>> Monday, March 30, 2009
We’re just getting acquainted with this crossover in wolf’s clothing.
BY DAVID GLUCKMAN
Date: March 2009
Twelve-hundred miles may not seem like much, especially as part of a 40,000-mile long-term test. But when that distance stands between your right foot and hammer-dropping bliss, it feels like waiting in line behind a check writer at the grocery store. Alas, that was the factory-prescribed break-in period for our latest long-termer, a Moonlight White 2009 Infiniti FX50S.
The FX50 was adopted into our fleet for several reasons. First, we’re big fans of vehicles built on Nissan and Infiniti’s FM platform, which include the 370Z and 10Best-winning G sedan and coupe, among others. Second, we like new shiny stuff, and the FX has been redone for 2009, adding a seven-speed automatic transmission and, for top-spec models, a bigger and more powerful V-8. Finally, we wanted to find out how the FX’s brakes would hold up over the long haul.
We experienced severe brake fade the first two times we had a chance to test an FX50, both during testing for a feature story called The Power to Stop and our initial road test from last July. During the feature testing, the rotors also became deeply grooved. Infiniti claims they’ve addressed the issues with more aggressive brake pads, and we wanted to validate the fix with real-world evaluation in addition to our normal instrumented regimen. Early FX50S buyers have been offered the new pads at no charge.
The change seems to have done the trick. Although 70-to-0-mph braking distance was up nominally in our initial long-term testing—172 feet versus 161 for our first test subject—we have yet to report any brake fade. (All three FX50s were tested on summer performance tires.) Our only complaint about the brakes thus far is that we’ve found them a bit grabby, requiring a light touch for a smooth stop. We’ll continue to keep an eye on the brakes’ overall performance.
Keep Reading: 2009 Infiniti FX50S - Long-Term Road Test Update