Nissan 370Z - Used

Car Review

JUST imagine a bright summer's day and a long drive in a marvellous coupe with a glorious soundtrack.

Air conditioning - who needs it? You have the windows wide open so you can revel in the delicious burble and rising wail of a superb V6 engine as it blasts you through the hinterland like a jet on afterburners.

That's the kind of drive you can have in a wonderfully focussed sporting car like the Nissan 370Z or its earlier 350 stablemate.

I suppose in these days of greener and greener cars and lower and lower emissions, it is a bit of an anachronism. But while it is old fashioned - the 370 has been around since 2009 - plus being thirsty and hairy chested to drive, there's something really special about getting behind the wheel.

The only thing that could make it better would be a soft top with the roof down - and that's included in the range too.

Despite the traffic levels almost everywhere, there are still hugely rewarding routes for the enthusiastic driver and they often take little longer than the dull-as-ditchwater motorway.

And even if they do, when you're driving a 370Z you really don't care.

Every straight piece of road becomes safe overtaking country and every bend and corner show off its excellent handling and sublime road-holding.

The 370 took over from the 350 in 2009, with extra power from a larger 3.7-litre V6 engine producing 328bhp, more built-in safety and all the same character.

The 0 to 60mph times are excellent - 5.1 seconds for the six-speed manual and 5.4 for the seven-speed automatic. This last is a good choice by the way, because the clutch in the manual models is heavy and the gearchange notchy.

The theoretical top speed is 155 miles an hour, economy is a best of 23mpg out in the road and emissions are very high at 247 grammes per kilometre.

But the sublime engine note gives an adrenalin rush all its own and the low slung driving position makes it feel more sporting than later offerings from the Germans and from Britain.

It has all the modern safety aids and advanced systems like a limited slip differential and very good stability control and although it competes with the likes of the Porsche Cayman or smaller BMW coupes, its far more reasonable to buy secondhand.

At cruising speeds all are quiet and refined but wind that delicious V6 up towards the heady red line and it the whole car 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 reasonably 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.

There isn't a great deal of luggage space so you have to travel light but, even in the cheapest models, equipment is excellent.

Pay about £7,500 for a '10 10-reg manual Standard model, or £17,500 for a '16 16-reg GT automatic.


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