By David Colman
For: Hard-Edged Driver’s Package
Against: Goofy Top-Down Trunk Space
Even in Vibrant Red, Infiniti’s G37 Convertible looks innocuous enough to be confused with other low boiling point drop tops like Chrysler’s 200, VW’s Eos and Volvo’s C70. But unlike that trio of rather lethargic performers, the G is more wolf than sheep because it’s based on the Nissan 370Z, its hereditary brother. Thus, when you’re feeling the urge to crank on the speed, the G Convertible is more than up to the task because it shares its 3.7 liter V6 with Nissan’s ultra-quick 2-seat Z car. The G’s standard 7-speed automatic gearbox insures there’s a cog for every situation. Finding the right one is as easy as blipping the elephant-ear sized magnesium paddles fitted to the steering column (not the wheel), or popping the floor-mounted stick fore and aft. When dropping down a gear, you’ll instantly slot into the appropriate lower gear set, thanks to rev-matching throttle blips provided automatically on each downshift.
Infiniti G Sport Convertible Automatic Review. This video is brought to you by Drivin’Ivan
If you opt for the $1,700 Sport Package, 19 inch alloys replace the standard 18 inch wheels. Ultra-sticky Bridgestone RE050A tires (225/45R19 front, 245/40R19 rear) mounted on smoked chrome 19 inch alloys afford excellent bite when cornering hard. Sport brakes and sport-tuned steering further elevate the driving experience. Although the G remains softly suspended for a comfortable ride, the extra body roll in switchback maneuvers never seems to detract from grip level at the Bridgestones’ contact patches. When pressed hard, the normally benevolent G morphs into a surprisingly adept back road tiger. Just be sure to deactivate the Traction Control System (TCS) via a dash-mounted button, located rather inconveniently out of sight left and below the steering column. Otherwise the TCS nanny will interrupt your progress at the most inopportune moments.
The G’s strong suit, however, is neither speed nor cutting edge styling. If you seek the ultimate in performance and revolutionary aero tweaks, look to Infiniti’s IPL line for fulfillment. The G, on the other hand is designed primarily for user comfort. Both front seats are heated and 8-way adjustable, with Bose speakers fitted to the headrests. The steering wheel both tilts and telescopes, and both heated outside mirrors fold for parking convenience. When the 3-piece folding top is raised, the G is as silent and noise-free as a fixed coupe. Drop the roof, and your convertible comfort is equally assured thanks to the draft-free design of the cockpit. If you seek even more protection from the elements with the top dropped, simply roll all 4 side windows up for a sunroof effect.
If you travel any distance with the G, however, you’ll want that hard top erect to allow use of modest storage space in the trunk. Because once you retract the top, most of that space becomes a receptacle for the roof. In top down mode, you’re left with a laughable trunk measuring 32 inches wide by 5 inches deep by 8 inches high. This slot is barely big enough to mail a letter. The trunk lid itself, fitted with all manner of heavy hinges to accommodate the roof mechanism, also weighs enough to make lifting it a repeat annoyance.
So if you want a folding Infiniti hardtop convertible, be prepared to pay the price in practicality. Aside from that warning, the package wears well on a daily basis. When the roof is stowed, the G’s lithesome shape is particularly pleasant to observe. The cockpit wears well, with plush seats and easy entry/egress scoring high on the comfort scale. The satin finish to the snarling drivetrain adds a devilish dimension to the G’s otherwise benign character that will suit the sporting driver to a T. Or a G.
2012 Infiniti G Convertible
- Engine: 3.7 liter DOHC 24-Valve V6 with VVEL
- Horsepower: 325hp
- Torque: 267 lb.-ft.
- Fuel Consumption: 17 MPG City/25 MPH Highway
- Price as Tested: $56,035
- Star Rating: 8 out of 10 Stars