If you are looking for a sporty
Every auto enthusiast has a memory of the Datsun (or Nissan Z-cars). Growing up around 240 and 280Z cars. Our museum even included a 1983 300ZX. It was the only year to be branded as a Datsun and Nissan, save that one for trivia night. Unlike other automakers who give up on their loyal fans, Nissan still builds one of the best sports cars on the market.
The 370Z is not an evolution of the 350Z from 2003. Everything was redesigned for Model Year 2009. So it has been around for a decade, but it is still impressive. We spent a week with a six-speed version and here are our thoughts.
Starting from the inside, it is a driver-focused car. The screen and controls are within easy reach, something that seems lost in higher-priced competitors. A triple gauge pod sits atop the dash so you won’t be distracted. The main instrument cluster tilts and telescopes with the steering column, another amazing feature not seen anywhere else.
Seats are well bolstered and the stock shifter has crisp, short throws. We drive many of the world’s best cars, and there is something to be said for simplicity. Instead of a confusing menu for infotainment and and A/C, you have 4 real knobs. Regarding the A/C vents, they are large and aimed at you. This is essential in Florida, and we were thankful.
It doesn’t pretend to have rear seats. This allows for ample cargo space and no friends trying to bum a ride home. Fit and finish of the door panels and dash is above par, thanks to many pieces being handed down from their Infiniti luxury brand. Visibility is much better than Mustang or Camaro, and that brings us to ride quality.
If you don’t opt for the Nismo or V-spec performance models, the 370Z is a comfortable cruiser. It has independent suspension and a strong chassis. Many panels are aluminum, but the major components are the latest in high-strength steel. This makes it incredible fun and predictable in corners. Downshift and crank the wheel and you will be a drift king.
Speed bumps and broken pavement are much less abrupt than my spine-shaking CTS-V. Steering feedback is perfectly matched to speed, with power steering taking a rest a on the highway. You know exactly how much to dial in to rotate, and you feel the front tires obey your commands.
Under the hood is an old friend. The VQ series V6 engine is rated at 332 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. You won’t find another car with a 6-speed manual for $29,900. Learning the shift points takes around 30 minutes, and it has plenty of power for its size. This engine is the basis for the GT-R and the V8 found in the Titan. It offers 200,000 miles of worry-free running, and the aftermarket can double its power with a weekend of work.
In conclusion, you will be hard-pressed to find any faults. Every button and control is in English, and it can squeeze out 27 mpg on the highway. The only issue is age. While it was redesigned in 2008, people view it as the same car that arrived in 2003. Sales in 2017 were barely above 4,000 cars because of this. Nissan builds a reliable car, so the market might be saturated. But if you want a perfect sports car that won’t break the bank, the Nissan 370Z is for you.