For 2018, Nissan re-imagined its 370Z sports coupe with a wide range of upgrades and these are carried over to 2019 – with some added enhancements. What has NOT been enhanced is the base price, which stays unchanged for the fourth year running at under $30,000. This is no small achievement in this age of ever-increasing manufacturing, marketing and distribution costs.
Nissan’s Z cars have a long and fascinating history and there have been six generations of them since the first one appeared as the 240Z back in 1969. Right from the start, the cars were serious contenders in the sports car market, even against rivals costing far more money. Over the years, the Z cars have been raced and rallied with great success, most famously when actor Paul Newman won many events with them, including a TransAm win in 1986.
The 370Z has a very distinctive shape that has stayed much the same for several model years, which is great for owners who don’t want their car to date overnight. It’s a very pleasing styling exercise that combines originality with practicality and aerodynamic efficiency. Thankfully, Nissan has resisted any urge to take an “add on the spoilers” approach to aerodynamics and aero aids that do exist are subtly combined into the overall styling. As with earlier Z cars, this is two-seat car and no attempt has been made to squeeze in a couple of tiny seats behind the front pair.
For drivers who like the wind in their hair, there’s a roadster version of the 370Z that looks great with the top down.
Power for this latest Z comes from a 332-horsepower V-6 that provides exciting response and makes all the right noises beloved of sports car drivers. As an alternative, there’s a Nismo performance variant with 350-horsepower. The basic transmission is a 7-speed automatic with paddle shifters for manual control, but purists will be happy to know that they can opt for a 6-speed manual box too. Handling is nimble and predictable, offering a wonderful feeling of being completely in control at all times.
The cockpit of the 370Z is what designers like to call “driver oriented” and that just about sums it up. It’s a great place to work and all the controls are easy to reach. Sitting behind the wheel, you really feel part of the car. There are several trim variations available for the 370Z and as you move up the price range, the interior gets even better with some levels getting Recaro race-style seats.
The 370Z represents surprising value for money when it comes to sports cars and very few rivals can beat it for price – especially when considering the fact that you get a V-6 engine and not the turbo four-cylinder that’s become so common for sporty vehicles nowadays. The car has an impressive heritage and hopefully, it’ll continue in the Nissan range for many years to come.
SPECS AT A GLANCE…
BODY STYLE: Two-door, two-seat, sports coupe
ENGINE: 3.7-litre V-6, 332-horsepower (Nismo option delivers 350-horsepower)
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed automatic/6-speed manual
PERFORMANCE: Zero to 100 km/h in approx. 5.5-secs
FUEL ECONOMY: 13.3-litres/100 km city; 9.3-litrest/100 km highway
PRICE: Starting at $29,998