Caught in the classifieds: 2011 Nissan 370Z V6
If you want a fast, exciting, and interesting sportscar, without spending a ridiculous amount of money, your choices are fairly limited. Most semi-affordable sportscars are either based on a front-wheel-drive hatchback, or they're just exciting to look at but aren't as fun to drive as they appear.
Unless you're willing to buy an old Porsche Boxster and take a massive gamble, your only other choice is this: the Nissan 370Z. A successor to the legendary 350Z, the 370Z made its debut in 2009. Marketed as a 2-door, two-seater sports car, the 370Z is the 6th generation of the Nissan Z-car line.
Because sportscars are all about driving involvement and having fun one, I have decided to highlight a coupe, not a convertible, as it is more structurally rigid, not to mention lighter. Obviously, I've chosen a manual since a car like this cannot be properly enjoyed with an automatic in my opinion.
This particular example is a 2011 model with just under 43,000 miles on the clock. Finished in gray, it's loaded with basically every option Nissan offered for it. It's also got a full service history and even a 6-month warranty. It's currently listed for just over £13,000, making it one of the best affordable sportscars on the market.
Visually, the 370Z has a classic sportscar silhouette from the side. It's got an elongated bonnet at the front, and a traditional sloping roofline at the back. The cabin is located in the middle, giving off the illusion that the car is longer than it actually is.
The 370Z is remarkably similar, at least appearance-wise, to its predecessor, the 350Z. It's an evolutionary design rather than something entirely new. The 350Z was a mid-2000s icon and one of Nissan’s most popular cars. It was certainly their most popular Z car.
The front fascia of the 370Z is a lightly facelifted 350Z, with slightly sharper headlights and a larger air opening in the bumper. The 370Z also uses different wheels to the 350Z, which are slightly larger and have a more intricate design. The back end has been lightly redesigned too, but despite the different taillights it still retains the dual exhaust setup.
What I love about the 370Z is that it's instantly recognizable as a Z car. Nissan haven't tried to reinvent the wheel, instead they just took a formula that works and further improved it.
Inside, the 370Z is very much just an upgrade over the 350Z. The build quality is good but not excellent, and although most of the materials seem decent, some of the plastics feel cheap. A Porsche Boxster feels much more premium and expensive inside, but then again, a Boxster is significantly more expensive than a Nissan 370Z.
The 370Z is obviously a two-seater, but the cabin does feel spacious and airy. You've got plenty of headroom and legroom, and you can even use the little shelf behind the seats as a storage compartment. Speaking of the seats I should mention that they feel comfortable and plush, and the leather they're made out of feels excellent.
You do sit a tad too high, especially compared to a Boxster, but it's still a great place to be in. The steering wheel doesn't feel too thick or chunky, and the gear knob is in in the right position. The pedals feel perfectly spaced out too, making heel and toe quite easy. All in all the 370Z has a great cabin space.
Engine and Performance
The Nissan 370Z uses a 3.7-litre naturally-aspirated V6 engine, producing 326 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. It sends its power to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual, as is the case with this example, or an old-school 7-speed automatic. The manual can hit 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds, and it has a quarter mile time of 13.3 seconds. Cars equipped with the sports package also came with a rev match system, which meant that the car could automatically blip the throttle on downshifts.
The 370Z is quite heavy for a sports car, weighing in at nearly 1.5 tons. In all honesty, it drives more like a GT car rather than an outright sports car. The steering feels accurate and precise when driving spiritedly, but push the car to its limits and you'll suddenly find that it feels twitchy and porky. The 370Z is best when it's driven at 7/10 rather than flat out.
The 370Z never feels like a small or light car on the road in the same way that a Porsche Boxster would. It's more suitable for long and relaxing drives, covering ground at rapid speeds in great comfort. The chassis feels neutral, but being rear-wheel-drive, you can obviously get it to over steer if you really want it to. The engine makes an okay noise, but it's obviously nothing like as sonorous as a Boxster’s flat-six.
Model: Nissan 370Z
Trim: GT Manual
Why buy one?
The Nissan 370Z is an amazing sports car as long as you have realistic expectations of what it is. It's not a nimble, lightweight sports car like a Boxster, but more of a GT car that's perfect for relaxed cruising and the occasional spirited drive. The 370Z gets decent MPG and it's extremely reliable, keeping maintenance costs down. If you want a great basis for a track car, the aftermarket segment for the 370 Z is massive. Find the right one for you by checking out the used Nissan 370Z cars for sale on DesperateSeller.co.uk right now.
DesperateSeller.co.uk rating: 8 out of 10