By Cars.com EditorsOctober 19, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder compares the 2010 Lexus IS250C and 2009 Infiniti G37.
<v Announcer>Cars.com auto review. Hi, I'm Joe Wiesenfelder with cars.com. We got the rare opportunity to drive two cars back to back, competing retractable hard top convertibles. We have the 2010 Lexus IS250C and the 2009 Infiniti G37.
They're both rear wheel drive luxury convertibles. Now we'll start with the IS250C. It's a 2010 Lexus model. Now with the seat all the way up, I've got a little headroom to spare, but generally very workable. The leg room between these two cars is actually pretty comparable. A quick note on the driving. I noticed that with the top up, this car feels a little bit firmer, a little bit less shaky and rattly than when the top is down, interesting. Now with 204 horsepower from this smallish V6, it's not super powerful, but it's a smooth accelerator, reasonably sporty to drive. Now it's a fully automatic power top. Once the engine's running, you hit one button and everything starts to go into motion. What I like about this top is, it doesn't wait for each step before the next step starts. Its timed so all the different parts move pretty quickly and it falls into the trunk within about 20 seconds. Now here's a common aspect of retractable hardtops. The top needs to go into the trunk, which takes up space, right? Here with the top-down you at least get some useful space and in retractable hard top, sometimes you get next to none. You need to move the panels up to get in. This has a nice wide opening, so you can fit a duffle or two in here. As this kind of convertible goes, not bad. Now, once the top is up, you move the partition out of the way, and you get more than 10 cubic feet, really not bad. Now onto the Infiniti G37 convertible. This one happens to be a 2009. Now this particular car, the G37 starts at just under $44,000, which is more than the other and it's because it's standard engine is more powerful, 325 horsepower versus 204 and Lexus, and you feel it. It's got a lot of power. And actually aside from the issue of power, I think it handles better, has a really good feel to it a little bit more soul. It does have a fair amount of jiggle though When the top is down, probably more than the Lexus. This one also retractable hard top, a little bit more clattering, shaking, and it takes longer. It's probably about 30 seconds instead of 20. Now this is probably the biggest difference between the Infiniti and the Lexis. Look at this. There's like no space with the top folded down. It takes up so much of the trunk. You got almost nothing. I can't think of any piece of luggage that would fit in this thing. Now with the top raised, usual story with the retractable hard top, you get a lot more trunk space. This folds down actually more easily than it does in Lexus. You get about 10 cubic feet. So the biggest physical difference between these two cars is the Infiniti has less top-down trunk space. Overall, though, I think it's sportier and it's not just because of the engine. Now, this one comes with 325 horsepower standard, and that's why it costs just under 44,000. The IS250C we had was just under 39,000. You can get a more powerful V6 in that one that makes them about even, but if you want a cheaper version, Infiniti doesn't give you one. <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog KickingTires.net.