12 August 2009
Infiniti G37 Convertible

Infiniti G37 Convertible

Infinite pleasure

Review | With Infiniti driving pleasure comes first. Of all cars that Infiniti builds, the G37 Coupé offers the best drive by far. During an earlier test drive this exclusive coupé impressed with sublime performance and excellent driving characteristics. But now Infiniti promises to do even better: the G37 is now also available as a convertible. Does this mean infinite pleasure?
 

The sun shines, the sky is blue. What better way to enjoy the summer than in a convertible? In a convertible that is a sheer pleasure to drive of course! That is why the Infiniti G37 Cabrio is set up like a sports car: a powerful engine in the front, rear wheel drive and perfect weight distribution (52% on the front wheels, 48% on the rear).

But at the same time the G37 Convertible is also a luxury car for daily use. So the G37 is fitted with a three part metal roof which can be opened and closed automatically. As soon as weather permits, this coupé can be transformed into a cabriolet in 25 seconds at the push of a button.

Space

During this process the roof is folded in the boot. Therefore, as a general rule cars like this have very little luggage room and the G37 Cabrio offers the least. With the roof open just a sliver of space remains that is barely big enough to hold a neatly folded jacket. When the roof is closed the car offers sufficient boot space (366 litres) for some large grocery bags, but even then space is less than competing cars.

Infiniti G37 Convertible

And while on the subject of space: Infiniti promises that the G37 Convertible offers room for four people. That is, to say the least, very optimistic. The room in the front is fine, even for tall drivers. In the rear, headroom is of course excellent with the roof open so passengers can sit up straight and require less legroom. With the roof closed room in the back is only sufficient for small children.

Equipment

The interior is typical of a Japanese car: luscious looks with numerous knobs and buttons to show off; this car is fitted with every imaginable gadget. And the latter can be taken literally: it is hard to image any piece of equipment that is not on this test car! Items like keyless entry, a rear camera and radar-guided cruise control (automatically keep a safe distance from the car in front) are all fitted as standard. The paint will repair itself from little scratches (for example, from a car wash) under the influence of water and sunlight.

Infiniti G37 Convertible

The seats are upholstered with leather, can be adjusted electronically and have both seat heating and cooling. The latter is especially pleasant on hot summer days. The front seats are not too hard, not too soft, not too wide and not too small, but perfect for almost every posture.

What makes the seats really special are the loudspeakers mounted on the headrests. These produce anti-sound so that the car seems much quieter with the roof open than it actually is. Regrettably the system cannot be turned off, making it impossible to hear the difference with the system on or off. What is noticable that the sound of the audio system changes when the car comes to a standstill, so the system gets the benefit of the doubt.

The sound quality itself is terrible: it is artificially enriched with extra low and high notes making it sound unreal and tiring. A good thing is that it plays from every conceivable source: everything from MP3 on USB to DVD with DTS will be played back.

Infiniti G37 Convertible

Performance

The engine of a luxury car like this is of course started with a button. Then a 3.7 litre six-cylinder engine comes to life. In most circumstances the G37 Convertible is most suitable for boulevard cruising. Thanks to the large engine capacity, even at low revs there's plenty of power available. When easily cruising along the engine is hardly audible. Both driver and co-driver are well shielded from the wind, mostly thanks to the windshield (fitted as standard!).

Infiniti G37 Convertible

The optional automatic gearbox (which can also be controlled manually) has seven gears. According to Infiniti this is to offer the best ratio for every situation and to optimally convert power into performance. Of course it is also nice to offer a bit more than everyone else! The automatic gearbox sometimes seems "restless" and repeatedly shifts up and down in succession; even when gently touching the throttle, the computer shifts down to accelerate as quickly as possible.

When the pedal is pressed to the metal this boulevard cruiser shows a completely different face. 320 Horsepower comes to life that brutally ends all peace and quiet. A mighty roar sounds from the dual exhausts, the driver is pressed gently into the seat and the G37 determinately heads for the horizon. This engine toys with the car and very often the speed limit seems to be exceeded before the acceleration has started!

Infiniti G37 Convertible

Roadholding

Judging by performance only, it seems that a drive with the G37 Coupé suffices to know how the G37 Cabrio handles. However, because of the extra weight of the metal roof, the convertible feels like a different beast. Since the roof is usually an important part of the structural integrity of a car, this convertible had to be enforced in other ways. The alterations do meet their goal: only on extremely bad road surfaces does it feel less rigid than the coupé, but the difference is minimal.

Despite its extra weight, the G37 still brakes very well. All 1,888 kilograms can be stopped within a very short distance. While the tyres might have a problem with other heavy cars, the G37 stops in a straight line and without any drama.

Because of the extra weight this Cabrio feels less agile and lively than the Coupé. One driver will interpret this as "overweight", others may like the Cabrio even better because it gives the car more grandeur. On long distances the C37 Convertible is exceptionally comfortable. Thanks to the metal top this Cabrio is as quiet as a traditional coupé with the roof closed.

Infiniti G37 Convertible

Steering is very direct, which adds to the driving pleasure. It also makes the car feel smaller than it actually is! Thanks to the rear-wheel drive the feeling in the steering wheel is more pure and it is easier for the driver to feel what the car is capable of. And that is a lot, enough even to offer infinite pleasure ...

Conclusion

The G37 Convertible is the latest model from Infiniti and if it is up to Autozine, also the best. This open top Infiniti has the genes of a sportscar and therefore is a real joy to drive. Performance is excellent and handling is sublime. But just as easily this razor-sharp coupé transforms into a cabriolet, making the experience even more intense.

The standard equipment is more than complete and the materials used are of the highest quality. This is why the G37 is also convincing as a so-called "premium" product. On top of that Infiniti has been on the European market for a very short while, so the car is very exclusive (at least for now).

The title "Infinite pleasure" is therefore not an exaggeration, because the Infiniti G37 Convertible combines the best of coupé and cabrio and of sportscar and luxury car in one. Summer or winter, leisurely cruising or driving hard: the Infiniti G37 Convertible is always a pleasure.

plus
  • Exclusive
  • Excellent roadholding
  • Comfortable coupe, great convertible
min
  • Poor space in the back
  • Luggage space minimal when roof open
  • Clumsy construction of front seat belt loop