- Attractive style, inside and out
- Ample power
- Comfortable ride and responsive handling
- Well-fitted seats
- Easy-to-use navigation and audio
- Automatic can shift abruptly
- Aggressive throttle
- Some road noise intrudes
- Stability control is always on
- No locking storage in cabin
The Infiniti G37 Coupe and G37 Convertible don't shy from tackling the BMW 3-Series on any front-be it equal performance, better looks, or more lavish interiors.
High Gear Media obtained test vehicles from the manufacturer to write this hands-on road test.
The 2010 Infiniti G37 Coupe and G37 Convertible share running gear and most of their styling, with only the folding hardtop, more curb weight, and some open-air tweaks separating them. Available with a single engine and a choice of transmissions, the 2010 G37 also is offered as an all-wheel-drive coupe. Changes for 2010 are limited to options like a new navigation system, rain-sensing wipers, and an air purifier. Swift performance and great looks make the G37 a natural competitor for the BMW 3-Series, and with a base price in the $35,000 range, the G37 takes on the new 2010 Audi A5 / Cabriolet lineup, as well as Nissan's own 2010 370Z coupe and convertible.
While both the 2010 G37 Coupe and Convertible are handsome, finely detailed designs, the G37 Convertible is almost better-looking than the Coupe. It has thinner pillars and a little more oomph to its rear end (where the folding hardtop resides), which give it a voluptuousness. It's by far the best-looking folding-hardtop convertible you can buy, with none of the squatness that affects everything from the Volkswagen Eos to the Ferrari California. The Coupe's no slouch, either, with a dynamic look that really gains composure over the prior version, thanks to more gracefully drawn-up headlamps and a curved-up hatch. Both the G37 Convertible and Coupe share a dash covered in lovely soft-touch materials and muted leather, which brush up against aluminum or wood trim and frame a clear, wide set of gauges along with the comparatively uninspiring, orange-LCD graphics of the audio system. It shares some major mechanical pieces with the Nissan 370Z, but the four-seat G37 two-doors out-suaves that smaller two-seat roadster outside and inside.
The G37 Coupe and Convertible share a powerful engine, along with a rear-drive chassis, a manual or automatic transmission, and an independent suspension. The 3.7-liter V-6 in the Coupe churns out 330 horsepower with an enthusiastic growl all the way to its 7,500-rpm redline. The Convertible makes 5 hp less due to exhaust tuning, and while the Coupe accelerates to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds, the Convertible can take a half-second longer, due to the extra 450 pounds of folding hardtop it carries. The choices in transmissions are a slick six-speed manual with a clutch that has a high uptake point, or a marvelous seven-speed automatic that gets paddle shifters and a sport driving mode with the optional Sport package. It's a delight to flip around through the gears in most driving modes with the automatic and a relief for most urban drivers.
The G37 steers nicely and has a well-damped ride, even with the Sport package's 19-inch wheels, but the heftier Convertible feels slightly less nimble and not as quick to accelerate. Directing all this high technology is rack-and-pinion steering gear with electric, as opposed to hydraulic, assist. The feel of the steering isn't ideal, as it sometimes varies steering effort unexpectedly, but roadholding is fantastic. The ride quality can get a bit nervous in the Coupe, especially in versions with the optional 19-inch wheels. At the corners are massive disc brakes that stop with impressive power. The Convertible's 17/25 mpg (automatic) or 16/24 mpg (manual) is bested by the Coupe's 17/25 mpg (manual) or 18/26 mpg (automatic) fuel economy.
Inside, the front passengers nestled inside the G37 Convertible will find much to admire. The base seats are fine; sport seats have adjustable supports and cosset snugly. While the G37's front seats are cozy, the rear seats are nearly useless. Both the G37 Convertible and Coupe lack rear legroom, and there's scant headroom, particularly in the Convertible when its top is raised. The Coupe sets aside 7.4 cubic feet of trunk space, which actually is larger at 10.3 cubic feet with the roof raised-considerably less with the top lowered, though the backseats are better used as luggage space anyway. Two passengers will appreciate the tightly constructed cabins and the wealth of expensive-feeling trim, as well as the engaging noises filtering into the cabin from the V-6.
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has crash-tested the G37 Coupe or Convertible. Both have standard dual front airbags; side seat-mounted airbags; curtain airbags (roof-mounted in coupes, door-mounted in convertibles); stability and traction control; and active headrests. The G37 Convertible also is fitted with twin pop-up roll bars for more rollover safety. Adaptive cruise control and "preview braking," which uses sensors to predict an impact and applies some brake force to limit impact speeds, are options.
Infiniti ladles on the standard equipment for its luxury coupe and convertible. Coupes are built with automatic climate control, an intelligent key, and leather upholstery. Higher trim grades get upgraded audio; a dual-zone climate system; intelligent cruise control; adaptive front lighting; a hard-drive-based navigation system; and four-wheel active steering. All-wheel drive is an option. All 2010 G37 Convertibles come with leather seating; the power hardtop; a door-mounted button to lower the roof before entering or after exiting; an MP3-capable sound system; a rearview camera; a navigation system with hard-drive music storage and XM Satellite Radio with real-time traffic data; and an iPod connection kit that's quick to index your favorite music. Options include a multispeaker Bose audio system that tunes its output to the car's top-down status; a climate control system that does the same; heated and cooled seats; and Sport and Premium packages, which toss in 19-inch wheels, Bluetooth, radar-based cruise control, and adaptive headlights. Infiniti's navigation and sound system is a favorite at TheCarConnection.com; the nav offers 3D "flyover" views, while the Bose sound system allows easy access to music and playlists without too much wheel-and-button fuss-and that's increasingly rare in imported luxury cars.