2013 Infiniti IPL G Convertible Road Test Review

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Published on November 15, 2012

Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press

Published on November 15, 2012

Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Published on November 15, 2012

Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press

Published on November 15, 2012

I've become a bit of an Infiniti backer in recent times, and not because it's rated highest amongst auto brands on the NewMediaMetrics LEAP (Leveraging Emotional Attachment for Profit) index that measures how much we love our corporate icons, right behind the Apple iPhone and iPod, but because I've been doing a lot of value comparisons in my recent reviews and Infiniti always comes up smelling like roses. In a Buick Enclave SUV review I wrote last month, the Infiniti JX35 I compared it to offered much more top-tier gear for thousands less than the Buick, along with a much nicer interior and a premium badge (not to mention better fuel economy), while more recently I was covering the Lincoln Navigator and Infiniti's QX56 delivered more of everything except cargo space for a slightly lower price, while undercutting all of its other competitors by more than $10,000. It appears to me that Infiniti delivers quality products for decent prices more often than not, so let's see how the Infiniti IPL G Convertible stacks up.

If you follow my reviews you probably already know that I wrote about the IPL G Coupe last month, too, and mentioned that it was priced lower than its direct competitors as well, but then again the way Infiniti outfits it makes for a vehicle that doesn't quite compete on the same playing field as its immediate rivals. The same goes for the IPL G Convertible, although it fights it out within an even smaller group of competitors. This list only includes the Audi S5 Cabriolet Premium. You could say that Lexus' IS 350 C is competitive, but with only 306-horsepower to the IPL C Convertible's 348 it doesn't measure up in the sport department. Even the lesser G37 Convertible is much more powerful. And then there's the 335is Cabriolet. Sure, it's pricier by quite a bit, but delivering only 320-horsepower it's 28 shy of the IPL G, even with BMW's engine output ratings almost always on the conservative side. And the 414-horsepower M3 Cabriolet is in another league altogether when it comes to performance and price.

The new IPL G Convertible ups output over the regular G37 Convertible by 18-horsepower and 6 lb-ft of torque, to a maximum of 348-horsepower and 276 lb-ft respectively. In comparison, the IPL G Convertible's only rival, the aforementioned S5 Cabriolet, offers more torque at 325 lb-ft yet less power at 333, so in effect it's a performance wash. How about the value proposition?

At $69,295 the IPL G Convertible immediately beats the S5 Cabriolet's $70,795 window sticker by $1,500, but then you have to factor in for additional charges that you'll need to pay for if you want to get an S5 Cab with similar features to the IPL. For instance, with the IPL G you can stay with stock Malbec Black paint or opt for my tester's beautiful Aspen Pearl (white) at $300 extra, but the S5 Cab's metallic paint option will add $750 to the bottom line, another $450 for paint that doesn't even include Infiniti's unique "self-healing" properties, while opting for 19-inch wheels on the S5 Cabriolet, standard with the IPL, will set you back from $500 to $1,000 more. This pattern continues, as the base IPL G Convertible boasts standard items that force the S5 Cab buyer into Audi's Premium package that actually starts at $74,595, destination in. That move still requires the extra metallic paint charge and expense of larger wheels, if you want them, plus you can opt for tire pressure monitoring, standard with the IPL G Convertible yet strangely $350 extra with the S5 Cab. And even at the end of the day, the S5 Cabriolet Premium leaves you with a conventional fabric soft-top instead of the IPL's sophisticated three-piece retractable hardtop.

Retractable hardtops have their pros and cons, mind you. When up, the IPL's roof transforms the convertible into an airtight coupe, ideal for four seasons and therefore, some would say, better suited to Canada's harsh winters. When down, however, trunk space is dramatically reduced, which is not a problem for convertibles with cloth tops like the S5 Cabriolet. So it comes down to priorities, as they both do an excellent job at covering occupants in wet and cold weather and both look fabulous whether up or down.

When the top is down it's easier for all to see the kind of detail Infiniti has gone to make its IPL G Convertible stand out in its class. Along with the brand's high quality soft-touch plastics and superb switchgear, all of the usual rich wood veneers have been replaced with beautiful "Silk Obi" aluminum trim, while the red contrasting stitching on the black leather-clad steering wheel complemented the red stitching on the my tester's no-cost optional Stone leather upholstery; red leather is the alternative.

Of course the IPL's standard features set is impressive, like with all Infinitis. This one being top-line, includes all that's available with the lesser G37 Sport model such as its automatic bi-xenon headlamps, variable speed-sensing wipers, electroluminescent gauges, proximity sensing Intelligent Key with pushbutton ignition, eight-way power-adjustable sport seats with driver's side memory, auto-dimming rearview mirror, aluminum sill plates, seven-inch infotainment display, rearview monitor, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, Bose AM/FM/CD/MP3 Open Air Sound System with auxiliary and USB ports plus satellite radio, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, rear sonar system, LED taillights, pop-up roll bars, and more. It also features a few items from the G37 Sport's Premier package, including a navigation system, 9.3-gig Music Box hard drive, pre-crash seatbelts and the aforementioned climate-controlled seats. The IPL also adds sportier front and rear fascias, side sills and rear spoiler.

At the end of the day, a fully loaded IPL G Convertible, including pricier metallic paint comes in at $69,595 including destination charges, which is only $300 more than base, whereas Audi's S5 Cabriolet Premium with the least expensive 19-inch wheels and other features to bring it up to the same comparative level to the IPL will cost you $73,695. That's a difference of $6,100; hardly pocket change.

Of course, buyers of either of these two cars won't care all that much about paying extra for what they want, but at least after this read you'll know that there's an Infiniti G IPL Convertible alternative to Audi's S5 Cabriolet that will provide the same level of thrills mixed with equal measures of luxury and refinement, for a substantial savings. And I haven't even mentioned about suspension improvements than make the IPL even more enticing.

The top-line G gets 20-percent stiffer front and 10-percent firmer rear spring rates and sportier dampers that allow full control during each and every moment behind the wheel. The brakes benefit from larger 14-inch front rotors while 4-piston calipers are framed by a beautiful set of 7-twin-V-spoke alloy wheels wrapped in 225/45R19 front and 24540R19 rear performance tires. The overall effect is gripping performance in a visually stimulating package.

For my money, the new 2013 Infiniti G IPL Convertible is one of the best sport-luxury drop-tops in the premium segment, and another value-driven example of why Infiniti is winning over the hearts and minds of North American luxury buyers in every segment it competes. The G IPL Convertible delivers exhilarating performance at an unbeatable price, and looks fabulous doing it.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Convertible, Infiniti, 2013, IPL G Convertible, $50,000 - $74,999,

Organizations: Infiniti

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments