Much of that mechanical feeling we noted while city driving smoothed out on the better paved surfaces of Interstates, but there still seemed a little more road noise than we would expect, most likely because of the low-profile summer tires that come with the Sport package. When driving with the top down, the rush of the air masked all car noises.
Standard on the Sport-trimmed G37 Convertible is a Bose Open Air audio system, which uses 13 speakers, including two speakers in each front headrest. This system uses different audio profiles depending on whether the top is up or down, but in each case the sound quality was superb.
Many Bose systems we've heard in cars have tended to be powerful, but lacking in detail. The one in the G37 Convertible reproduces music with very fine detail across frequencies. We heard satisfying thumps from bass drum hits and the delicate strumming of an acoustic guitar played very clearly. Instruments and sounds on tracks that often get buried by lesser systems came through. This stereo had the fidelity that we've enjoyed so much from the likes of THX systems in Lincolns and Mark Levinson systems in Lexus models.
Strangely, there are no speakers facing the rear seats in the G37 Convertible; all speakers are in the front sides, dashboard, and front headrests. We assume this arrangement is a trade-off for the convertible design, and would not expect rear-seat audio to sound as good as it does in the front.
As our car came equipped with the navigation system, we controlled the stereo with Infiniti's unique interface: a dial topped by directional buttons. Of all the indirect cabin tech interfaces, we like how easy it is to select menus and make alphanumeric inputs with Infiniti's. The LCD is also a touch screen, but we never resorted to it.
Most of the music we listened to came off of an iPod connected to the car's stereo, making the Bose system's quality that much more impressive as a lot of the music was in compressed format. The G37 Convertible also included an onboard hard drive with 9.3GB of space for a music library. We had the option to rip CDs to the hard drive merely by putting them into the car's CD player.
The hard drive is also where Infiniti stores the maps for the navigation system. Map views include 2D and 3D, with the latter showing some landmark buildings rendered as 3D structures in downtown San Francisco. We have seen better-looking maps, but the G37 Convertible's were all very easy to read.
The navigation system includes traffic data, and will dynamically route around bad traffic. Further, it also shows a weather forecast. Among the POIs are restaurants with Zagat ratings.
We liked its route guidance capabilities, as it showed rich graphics with lane guidance for upcoming turns. This system also read out street names while giving audible directions. Like many navigation systems, it shuts out address entry while the car is moving.
Rounding out the cabin electronics is a Bluetooth phone system. Along with making the phone's contact list available on the LCD and through voice command, with dial by name capability, there is a separate contact list for the car, a nice way of keeping some numbers with the car regardless of the phone paired with it.
When the top was up, we found the G37 Convertible's rearview camera very useful. As with other Infiniti models, it shows trajectory and distance lines. Infiniti also makes adaptive cruise control available as an option for the G37 Convertible, but not with the Sport trim. It can only be had with the seven-speed automatic transmission G37 Convertible.
We enjoyed driving the 2010 Infiniti G37 Convertible quite a bit, but had to concede it might be a little rough for an everyday driver, at least in Sport trim. The sport-tuned suspension works well in hard cornering, but does not lend itself as well to pothole-strewn city streets. The engine offers ready power, but at the cost of fuel economy. Its performance tech is generally conventional, making it more of a one-trick pony.
However, Infiniti does offer an excellent set of cabin tech. We were blown away by the quality of the audio system, and found the navigation very useful. Likewise, the car has all the audio sources we could want and a Bluetooth phone system that is well up with the competition.
As for the design, we would score the car higher without the convertible top. The hard-top coupe looks better. And the convertible top affects trunk space more than in any retractable hard top we've tested. But the G37 Convertible gets points back for the attractive front end and the usability of the cabin tech interface.
|Model||2010 Infiniti G37 Convertible|
|Powertrain||3.7-liter V-6, six-speed manual transmission|
|EPA fuel economy||16 mpg city/24 mpg highway|
|Observed fuel economy||16.2 mpg|
|Navigation||Optional hard-drive-based with traffic|
|Bluetooth phone support||Standard|
|Disc player||Single MP3-compatible CD/DVD player|
|MP3 player support||iPod integration|
|Other digital audio||Onboard hard drive, USB drive, Bluetooth streaming audio, satellite radio|
|Audio system||Bose 13-speaker system|
|Driver aids||Backup camera|
|Price as tested||$49,675|