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ReflectionsOfTheDrive: 2010 Infiniti G37 Convertible 6MT: The Review

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As you may recall, before my job hurled me to the other side of the globe and into a catatonic state, I had the opportunity to drive the 2010 Infiniti G37 Convertible 6MT for a couple days thanks to Crest Infiniti in Plano, Texas. Read my first impressions here. Thanks so much to Crest Infiniti, and specifically Thomas Bies, for being so patient in awaiting this review. I do appreciate it. Moving on to the car, I’ll first whet your appetite with the basics:

From Infinitiusa.com:
• 3.7-liter (3,696cc) V6, aluminum-alloy block and heads. Low-friction coated pistons
• 325 hp @ 7,000 rpm
• 267 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm
• Close-ratio 6-speed manual with short-throw shifter
• Independent double-wishbone with coil springs over Dual Flow Path® shock absorbers, stabilizer bar (front). Independent multi-link with coil springs over Dual Flow Path® shock absorbers, stabilizer bar (rear)
• Aluminum 4-piston opposed front calipers with 14.0 x 1.3-inch ventilated discs/2-piston opposed rear calipers with 13.8 x 0.8-inch ventilated discs; 4-wheel, 4-channel ABS
• 10-spoke, 19 x 8.5-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 225/45R19 W-rated summer performance tires (front), 19 x 9.0-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 245/40R19 W-rated summer performance tires (rear)


The G37 Convertible is quite simply a stunning vehicle. If you want a fun, open-air car yet don’t want to be embarrassed at the valet stand, you can’t go wrong. You’ll get a lot of stares and compliments driving this car. It’ll take an extra $20k-$30k to even come close with another vehicle in the looks department. The interior holds up its end of the bargain as well. The leather is comfortable and the surfaces and dash controls certainly fall into luxury car levels of quality. It’s a great place to spend some time, especially if you enjoy some music while you drive. The Bose system and its 13 speakers are tremendous and sound beautiful even at highway speeds with the top down.

I think what the car boils down to is this: If you are reading this but glazed over the stats above, then this car is like heaven on wheels. The G37 Convertible is quite simply a gorgeous vehicle both top up and down. That is likely what appeals to you the most. It’s luxurious, quick, and fun to drive. However if you understood all the stats above, you might enjoy the 370Z Roadster or the G37 Coupe better. The almost 4,000 lbs can definitely be felt. However, if it’s a hard-top convertible you’re after, some extra weight is necessary, and likely not a concern at all. Like any car, there are things the Infiniti G37 Convertible 6MT does well and some it does not. For those interested in a 4-seat convertible, you won’t be disappointed. Your interests are most likely exactly what the G37 Convertible does quite well.



THE RUNDOWN:


Rush-hour commuter: While most would likely opt for the 7-speed automatic transmission for their commute, the 6-speed manual is about as good as manual transmissions get. Shift throws are short, precise, and remains one of my personal favorites. There’s just enough of a mechanical feel to it that you never have a question whether it is fully in gear. Smooth launches from any rpm are effortless and the easiest to obtain of any G or Z I’ve ever driven. The clutch is very light and easy to depress. It might be a bit light for performance driving but is near perfect for around town.

Highway cruiser: The G37 Convertible really excels here. With the top down, wind noise is not obnoxious at all…bordering on quiet at moderate highway speeds. A conversation is easily carried without having to raise your voice much at all. The wind is hardly noticeable in front; however a (small) passenger in the back definitely gets blown around a bit. The seats are quite comfortable and most likely would remain to be on a long road trip.

Grocery getter: While the G37 Convertible may be a fun car for a quick jaunt to the store, don’t buy anything if you want the top down on the return trip. The trunk space is annihilated by the retractable hard-top when down. Luckily for you though, there are back seats which will come in quite useful for your bread and milk.

My wife and son on our way to some Jimmy Buffet tailgating

My wife and son on our way to some Jimmy Buffet tailgating


Family & friends hauler: Normally, here’s where I would laugh at the thought of hauling people around in a convertible. However, there is a back seat, so why not? Well, as you might imagine, the back seat is no Mercedes S-class. You can fit an actual person back there though in a pinch, and it’s not that bad as long as said person isn’t nearing 6ft tall or more. Kids will be quite comfortable in back, and a forward facing child seat does fit. I will say though, it’s not worth the effort to try and squeeze the child seat in through the door. Just make life easier by dropping the top and then plopping the seat into the back.

Occasional hoon-mobile: The G37 Convertible 6MT is surprisingly fun to drive, and for the average Joe, perfect for the occasional back-road romping. I had the opportunity to play with some Honda S2000s on some back roads. It was a beautiful evening, and the G37 felt right at home as it was tossed around the countryside. Yet, for someone who has a bit of performance driving background, a few short-comings will be noticed.

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Track toy: While I would not discourage anyone from taking their new G37 Convertible to the track, this is far from a good choice for a track toy. I mentioned there were short-comings. Some are expected…maybe even inevitable due to the nature of a hard-top convertible. The steering is a bit numb. There is very little communication from the tires to the steering wheel as to what the car is doing. While gently tossing the car about through some curves, the G37 stays flat and very sports-car-like. However, if you start to push it a bit more, you’ll definitely begin to feel the weight of that hard top. Specifically, the more you push it, the more the front end wants to push as well. Don’t expect this car to be nicely balanced at the limit. I never flogged the convertible enough to really test for brake fade, but I will say the upgraded brakes on the 6MT don’t seem to notice the extra weight as much as the suspension does. They will haul you down to a stop in a hurry.

Dragster: If you’re even thinking about the G37 Convertible in this capacity, you obviously aren’t buying one or even considering it. While the VQ motor has plenty of punch to launch itself into and out of traffic, a dragster it is not. Quite frankly, it feels a bit sluggish in comparison to its G37 siblings in coupe and sedan form. In reality, the G37 Convertible is quite capable and more than quick enough for day-to-day driving. Just don’t line up at a drag-strip or stoplight next to a G37 Coupe or 370Z hoping for the best. It’s best won’t be enough.



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