2011 Infiniti G37 Convertible Road Test Review

Brian Armstead - CAP staff
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Much of North America has been in the throes of a heatwave, and some would question the sanity of dropping a convertible top in such weather. But despite daytime temps nearing 40 degrees, and evening temps in the low 30s, I relished the opportunity to go topless in the 2011 Infiniti G37 Convertible, as this car is so good, you'll want to drive it sans top whenever you can.

The other plus to the G37 drop top is that it's built with a retractable metal roof, which makes it a true four seasons option for those who also have to deal with Ol' Man Winter.

When I approached my driveway on delivery day, my jaw pretty much dropped. Yes, I'd seen the G37 up close before at auto shows, on the road, and at local Infiniti dealers, but never in the colour combination delivered – Malbec Black with Red leather. Malbec Black is the colour of fine Malbec wine – a deep cherry coloured red that also features metallic highlights. And while red interiors are not usually high on my list of colour choices, this combo was simply stunning, and elicited many "wows!" during seven days of testing. The impressive paint job also worked well with the sleek lines of the G37 Convertible. Infiniti has taken their ever-popular G37 series, with the Coupe being a perennial favourite of those seeking European style flair and performance in a super reliable Japanese package, and given the same flair to the Convertible. This car looks great top up or top down. And it goes as good as it looks.

G37 Convertible power is from Infiniti's familiar and proven 3.7-litre V6 that produces 325 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. And yes, it features variable valve timing and four camshafts that control the opening and closing of its 24 valves. Industry wide, you'd be hard pressed to find a more impressive six-cylinder engine. Power is channeled to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic with "Drive Sport" mode, and manual shift mode with super cool downshift rev matching. Throw it all together in a performance mixing bowl, and you come out with a sports tourer that sounds and performs at very high levels. Acceleration is strong, and the six makes sweet sounds. The downshift "blips" in manual shift mode are "Maserati like" in sound and execution, yet you don't have to pony up Maserati money for the experience.

Ride quality is generally good. The suspension features "Dual Flow Path" shock absorbers, which tighten as required based on the aggressiveness of your driving. Just chillin'? The G rides like the luxury car it is. Want to get down on it? Dual Flow Path dampers tighten up to execute the mission without beating you to death. My only complaint about the whole car is that sometimes there is noticeable cowl shake with the top down. A bit more bracing in key areas would help, but in no way does it significantly detract from the overall excellent experience driving the G37 Convertible provides.

In most reviews of convertibles, safety is rarely mentioned as a highlight. The G37 Convertible is "Volvo like," a truly high compliment, with the safety it's infused into this car. First and foremost, the G Drop features pop up roll bars, a critical safety element that uses steel instead of your head to support the car should it roll over. Try and find this feature on the Mustang and Camaro convertibles – and you won't. Second, the G37 has door-mounted side-curtain airbags, another critical safety feature that can be the difference between life and death in side impacts. And Infiniti has also equipped the G with safety technology that can help you avoid collisions, including electronic stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes.

Inside the G37 Convertible lies a totally luxe environment. Butter smooth leather ties in with incredibly gorgeous red toned maple wood accents. Additional standard interior goodies include: eight-way heated power seats, keyless entry and start, seven-inch display with Infiniti Controller, XM radio with CD player and USB port for MP3 players, Homelink garage door transmitter, dual zone climate control, silk finish aluminum trim, and on the outside, 19-inch aluminum wheels. My test Premier Edition trim also included a unique front grille, Bose "Open Air" audio, climate controlled front seats, magnesium paddle shifters, Bluetooth streaming audio, DVD/hard drive system, and other goodies.

The G37 Convertible also returned pretty decent fuel economy, with a metric-equivalent U.S. EPA rating of 13.8 L/100km city and 9.4 highway (Canadian ratings are 11.9 and 7.8 respectively). I got close to 7.8 L/100km on a run between Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

My test Premier stickered for $61,600. Base G37 Convertibles begin at $58,300.

What a terrific four seasons offering from Infiniti. It's good to see a convertible that offers style, performance, reliability and safety all in one package.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Convertible, Infiniti, 2011, G37 Convertible, $50,000 - $74,999,

Organizations: Infiniti

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