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One Week Test Drive: the 2010 Infiniti G37 Folding Hardtop Convertible

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Although it may seem like it sometimes when perusing reviews in the automotive press, not everything relating to cars is about passenger space, cargo volume or how many Starbucks venti frappucinos your cup holder can safely store. Sometimes the most important aspect of an automobile is the manner in which it can stir your soul. The 2010 Infiniti G37 folding hardtop convertible is such a vehicle.

To be brutally frank, before testing this folding metal hardtop I often wondered what the point was of using such a particularly complex work of engineering when so many soft-tops (Audi springs to mind) seem just as quiet with the top up and don't use up nearly as much cargo room with the top down. Or why not be a bit more practical and buy a sexy looking coupe (the Infiniti G37 coupe springs to mind) so you can save all that extra money and cargo space?

But then after watching the wondrous metallic folding ballet swirl over my head as the top lowered and taking in the heady joys of al-fresco motoring during a quick drive up the Pacific Coast Highway I realized something. I was totally missing the point. Convertibles are not supposed to make sense. The Infiniti G37 convertible exists solely to bring joy to your life. Oh yes, and to look good.And the Infiniti scores on all counts.

The Infiniti G37 is without question the only four seat folding hardtop that has managed to avoid (what I like to call) the bulbous rump syndrome. Afflicting certain Lexus IS convertibles I know of, this condition makes the trunk appear disproportionately large. In other words, these vehicles have too much stylistic junk in the trunk because they need enough room to store that bulky top.

However this is not a terminal condition as the G37 folding hardtop manages to look more curvaceous and lithe than the sexy hardtop model on which it is based. The compact nature of the G37's top is, however, unfortunately also matched by the compact nature of the trunk with the top down. But there is still that huge back seat to store suitcases and plenty of little cubbies in the cabin where you can store your junk. And who cares when you look this good behind the wheel?

So the Infiniti G convertible is stylish but what is it like to drive, you ask? Well, I can personally think of few greater things than a road trip out to the desert behind the Infiniti's perfectly textured sport steering wheel with the 325 horsepower 3.7 liter V6 snarling viciously through its seven perfectly chosen gear ratios. The steering is so precise that it makes you feel like the G is just an  an extension of your body only the suspension on this Infiniti probably absorbs bumps better than you do.

This thing also has an engine note that is also the closest I have heard to an Italian aria so if you think luxury should equate to a feeling of numb silence this really might not be the vehicle for you. The Infiniti G37, from its gorgeously trimmed leather seats to the seemingly machine milled aluminum trim, just screams "drive me!"

The G's interior also features a far more successful application of leather and dashboard mounted silver metal trim than can be seen in the BMW 3-series. While that combination looks cold in the BMW it actually really modernizes the Infinitis interior in a way much like skylights can modernize a home.

Also present in my tester is the absolutely essential Premium and Navigation Packages because in tandem they give you a surreal sounding Bose audio system with Hard Drive song storage and the ability to hear your favorite songs even at 70 miles per hour on the freeway. This is done via a plethora of speakers most specifically those conveniently located in the driver and passenger seat headrests.

When a convertible is a person's only car (and this is only my opinion) I have found that they tend to outgrow them too quickly. A design triumph like the G37 convertible really should be savored and kept in the family for 15 years like a fine wine. Trust me, I tried to manage living with just a tiny two-seat Alfa Romeo Spider convertible as my only car and the compromises were just too much after a while.

But as a second or third car (perhaps when that last son or daughter finally gets off mom and dads payroll?) the Infiniti G37 convertible makes perfect sense. Why do you think God (or his architect) invented three car garages?

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