Review and road test of the Infiniti G37 Convertible (2009 - 2013)
By Andy Enright
By all accepted measures, the Infiniti G37 Convertible seemed to have all its bases covered. Here was a good-looking coupe, stuffed with the sort of equipment that would have added thousands to the price of an equivalent BMW drop top. It was underpinned by the talented Nissan FM chassis as seen in the 370Z and it offered strong performance and excellent reliability. Things didn't pan out for the G37 Convertible quite as Infinity had hoped. Here's how to track down a used example and bag a bargain.
2dr coupe (3.7 petrol [GT, GT Premium])
Even without the impact of the credit crisis that the G37 Convertible launch timed to perfection, it's likely that this Infiniti would have struggled against established rivals. In Japan, the G-car line has a long track record. Buyers there can relate to it, they understand its market proposition and have seen the car develop into what it is today. For British customers, this was an Oriental item that seemed to have been plucked from the nether reaches of the Nissan empire's menu and plonked before us to be prodded and picked at suspiciously.
Sales were slow, not helped by the fact that Nissan wasn't interested in selling Infiniti models from existing Nissan showrooms, which meant a dealer network had to be built. With many customers finding credit hard to get and fuel prices skyrocketing, the idea of a 3.7-litre petrol car costing over £40,000 with no badge equity to rely on come resale time was one that never proved appealing. A modest facelift in 2012 did little for the G37 Convertible's chances and it was quietly deleted in 2013.
What You Get
The task of integrating a folding hard-top roof into a sleek, well-proportioned bodyshell is one of the toughest that can confront a modern car designer this side of removing a polo-necked jumper without dislodging a pair of steel-rimmed spectacles. It's hats off to Infiniti's pen men, though, because the curvy G37 looks pretty good with the hood up or down. The three-piece hard top isn't the quickest around, taking 31 seconds to fully close and when it does, the boot shrinks from a respectable 366 to a paltry 56-litres. The car's practicality is further limited by rear seats that aren't particularly generous.
Two trim levels are laid on for G37 Convertible customers GT and GT Premium. Standard stuff includes full leather trim, heated front seats, Bi-Xenon cornering headlights, speed-sensitive power steering, electric front seats, parking sensors with a rear-view camera, I-Key smart entry, a six CD stereo, Bluetooth connectivity and 19" alloy wheels. The GT Premium trim level adds a 30Gb hard disc navigation system with DVD playback and a touch screen display, air-conditioned seats and a 13-speaker BOSE stereo.
What to Look For
As you might well expect from Nissan's luxury arm, the Infiniti G37 has established itself as a very reliable model. The 3.7-litre engine is as tough as old boots and although few cover big mileages, this motor is more than comfortable with six figures on the odometer. The G37 is consistently ranked at or near the top in its class for reliability and few issues have surfaced. Check for tyre wear, especially on the rear-wheel drive versions and also inspect the paint finish as the front can be vulnerable to stone chipping. Otherwise, just make sure that the roof operates exactly as it should, it's got a fully-stamped up service record and that it's been looked after.
(approx based on a 2010 Infiniti G37 Convertible) Replacement parts are priced below what you'd pay for the big German brands. You'll need £160 for a refurbished alternator, £280 for a front nose finisher, £12 for a spark plug, £70 for a set of EBC front brake pads and £45 for the equivalent rear items.
On the Road
The G37 has somewhat unlikely roots, being based on a stretched version of the Nissan 370Z chassis. It also uses a de-tuned version of the 3.7-litre V6 engine found in Nissan's hardcore sportster. That's the extent of the similarities, however, as the G37 is no track day tearaway. It's a considerably larger car with a focus that's more on comfort and refinement, although it can still turn in some lively performance figures thanks to its 316bhp powerplant. The 0-60mph sprint takes 6.2s and top speed is limited to 155mph.
With rear-wheel-drive and over 300bhp, at least some fun ought to be on the agenda. Compared to the coupe, the convertible G37 has modified rear suspension to help cope with the extra weight of the three-piece folding hood and a wider track to enhance road-holding. The standard gearbox is a six-speed manual but the optional seven-speed ASC automatic is a better fit for this car with its magnesium paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. Body control is not of the top order and there's quite a bit of chassis flex apparent when cornering. The brakes are excellent but the steering is lacking in feedback.
When compared to, say, a BMW 335i Convertible, you'd probably only ever choose the Infiniti G37 Convertible to be wilfully different. Yes, you do get a lot of gear and the car makes a very reliable used proposition, but you'd have to balance that against mediocre dynamics, an interior that lacks design cohesion and a depreciation curve that could still induce vertigo. This isn't a bad car, per se, it's just one that fits a specific niche. Think of it as a latter day version of Lexus' SC 430, a comfortable and refined cruiser that doesn't bring attention to itself, and you may find there's a lot to like here.
Infiniti G37 Convertible (2009 - 2013) review by Andy Enright