From £26,920
UK drive reveals plenty of open-top fun - with plenty of compromises

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

2 March 2010

What is it?

The convertible version of Nissan’s 370Z sports car. Like the coupe, the 370Z Roadster is both shorter and wider than the old 350Z droptop, and is powered by a larger 3.7-litre V6, producing 326bhp.

Beyond that, it's a fairly honest take on a standard sports car: rear-wheel drive, a large capacity naturally aspirated engine, solid mechanical gearchange and a fabric roof.

Here we find out what it's like in the UK.

What's it like

We know the 3.7-litre unit well from the 370Z and Infiniti EX37. It’s ideally suited to the precise, six-speed manual gearbox; you frequently find yourself bouncing off the rev limiter in the first three gears as you make your way down the road.

The SynchroRev match, which automatically blips on downshifts, seems to remove one of the less troublesome aspects of driving, but it’s easy to disable using the button next to the gearlever.

The roof has an inner lining that does little to reduce wind noise but a lot to improve the atmosphere inside the cabin. With it down, which only requires the driver to press a button and takes around 20 seconds, the car’s a bit of a riot to drive.

 

Drivers who love open-top motoring often put up with certain compromises and, as you’d expect, the roadster is simply not as stiff as the 370Z coupe, but there’s a much bigger disparity than there is between, say, a Porsche Boxster and a Cayman.

The slower turn-in and the shimmering of the chassis in bumpy corners mean that the car never feels as settled as the coupe, although what feels like an increased tendency for the rear to let go is not unwelcome if you’re game for a laugh, as it always remains composed and predictable.

You can live with all that, but I found the constant creaking of the windows annoying as the glass rubbed against the rubber seals.

The only way to cure this is to drive with them lowered slightly, or better still fold the roof if the weather’s being kind.

Is it worth it?

That depends on what you want and what kind of person you are. If you’re looking for open-top fun, this car is guaranteed to provide it, but you need to be aware of what you’re sacrificing in return.

Ed Keohane

Join the debate

Comments
16

8 March 2010

"you frequently find yourself bouncing off the rev limiter in the first three gears as you make your way down the road. The SynchroRev match, which automatically blips on downshifts, seems to remove one of the less troublesome aspects of driving"

There must be something wrong with me. I have never in my life 'bounced off' the rev limiter, and would find something like the SynchroRev in my car extremely useful, especially in lower gears.

8 March 2010

£33K on one of these or £35K on a Boxster. Tricky one.

8 March 2010

cheapest boxster is £35k 2.9 6cyl 251bhp 5.7s 0-60mph

370z coupe £27k 3.7 V6 326bhp 5.1s 0-60mph

To have a better car you need a boxster 3.4 S which is 305bhp 5.1s 0-60mph

but that is £42k ! £15k more than a 370z coupe...


8 March 2010

[quote beachland2]

cheapest boxster is £35k 2.9 6cyl 251bhp 5.7s 0-60mph

370z coupe £27k 3.7 V6 326bhp 5.1s 0-60mph

To have a better car you need a boxster 3.4 S which is 305bhp 5.1s 0-60mph

but that is £42k ! £15k more than a 370z coupe...

[/quote]

We're talking about the droptop. The 350Z Roadster is £33K and the Boxster 2.9 is £35K. The 0-60mph time of the Nissan is 5.5 seconds and yes, the Boxster is 0.2 seconds slower, which in the real world is as as close to zero as makes no odds.

The Porsche may be down on power with 251bhp but it's 15% lighter than the Z. It's also mid engined and has that badge on the front: it retains more than half its value over three years whereas the Nissan retains little more than one third.

You have what you like beachy, I know which one appeals to me...

8 March 2010

well i wouldn't have the open top nissan. I prefer a coupe.

8 March 2010

"The SynchroRev match, which automatically blips on downshifts, seems to remove one of the less troublesome aspects of driving, but it’s easy to disable using the button next to the gearlever."

I think there may have a been typo in the above - it should read:

The SynchroRev match, which automatically blips on downshifts, seems to remove one of the last remaining enjoyable aspects of driving, but it’s easy to disable using the button next to the gearlever, so if your able to cope with a clutch, accelerator and gear lever you can actually drive the car yourself and leave the SynchroRev match for the playstation jockeys.

9 March 2010

[quote Ryan Bane]

Jeremy Clarkson hates it, must be a good car then.

[/quote] was the Vauxhall Vectra a good car then :o shocking lol ok back on topic it does look fabulous though and that cockpit looks a nice place to be! a tempting car to me

9 March 2010

I have just had a look at the Boxster, to get anywhere near the same equipment as the Nissan (I have not gone through it in total detail) the Boxster at £35K becomes £46.3K and that is give or take at least £12K more than the Nissan with everything on.

The Nissan is faster, is more exclusive, more cost effective to run (insurance, servicing etc) and looks way better; its a much nicer looking car and on top of that, its a much newer car design; I know which one I would buy and its NOT the Porsche

It comes down to what has been said, Nissan is the thinking persons brand! Well done Nissan, another top class car.

9 March 2010

[quote Widescreen]

The Nissan is faster, is more exclusive, more cost effective to run (insurance, servicing etc) and looks way better; its a much nicer looking car and on top of that, its a much newer car design; I know which one I would buy and its NOT the Porsche

It comes down to what has been said, Nissan is the thinking persons brand! Well done Nissan, another top class car.

[/quote]An interesting opinion. How can Nissan be exclusive? The 370z is certainly rarer than a Boxster and thats because even with a significant price advantage, buyers of real drivers cars know where to invest their hard earned cash.

You get what you pay for, and I am afraid Porsches dont have floppy chassis, squeeky windows and roof seals that force to drive with the windows slightly open to avoid the noise. You pay more for a Porsche because it has superior engineering. It has better build quality and it simply is more impressive to own. If you wan't a sports car that gives you the same ownership experience as a Micra then fair enough the 370z is for you, but if you want a junior supercar, buy the Boxster.

As far as styling goes, this is personal taste, but go back 25 years and look at a 911 or 928 and Nissan Z car. The Porsches all look like classics, you would still feel proud to drive any of them today. The 25 year old zed would look dated and naff and if it was still roadworthy would qualify for scrappage which the Porsches would be too valuable for.

9 March 2010

Superior engineering [quote MattDB]You pay more for a Porsche because it has superior engineering. It has better build quality and it simply is more impressive to own[/quote]

I'm sure the many owners who experienced engine failures with Boxters over the years will agree with you... A quick search online will show that the failure rate would appear to be unnacceptably high on these cars...

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