Ever notice how the new hardtop convertibles that are all the rage these days look a trifle out of kilter? You might not be able to put your finger on exactly what it is that is different about them, but they often don't have the good looks of their closed-coupe doppelgangers. That is definitely not the case with the all-new, 2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible. No oddball roofline or bustle-butt here. The G Convertible is as attractive as its coupe sibling with the bonus that its three-piece metal top disappears under the rear deck lid in seconds. Freewheeling top-down motoring can ensue immediately.
Okay, all convertibles offer wind-in-your-hair motoring, so how does the G Convertible drive? Another member of our staff felt it lacked the elan and crispness of the G Coupe, toting a couple hundred extra pounds, but most will find the differences hard to determine. The 3.7-liter 325-horsepower V6 engine remains as sweet as ever whether it applies its power through the thoroughly modern seven-speed automatic transmission with available magnesium paddle shifters or the old-school close-ratio six-speed manual. If you ask us, the automatic is more in keeping with the boulevardier nature of the convertible. It's a car with a performance edge, but not quite as sharp an edge as the coupe.
You should be thinking luxury grand touring here. Inside, the high level of craftsmanship is apparent throughout the cabin, including the subtle infusion of traditional Japanese design. The up-level front seats can be "climate-controlled" with heating and cooling features, just the right touch in a convertible where that pesky ambient temperature intrudes upon our comfort. And to that end, the "Adaptive Climate Control System" adjusts its fan speed automatically in response to the position of the top and the speed you're traveling. For good measure, a related climate system also cleans the air when the top is closed. (With top down, you're on your own, fella.)
In all, the 2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible is a handsome, fun-to-drive, immaculately equipped addition to the recent spate of hardtop convertibles that also includes the BMW 3 Series Convertibles, Lexus IS Convertibles and the Volvo C70. With the most horsepower of any vehicle in its class, it also has the legs to go with its looks, and we think at right around $45,000 Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) it is a bargain in the segment.