Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: 2010 Nissan 370Z

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    23,032

    2010 Nissan 370Z

    When the Datsun 240Z came out almost 40 years ago it was an instant hit - combining the feel and fun of a British sports car with the vastly better build quality and reliability (though not-so-great rust-proofing) of a Japanese-made car.

    Since then, the "Z-car" has appeared in many forms - some better, some not so much. During the '80s, in particular, it got both heavy and expensive where once it had been light on its feet and very affordable. But Nissan set things aright with the introduction of the lean and mean 350Z back in 2003 and that trend continues with the next-generation 370Z.

    It is much more powerful than the 350Z - as well as lighter, quicker more fuel-efficient and (my opinion) better-looking, too.

    WHAT IT IS

    The 370Z is a two-seater high-performance hatchback sports coupe and successor to the 350Z. Prices start at $29,930 for the base coupe with six speed manual transmission and top out just under $40k for a top-of-the-line NISMO version with track-ready suspension and other upgrades. The 370Z competes against other high-performance rear-wheel-drive coupes like the Chevy Corvette, BMW Z4 and Honda S2000.

    WHAT'S NEW

    The 370 is essentially an all-new car, with an entirely new exterior, updated drivetrain and interior. For now, it is only sold as a hardtop coupe but a convertible roadster will join the lineup during calendar year 2010.

    WHAT'S GOOD

    Perfectly channels the sports car purity of the original 240Z; beautiful bodywork. Costs $10-15K less than a new Corvette, BMW Z4 or Lotus Elise. Fits like a glove interior; multiple storage alcoves and cubbies - plus more usable cargo-carrying space than most cars in its class thanks to the hatchback layout. Can run as far as 400 miles on a full tank.

    WHAT'S NOT SO GOOD

    Stevie Wonder blind spots to the sides; narrow slit of visibility behind you. Beauty has its price.

    ENGINES & PERFORMANCE

    The new 370Z has a new engine - a larger, more powerful version of Nissan's highly-regarded DOHC V-6, which has received numerous awards for smoothness and reliability. Displacement has been increased to 3.7 liters (from 3.5 previously) and output is now 332 hp (vs. 306 for the '09).

    The V-6 features variable valve timing and can spin to nearly 8,000 RPM.

    There are two transmission choices: An updated six speed manual (available with computer-controleld rev-matching downshifts) or a new seven-speed automatic (replacing the previous five-speed) with manual mode and F1-style paddle shifters.

    All 350Zs are rear-wheel-drive.

    It's not surprising that the new Z is quicker than the outgoing one. It is more powerful, and it's significantly lighter - by about 90 pounds. Shave some weight and add about 30 hp and the zero to 60 time falls to about 5 seconds flat with the manual transmission. The '09 350Z did the same run in about 5.4-5.6 seconds, depending on the transmission and the driver.

    What is surprising is the 370Z's fuel efficiency - which is actually better than the old car's: 18 city and 26 highway vs. 17 city and 24 highway.

    Premium fuel is recommended, of course.

    RIDE & HANDLING/DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

    The Z-car is often compared with the Chevy Corvette but the Nissan is a physically much smaller car overall. Both have intimate, two-seater interiors but the Z-car is about 8 inches shorter end to end (167.2 inches vs. 174.6 inches) and its wheelbase is only 100.4 inches vs. the 'Vette's 105.7 inches. It's not that the Corvette is clumsy - that would be gross slander. Both cars handle better and have higher levels of grip than some full-on race cars used to offer.

    The Nissan just feels more like a true sports car than a hybrid sports car-muscle car, which is what the Corvette (with its 6.2 liter, 430 hp V-8 engine) really is.

    The Z is spiritually and functionally closer to a Lotus Elise or even a Honda S2000 but unlike the Elise, the Z has at least some cargo room and unlike the S2000, ample bottom-end torque that makes it comfortable to drive it in stop and go traffic, even with the manual transmission (though clutch take-up can be a little abrupt).

    Despite its very high output, the 370Z's V-6 is as docile as a Maxima's when you're just puttering around. If past history is any guide, this engine should be as tight at 100,000 miles as some engines are loose at 70,000.

    A fun feature is the new SynchroRev Match option for the six-speed manual transmission. It blips the throttle for you in between gear changes, making you feel like a pro driver (and your passengers believing you are).

    A not so fun feature is the limited visibility to either side. The car's steeply raked roofline and micro-sized rear quarter windows look absolutely stunning but make it difficult to see to your left and right, especially when trying to make a right or left turn into traffic. Even where I live - in rural Virginia where the roads are mostly open and you don't have to seize the moment to dart into an intersection - these blind spots can be unsettling.

