By on December 31, 2018

Three luxurious convertibles of six-cylinder and rear-drive persuasion. Which one is worth over 40,000 of your hard-earned dollars?

Infiniti G37

Infiniti followed up its very popular third-generation G sedan and coupe with a fourth version in 2007. The car was larger, the engine was larger, and new corporate styling modernized its appearance over the old model. The two-style lineup was expanded for 2009, when Infiniti introduced its first convertible since the Leopard-based M30 of 1990. Convertible G37s were all prepared the same way in 2010: 3.7-liter VQ V6 up front, 325 horsepower to the rear wheels, and no all-wheel drive option. We forego the manual transmission today, opting instead for the seven-speed automatic. $44,350.

Mercedes-Benz SLK300

Mercedes introduced its SLK model in 1996, whereupon it was quickly ignored by most every car enthusiast. Things got sharper when the second generation debuted for 2004. It was larger, more serious, more safe, and sported a nose mimicking the AMG SLR supercar. The new SLK maintained its basic initial characteristics of being a two-seat, metal-roof cabriolet. For our money, we’re in the base model SLK300 in its last year of production. The 3.0-liter V6 produces 228 horsepower, transferred to the rear wheels through the seven-speed G-TRONIC. $46,900.

Lexus IS 350C

Lexus debuted its new sub-ES model as the IS back in 1998. A badge job on a Japanese-market Toyota Altezza, it found fans among tuners and stance bro types alike. Lexus fixed their delight in 2006 with a second generation that was not JDM in any way. Gone were the inline-six Supra engines and sports wagon options. In their place was a single sedan, with an inline-four or V6 mill. In 2010 Lexus expanded the lineup to include a convertible, with engine options of 2.5 or 3.5 liters of displacement. The more expensive 350C is today’s choice. With a Lexus-exclusive V6 (in North America), 306 horsepower travel to the rear via the six-speed automatic. $44,890.

Which tin top convertible gets your money?

[Images: Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Infiniti]

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29 Comments on “Buy/Drive/Burn: Luxury Convertibles From 2010...”

  • avatar

    I like all three, but that Infiniti just seems a bit better so…

    Buy: Infiniti
    Drive: Lexus
    Burn: Merc, because down the road you know the Merc is going to be one problem after another

  • avatar

    All these trinkets appear to have more easily accessed trunk space than today’s large sedans.

  • avatar

    BUY: Infiniti. It just looks more refined and, well…that VQ engine!
    DRIVE: Merc. Smaller, perhaps more driver-focused?
    BURN: Though likely the most trouble-free, it just screams “Novocain” to me.

  • avatar

    Love that red interior on the G, but I say buy the Lexus since it will hold the most value to sell and buy Miatas :)
    Drive the Benz.
    None are so bad as to require torching.

  • avatar

    Buy the Infiniti – still looks good now.
    Drive the Lexus.
    Burn the Benz – smallest, least powerful engine and only two seats.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Didn’t see a Miata so burn em’ all. If you just want to cruise the TC by Maserati is cheaper.

  • avatar

    The SLK is a bit of an odd choice against the other two. It’s a way smaller roadster. A CLK would have been more appropriate as the competitor.

    Buy the SLK. These never had any real issues other than the balance shaft sprockets on 2008.5 and older versions of the 272 engine. Since this was resolved before the final model year of 2011, there really isn’t a week point on a well maintained version of one of these. It will also be the most fun to drive out of the available options.

    Drive the Infiniti. VQ engine is decent.

    Burn the Lexus for the reasons listed in the article.

  • avatar

    Buy: Lexus because the sales and service folks treat their customers like adults.
    Drive: Infiniti because that generation of G35/G37 is among my favorite cars of all time.
    Burn: Mercedes because I don’t want to deal with the cost of any repairs that are likely to crop up. That goes for the SLK and CLK, the latter of which would have been a better vehicle to use in this round.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m with you on the order. A woman I spent a lot of time with over the past two years has a 2014 E350 with less than 50K miles. The Mercedes-Benz dealer was not responsive to the car’s many issues. Their attitude was basically, why do you still drive a four year old car? Lease something new or step off peasant!

      • 0 avatar
        David Cameron

        Some dealers just suck. I can take the old, beat up, ’98 ML320 with 275k miles into the dealer in South Charlotte for a $120ish oil change and inspection and they treat me exactly the same as the person who just bought a brand new G63 AMG. I’m offered a nearly new GLE loaner, coffee, etc. When they perform the oil change and inspection, they vacuum out the whole car, wipe the dash and doors down, clean the glass, and wash and dry the car along with shining the tires. I only do this every other year or so, but it’s nice to be treated well sometimes…and they will let me know if there’s anything majorly wrong that I might not have noticed.

