Take a trip back, if you’re able, to a few weeks ago when we reviewed the Lexus IS250C. In that review we made the claim that the IS250C was a major step up from the old SC, which we hate with the same passion as Republicans hate Democrats.
While Lexus had years to realize their SC mistake, Infiniti had nothing. The company hadn’t had a convertible since 1992 with the M30. Starting from scratch might be saying a tad much, as the G37 was built with a hardtop in mind. That being said, taking the top off a car, even if it was designed to have it done, isn’t an easy task to accomplish.
With all these different factors in mind, we took out the new 2010 Infiniti G37 Convertible, with the sport package, out for a week of driving around town. Did the newest Japanese hardtop live up to big veteran Lexus?
Hit the jump to find out.
As we said in the introduction, the G37 was meant to get a convertible variant and, unlike the Nissan Z-car, this convertible would use a very heavy folding hardtop. That added weight comes from the typical chassis reinforcements that are needed to make the car feel tight and rigid, and of course, that seriously heavy roof.
The exterior styling is one of the best aspects of the G37. The convertible version carries all of aesthetic pleasure of the coupe. Even the folding hardtop roof, when in place, keeps the coupe design intact, making it nearly impossible to tell that it’s a convertible from a distance. Up close, it would take a real interesting character not to realize the the black lines and the lack of B-pillar.
Top up or top down, the G37 is an eye-catching car. It has a finely drawn front fascia with beefy shoulders and short overhangs. Around back, the convertible has a much higher rear deck lid than the coupe and slightly altered taillights. Still, we do love the fact that Infiniti avoided the bustle-back look, or large rear end as some call it, with this model.
So, with the coupe look very much present, how would the convertible perform? As we said, it uses chassis reinforcements and they have worked brilliantly. The car has coupe-like stiffness around the bends, but all that weight was like eating two tubs of ice cream, 453 pounds worth to be in fact.
That added weight hurt performance slightly, but luckily the G37 rides on one of the best platforms in the business, the FM, so it wasn’t really noticeable most of the time. The rear suspension has been redone for this model, but don’t worry, it’s still an independent setup. The new suspension gets a wider track, stiffer springs, and lower height.
Our sport model came with faster ratio steering, upgraded brakes, and fat 19-inch summer tires. All of these factors helped the G37 be a great handling machine. Turn-ins are quick and body roll is nonexistent.
As good as the car was, the G37 wasn’t as good as the BMW 3-Series Convertible or the Mercedes offerings, but it’s still pretty special. The only real issue we had was with the top-down as the G37 can feel a bit squirmy and unsettled.
Under normal driving, the Infiniti was top notch. The ride was taught yet refined. The cabin was very quiet with the top up, and with it down you felt some wind buffeting, but nothing that would drive you up the wall.
Powering the car is a 3.7-liter V6 with 325 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. With all that power, we expected a lot more than what we got. Again, we blame the unhealthy weight increase, as those pounds made the car feel sluggish, especially on hills. The noise was always present, as was the gear shift vibrations at higher revs, but the feeling of all out speed never came.
Our G37S came with a six-speed manual gearbox that was fairly easy to use. We’ll be the first to admit that it’s been a few months since we’ve driven a stick shift and there was a slight learning curve for a few hours. The clutch was heavier than we expected and, while shifting was often a pleasantry, there were times when it resisted going into gear.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 16 city/24 highway for the manual on premium gas. Those numbers were shockingly accurate, as with careful driving we were able to get the Lexus IS-F to deliver 30 miles per gallon. It didn’t seem to matter how you drove the Infiniti, the G37S’s fuel economy was a tad upsetting.
Inside, you’ll find a sensationally luxurious interior with gray leather and decent room in the front two seats. In back, it’s a different story. Only supermodels could fit in those two back seats with shorter front occupants and that’s with the top-down. With the top-up, there is hardly any headroom to speak of. Not even the shortest of short blokes could fit.
The seats are gorgeously sculpted and offer 8-way power adjustments with thigh adjusters. Those seats can be heated or cooled, but our test car only came with the first option. The driver could adjust the side bolsters, making the seat form exactly to the body.
The G37 comes with a 13-speaker Bose open-air sound system that was better than anything we have heard in a convertible before. Automatic equalization keeps outside noise at bay, while head restraint speakers deliver sensationally clear sound with the roof back. We were able to hear talk radio without cranking up the volume at highway speeds and that’s saying something.
Our test vehicle came with the navigation system and technology package that included a back-up camera, a music hard drive, and Bluetooth. The layout might seem like it would be hard use, but actually it’s fairly simple. We were able to check the weather, traffic updates, and other things through the car’s computer with relative ease. The navigation system came with Zagat ratings for restaurants, which seemed useful, only to find out they’ve only rated one dining establishment in our area.
The backseat, as said earlier, is fairly small and should only be used for luggage. Once you open the trunk, you’ll realize why we said that. With the top-down, you get a trunk that is so small, you couldn’t even fit an overnight bag. With the top-up, there is around 10.3 cubic feet of space. It’s styling over practicality in this case.
The car’s price tag was around $50,000, but you can get the base model for about $44,350. After a week in the G37S, we have to say that the price is well worth it if you want a sedan for practical uses.
We give the 2010 G37 Convertible high marks and seeing as how this is the company’s first hardtop drop top, we are truly impressed. As a driver’s car, it might not be as nimble as the Germans, but that was expected. The exterior design is gorgeous and the interior is well laid out as it was built to the highest standards and a comfortable place to sit. The season for convertible might be winding down, but that’s no reason to turn away from this Infiniti.