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Posted at 09:09 AM ET, 09/20/2013

2013 Infiniti FX37: Family Checklist


(Cars.com)

The 2013 Infiniti FX37 is a midsize SUV, but with its smaller backseat I thought I would have to "make it work," as Tim Gunn from the TV show "Project Runway" says. However, it fit effortlessly into my daily life of chauffeuring two school-age kids — and their stuff — around.

It's not just its looks that turn heads. The FX37's new-for-2013 3.7-liter V-6 engine sounds sexy. It's got a deep rumble that sounds great outside and in the FX37. Even better is its fabulous acceleration and exceptional handling, and the FX has virtually no body roll, which is surprising given its elevated ground clearance.

Infiniti is changing the names of its cars for the 2014 model year, and the FX lineup will be the QX70. With the name change, it's a good time to get a deal on a 2013 FX.

My children, ages 8 and 11, were comfortable in the FX's backseat, though adults may feel cramped because of the lack of legroom and the sloping roof that impacts headroom. When it comes to legroom, the FX leads against its competitors in the front row with 44.7 inches, but falls short in the backseat at 34.6 inches. The BMW X5 has 40.0 inches in front and 36.6 in the backseat; the Lexus RX 350 comes in at 43.1/36.8 inches and the Mercedes-Benz at 40.3/38.4 inches.


(Cars.com)

Child-safety seats installed easily due to the flat bench seat and the second row's reclining seatbacks. The rear-facing infant seat fit in the backseat with the front seat adjusted for my 5-foot-5 frame, but you'll want to double check the fit if you are taller. The rear seat belt buckles are floppy and slightly recessed in the seat cushion, so younger kids just getting used to buckling themselves up may struggle a little.


(Cars.com)

In addition, smaller children will need help getting into the backseat until they are taller and used to the FX37's slightly higher step-in height. Cupholders and a shallow cubby are located in the backseat's armrest. Each outboard passenger also has a large seatback pocket to house goodies.


(Cars.com)

Like Gunn does on "Project Runway," the FX37 reminds you that you'll need to edit your gear because its 24.8-cubic-foot cargo area can handle a decent amount of stuff but not too much. It fit my son's hockey bag just fine, and it could have handled a few grocery bags, too. The FX37's cargo space behind the second row is put to shame by its competition. The X5 has a 35.8-cubic-foot cargo area; the RX 350 measures 40.0 and M-Class is 38.2. In the FX, the 60/40-split rear seats fold to expand the cargo area to 62.0 cubic feet.


(Cars.com)

While there are a ton of features in the FX37, they have been incorporated thoughtfully. I always appreciate a power liftgate, push-button start with a proximity key and the Around View Monitor with Moving Object sensor. The Around View system uses multiple cameras to offer a bird's-eye view around the car, and it's a smart choice because visibility around the FX isn't great. The FX37 also has sequential welcome lighting, which makes me feel safe and, honestly, kind of special.

Ultimately, the FX37 held its own on my family's runway, I mean driveway.

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By Cars.com  |  09:09 AM ET, 09/20/2013

 
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