Convertibles are not for everyone they are however a large segment and it is growing rapidly in the luxury market. One of the main competitors to Infiniti’s G line is BMW’s 3 series line, of which almost half are sold as convertibles. Infiniti has been missing out on this party for years but is looking to rectify that by launching the newest addition to the G line up, a hard top convertible.
Lopping off the top of a car is not as simple as it sounds. Once the top if off you have lost a lot of structural rigidity that needs to be brought back. Infiniti did a good job of reinforcing the chassis, so much so that the convertible is as rigid as the coupe. Infiniti used a floor support on the transmission tunnel, two braces one in front of and one behind the rear wheels, and reinforcements behind the rear seats. By adding all the reinforcements the convertible pays a toll at weigh in time with 453 pounds more then the coupe to lug around. Top down operation takes a mere 30 seconds which when waiting seems a lot longer. The top can not be opened or closed while moving. With the top up Infiniti designer’s did a great job keeping its good looks with great integration of the cut lines. Keeping the great looks of the G without the top has its compromises, mainly the trunk. With a mere 2.5 cubic feet of trunk space with the top down, you will be using the “back seats” as your luggage rack. That works out well seeing as a child could barely fit in the seats due to zero leg room.
The G37 I test drove had pretty much every option including the premium package, navigation package, sport package, and illuminated kick plates. Starting at $43,850 you can get the G37 convertible north of $50,000 quickly by adding bulky option packages. The interior was gorgeous with top end materials all around. The navigation unit is a touch screen and can also be controlled by the buttons below it. The whole head unit was easy to use and I was able to change the sound settings in under 20 seconds. The sound system is Bose branded with 13 speakers sounded great. There are speakers on each side of the head rests which are tied into the Audiopilot 2.0 noise cancellation technology. This adjusts the stereo to compensate for the outside noise with the top down depending on your speed. I found it worked quite well both on the highway and in the city.
Retained in the convertible is the coupe’s 3.7 V6 pushing out 325 HP, and 267 Lb-Ft to the rear wheels. The engine is tied to a choice of a 6 speed manual or a 7 speed automatic. The car I test drove had the 7 speed automatic which shifts quickly and cleanly. The sport package adds magnesium shift paddles that when downshifted the transmission will rev match for a sweet sweet sound. The exhaust has a glorious note that makes you want to tear off from every stop light. The exhaust note is definitely more menacing then the BMW 335i’s at idle and in the low revs.
This car is a drivers car. It retains the great looks of the coupe with some trunk usage compromises. The car is great for driving down University Drive or just cruising the back roads in the country. I would personally choose the back country roads option. At the end of the day the G37 convertible is just that a convertible which entails compromise. At the price as tested of $52,840 you are deep in the luxury convertible waters and there are many a sharks in those waters. While the competition is steep I truly feel the G37 convertible is more then up to the task of taking a bite out of the competition.