From £36,045
UK drive reveals plenty of open-top fun - with plenty of compromises
Autocar
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

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Comments
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Add a comment…
Peter Cavellini 10 March 2010

Re: Nissan 370Z GT convertible

Maybe hard to beat for the money, but it's not exactly pretty is it?, dare i say it's due for a complete make over?(and no, i'm not JC)

beachland2 9 March 2010

Re: Nissan 370Z GT convertible

yes, thanks for that.

mission complete.

tannedbaldhead 9 March 2010

Re: Nissan 370Z GT convertible

beachland2 wrote:
coupe compared to the 2.9 boxster

Then perhaps it would be fairer to compare the 370Z with the even more expensive Cayman, at £37K to £45K, thus giving your point

beachland2 wrote:
value
greater credence still.

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