Nissan 370Z

Posted by Tom Ford at 10:12 am on Wednesday August 19, 2009

nissan_copsThe problem with hanging out with maniacs is that they can make you look like you lack spontaneity. OK, so they might be spitting nonsense, smoking crack and trying to rip the faces off passers-by, but at least they aren’t dull.

Which is what happens with the 370Z when it hangs out with a gaggle of committed sportscars. It has its volume turned down to seven.

The Z-car reads like a heavy hitter: two-seats, 3.7-litre V6 producing 326bhp and 270lb ft up front and driving the rear wheels. It carries the torch from the muscle car that was the 350Z, this time with sharper styling , big changes underneath and useful tech like Rev Synchro Control that blips the throttle in a heel-and-toe stylie better than even the best racing drivers.

It’s a very grown-up, well-fettled improvement. But, and there is a but, in this company, the 370Z feels too everyday.

The engine is quiet. The throttle response is mushy, the steering easy but without ‘think it, it is done’ intuition. It’s not that the theory is wrong – just that it seems to have been designed primarily as a sexy, useable car that can go fast, rather than a fast car that’s so charismatic you make compromises to own it.

nissan_trackStuff like the fact that it feels solid, but that’s because it’s quite heavy at around the 1,500kg mark. It feels easy, but that’s because you have to push through useability sponginess to get to the response. And when you do, it gives all the indications of being a lairy RWD car, but then when you go nuts, it is actually massively benign.

Make no mistake, the 370Z makes huge sense – not least with a £28k pricetag – but right here, right now, it’s the car that gets the least lascivious glances. Shame, really.

Read the Aston Martin V12 Vantage blog.

Read the KTM X-Bow blog.

Read the Ferrari 599 HGTE blog.

Read the Porsche 911 GT3 blog.

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  1. JCTK said...
    Wednesday August 19, 2009 at 10:26 am Link to comment Report comment

    that’s why there are so many different tuners in Japan. To help crank the volume backup to 10 (and beyond). =)

  2. Showie said...
    Wednesday August 19, 2009 at 10:53 am Link to comment Report comment

    i have to say, being a fan of the Nissan S15 Silvia, i was extremely dissapointed to see it replaced by such an ugly.. thing somewhat based on a Porsche 911 and now i am even more extremely dissapointed they couldn’t go back to the lovely shape of the Silvia and brought out this even uglier.. thing, which is somewhat based on the 350Z thing which was based on the Porsche 911… i wish all cars had to pass a ‘pretty’ test in order to make it to production!

  3. Tom TG said...
    Wednesday August 19, 2009 at 10:57 am Link to comment Report comment

    I really don’t care about this datsun, especially when you can buy a Focus RS which is better looking, equally as fast and just as fun.

  4. WAT said...
    Wednesday August 19, 2009 at 11:34 am Link to comment Report comment

    Don’t call it Datsun. It’s Nissan and they’re partners with Renault. It would be like calling “India” the “The colonies.” Besides I use Top Gear magazine as a reference or entertainment. I don’t let magainzes make decisions for me.

    I like the 370Z because I think for myself.

  5. the ZZZZ car said...
    Wednesday August 19, 2009 at 12:36 pm Link to comment Report comment

    “sharper styling” ??? yeah right, get me a bucket! Atleast the 350Z was more or less inoffensive.

  6. PetrolHead247 said...
    Wednesday August 19, 2009 at 1:40 pm Link to comment Report comment

    The old 350Z was built to compete with the likes of the BMW Z4 but with a considerably smaller price tag. This is no different. The new 300bhp Z4 is £37,000, the 370Z however has 326bhp but is only £28,000. Bargain! Well, not exactly.

    First off, looks. I thought the only 350Z looked too soft and squidgy and that the styling could’ve been sharpened up a bit. Now though, it has. It’s much more aggressive and looks more purposeful, although you could say it’s slightly over the top. I do like the styling though, it’s great.

    I’ve heard that the 370Z sounds a bit lazy and that when you do get the revs up it isn’t really that pleasant to listen to. The old 350Z’s soundtrack wasn’t great either and i found it too soft. I preferred the S2000, it felt stiff and sounded fantastic when you were flinging it round a track but was comfortable and quiet enough to be used every day.

