Infiniti G37 Convertible GT Premium12 | 10 | 2010Scotcars rating

    It may be a luxury brand, but the Infiniti fails to make an impression on Scots streets


    My personally created gauge, the HTR, is faultless. I’ve used it for years and it works every time, regardless of where in the world I happen to be. It is my sure-fire way of assessing a car’s looks. The Head Turning Ratio is applied when I take a new and largely unseen model of car on to the road. It has worked for big 4x4s (the Range Rover Sport scored highly), petite city cars (the new Fiat 500 was way up the scale), and luxury sportscars (the Porsche Panamera sent half a dozen roadworkers falling off their shovels). There were some surprising failures too. Almost every one of the current range of European Cadillacs failed to register when I took them on to the streets even before they were launched, and other surprising forgetfuls were the oddly-shaped Kia Soul and the supposed planet-savers, the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight.

    What was interesting was the rating of the Infiniti G37 Convertible, because rather than a clear head-turn, it produced more of a PLR — a puzzled look — from fellow road users and pedestrians. They couldn’t quite figure it out and most seemed to be confused as to what it actually was. This is probably because the car and four others carrying the Infiniti name in the UK are very much new to the scene.

    The only dealership in Scotland is scheduled to open at Glasgow’s Braehead in the autumn. It’s the luxury brand of Nissan, although Infiniti don’t like to spread that about much, in the same way that Lexus is to Toyota. For some time it’s been in the American market and latterly Russia and parts of the Far East, although not Japan and not in Europe. So it’s a bit of an oddity and I would have expected some interested glances…which never materialised. I’m worried that while it may be a nice, big comfortable, luxury convertible which the company says has seductive lines, I think it may be just not that interesting to look at.    

    On the road

    It’s big and luxurious and feels effortless whether on the open road or in the city. I was amazed at how elegantly it squeezed through the twists and turns of a Glasgow multi-storey car park which are, generally, notoriously tight; a point confirmed by the scores, scrapes and tyre marks on the kerbs. The Infiniti is well laid out and the dials, instruments and controls are all in the right place and do a professional job.

    It can certainly take off with the big V6 powering from a standing start to 62 mph in just over six seconds. The automatic gearbox of the test car was silky smooth and the manual paddles on the steering wheel work well. A nice touch is that the instrument binnacle is attached to the wheel and not the dashboard, so when you adjust the wheel for reach and rake, the instruments are always in clear view. It’s solid and secure on the open road and takes, bends, broken surfaces and messy conditions in its stride.

    The electric three-piece clamshell hard top comes down in 25 seconds in a complex, balletic movement to fold itself into the boot; but that can seem like an eternity in a sudden downpour even if the designers say it is a piece of precision engineering which is constructed to stop drips falling into the cabin as it slots into place.  

    Comfort & Safety

    What is clever about the G37 are the things you can’t see. Top-down driving generally comes with several drawbacks – noise, buffeting, being too hot and too cold, and not being able to hear the sound system when driving at speed. The Infiniti designers have called on technology to make life better so that the car adapts to its environment with noise cancelling systems, head restraint- mounted speakers, seats with internal heating and cooling and adaptive climate control. The result is coupe-like conditions without the disadvantages of drop top driving.

    These and many other features come as standard and which in many other cars in the class would cost a few thousand pounds extra, so while the initial purchase price is substantial, you do get a lot for your money. However, I was disappointed with some small details. Pairing my mobile phone with the car’s Bluetooth system became a hassle, having to reinstall it almost every time I went back into the car. The seatbelt buckles are so close to the doors that depending on how they lie after release, can stop the door closing properly and at best leave bash marks on the door trim. On one occasion after some invigorating open top motoring, the folding roof stopped half way through its closing manoeuvre and refused to complete the procedure for a good 10 minutes and I discovered that with the roof down, there’s virtually no boot space.  

    Should I buy one?

    You get a lot for the hefty price tag and you’ll be driving something that’s rare on the road.

    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £41,865 / £44,835
    Engine / Power: 3.7V6 / 320PS
    How fast?: 0-62mph 6.4secs,  Max 155mph
    How big/heavy?: H1400mm W2007mm L4660mm / 1898kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 24.8mpg / CO2 264g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: / Band M £435
    Alternatives: Lexus IS 250; Mercedes SL; Jaguar XK Cabrio

    User Comments

    Login or register to post comments.
    Send to friend
    Click here to add message:

Car Review Finder