From £26,920
Nissan's hairy-chested GT feels good enough in Europe to be a hit

Our Verdict

Nissan 370Z
The 370Z has the pace, looks, kit, value and charm, so what’s the catch?

The Nissan 370Z is seductively honest, entertaining and great value, too. But it’s no long-haul cruiser

What is it?

No prizes for guessing that this is the new, much-improved version of the old Nissan 350Z. It's a tiny bit more expensive than before and there are now three different models to choose from: 370Z, 370ZGT and 370Z Ultimate.

All of them share the same basic mechanical specification, which consists of a new 3.7-litre, 326bhp V6 engine, a considerably tweaked rear-wheel drive chassis and a redesigned bodyshell that wouldn’t look out of place at next year’s Mr Universe contest.

Prices start from £27,000 for the entry-level version, rising to "approximately" £29,500 for the better specified GT and £32,000 for the top-level Ultimate. There’s also a brand new seven-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters available for an extra £1400 (it's standard in Ultimate spec), which we’ve tried, and which is excellent.

Nissan describes the new 370Z as being similar to the 350Z in personality, but 15-20 per cent sharper, which explains why it’s 32kg lighter, a tiny bit shorter both in bodyshell and wheelbase, and has a touch more power and torque – up from 309bhp and 264lb ft to 326bhp and 269lb ft.

What’s it like?

Although you need to be a particular type of driver to fully appreciate where Nissan is coming from with the 370Z, it’s an absolute riot on the right kind of road (and a pretty capable all-rounder on most other roads, truth be told). Just like the old car only more so, it’s a traditional rear-wheel-drive coupe that moves around a bit if you want it to but which has no nasty surprises up its sleeve.

There have been some big improvements when it comes to the car’s refinement and ride comfort, neither of which were 350Z strong suits. The ride in particular is notably more soothing than before and there’s a lot less tyre roar on uneven surfaces. The steering remains meaty and honest in its response but, again, it's smoother and less prone to kickback over mid-corner lumps and bumps.

The engine, too, is considerably more free-revving than of old and no longer as rough at high revs, even though it has lost none of the muscular V6 character that so defined the previous motor. Performance isn’t shattering, but it’s still quick enough to hit 62mph in 5.7sec with a top speed limited to 155mph. Quicker than the old car, in other words, but not dramatically so.

The bottom line is that, although the 370Z is faster and even more fun to drive than its predecessor, it's also more usable everyday without being a whole lot more expensive. And the new auto gearbox is just excellent.

Should I buy one?

The 350Z always was a big old hunk of car for not a huge amount of money, and the 370Z continues along that same tried, trusted and highly desirable path. It looks great, goes well, feels as if it would last forever and isn’t overly expensive.

As a little brother to the GT-R it makes a very good case for itself, and even as a rival for the more expensive Porsche Cayman it more than keeps its head above water.

Join the debate

Comments
6

26 March 2009

A proper old school coupe that isn't overly expensive - fantastic!. It's a shame it's been made so difficult to tune up by Nissan.

I need to see this in the metal before making my mind up as the pictures have never really sold the look to me.

I get the feeling the biggest deterrent to sales will be the Nissan badge though.

26 March 2009

There were two problems with the old car. The low rent interior and the sodding great strut brace that traversed the boot.

I can see they've sorted one out and if the interior feels a little more quality then this car will be a winner.

It's interesting you mention the Cayman in the report, it reminds me of a modern day 944. Brilliant.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

27 March 2009

I can see a market for a v-tec'ish 400hp, under 4 sec to 60 version. Nissan had the opporrtunity to succeed one of the best looking classics and failed it twice, the 350Z and 370Z. Nothing wrong in making a car looking hot rather than the Nissan design house trying to make a 'statement' instead which always annoys the hell out of me when designers use thier lack of imagination with the line.

Still could not quite grasp it, the mix of staight lines and curves just fail to blend.

27 March 2009

Driving, out of interest what car do you drive?

27 March 2009

If Nissan is having a hard time shifting Infiniti models in Europe, maybe the new Z should have been rebranded as an Infiniti in order to give the brand some oomph and recognition.

29 March 2009

Some of the stats are wrong.

Weight = 1525kg approx

0-60 = 5.4 approx

C02 = 249

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