By Nauman Farooq
The Nissan 370Z is a decade old now, first showing up in 2008 as a 2009 model. It carried on from the 350Z model, which came out in 2002.
Since the 2010 model year, Nissan has offered a higher-performance version of the 370Z, called the NISMO. Partly developed with Nissan’s Motorsports division, this model features enhanced styling and performance, but has Nissan been upping the game internally since the model made its debut about nine years ago? Let’s find out.
Styling: Since 2010, Nissan has been tweaking the styling of this model. 2013 saw the styling gets its first real update, but the update it received in 2015 still carries on to this day – if there are any minor changes, they are too small for me to notice. Regardless of the number of styling tweaks, the 2019 370Z NISMO is still a stunning car to behold, and despite its time on the market, manages to turn heads and get the ‘thumbs up’ from passer by’s. I think, it might just be the most striking new car you can buy for just under $50,000.
Interior: Step inside, and you’re greeted by these wonderful Recaro sport seats which hug you in all the right directions. These seats have manual adjustment, which also helps save some weight – just what you need in a sports car.
The rest of the interior is fairly similar to any other 370Z, and hasn’t changed in a decade – the infotainment system does look and feel very outdated, but it still functions well.
Cabin space is decent, but cabin functionality could improve – the steering wheel only tilts and does not telescope, there is only one cup holder and that too by your elbow, and the trunk is not nearly as deep as you might imagine by looking at the car. But, a sports car is about compromises, and I’d happily look past its shortcoming!
Powertrain: I’d ignore its shortcomings mainly for its engine. It has a naturally-aspirated 3.7L,V6 featuring double over head cams and variable valve timing. As a result, it produces 350 hp (that’s 18 hp more than any other 370Z model) and 276 lb-ft of torque. All that power is sent only to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox – no automatic transmission option available in Canada.
Worthy note, the 370Z was the first production car with a manual gearbox that featured electronic rev matching, “SynchroRev Match” as Nissan calls it, and it works great.
Launch this car correctly, and it’ll cover the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in just 5.2 seconds, and if you happen to be on Germany’s unrestricted autobahn, can top out at just over 270 km/h – that is seriously fast!
Driving Dynamics: The 370Z NISMO is an old school sports car that you can still buy new! What I mean by that, is that this vehicle is not as advanced as most modern sports cars – it doesn’t have adaptive dampers or adjustable ride height suspension, and no dual-clutch transmission – but its rawness is part of its appeal. You have to be very much engaged when driving the NISMO quickly, and road undulations and expansion joints do affect the car quite a bit – on uneven surfaces, it bounces around a lot.
So, it encourages you to pay attention and find a smoother route.
Through the corners, while not as nimble as something like a Mazda MX-5, the 370Z NISMO shows phenomenal cornering grip – its Dunlop SP Sport MAXX GT600 high performance tires (245/40 R19 front, 285/35 R19 rear) provide lots of grip. Couple that with the NISMO models revised suspension settings and added stiffness, helps this model to handle a lot better than any other 370Z I’ve ever driven – even the steering gives you better feedback.
In short, if you enjoy driving a car that is a fair bit analog, you’ll love the 370Z NISMO.
Fuel Economy: Most people don’t buy two-seater sports cars with economy in mind, but it helps if your play thing is also not very thirsty! I averaged 12.6 L/100 km in my test week, which is decent for a car like this. Just remember, the tuned motor of the NISMO only likes to drink premium fuel, so no cheapening out by filling it with regular fuel.
Pricing: While the base 370Z has a starting price just shy of $30,000, the 2019 370Z NISMO is yours from $48,498 – since there aren’t any options, only accessories, the price remains that, just choose your colour.
Verdict: The 370Z NISMO has been with us for quite a long time, but time has done little to diminish its appeal!
I love how it looks, it makes a decent growl, and performs very well. For the money, it is very hard to beat. Biggest complaint; I only got to spend one week with it, I’d happily spend a lot more time with this stunning “Z.”