Full 2010 Infiniti G37 Convertible Review
What's New for 2010
For 2010, the Infiniti G37 sedan receives minor styling updates in the form of a new grille, headlights and bumpers. Inside, all G37s gain new gauges, metallic accents and, for those equipped with navigation, real-time traffic and weather as well as streaming Bluetooth audio. Mechanically, nothing has changed, though the previously available four-wheel active steering option has been discontinued. Finally, Limited 20th Anniversary editions will be produced for each body style.
In recent years, it's gotten even harder to choose an entry-level luxury car. Each automaker has been trying to outdo the others by offering even more powerful engines, new body styles and high-tech features. The end result is a batch of cars that might as well be equally good. Yet the 2010 Infiniti G37 still manages to stand out among this group thanks to its sharp styling and strong dynamic performance.
Certainly, the G37 is one of the more entertaining vehicles to drive in this segment thanks to its strong 328-horsepower V6 engine and agile handling. And visually it stands out in a crowd with its arcing bodywork. But the 2010 G37 does more than just go fast and look good; it also keeps its occupants comfortable and entertained throughout the journey thanks to a stylish cabin, the latest high-tech features and a suspension that's still supple enough to absorb the bumps and ruts of the daily grind.
Originally, Infiniti's G was available as just a coupe or a sedan. Last year, a new retractable-hardtop convertible debuted, giving G buyers a third, enticing option. The newest G offers the quiet comfort of a coupe when the top is up, and the exhilaration of a convertible when it's automatically stowed under the trunk lid. The downside is that the top and its associated mechanisms and reinforcements add a considerable amount of weight (the drop top weighs 450 pounds more than the coupe) and reduce luggage space to virtually nil when it's stowed.
There are a few other downsides as well, including the coupe's cramped rear seats and a tricky option pricing structure. And compared to the long-standing segment leader -- the BMW 3 Series -- the 2010 Infiniti G37 still isn't quite as communicative to the enthusiast in terms of steering feel and feedback. One might also consider the Audi A4/A5, Cadillac CTS and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, all of which have their own particular strengths. Yet even among this stellar group, Infiniti's G37 remains one of our top picks for its standout combination of performance, styling and comfort.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Infiniti G37 is offered as an entry-level luxury sport coupe, sedan or retractable-hardtop convertible in four trim levels -- base, Journey, G37x and Sport 6MT -- except for the convertible, which is offered only in base or Sport 6MT trim.
The base G37 comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels (18s on the coupe), xenon headlights, keyless ignition and entry, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, full power accessories, a power driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker audio system with a CD/MP3 player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. In keeping with modern trends, the G37 convertible has a retractable hardtop that stows beneath the trunk lid in less than 30 seconds.
The Journey trim level adds automatic headlights, dual-zone climate control, a six-CD changer and a power front passenger seat. Stepping up to the G37x all-wheel-drive model adds heated front seats and outside mirrors. The Sport 6MT trim level brings added performance features and the six-speed manual transmission. It comes standard with 18-inch wheels with high-performance tires (19-inch wheels on the coupe), sportier exterior and interior treatments, a limited-slip rear differential, upgraded brakes, a sport-tuned suspension and seats with added thigh and torso support.
There are no options available for the base G37. The numerous options for the other trim levels are typically only available via a range of packages. The Premium package includes a sunroof, rear park assist, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver memory settings, Bluetooth, an upgraded Bose audio system (of which the convertible gets a purpose-built version with headrest-mounted speakers), iPod connectivity and -- for the convertible only -- ventilated seats.
The Navigation package can be added to the Premium package and includes a hard-drive-based touchscreen navigation system (with streaming Bluetooth audio as well as real-time traffic and weather), voice-activated controls, a 9GB music server and a rearview camera. The Technology package, which is only available with the previous packages, includes adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights and an upgraded climate control system. Other options include a Sport package (it adds most of the 6MT's equipment to the Journey or G37x), 19-inch wheels, a rear spoiler and interior wood trim.
