aluminum trim serving as contrasts to the leather seating. There is plenty of space for four adults, and ergonomics are quite good with an emphasis on knobs and dials rather than a touch screen.
Antilock disc brakes with brake assist, front-seat side airbags, full-length curtain airbags, traction control and stability control are all standard on the 2007 Infiniti FX45, as is a rearview monitor and tire-pressure monitor. In NHTSA crash tests, the FX earned top ratings, scoring five (out of five) stars for its protection of occupants in both frontal- and side-impacts. In IIHS frontal-offset testing, the FX earned the top score of “Good.”
Built specifically to excel on the pavement where most owners will use it most, the 2007 Infiniti FX45 satisfies with its responsive V8; it handles more like a sport sedan with minimal body roll, quick steering response and great brakes. While it costs slightly less than a Mercedes-Benz ML500, comparisons are inevitable and the FX45 is impressive. The 2007 FX45 really wanted to be a sport sedan!
Author: Greg Childs (AZhitman) is the CEO of NICOclub