|2010 Nissan 370Z
|2010 Nissan 370Z
>> Review by Mary Ellen Ash | >> Photographs by Bill Clark
- Elegant, uncluttered console
- Heating and cooling seats
- Powerful and fun engine
- Rear-wheel drive
- Poor rear-view visibility with top up
- Would have preferred to fit more than a golf bag in the trunk space
- Awkward seat adjustments
This past week I’ve been on medications to reduce my blood pressure and heart rate since my drive with the 2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster. Getting right to the point, Nissan’s 332 hp, 2-door roadster coupe is an absolutely terrific sports car. We tested the touring version and immediately were impressed by the car’s styling. Its sleek and sporty lines, flared wheel arches, and lowered stance suggested good times were on the way. Inside, we were treated with supportive leather seats which were great to settle into, an uncluttered console, and tactile surfaces that felt almost luxurious. The car is genuinely beautiful, and yet nothing is over the top to detract from the driving experience. Granted this car is not for everyone and would really function best as a second car. But if you’re looking for a weekend car – or something to have fun with any day of the week – do yourself a favor and test drive this car.
The Z roadster may be a little bit impractical, but that’s why we enjoyed this so much! For one reason, the 3.7L, high revving V6 engine delivered 332 hp to its rear wheels. For people who don’t really know what that means, let me try and break it down into layman’s terms: those numbers mean this car goes really fast. Get ready to make your friends and family drool. There is so much power from everywhere in the wide rev range, that the 370Z annihilates 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and doesn’t slow down at all past that.
If the acceleration doesn’t crush your spleen the brakes certainly will. I’ve never felt such ferocious braking power when applied hard from top speeds. Absolutely exhilarating! Our test model came stocked with a very smooth automatic transmission which included shifter paddles on the steering wheel. The paddles were excellent for utilizing the whole rev-band range and for its precise, quick shifting which was generally not felt with just the automated shifting. The paddles really brought out the playful and powerful side of the 370Z.
For a car which is powerful, has a short wheel base, and is rear-wheel drive, it handled just as you would expect – brilliantly. We took it up to the mountains to throw some twisty roads at it and it gobbled them up and asked for seconds. The suspension was excellent; there was no tire squeal, no excessive body roll, and no understeer. When we blasted out of corners, the traction control kept us firmly planted and accelerated at a rabid pace. Even with the firm sport suspension and powerful engine, the Z was very civilized. When you’re driving like a normal law abiding citizen, the engine was soft and quiet, the suspension comfortable and compliant. Even the exhaust noise was docile, almost subdued. It’s a car that has no problem driving inconspicuously amongst slow, busy streets and I personally liked that versatility aspect of the car.
The 370Z roadster may only have two seats, but it they are a pleasure for people of almost any size. Both seats are comfortable and well bolstered for extra support – almost hugging you in place. One of my favorite features found in the 370Z were the heating AND cooling functions for the seats. For something so simple, I wonder why more car companies don’t include this as a standard feature in all their cars now-a-days. Heck, even as an optional feature, having both heating and cooling functions is kind of a no-brainer.
The one thing lacking in the seating department was my difficulty finding the proper driving position. As a driver, the fore and aft positioning was automated, but the seat-cushion and back-rest tilting were all manually operated with dials. For a luxury sports car, it would have been nice to see fully automated seats and maybe throw in some sort of seat memory recollection.
As for the passenger seat, it seemed permanently trapped in a very low position with even less adjustability functions than the driver’s side. Petite women beware, as a passenger, you may need a booster seat to see out the front window. Perhaps this was done on purpose, given that you will most likely be using that seat to transport ‘goods’ since there isn’t enough room in the trunk. Let me explain with an example exactly how small the trunk space is. If you look carefully inside the trunk area, Nissan has included a diagram describing how-to properly transport a golf bag – just in case you decided to do something constructive with your time other than drive around in your 370Z.
The Nissan 370Z engineers did a great job designing a convertible with a quiet, draft-free cock-pit. And when the top goes down, thanks to the rear-wind-deflector shield (emblazoned with the Z-logo brand), it was very easy to carry on a conversation at high speeds. And both passenger and driver could enjoy a pleasure cruise without worrying about getting the latest wind-swept hairdos. The fully automatic folding soft-top was quick and elegant; it automatically unlocked and folded into the rear cabinet (which is why there is no trunk space) and gets tucked away quickly and painlessly. The convertible top was the icing on the cake adding to an already great package.
The sticker price on the Nissan 370Z Roadster Touring is about $41,000 and comes with some great features like Bluetooth, XM satellite radio, remote keyless ignition, Bose 8-speaker stereo, and power doors with an auto-locking feature. Our test model added in Nissan’s multi-function Navigation system ($1,850) and a few other odds-and-ends and came out at just under $45,000. While not cheap a similarly equipped BMW Z4 would cost $10,000 more than our 370Z. Even the Porsche Boxster which is around 80 hp down on the Nissan, costs more. The Nissan 370Z Roadster delivers just about everything that people would want – fantastic value, design, package, comfort and performance are top-notch. Thank you Nissan for offering such a fabulous sports car.
|The official site for Nissan cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers and hybrids – www.nissanusa.com|