Infiniti has released details of the updates to its 2012 FX crossover, including changes to the front fascia that reviewers are raving about. “It’s a HUGE improvement,” says Edmunds Inside Line’s Straightline.

This facelift comes with a price increase of $850 for rear- and all-wheel drive FX35 models, and $1,750 for the FX50. But most new buyers won’t feel the pinch too much. “According to the automaker, ‘popularly equipped’ models wear the same price tags in 2012 as they did in 2011,” reports Autoblog.

The 2012 Infiniti FX35 with rear-wheel drive will start at $43,450, while all-wheel drive FX35 models will start at $44,900. The FX50, which comes standard with all-wheel drive, will start at $59,350.

Besides an updated appearance, all 2012 FX models will also include the Infiniti Personal Assistant, which is a personal concierge service available 24 hours per day. This service will provide features similar to GM’s OnStar, like directions and weather alerts, but will also be able to suggest dining options, local entertainment and even book travel arrangements. The Infiniti Personal Assistant will be free for the first four years, though Infiniti hasn’t said how much a subscription will cost after that.

The automaker will also offer a limited-edition version of the FX35 all-wheel drive, starting at $51,550. Only 550 vehicles will be made, so if you’re hankering for an AWD FX35 in “Iridium Blue” with 21-inch aluminum wheels, roof rails and blue-piped graphite floor mats, contact your dealer sooner rather than later.  

If you’re in the market for a luxury midsize SUV with sports-car performance, striking sheetmetal and a high-tech interior, it doesn’t get much better than the Infiniti FX. Still, its back seat and cargo room are on the small side for the class. Buyers looking for a truly utilitarian luxury family hauler will do better to take a look at the Acura MDX. With a $42,930 starting price for 2011 models, it’s $330 more than base 2011 FX35 models, but comes standard with all-wheel drive and offers seating for seven instead of the Infiniti’s five. Plus, its maximum of 83 cubic feet of cargo space handily beats the Infiniti FX’s maximum capacity of 62 cubic feet.

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