Infiniti G37 Convertible
Nissan’s luxury arm gives its flagship coupe the open-topped treatment.
Make no mistake, the Infiniti G37 Convertible is a great car and represents a credible challenge to the German establishment. We don’t think the styling is quite as cute as Infiniti claims – it echoes the odd-looking Lexus SC430 from some angles – but it is distinctive and different enough to create a stir and make luxury cabrio buyers think twice before buying. The good news is that it backs up its cool looks with real ability, in terms of performance, kit, comfort and refinement. It’s a breath of fresh air in every sense of the phrase.
This is the car that’s aiming to lure cabrio-loving Brits out of their BMW 3-Series Convertibles and Mercedes CLKs.
The Infiniti G37 Convertible is the latest in the line-up for Nissan’s luxury arm. It’s based on the existing coupé, which is already well established in the US and has recently arrived in Europe.
The G37 uses a folding hard-top that retracts in only 25 seconds and into three sections, rather than the usual two. This means shorter A-pillars, which gives the car an airier open-top experience and a neater rear.
It shares the coupé’s 316bhp 3.7-litre V6 – a mildly detuned version of the Nissan 370Z’s engine – and will be available with the same choice of manual or seven-speed auto boxes.
The rear suspension has been modified to cope with the extra weight from the roof, and the track increased to improve handling. Options include smart 19-inch alloys and a Bose sound system that has been specially tuned for the cabrio.
The G37 Convertible is built on a stretched Nissan 350Z platform, but its character is very different to the sports car’s.
The sharp edges have been buffed away to leave a more comfortable machine, but one that still offers muscular V6 power with rear-wheel-drive attitude by the bucketload.
Its softer nature is better suited to the smooth seven-speed auto than the crude six-speed manual and, on standard 18-inch alloys, the balance between grip and a supple ride is excellent. Expect a bit of scuttle shake, though.
Less appealing is the fact that the boot shrinks to a minimal 70 litres with the roof down, rear legroom is modest and the cabin plastics aren’t up to German standards. High CO2 emissions put it firmly in the top road tax band, too.
Infiniti isn’t planning to take the UK by storm with the G37, seeing it as an alternative to mainstream models. It’s stylish and fun to drive though, so it really deserves to succeed.
Rival: BMW 335i Convertible AT £38,035 the BMW is almost identically priced, but Infiniti says you would have to spend another £11,000 to bring it up to the same spec. There’s less power, but the refined 3-Series is torquier and sportier to drive.