    Looks like i need to test drive it to get a full view of the 370Z but for now, what exactly is wrong with buying a hot hatch? The new RS Clio 200 cup is fantastic fun for just £15,750. Why wouldn’t you consider the Clio and save thousands of £’s? I would.

  7. n said...
    Wednesday August 19, 2009 at 5:46 pm Link to comment Report comment

    good car but still a poor man’s porsche

  8. jeffzekas said...
    Wednesday August 19, 2009 at 7:31 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Ah yes, “The problem with hanging out with maniacs”… precisely! Back at university, my two best friends were always daring me to follow them into the abyss of craziness… whether it was taking LSD whilst riding bicycles on a pitch-black road, or free-climbing steep, rocky cliffs, or swimming in shark-infested waters… And of course, such activities make a “normal” life of drinking beer and playing billiards quite untenable. And cars? A MINI Cooper S is terrific fun, until you’ve driven a Lotus Elise! Oh well… back to the pub for another pint!

  9. er say something said...
    Wednesday August 19, 2009 at 8:51 pm Link to comment Report comment

    this car is ugly and i like good looking cars. the japanese are incapable of making a beautiful car perhaps a fast or reliable car but beauty is something that i have not seen yet. so the bmw z4 is far better and it also looks like its a sturdy car the nissan looks flimsy and cheap

  10. Lorrie stig said...
    Wednesday August 19, 2009 at 10:15 pm Link to comment Report comment

    U the fella of 5th gear

  11. ecume111 said...
    Thursday August 20, 2009 at 2:10 am Link to comment Report comment

    Did anyone else notice that in the beginning of the lap, the stig seems to try to scratch his nose?

  12. Scuderia said...
    Thursday August 20, 2009 at 7:05 am Link to comment Report comment

    AWww i wanted the old 350z back but then this came along. I want to buy this model but i dont think im gonna have much head turners driving around town -_-

  13. hi said...
    Thursday August 20, 2009 at 7:40 am Link to comment Report comment

    this car is great so fast and such a bargain great interior what more do you want

  14. hi said...
    Thursday August 20, 2009 at 7:42 am Link to comment Report comment

    anyone who calls it a datsun can’t think of adecent name to call it just copying TG so f**k off

  15. hi said...
    Thursday August 20, 2009 at 7:42 am Link to comment Report comment

    ed14 a nobjockey

  16. datsun boy said...
    Thursday August 20, 2009 at 9:51 am Link to comment Report comment

    no good, plastic and cheap and full of rattles, my mates got one. Yeah, focus rs or R32 miles better build quality. And if you want the coupe look, whats wrong with the bmw? no datsun for me thanks

  17. Tak said...
    Thursday August 20, 2009 at 11:12 am Link to comment Report comment

    So it’s not attractive because it’s sensible? Well, alright. I still don’t like the head- and taillights though. Overdesigned rubbish.
    The 350Z didn’t like high revs. How’s this one?

  18. ryan said...
    Thursday August 20, 2009 at 4:24 pm Link to comment Report comment

    it looks better than a bmw z4 and it’s a bargain at 30,000.it also looks better than the beamer.

  19. Ozz said...
    Thursday August 20, 2009 at 11:05 pm Link to comment Report comment

    At least the guy taking the photo could’ve bothered to take off his camera from the side of the car while taking the photo.

  20. nHeroGo said...
    Friday August 21, 2009 at 9:26 am Link to comment Report comment

    It seems OK for what it is – a car for a young man who is not ready to commit to mortgage and marriage for the rest of his life. Possibly, this is the right car for him; a pretend maniac on the safe side of the wild side. Besides, this age of chemically imballanced bi-polars and their medicines, perhaps this is the car the doctor ordered. If you think the car will make you happy – get one. If you don’t think so, stay home, take the bus, or get something else.

  21. astra vxr rules said...
    Saturday August 22, 2009 at 6:49 pm Link to comment Report comment

    nissan silvia’s are rubbish and old start to like new cars like the new bmw x6 but your cool still

  22. zody said...
    Monday August 24, 2009 at 3:11 pm Link to comment Report comment

    end of the day its still a nissan. lets face it the best japanese cars are the high end ones. which this isnt.
    to get anything out of this you’d need to apply max power stickers and whats the point of that.
    the money spent on this if you bought one, would of been well placed else where.

