Friday, September 2, 2011

2011 Infiniti G37 Convertible: A High-Performance Four-Seater

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $52,025 (Base price starts at $45,875)

Major Standard Features: 18-inch wheels; three-piece power operated hardtop; chrome exhaust tips; a push-button keyless ignition system, 8-way power heated (front) leather seats; dual zone climate control system; manual tilt/telescopic steering wheel; automatic headlights; door-mounted airbags; pop-up roll bars and a tire repair kit (replaces a spare tire)

Standard Audio System: 6-speaker AM/FM audio system with XM satellite radio

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4-years or 60,000 miles

Bluetooth Compatibility: Yes

Pod Compatibility: Yes

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.7-liter, 6-cylinder/325-hp

Standard Fuel Mileage: 17-city/25-hwy

What’s New: The convertible receives the same exterior facelift as the coupe, as well as the addition of a standard Nav package on the Sport model. Also there are new 18-inch and 19-inch wheel designs too for the 2011 model year.

Moreover, for 2011, a Limited Edition model has been added to the line, featuring unique content and exclusive Monaco Red leather-appointed interior.

Pros: The Infiniti G37 convertible is available in three models: Base, Sport and Limited. While we didn’t have an opportunity to review the top-of-the-line Limited or Sport model, we were fortunate to get behind the wheel of a well-equipped base model. So for those with a minimum of $45,000 to spare, they shouldn’t have a problem finding a G37 model to accommodate their needs.

Our well-equipped base model was equipped with the brand’s optional navigation package, an upgraded 19-inch performance wheel package and a high-end, crystal clear Bose audio system. In fact, Bose speakers are integrated into the front headrests of the G37 convertible, which makes the sound system clear with the top being up or down.

Moreover, the sporty looking hardtop convertible was outfitted with Infiniti’s optional audible rear back-up system, a real-time up-to-date traffic system, a real-time weather forecast system, a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel and climate control front seats, offering both heat and a/c.

Also with the G37 convertible, Infiniti’s engineers have managed to maintain the integrity of the vehicle even after converting the popular performance-oriented coupe to a hardtop convertible. So, no matter if the top is up or down, it still mimics the coupe, offering the same sporty performance and gutsy sounds oozing from the dual exhaust system.

Cons: While the rear seat is a tight squeeze for adults, the G37 convertible also lacked the latest blind spot lane change technology, which electronically alerts consumers of vehicles in its path prior to moving to another lane.

And with this being the performance division, why isn’t this rear-wheel drive vehicle available with a true manual transmission and not the clutchless automatic system the brand is offering?

The Verdict: Since this sexy drop top hit the market in 2010, this vehicle has been a head-turner. Not only does it have sex appeal, but the engineers from Infiniti managed to do this without sacrificing the power, the performance and the handling one has come to expect from Infiniti. While the Lexus IS C may have the smooth, luxurious ride we’ve come to expect from the brand, Infiniti has the upper hand as it relates to offering a spirited driving experience for about the same price as the IS C.

Competition: BMW 3-Series convertible and Lexus IS-C 350

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