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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
325-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 yanked from the hardtops
454 [pounds] more than a manual coupe
Car and Driver
delightfully short gear ratios” on automatic
The 2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible moves quickly and confidently thanks to its powerful V-6 engine, but compared to its Coupe cousin, it’s slower and less nimble due to a massive 400-pound weight gain.
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com are suitably impressed with the G37’s one engine option, which Leftlane News reports is “a 325-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 yanked from the hardtops.” Popular Mechanics calls that “nearly identical to the Coupe.” And while Car and Driver measures the G37 Convertible’s 0-60 mph acceleration at 5.5 seconds, it considers the time a letdown: “Kick down the 3.7-liter V-6, and the car seems to think hard for an instant before committing its considerable heft forward.” Compared to a BMW 3-Series convertible or Infiniti’s own G37 Coupe, the times seem slow—though not compared to other performance coupes. The problem? As Car and Driver notes, “Our scales measured it at 4136 pounds, which is 454 more than a manual coupe and nearly 800 pounds more than the Nissan Z on which both are based.”
The G37 Convertible powers its rear wheels through either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed automatic, which garners mostly positive reviews in those Web test drives studied by TheCarConnection.com. Leftlane News reports, “The standard G37 Convertible comes with a seven-speed automatic and the Sport 6MT has a six-speed manual.” The former gearbox “comes with rev matching downshift capability and beautifully crafted magnesium paddle shifters on Sport Package models,” according to Popular Mechanics. “Manual shift drivers will like the positive shifter feel, smooth clutch take up, and quicker 3.9:1 final drive,” Leftlane News observes; additionally, the automatic’s “downshift rev matching, Drive Sport (DS) mode and Adaptive Shift Control (ASC)” give quicker shifts and better fuel economy. Most reviewers, including Automobile, “prefer the automatic, which dampens much of the V-6's roughness and provides better off-the-line acceleration, thanks to delightfully short gear ratios.” Edmunds finds itself “happily surprised by its intuitive and responsive nature when placed in Drive Sport (DS) mode. On a twisting roadway it held gears, downshifted when braking for turns and consistently did exactly what we wanted without any driver input.”
Fuel economy is decent, but far from memorable. Edmunds says, “The EPA rates the G37 convertible at 17/25 mpg (20 combined) with the automatic and 16/24 (19 combined) with the manual transmission.”
The 2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible may not have the outright speed or handling of its coupe cousin, but it’s swift and a memorable machine regardless. “Does this additional structure mean the G37 has lost its deft handling? Not really,” Popular Mechanics concludes. “The Convertible is certainly fun to bend into a corner, but perhaps there's a bit less capability to execute those curves at the same speeds as the hardtop model.” Edmunds agrees: “It's not easy to hide 453 pounds, but the Infiniti engineers did a remarkable job of managing the added weight… even the base model riding on standard 18-inch wheels manages its weight in a controlled manner, avoiding excessive wallow or undulation under all but the most aggressive driving circumstances.” Infiniti does offer the Sport option on the G37 Convertible, which adds “14-inch discs up front and 13.8-inch units in the rear, up from the standard 13-inch setup at each corner,” Popular Mechanics explains, along with “quicker steering, aluminum pedals, sport seats and wide 225/45R19 front and 245/40R19 rear tires.” That package “gives the G37 convertible unexpected responsiveness and confidence for a 2-ton machine (4,095 pounds),” Edmunds observes, and Autoblog reports “with the Sport Package's 14-inch discs up front and 13.8-inch rotors in the rear (upgraded over the standard 13-inch discs at all four corners), quicker steering, sport seats and 19-inch wheels, the G37 Convertible can waltz and samba on demand.”
Jalopnik sums it up: “Drive the G37 Convertible in traffic and you have a mild-mannered luxury car…Drive the G37 fast on a country road and you have a responsive, open-air sports car.”
The 2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible can’t match its own coupe’s speed and handling, but it’s fast and capable on its own terms.