The 20th G Anniversary Editions are based on the G Sedan Journey and AWD, G Coupe Journey and G Convertible. The Premium and Navigation packages are included. The sedan and coupe also get the Sport Package and 4-Wheel Active Steer (the latter not available with AWD). The Convertible gets standard climate-controlled seats. All are painted in a special graphite color, and feature special wheels, unique front fascia, sport side sills (not on sedan), unique interior trim and red leather seats.
Powertrains and Performance
Powering all 2010 Infiniti G37s is a potent 3.7-liter V6 that growls with 328 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque. Base, Journey and G37x models come standard with a seven-speed automatic transmission featuring manual paddle-shift control and rev-matched downshifts. The Sport 6MT comes with an exclusive six-speed manual transmission. G37s are rear-wheel drive except for the G37x, which is all-wheel drive.
In testing, an automatic G37 Journey sedan sprinted to 60 mph in a remarkably swift 5.4 seconds; the heavier convertible took a bit longer at 6.0 seconds. For G37s equipped with an automatic transmission, fuel economy rings in at an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 21 mpg in combined driving; Sport 6MTs rate 1 mpg less across the board. The convertible loses an additional mile per gallon relative to its sedan/coupe equivalents in both city and highway driving, and the all-wheel-drive G37x registers 18/25/20 mpg.
The entire 2010 Infiniti G37 line comes standard with stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active head restraints for the front seats. Added safety equipment is included with the optional Technology package, which adds adaptive headlights and pre-crash seatbelts that use the cruise control sensors to detect an impending impact and then automatically pre-tension. Convertibles have standard pop-up rollbars.
In government crash testing, the G37 sedan was awarded a perfect five stars for frontal impact protection for the driver, as well as for side impact protection for all occupants. Frontal impact protection for the front passenger earned it four stars. The G37 also did well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, where it received a top score of "Good" for protection of occupants in both frontal-offset and side-impact crashes.
Interior Design and Special Features
The G37 offers user-friendly controls, excellent build quality and a handsome design -- the latter highlighted by such items as the car's leather-accented magnesium paddle shifters and the Japanese "Shodo" aluminum trim (or optional wood trim). The front seats are comfortable and well-bolstered, while the available sport-styled seats offer even more aggressive bolstering, though they may be a bit too snug for larger drivers.
Both the sedan and coupe/convertible feel like sports cars wrapped in a luxury car package, but the coupe and convertible, with seats that are mounted slightly lower than the sedan's, feel a bit racier. The optional Bose audio system is excellent, and the convertible's headrest-mounted speakers make it even better.
The G37 sedan offers respectable space for rear passengers, with the exception of the narrow center seat, which is mounted rather high, severely compromising headroom and comfort. As expected, the coupe and convertible's backseats are significantly more cramped than those of the sedan.
The coupe's trunk measures a modest 7.4 cubic feet but the rear seatbacks fold down if more space is needed. The sedan's larger trunk accommodates 14 cubic feet of cargo and also includes a center pass-through for longer items. The convertible's trunk will accommodate two golf bags with the top up, but carrying capacity shrinks to about 2 cubic feet (think tissue box and not much more) with the top down.
The 2010 Infiniti G37's big V6 serves up thrilling acceleration, but we're not fans of the coarse noises it makes at higher engine speeds. We can't complain about the G's handling, however. This well-sorted Infiniti attacks curves with aggression and precision, yet it remains poised and compliant when driven over less-than-perfect pavement. Think of it as a world-class athlete in evening wear. Steering feel is commendable, particularly with the quicker of the two available ratios (standard on coupes and convertibles, optional on sedans). This sporty setup provides excellent feedback and a pleasant weightiness that builds progressively when cornering.
The seven-speed automatic transmission is mostly praiseworthy. Quick gearchanges are at your fingertips via the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and downshifts are executed with precise throttle blips to match revs. In testing, however, we've noticed that upshifts, even when in Drive, aren't as smooth as they should be for this class of car. Even so, this automatic makes a strong case for itself versus the optional six-speed manual, which has a pleasing bolt-action feel through the gates but is hampered by abrupt clutch engagement.