    • 0 avatar

      CLK was too expensive, with a base price of $48,000. Additionally the model died in 2009, with a remainder offering in 2010 of 585 units in the United States.

  • avatar

    Buy: Infiniti, sporty and practical and good value for money.

    Drive: Mercedes, sporty and tossable.

    Burn: Lexus, ugly and a tight cabin combined with poor interior ergonomics.

  • avatar
    John R

    Buy the Infinti G37 because they don’t make ’em like this any more

    Drive the Merc as it’s probably at least as fun as the G37, but I wouldn’t want to own it out of warranty

    Burn the Lexus. What a complete second-effort hash-up that car was

  • avatar

    I’ve only driven one of these, the Mercedes. Driving down SoCal freeways at night with the top down, it was quiet enough to hold a conversation easily and the heater had no problem keeping things comfortable. Mercedes really knows how to design a convertible.

    Drive the Merc, love it but I don’t want the repair bills. Toss a coin for the other two, I can’t tell them apart anyway.

  • avatar

    Buy: Infiniti
    Drive: Mercedes-benz
    Burn: Lexus

    I’d rather have the Infiniti in coupe form, and ignore the rest.

  • avatar

    Most comments so far seem to be correct.

    The Lexus was a major embarrassment that should never have reached production. Seriously ungainly looks because of the trunk hump, deeply flawed ergonomics – my wife is 4’10”, I am 6′ and both of us rated the IS convertible an ergonomic failure. While the interior seemed tacky, at least Lexus catered to the masochist community by offering the 250. One of my most despised test drives ever, so BURN.

    The Mercedes is included presumably to have something German for the same money, which kinda shows how much trouble the Germans have competing with the Japanese. It’s probably a decent drive though, so … DRIVE.

    The Infiniti is the one I traded my Miata for. While it’s weight makes it more of a grand tourer than a sports car, the VQ37 based powertrain still gets you into trouble with Johnny Law before you realize it and makes you look more stylish than competitors, then and now. I’d still BUY again.

  • avatar
    Balthazar Brat

    These cars are well south of $40,000 now. I’d go with the infiniti. I had the sedan and loved it.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Buy the Infiniti, lease the SLK in AMG form. Agree ,it really should be substituted for another German, 3 series or A5 vert.I forget about the Lexus except the hot chick from “Revenge” drove one.
    I personally bough a G37S based on a business partners positive experience with his G37S vert.O repairs outside of maint. for both of us.His winter tires were ridiculously more expensive than mine (19 vs 18 inches, tirerack vs dealer) though.

  • avatar

    I am buying the Lexus – resale value and general dealer experience , I value driving over buying in this series so I would buy the
    Infinity- looks the best and as a bonus I would get japanese quality, had a J30 and liked it so that is a bonus.

    Burn the MB for 2 reasons- one not sure but a base MB does not seem to be a place I would want to be in, it seems MB need options to get it the way I would want it and to me I would be a little scared to have to maintain this , a Eclass ragtop Yes This MB no.

  • avatar

    Buy them all, don’t drive any of them. put them in a barn because they’re all going to be worth a lot of coin one day. Burn the barn.

  • avatar

    No love for the oft-forgotten Solara, which was out of production by 2010 and never a luxury car during any of its production.

    • 0 avatar

      If we’re talking non-luxury: I had a base EOS for 10 years. 200hp, decent enough pep, manual, power hardtop. Seated 4 comfortably. I only added an aftermarket Pioneer stereo. I looked at basically all the convertibles on the market, the two-seaters were ruled out immediately, and found it really hard to justify paying more than I did for the base EOS. I believe the msrp was around $27k, or maybe that’s what I paid? Was a long time ago…

      • 0 avatar

        You know, the true 4 seater convertible market is a pretty small segment and most of the customers are outliers. Honestly, I’d forgotten about the Eos convertible until you mentioned it just now. Similarly, I’m pretty sure a lot of the TTAC B&B has forgotten about the Solara convertible. I think most of the convertible market is satisfied by a 2+2, with a tiny trunk, that are a second or even third car in the household- when they need more seats or a real trunk then they already have a primary vehicle to use for that.

        I bet your base Eos came with 16″ wheels instead of 17-18-19 or worse. That’s another benefit to the base model and something I enjoy every time I have to buy new tires, and of that matter every time I hit a sharp bump.

        Glad you enjoyed your car for so long!

      • 0 avatar

        “Glad you enjoyed your car for so long!”

        I meant to correct that to read, I’m glad you enjoyed your outlier car for so long!

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