Living with a sports-car: Nissan 370Z – the early days

A daily driver, for a family man?

In part it’s the nearing mid-life crisis, in part its my childhood love for the Nissan sports cars but the idea of living with a 370Z was not just appealing, it felt right.

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Early in January, having returned from CES in Las Vegas, I picked up a Nissan 370Z with just 2115 kms on the clock.

It’s an Auto, Model Year 17 in Metallic Grey.  With the premium paint the price of this beast would hit $60,425.

From the start, let’s be clear, this is a two-seater, there’s no room in here for the kids – just the front passenger seat.  While that could be a deal breaker if you’re looking at a 370Z as your second car what could go wrong? 🙂

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The 370Z is a sports car, in looks, in specifications and in handling.

Those swooping curves, the wide hips at the rear and under the bonnet a 6 Cylinder 3.7litre engine.

For the last few weeks I’ve found myself admiring the wheels over and over again – these 19″ alloys are a beautiful design and set the whole car off perfectly.

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Inside things are comfortable, if not a touch cramped.  Mainly to get into and out of – but that’s the fat old bloke talking here.  Steering column is adjustable by height but can’t be pushed in or out and it’s nifty – the entire instrument cluster moves with the wheel.

In the centre the infotainment system is typical Nissan, and I’m sorry to say that’s getting long in the tooth and it’s desperately in need of an overhaul.  While Satellite navigation is included, I’d prefer smartphone link like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay any day.

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Reversing camera protects the rear end and those hips, and is great quality and includes a predictive path as you turn.

Once you’re settled behind the wheel there’s hardly a missed step.  Throttle response is great, steering is direct and given your low seating position there’s a go-kart like feel to it.

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You won’t appreciate the car until you’ve taken it onto some country roads or through some twisty bits at the very least.  The grip and feeling on the turns is just what you’d want from a car like this.

Day to day it’s an easy drive.   Averaging somewhere around 12l/100km on fuel so not amazing, but hey, it’s a 6 Cylinder sports car.

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After almost 1,000k’s and several weeks, I do have a few initial observations which may not be present on a short test.

The front end is quite low, and there is the odd scrape on the driveway – fortunately this is entirely the plastic buffer strip and not any actual body work.

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Bluetooth connectivity was simple, and is fast to connect, though I think I need to get it looked at because the quality of the calls is so poor I’m resorting to my phone’s speaker for most calls.

On the performance front, Nissan calls and highlights the transmission as being “SynchroRev Match”.  I do think it’s a transmission that when in manual mode requires a lot more finesse than most other sports cars I’ve driven.

If you’re downshifting into a corner I feel like it over-revs if you hit the gear too early.  It makes me think I’ve made a mistake (which I well may have done), but I’d prefer a great “blip” than a manual like downshift – it’s complex, and I’ll spend some more time trying to explain that in the weeks ahead.

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Right now, I’m faced with the initial question – for $60k, would you buy a Mustang, a 370Z or a Toyota 86 (and get a stack of change).  Those are the first real sports cars I can think of that would be desirable.

I love the look of the 370Z and I would have said the Mustang but their recent crash test result make me think otherwise for a daily driver.  Though there is no doubt the Mustang turns heads, the 370Z gets the attention of purists, those that know the heritage and history here.

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And it’s the closest modern thing to the lustful 300ZX I pined for as a teenager.

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Tech

Trevor produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He has a weekly radio show on 2UE, as well as appearances across the country and regularly provides Technology Commentary to Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
One Comment
  • Andrew Jones
    14 March 2017 at 11:31 am
    Leave a Reply

    Agghh yes the 300ZX and RX7 were many kids dream cars, me included.

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