- Price£ 26,895 - £ 31,895
- We like...Looks, drive, cabin
- We don't...Nothing much
Nissan's newest performance car is a gem. You won't see it in showrooms before July - but motors.co.uk has driven itDepending on how fancy you want to go, this 370Z costs between £27,000 and £31,000. Now, even if you and money are friends, that may sensibly sound a lot to blow on a car from a maker known mostly for its small, low-cost runabouts.
But we’re about to argue that what you see here is an absolute bargain. Because, measured in £ for bhp, nothing similar comes close. If you know your cars, you’ll cotton on quickly that this is a move-on from the 350Z, Nissan’s performance two-seater.
It is good enough to be mentioned in the same breath as the Audi TT or even the Porsche Cayman. It’s as quick, but cheaper.
Looks are a decider for this sort of car – an ugly one won’t sell, no matter how fine it is to drive. Check the pictures here, and we think you’ll have the answer: although even shorter than the pint-sized 350Z, its lines just flow. It’ll have you taking check-back glances as you walk away after parking, just to catch an extra eye-treat of curves and tough-looking stance.
And the same’s true in the cabin. The way the dials, gauges and controls cluster around the driver stirs the emotions even when you’re just sat there, engine off. It’s every inch a driver’s car – even the seat is even a few centimetres narrower than the passenger’s, the better to hug you close.
As the new name/number suggests, the engine has grown a little, from 3.5-litres to 3.7, while the power from its six cylinders rises to 326bhp. Although 350Z and 370Z look much alike, the newcomer’s ground-up new. Length is trimmed by 100mm and it’s 32kg lighter (as much as a couple of heavy suitcases). The designers have pushed the wheels further apart to make the car even more stable, so its 30mm wider.
Despite this, the body is stiffer. Even so, a strengthening brace that sits right across the luggage bay in the 350Z isn’t needed in the 370, making it much the more useful car of the two, day-to-day.
As you climb into that huggy driver’s chair, you’re greeted by a trio of instruments dead ahead and three more dials spread in pods across the dash centre. The wheel adjusts for height and as you move it the instruments go, too.
We drove the manual and auto versions. In the first the clutch and gears feel weighty and precise, as you’d want. But it’s docile enough to run at town speeds, where nit will trickle along amenably.
Find an open road, flex your throttle foot and it comes alive, thrusting you easily past slower traffic. It makes a heady engine racket but there’s no undue drama, no sweet spot in the power range to find...it just gs. Reach a corner and it’ll turn in flat and push you through it quickly and tidily, giving a wonderful reassurance that that, even if you are travelling fast, there’s grip in reserve. Best of all is its switchable gear-change throttle blipper that expertly matches the revs for smooth gear up- and down-shifts.
The auto hasn’t the involvement of the manual, is lighter to drive but adds the fun of making racing-style shifts using the steering wheel change paddles. Or, f you need a gentler journey, you can just leave it in ‘D’ and let the electronics work their magic.
It’s a terrific car. Not for everyone - it's too focused for that. But it's fast, agile and handsome. If the ‘Nissan’ badge is the only thing that sways you away from it and towards a posher rival, feel free to borrow our value argument, used earlier. If you can afford it, you’ll never regret your decision.
To view and buy used Nissan 350Zs, click on motors.co.uk
- Engines3.7-litre V6 petrol
- 0-60 mph5secs
- Insurance groups
Motors.co.uk value verdict: