- Nicely tailored, inside and out
- Strong powertrain
- Great handling
- Easy-to-use navigation and audio
- Unusual AWD coupe combination
- Automatic can shift abruptly
- Road noise
- Nervous ride
The Infiniti G37 Coupe and G37 Convertible wow with sexy exteriors and lavish interiors, along with excellent performance, but they don't always meet expectations for refinement.
The 2011 Infiniti G37 Coupe and Convertible are super-stylish touring two-doors with responsive powertrains, along with top-notch steering and poise that's matched by only a few cars—like the BMW 3-Series Coupe and Convertible, one of its main rivals. And these model appeal to those who want the feel of a balanced sports car but also needs something that feels a little more mature...something that doesn't scream mid-life-crisis-mobile, perhaps.
Just like the G37 Sedan, the G37 Coupe has a sleek, neat, well-tailored look that straddles the line between overtly sporty and elegant. The G37 Convertible 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. Inside, the styling keeps with the exterior—offering a serious, almost cockpit-like look, with a deep seating, a high center console, and large, hooded gauges; contrasted with lovely soft-touch materials and muted leather, which brush up against aluminum or wood trim and frame a clear.
The G37 Coupe and Convertible have some of the same underpinnings as the G Sedans—as well as the Nissan 370Z—only they're several inches shorter and that affects the way they ride and handle (in addition to space, of course). Overall it steers nicely—although, surprisingly, not quite with the excellent feedback of the G Sedan—and has a well-damped ride, even with the Sport package's 19-inch wheels. The heftier Convertible feels slightly less nimble and not as quick to accelerate. Both two-door G models get the same engine that powers the G37 Sedan, only here it makes 330 horsepower. It revs enthusiastically (and with a growl) up to 7,500 rpm and works well with either the precise six-speed manual gearbox or the seven-speed automatic, which includes magnesium paddle-shifters with the Sport package. The dash to 60 mph takes just 5.5 seconds in the Coupe, or about six seconds for the Convertible, because of the extra 450 pounds of folding hardtop it carries.
Inside these models, there's a lot to like. The base seats are fine, while the available sport seats have more adjustable supports and cosset a little more snugly. The seats in these models are mounted a little lower, which they need to be for the lower roofline, so it's all good, at least in the front seat. But while the G37's front seats are cozy, the rear seats are nearly useless. Both the G37 Convertible and Coupe have a back seat that's barely passable for kids; in the Convertible it might as well be called a 2+2 as there's scant headroom with the top up.
Just as in the G Sedans, those expecting a luxury coupe might be a little disappointed with the G37 Coupe's refinement. In addition to more road noise than typical for this class of vehicle, the G37 Coupe's engine can be coarse and noisy when revved, and ride quality can be choppy and nervous, especially with the available 19-inch wheels.
All 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 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; and heated and cooled seats. Sport and Premium packages toss in 19-inch wheels, Bluetooth, radar-based cruise control, and adaptive headlights—and for 2011, the Sport package can be had in combination with all-wheel drive.