  23. Beardy Branson said...
    Monday August 24, 2009 at 6:47 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I do prefer it to the 350z but now,unlike the 350z, it is a fantastic competitor in the sports car market. I’d rather get the Z4 35 S-Drive though.

  24. hotwheels said...
    Tuesday August 25, 2009 at 11:21 pm Link to comment Report comment

    ok, if you want a 2 seater sporty looking GT … Would you be a badge snob and buy a 2nd hand bottom end 30-35k Aston V8 Vantage or buy a brand new 370z?

  25. lemonsnail said...
    Monday August 31, 2009 at 9:45 pm Link to comment Report comment

    i think one of the best tuners ever

  26. Lukeage9 said...
    Tuesday September 1, 2009 at 12:30 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I really like this car. definetely worth it. :-)

  27. 370Z_is _fab said...
    Thursday September 3, 2009 at 12:52 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Jezza described the engine noise as “So noisy and harsh” on the show, yet here it’s described as “The engine is quiet”. Make up your mind fellas.

  28. 370Z_is _fab said...
    Tuesday September 22, 2009 at 1:30 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Took delivery of my 370Z recently and frankly Jezza’s finally lost the plot. Tiff’s review on 5th gear was much more accurate, in that its more refined than the 350Z (which was fantastic). I’m a big TG fan but Jezza was way off the mark – and don’t criticise unless you’ve driven one.

    Someone commented its a poor man’s Porsche. At over 30 grand for a 2-seater that’s a cheap shot fella. What you drive by the way? Saxo?

  29. NIKE JORDAN said...
    Thursday September 24, 2009 at 9:52 am Link to comment Report comment

    I LOVE THE BOOMERANG DESIGN OF THE 370z, AND OF COURSE THE NISSAN SYNC REV TECHNOLOGY…AWESOME.. BRILLIANT…. IVE SEEN THE NEW DESIGN OF THE SILVIA AND IT’S GREAT….ANOTHER BANGER FOR NISSAN… NISSAn has lots of sports car lined up,, GTR, 370Z, G37, altima coupe , hope the 200sx, silvia amazing line up….i wish nissan will continue its nissan Sports Concept the 2 door hatchback.. love the design hope they will think it over to manufacture it , sell it in asia… philippines… love to see those wonderful cars .. more power to nissan…

  30. NIKE JORDAN said...
    Thursday September 24, 2009 at 10:00 am Link to comment Report comment

    Germans are great cars .. but in the long run .. maybe 3 to 5 years.. unreliable cars.. they can take the punishment of the heat… tropical countries like ours… but japanese cars theyr just the most reliable cars on the planet …. 10, 20, 30 years they,re still running and in goo
    d shape even 500,000 kms… still running like hell… and cheaper to maintain… German Cars good luck.. when the engine fails … you will spend thousand or even hundreds… bucks…. sorry Germans buts its the reality that why your overtaken by Japanese giants in terms of Cars sales and volume of cars sold

  31. Kilapot said...
    Wednesday October 28, 2009 at 1:56 am Link to comment Report comment

    I drive a 350 and find some of the comments above about the zed cars just stupid.

    Clarkson doesn’t review cars and some of you guys clearly just follow him like a sheep.

    As for someone wanting a Focus RS instead…. only one problem its still a Focus.

    I recall Clarkson moaning about being tired driving a 350, well I drive mine up and down between Scotland and Norfolk… its a dream.

    All cars are compromises unless you have silly money to spend, the 350 and now 370 are staggering value for money. Unless you own one you’ll not realise, but hey just follow your idiot car non reviewing god

  32. Kilapot said...
    Wednesday October 28, 2009 at 1:58 am Link to comment Report comment

    Oh I almost forgot…. doesn’t Clarkson like the Fiat Panda? Enough said

  33. Bowers said...
    Tuesday November 3, 2009 at 11:22 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Agree with comments 30 & 31, I too own a 350Z, an ’04 plate so older engine, no problems to report after 2 years.

    Hot hatches such as the mentioned Focus RS are not cars for real men as real men refuse the slavery of marriage & kids & so go for 2-seaters, of which the Zed is the best performance for the price.

    So Zody (comment 22) name an alternative!

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    Sunday December 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm Link to comment Report comment

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