2010 INFINITI G37 Coupe Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
November 8, 2009

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.

TheCarConnection.com's editors drove the new Infiniti G37 Coupe - G37 Convertible to bring you this hands-on road test. Editors also compared the Infiniti two-doors to other vehicles, to help you decide which reviews to trust and to help you narrow your choices while shopping. The companion full review compiles quotes and opinions from other trusted Web resources to give you a comprehensive look at the 2010 Infiniti G37 lineup.

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.

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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.

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2010 INFINITI G37 Coupe

Styling

The 2010 Infiniti G37 Coupe / Convertible outshine German competitors with curvaceous styling cues and a richly trimmed interior.

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 also 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. Automobile says the Coupe "looks muscular and tough in person," and "overall, it's a subtle evolution of a great design." Cars.com cites the "curvaceous body" and describes "one of the more sinister interpretations of the familiar air dam and side portals you see on many cars." The convertible gets even more kudos: "it's an inch wider than the G37 coupe and completely new from the windshield back, even if you'd be hard-pressed to tell with the top up," LeftLane News reports. The folding roof, they note, "retains a coupe-like profile when the top is raised." Autoblog agrees on the G37's "seamless transition from coupe to convertible," and explains how clever engineering avoids the typical folding-hardtop pitfalls: "The trunk doesn't bulge upwards like the visually-challenged Volkswagen Eos thanks to a completely redesigned rear suspension." Jalopnik concurs: "Top up, it's hard to tell it's not a coupe...Top down and you have something even prettier"-and Automobile makes it unanimous when it declares Infiniti "has created a hardtop convertible G37 that has lost almost none of its elegant coupe sibling's visual appeal."

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. 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. Edmunds loves the "user-friendly controls" and "handsome design," though Car and Driver says only that the interior "pleasant enough." Cars.com reports it's "a vast improvement over the first-generation G35." Edmunds comments "soft-touch surfaces throughout the cabin transmit a sense of luxury." Kelley Blue Book finds the "seven-inch LCD screen...radiates colorful and attractive graphics that further enhance the new model's more contemporary vibe."

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2010 INFINITI G37 Coupe

Performance

The 2010 Infiniti G37 Coupe thrills enthusiastic drivers-and the heavier G37 Convertible doesn't follow far behind its blazing trail.

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. Car and Driver says the engine's a "version of Nissan's venerable VQ V-6 engine," and notes "torque output at 270 pound-feet." The now-defunct ForbesAutos reports "acceleration was strong and smooth" during their test, and "the engine makes great music as it happily revs to the red line." Edmunds finds in testing that a "G37 Journey accelerated to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, while a Sport 6MT coupe pulled a nearly identical 5.4 seconds to 60 mph." The Convertible makes 5 hp less due to exhaust tuning, and it carries an extra 450 pounds of folding hardtop. LeftLane News confirms the engine is "a 325-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 yanked from the hardtops," which Popular Mechanics asserts is "nearly identical to the Coupe." Car and Driver contends its Convertible's 0-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds is something of a letdown, though it matches Edmunds' numbers: "Kick down the 3.7-liter V-6, and the car seems to think hard for an instant before committing its considerable heft forward." The problem? As Car and Driver notes, "Our scales measured it at 4136 pounds, which is 454 more than a manual coupe."

Both the G37 Coupe and Convertible can be ordered with either 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. While TheCarConnection.com's editors prefer the automatic, other reviewers are impressed with both transmissions. ForbesAutos says "both gearboxes work precisely and are well matched to the potent engine." Automobile's "choice is distinctly for the 6MT," where the "tail-out antics and fun factor outweigh the coarseness" that they feel comes with the manual transmission. "Manual shift drivers will like the positive shifter feel, smooth clutch take up, and quicker 3.9:1 final drive," LeftLane News observes, but also praises the automatic's "downshift rev matching, Drive Sport (DS) mode and Adaptive Shift Control (ASC)" which give it quicker shifts and better fuel economy. A later review from Automobile reverses course; this time, they "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 is "happily surprised by [the automatic's] 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."

On fuel economy, 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. Cars.com reminds shoppers this is an improvement over the last two-door; it's "about 1 mpg better gas mileage than the 3.5-liter V-6 in the G35."

The G37 steers nicely and has a well-damped ride, even with the Sport package's 19-inch wheels. 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. Motor Trend says "through all but the most aggressive curves, the car stays as flat as the Arizona desert." Car and Driver reports even with the sport package, "the chassis soaks up road bumps without the slightest chatter, and the steering remains precise and communicative." While a "four-wheel active steering (4WAS)" system is available, according to Edmunds, they recommend sticking "with the standard steering setup," as the 4WAS system "fails to weight up properly in the corners and provides limited feedback." At the corners are massive disc brakes that stop with impressive power. Motor Trend finds that the brakes are "stellar-exhibiting excellent response and pedal feel and no fade." In all, Kelley Blue Book affirms that "performance-focused drivers hoping for a more sophisticated, premium-badged Nissan Z will find satisfaction in" the Infiniti G37.

As for the heftier Convertible, it feels slightly less nimble and not as quick to accelerate. "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.

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2010 INFINITI G37 Coupe

Comfort & Quality

The 2010 Infiniti G37 Coupe and Convertible are extraordinarily well built and comfortable in front, but the rear seats are tiny and cramped.

