There’s one primary thing a convertible needs to do – look good. If it doesn’t look good, it’s not going to make you look good and what’s the point? After all, deep down, nobody buys a convertible because they are introverted yet worship the sun. Drop the top on a convertible and it’s the picture of Dorian Gray: you’re 20 lbs. lighter, 10 years younger and 30 percent more optimistic about life in general.
The 2009 Infiniti G37 does supremely well from that perspective. This hardtop convertible excels at drawing attention to you in the form of unsolicited praise for its beauty (even from a cop walking the beat). Plus, this “magic car” plastered an ear-to-ear smile on my four-year-old daughter as we went for a top-down cruise on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
Her happiness almost made me overcome my complaints about this car in terms of its major design flaw: it wasn’t built as a convertible. Basically, Infiniti put a hardtop convertible on its brilliant G37 coupe and called it a day.
It’s a beautiful thing to watch the three-piece roof close quickly as it tucks away into the trunk. That is until you try to use the trunk and discover it has less storage space than the glove compartment. The G37 comes with an optional wind deflector. If you decide not to use it, there’s no room for it in the trunk. So, you’re stuck with it in the backseat, which is the G37’s true trunk.
Now, other hard-top convertibles have compromised space in their trunks, but not as badly as the G37. It’s a deal breaker if you’re in the market for a convertible that can actually seat three or four for a weekend getaway. However, if you’re an Empty Nester with neither kids nor college payments to worry about, get thee to an Infiniti dealer and check out this all-new G37.
It’s a great coupe on a whole bunch of levels. As mentioned, it’s eye candy, which is always nice. No price is available on this model yet, because it doesn’t go on sale until June. (The model loaned to me for a week by Infiniti was a pre-production G37 but I could detect no problems with it.) I would ballpark this convertible starting at around $40,000 before options are thrown in.
The interior is hard to beat and is first class all the way. The G convertible’s interior includes standard leather-appointed seating, an available Bose Open Air Sound System that dynamically changes equalization based on outside noise, top position and vehicle speed, an adaptive dual zone climate control system that adjusts fan speed in accordance to top position and vehicle speed, and available climate-controlled seats that provide both heating and cooling functions. (Trust me, you’ll love that cooling function on hot summer days.)
A power walk-in device with position memory provides easy access to the second row seats (the front seats move forward automatically at the touch of a button to allow passengers into the rear seats). An available rear wind deflector helps reduce wind turbulence when the top is down. Remember, though, only the tiniest of creatures can fit in the back and there’s no place to store that wind deflector when it’s not in use and the top is down.
Every 2009 G Convertible comes equipped with a standard 3.7-liter VQ-series V6 rated at 325 horsepower. The engine is mated to either an electronically controlled 7-speed automatic transmission with available magnesium paddle shifters or a responsive close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission. The G37S Convertible Sport 6MT adds sport-tuned steering and larger sport brakes, along with 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and W-rated performance tires.
The G37 I drove came with the six-speed manual transmission. Frankly, from what I’ve read, (and this could be considered heresy among automotive journalists) I think I would have enjoyed the automatic transmission more in the long run. The manual transmission is best left to enthusiastic drivers because it requires an emphatic stomp on the accelerator to get up and go. If you’re idea of fun is ambling along back roads, opt for the automatic.
According to Infiniti, the convertible, with the six-speed manual transmission, averages 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway and runs on premium fuel (as will the convertible). But what’s a few more pennies at the pump when you look this good behind the wheel? Official EPA numbers have not been published on the government website yet.
(Questions and comments about this review and other automotive concerns can be e-mailed to [email protected] All queries are answered.)
2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible Specifications
Wheelbase: 112.2 inches
Length: 183.3 inches
Width: 72.9 inches
Height: 55.1 inches
Curb weight: 4101 lbs.
Engine: 3.7-liter, V6
Horsepower: 325 @ 7000 rpm
Torque: 267 @ 5200 rpm
EPA estimated mpg city/highway: 16/24
Base price: $43,900 (est.)
As-tested price: $48,190 (est.)
Also consider: (a comparative vehicle) Audi S4, BMW 3 series, Mercedes Benz CLK Class
2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible Photo Gallery
2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible: A little bit of pain mixed with a lot of pleasure