Weidel on Wheels: Infiniti G37 convertible is a looker and a performer

By: Jeffrey Weidel
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Drive a luxury convertible with the top down through the somewhat rural Foresthill area, a rather sleepy town above Auburn, and one is bound to receive some long, gazing looks. A recent Sunday drive with no destination in mind had me navigating the stylish, 2011 Infiniti G37 convertible through this country-ish area where some gold prospectors got rich in the early 1850s, thanks to a winter landslide that exposed numerous nuggets of gold in what’s called Jenny Lind Canyon. No one’s getting rich off the Foresthill area gold these days. It’s a mellow town of about 2,000 whose roads are typically inhabited by people driving pickups, large sport utility vehicles and an assortment of other mostly rugged automobiles. No one is mistaking the G37 for its rugged appeal. This hardtop convertible coupe has many enviable qualities, placing it near the head of the class in the entry-level luxury convertible segment. The “G” (as Infiniti likes to label it) features a muscle-bound V-6 engine, handles with assurance, provides strong braking power, has its share of high-tech qualities, and comes at a price ($57,250) that some folks won’t balk at paying. Make no mistake, the G37 convertible is a fine ride. And it better be, considering the competition, which comes from classy vehicles such as the BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes C-Class and the Audi A5 and S5. What’s especially appealing about the G37 is unlike many convertibles, this one provides considerable comfort. There’s no squeezing into the vehicle for entry and exit, and the backseat, while not spacious, isn’t just for small children. A knock against the G37 and most convertibles is the trunk space when the top folds down — it’s practically nonexistent. However, with the roof intact, a pair of golf bags can be squeezed into the trunk region. Note that the G37 also has two other trims, the nonconvertible coupe and sedan. The prime selling point for the front-wheel drive G37 is performance. There’s plenty of get-up-and-go with the 3.7-liter, V-6 engine that produces 325 horsepower. This convertible can hit top speeds in a hurry, clocked from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 6.0 seconds. It’s pretty fast in getting the top down as well — start to finish is about 30 seconds. Introduced in 2008, the G37 received a slight styling change this year with new wheel designs and different front fascia. It also now throws in the navigation system as a standard. It makes a fine commuter vehicle and obviously can be driven for fun as well. Gas mileage is estimated at 17 to 25 mile per gallon. __________ 2011 Infiniti G37 Convertible Price: $57,250 Power: 3.7-liter, V-6 engine with 325 horsepower Mileage estimate: 17 mpg city; 25 mpg highway Standard features include: Power retractable hardtop; xenon headlights; keyless ignition/entry; rearview camera; dual-zone automatic climate control; leather upholstery; power and heated front seats; a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; six-speaker sound system with CD player, satellite radio, USB/iPod integration, Bluetooth and auxiliary audio jack; stability and traction control