Infiniti's G37 coupe has sleek styling, balanced handling and an energetic engine. A convertible version, with a power retractable hard top, merely sweetens the pot.
The G convertible is designed to offer driving pleasure with the top up or down. Putting it down is simple and only takes a few seconds.
The G37 is especially pleasant with the top down because a portable wind blocker mounts over the back seat to reduce buffeting.
The front seats are nicely contoured and very comfortable. Adjustable thigh support is not often found on cars outside of Germany, and it is most welcome. The back seat has very little legroom.
The instruments are housed in a pod that moves as the steering wheel is adjusted. A knoblike controller is used for the navigation system, and it is relatively simple to comprehend.
Because the interior is designed for al fresco comfort, the climate control system sets the fan speed in accordance with the position of the top. The optional Bose Open-Air sound system has 13 speakers, including two in each headrest, and it works great.
Prices begin at $43,850 and $43,900 for Sport with the six-speed manual transmission. I drove a Sport, and it had a sticker price of $50,365.
The G37's styling is simple and elegant. The shape is evolutionary, yet the car looks fresh without being overwrought. The basic shape is still pure and simple, but some extra flourishes have been added for emphasis. The front fender bulges blend into the hood with gorgeous curves, and the lower front fascia bears a passing resemblance to the Ferrari 430's.
The 3.7-liter, V-6 engine has 325 horsepower, and it can be mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual. While the manual may be sportier, I would choose the automatic for an easier life in city traffic. The difference in overall performance is marginal, although enthusiasts will enjoy shifting manually.
Infiniti's VQ37VHR engine has received numerous accolades for its performance. In this iteration, it features hydraulic-controlled variable valve timing and electronically controlled variable valve lift for the intake valves.
Performance is robust at any speed, and the engine's wide powerband means you can pass on the highway without shifting out of sixth gear.
The six-speed manual is rated at 16 miles per gallon in the city and 24 on the highway.
The test car's Sport package also included 19-inch wheels and brakes with impressive stopping power.
Anti-lock brakes, traction control and vehicle stability control are standard.
The test car's base price was $43,900. Options included the Bose Open-Air stereo, rain-sensing wipers, power seats, tilt/telescope steering column, Bluetooth connectivity, a voice-activated navigation system, XM satellite radio and a hard drive that has a compact flash card slot for loading music. The sticker price was $50,365.
Four years or 60,000 miles with a six-year, 70,000-mile powertrain warranty.
2009 Infiniti G37 convertible
Engine: 3.7-liter, 325-hp V-6
Wheelbase: 112.2 inches
Curb weight: 4,110 lbs.
Base price: $43,900
As driven: $50,365
MPG rating: 16 city, 24 hwy.
To contact Tom Strongman, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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