    Same issue as far as seeing what's behind you. There's just that narrow slit of flat glass, steeply raked, that's like peering through a keyhole, Mr. Magoo-style. On the upside, the door-mounted rearview mirrors are very good, with a wide range of adjustment. In addition to improving your rearward visibility, you can use them to visually caress the hunky, 911-style rear fender flares.

    STYLING & UTILITY

    While the 2003 350Z was intended to resurrect the spirit of the original 240Z, the 2010 370Z's shape conjures the spirit of the first Z-car much more directly. You can see the old car in the shape of the new car's upper canopy, its rear quarter glass and the outline of its fenders - as well as its overall "squat" - which is much wider and aggressive-looking than either the original or last year's 350Z.

    The interior is likewise an homage to the original - with a hooded three pod secondary analog gauge cluster (including oil temperature gauge) canted the driver's way, just like the 1970 model. The fuel level and coolant temperature readouts are modern LED readouts to the left of the main cluster. You sit facing a big, centrally located tach and 185 mph speedo off to its right - with titanium-looking trim and red-orange backlighting.

    It is all beautifully put together, too - with what looked to me like hand-fitted sections of leather fitted to console covers and elsewhere. The door armrests are softly padded - a nice touch. Another notably design feature is the way the entire main gauge cluster tilts with the steering wheel, so you don't have to choose comfort or being able to read the instruments.

    Though it is a two-seater, the Z's designers endowed the car with a pleasantly surprising amount of storage space - including two large cubbies behind the front seats, a pop-open cubby on the central stack and a modular storage bin between the seats, with removable cupholder insert.

    Pop the rear hatch and there's yet more storage/cargo space - 6.9 cubic feet, total - which for a true high-performance sports car is pretty good. Even better, the hatchback layout gives the car a lot more versatility than sports cars with handbag-sized trunks like the S2000 (5 cubic feet) and even the BMW Z4, which has about the same total space (6.4 cubic feet) but since it's a trunk rather than a hatchback, oversized and unwieldy stuff is much more challenging to carry home.

    The not-bad gas mileage is a real plus, too.

    QUALITY & SAFETY

    Few current production car engines can match the near-universal applause earned by the Z-car's "VQ series" V-6 engine. Though larger and more powerful for the new model year, this is essentially the same basic engine design Nissan has been massaging for some 20 years now and it is literally one of the finest, least trouble-causing engines on the market. Consider, too, that it produces more horsepower with two fewer cylinders and about a liter's less displacement that the Ford Mustang GT's 4.6 liter V-8.

    The rest of the Z-car seems equally stout. Magnificent paintwork; really tight fit and finish everywhere - including areas not immediately visible, such as the inside door jambs and underside of the hood.

    When you stop to consider that this car is priced as much as ten thousand dollars or more below several of the cars it competes against (Corvette, Lotus Elise, BMW Z4, etc.) it almost seems too good to be true.

    The only safety issue with the 370Z is the leap of faith you often have to take when merging into traffic from a side street.

    Brakes are outstanding - and everything from stability control to head/torso airbags and active headrests is included.

    And: Nissan continues to skip the aggravating "Belt minder" buzzer that virtually every other make/model of new car comes with, like it or not. Nissan apparently considers you an adult and fully capable of deciding if and when to buckle up without pestering you like a junior high school safety officer.

    THE BOTTOM LINE

    The latest Z is better, stronger and faster than before - and a worthy successor to the original.
    Last edited by Eric; 07-07-2009 at 12:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    840
    Nissan 370Z
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    840
    Z Interior.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Staff
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,126
    One word that dates back to Datsun advertising in the late 1970s: Awesome.

    Nissans entire lineup is pretty darned nice. The 370 is truly their flagship. The interior and exterior styling is incredible. They have come a long way in 5 short years much less 20.

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    23,032
    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    One word that dates back to Datsun advertising in the late 1970s: Awesome.

    Nissans entire lineup is pretty darned nice. The 370 is truly their flagship. The interior and exterior styling is incredible. They have come a long way in 5 short years much less 20.
    I was thinking about it and Nissan is what Pontiac was 30 years ago. Ballsy, fun cars with provocative styling. They have me as a fan - and a customer!

Similar Threads

  1. 2011 NIssan 370Z: Your Sports Car Dollar Won't go Farther
    By Eric in forum New Car/Truck Reviews
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-13-2011, 03:20 PM
  2. 2010 Nissan 370Z coupe/convertible
    By Eric in forum New Car/Truck Reviews
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-06-2010, 03:16 PM
  3. 2010 Nissan Armada
    By Eric in forum New Car/Truck Reviews
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-19-2010, 10:48 PM
  4. 2010 Nissan Cube
    By Eric in forum New Car/Truck Reviews
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 11-12-2009, 02:14 PM
  5. 2009 Nissan 370Z pricing released
    By Eric in forum Automotive News
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-05-2009, 06:20 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •