Nissan 370Z: driven
* Sports car at a sensible price * Brutal power delivery * The hooligan grows up a bit...
Muscle-car thrills at a sensible price that's what buyers loved about the Nissan 350Z. So things look good for the latest Z-car, because it's now more ripped than ever.
As the name suggests, the new 370Z has a 3.7-litre V6 instead of the 350's old 3.5. It hikes power from 309bhp to 326bhp and pulling muscle from 264lb ft to 270lb ft. All that bodybuilding has removed some excess flab, too, because it's 32kg lighter than the 350.
Unsurprisingly, then, the new car is faster than the old, and let's face it, the 350's performance was pretty devastating to begin with. As before, the power delivery is at its most brutal when you're closing in on the 7500rpm redline, but the 370 is slightly keener to pull from lower down in the rev range, so it's easier to live with day to day. You'll want to keep the revs high, though, to hear the glorious noise it makes when you're giving it plenty.
It's a riot in other ways, too. Grip is strong and body control is tight, and while the steering could do with a shade more feel, it's quick to turn and feels meaty in your hands.
The ride feels more civilised to boot. Yes, it's still sports-car firm, but there's enough compliance in the suspension to keep things reasonably comfortable. Also, while you still hear plenty of road noise, it isn't as loud as before.
The 370Z's interior is also a step up. The old car's brash styling and garish colour scheme remain, but the materials are denser, plusher and more sophisticated.
The price you pay
So, how much more do you pay for this new improved Z? Well, the range starts at £26,895, which is just £200 more than the outgoing model. For that you get climate control, powered seats and Bluetooth. Another £3300 buys the GT, which gives you part-leather seats, CD changer, cruise control and Synchro Rev Control, a clever system that automatically blips the throttle to smooth out gearshifts. The GT Ultimate version costs a further £1700, and brings sat-nav.
You can add an automatic gearbox with paddleshifters for £1400, but while it works well, we reckon the 370Z is better as a manual.
A good evolution of the previous Z-car. Still a hooligan, but a little more grown-up
Nissan 370ZPrice: £26,895 to £31,895
On sale: Now
You'll like: Pace; noise; improved interior
You won't: Not very practical; sports car running costs