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. LeftLane News states simply, the "G37 Convertible fits like a custom glove." Car and Driver points out that "as in any coupe, the front seats are the place to be," and the front seats on the Infiniti G37 "are mounted slightly lower" than in the G35 sedan "and offer a greater range of motion," according to Edmunds. They go on to say "this is good news for taller drivers," as the Infiniti 2009 G37's setup affords greater headroom and allows for an even greater opportunity to find a comfortable driving position. Edmunds also comments that "the available sport seats, with their adjustable bolsters, are very comfortable and snugly hold you in place."

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. Car and Driver says of the Coupe, "adults sardined in the back are faced with the option of tilting their heads sideways or slouching past the point of reasonable comfort." Edmunds adds that "as in many coupes, rear legroom is scant, and rear headroom is particularly compromised by the G37's severely raked back window." Rear passengers in the Convertible "have almost five inches less legroom than they would in the back of a BMW 3-series droptop, so they won't be happy," according to Automobile. Inexplicably, Kelley Blue Book notes "except for limited headroom, the rear seats" on the 2010 Infiniti G37 "are more accommodating than might be apparent."

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. "You know that area resembling a rear seat? That's actually the trunk when you put the top down," Edmunds reports, noting the best and highest use of the small backseat space. Automobile snarks, "With the top down, you'd be hard-pressed to fit two Ziploc freezer baggies back there. That is, if you can get the trunk open in the first place - the heavy lid lacks any kind of handle and is difficult to open." Edmunds points out the storage differences with the top up and top down: "a two-golf-bag trunk, with the top up, becomes a 2-cubic-foot trunk (think Kleenex box) with the top down." Car and Driver goes scientific, wondering if "the Large Hadron Collider is hard at work looking for a particle small enough to fit into the trunk." At least "the rear seatbacks fold down to expand the trunk," according to Cars.com.

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. Reviewers simply can't say enough about what Edmunds calls the "excellent build quality." Kelley Blue Book also attests that their "'most improved' vote goes to the passenger cabin," where features like "the visually soft aluminum alloy trim (inspired by Japanese washi paper, Infiniti says), as well as the optional African rosewood trim," help bring an upscale ambiance. Motor Trend reviewers conclude that the various interior upgrades "collectively raise the bars of luxury and sport."

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2010 INFINITI G37 Coupe

Safety

Despite the lack of crash-test ratings, the 2010 Infiniti G37 Coupe / Convertible lineup scores well due to its excellent safety features.

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has crash-tested the G37 Coupe or Convertible.

The standard set of safety features outfitted to the G37 Coupe and Convertible explains its high rating by TheCarConnection.com's editors. The Convertible's list includes "a four-wheel disc brake system - including antilock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist technology," according to Edmunds, along with "standard pop-up roll bars," which are the sole major difference from the Coupe.

Among the optional safety features, ForbesAutos reports, "a Preview Braking function is included with the optional laser-guided Intelligent Cruise Control that automatically pre-pressurizes the brake lines in anticipation of a panic stop." Edmunds says other safety features are available on the "optional Technology Package," which comes with "adaptive headlights and front seatbelts that can better prepare for front occupant safety if a collision is anticipated."

Visibility in the 2010 G37 Convertible is very good, of course, with the top down. With the top up, it's still better than in the Coupe: "the narrow roof pillar design (required to make it all fit in the trunk) gives the G37 convertible better outward visibility than the coupe even when the top is up," Edmunds observes. However, Cars.com is quick to point out that although the Infiniti G37 has a "low riding seating position," the generously sized windows help maintain good overall visibility.

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2010 INFINITI G37 Coupe

Features

The 2010 Infiniti G37 Coupe and G37 Convertible are rich in standard features and high-tech options-the Convertible even more so than the coupe.

Infiniti ladles on the standard equipment for its luxury coupe and convertible.

"Standard features are plentiful" on the G37 Coupe, says ForbesAutos. "Bi-xenon headlights, keyless ignition, leather upholstery, eight-way driver and four-way passenger power seats," as well as a "CD/MP3 player with satellite radio" are standard, according to Edmunds, along with automatic climate control. 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, of course, the power-folding hardtop. The top's operation is a simple affair, taking "30 seconds to dance elegantly into its hatch," Popular Mechanics reports. When the top goes down, the G37 Convertible adapts; it can be outfitted with "heated and cooled seats...and even a climate-control system that will adjust the fan according to speed." There's also a door-mounted button to lower the roof before entering or after exiting.

Convertibles also get "leather seats, a double-hand-stitched leather steering wheel (with multifunction buttons for audio and cruise control), dual-zone climate control, a rearview monitor system and a six-speaker CD audio system with MP3 and satellite radio capabilities," Edmunds says; XM satellite radio is also standard. Optional in packages are features like Bluetooth, Adaptive Climate Control, a 13-speaker Bose Open Air sound system, and the "optional sport seats...(part of the Sport package)," Edmunds adds, which "offer a superb combination of lateral support and comfort."

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-increasingly rare in imported luxury cars. However, Edmunds wishes for more "audio adjustment options in the G37 convertible, as both the standard system and the optional Bose system give you only treble, bass, balance and fader controls to play with."

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