Nissan 370Z at

bargain price

I DON'T do as many long journeys as I used to and I miss them.

Despite the traffic levels throughout most of the country these days, there are still hugely rewarding routes for the enthusiastic driver and they often take little longer than the oh-so-boring motorway.

Not too long ago I had a 240 mile round trip in a direction that took in a favourite route across country, with no wagons and little other traffic.

And the car I was the brilliant Nissan 370Z coupe. If I could have that day over again I would do exactly the same.

The grin plastered on my face was like the first day of the holidays as I drove quickly but safely to my destination without coming up against a single traffic queue.

Every straight piece of road was a safe overtaking area and every bend and corner showed off the car's excellent handling.

The 370Z took over from the 350 in 2009, with extra power from a larger V6 engine and all the character of its predecessor.

The sound of the engine gives an adrenalin rush all its own and the low slung driving position makes it feel like a more old-fashioned car.

But in fact, it has all the modern safety aids and advanced systems and it competes with the likes of the Porsche Cayman or Boxster - but at far more reasonable second-hand prices.

All 370s are powered by the same engine and have the kind of catapult acceleration that is the stuff of dreams.

A squeeze of the accelerator rockets you past other traffic as if it's standing still.

The manual six-speed gearbox has a pretty heavy, notchy change, which is not helped by a fairly heavy clutch.

But there is an automatic available, even if it is rarer on the second-hand market from what I can see.

At cruising speeds they are quiet and refined but wind that delicious V6 up towards the heady red line and it comes alive.

Road-holding and handling are brilliant, with tenacious grip and a beautifully nimble feel and if you avoid the range topping Nismo, the ride is comfortable over long hauls, making it a true grand tourer.

Inside, it is a true two seater but has plenty of space for those two and excellent seat adjustment for the driver.

FAST FACTS

Price: Pay about £12,500 for an '09 09-reg GT, or £21,800 for a '13 13-reg GT Edition auto

Mechanical: 328bhp, 3,696cc, 6cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via - speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 155mph

0-62mph: 5.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 24

Insurance Group: 46

C02 emissions: 249g/km

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