Nissan 370Z Review

By Jonathan Spira on 16 June 2010
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Spring is in the air and it’s our custom at Executive Road Warrior to put the roof down.  What better car to welcome the return of sunshine and warm weather than the Nissan 370Z.

The Nissan 370Z roadster traces its lineage back to the vaunted Datsun 240Z

New for 2010, the elegant yet muscular roadster is the perfect reason to drive to your next meeting.  Despite an industry trend towards hardtop convertibles, the 370Z sports a soft top that keeps the weight down and requires less space for storage.  The top can be raised and lowered from outside the vehicle, using the I-Key function.

The comfortable, driver-centric interior is all business, with suede inserts on the door panels and console and high-quality materials all around.  The combination fuel/temperature/computer gauge looks great but is hard to read.

The new 3.7-liter engine is perfectly mated to an seven-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual with Nissan’s SynchroRev Match capability providing short, precise shifts is also available and I tested that as well.  The Rev Match, when activated, gives the driver race-car quality rev-matched throttle blips on demand.  Steering is precise and responsive and the driver feels connected to the road.

On a sunny New York day, I took the 370Z on a route that combined beautiful mountain vistas with multiple twisties (Bear Mountain, for those who want to try the route).  The top was down to enjoy the panoramic view and the car didn’t disappoint.  Just don’t try to hold a conversation at speed – even with the wind deflector, it gets a bit noisy.

The 370Z Roadster is a blast to drive.  Although the coupe weighs less and has a stiffer chassis, the Roadster gives up very little in terms of handling and performance and provides that extra benefit of unlimited sunshine.

And the cost for such open air driving pleasure?  The entry-level 370Z Roadster is only $37,000, thousands less than other cars in its class.

2010 370Z Roadster Touring
Base price/price-as-tested $41,820/$47,690
Drivetrain Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine 3.7/332 hp/V-6
Transmission 7-speed automatic
Curb weight (lbs) 3489
Wheelbase (inches) 100.4
Length x width x height (inches) 167.2 x 72.8x 52.2
0-60 mph (seconds) 5.5
City/highway fuel economy (mpg) 18/25

–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.

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