I purchased the 2010 Nissan 370Z on Memorial Day. Oh what a joy and the memories will never be forgotten! I test drove the out going 350Z back in 2005, but found the interior to be too cramped and claustrophobic for my 6 foot frame. I ended up buying a 2005 Nissan 3.5 Altima SE that sported 250hp, but that didn't quite satisfy my lust for a Z. Fast forward to 2009: The advertisements for the Nissan 370Z kept me glued to the screen. I would drool over the beautiful redesign of the car, during visits to the dealership, and finally test drove one in 2010. My worries about the interior space of the new car were gone. Some how Nissan engineers were able to defy physics and increase interior room while shortening the length and widening the wheelbase of the Z. Simply...amazing. Along with interior room, the dials, controls, shifter, seats were all upgraded and feel so much more refined. Everything flows and looks upscale compared to the out going 350Z. The driver's seat will make you think you're getting behind the stick of a fighter jet...just with luxurious appointments.
I test drove the 370Z in different configurations and colors. I drove the 7 speed automatic with and without the Navigation package. I also test drove the six speed manual with and without the Navigation package in red,white, and silver colors. All models driven were with the Rays 19 inch wheel sport package. I didn’t test drive the standard model with 18 inch wheels.
I ended up purchasing a Silver 2010 370Z six speed manual with Navigation and sport package. I chose the manual, because it is a sports car. The 7 speed automatic's shifter was just a little distracting in the car's cockpit. It didn't look like it flowed with the rest of the interior of the car.
Don't be disheartened if you decide on the auto. The auto transmission sports features that the manual doesn't. The 7 speed automatic comes with paddle shifters which are mounted to the steering column. It allows you to shift gears just like the Formula One drivers. That is a feature that I wished was on the six speed manual. You also have the choice of manually shifting gears on the automatic by bumping/shifting the lever up and down through the gear ranges. Now I've heard from some users that they were able to get better 0-60mph speeds on the automatic. I simply chose the manual because I didn't like the look of the shifter in the automatic. I will say that in heavily congested areas that auto might be the better choice.
The six speed manual transmission has an amazing feature called "Synchro Rev Match". There's a button that you depress for half a second to engage the feature on the manual transmission. The car will “sense” what gear your going to and bump or rev the rpms to the correct range based on the speed of the car engine. You'll really notice it during downshifts. It makes for smooth transitions between gear shifts and faster acceleration. It only works on gears 2nd through 6th. Funny story: I was driving my car in the neighborhood and down shifted from 3rd to 2nd gear. The Rev Match feature bumped the RPM up and made the car's engine growl. It was funny because there was an attractive woman walking by while all of this was happening. Needless to say it got a lot of attention. lol! It was simply unintended. You can turn the Rev Match feature on or off.
It was a close call between getting silver or a Pearl white color for the car. Those colors in my opinion didn't show dirt/dust as much as the darker colors such as red, blue, and black. Plus... It's so nice to walk out of a store after a brief rain shower and not see those little dust droplet spots after a rain. Silver really showed the beautiful lines of the redesigned car. Some of the darker colors washed out the details. White made the car look...different. Different in a good way. So my choice was narrowed to Silver and White. Silver won.
This is my daily commuter; all around fun; in and out of town car. I've driven on twisty roads, congested and open interstate roads that were in various states of repair. One thing you will notice about the 370Z is that it is a true sports car. It has a sports car ride. The ride is very firm and transfers the feel of the road to your soul. You'll always know what the car is doing during the drive. Which is good considering that you are driving a sports car. So if you're used to a luxury, pampering your soul kind of ride then you'll have to expect something different. This is different in a good way. There is some road noise that comes from the sport tires. Make sure your wheels are properly inflated. Over inflated tires just increase the noise.
The handling of the 370Z is amazing. Entrance and exit ramps off of the highway are a breeze. The car sticks and sticks, and sticks to the road. The car almost reads your minds. Steering is sharp and immediate. The speed sensitive power steering gives you power to turn at low speeds while allowing you to feel the grip and responsiveness at higher speeds. You won't have to compensate for body lean in the curves. The Z sticks and rides like it's on rails. Your only consideration...is just how far you'll push the grippy Potenza (summer) tires. Be careful driving over large speed bumps (the ones that shouldn’t be on roads...) and the angle of some driveway ramps. The car sits low and the front spoiler sits even lower.
You will get a lot of looks while driving the 370Z. I didn't realize just how much attention I would get by driving around town in this car. I've had people pull up beside me on the highway just to give me thumbs up. It is almost a daily occurrence. I even had a guy driving a Maserati give me thumbs up. Sitting at a traffic light is quite funny. Heads turn to admire the Z. A woman riding on the back of a Harley motorcycle kept looking back at my car while sitting at the red light. My coworkers have been secretly checking out my ride and my neighbor's children want to take a spin in the real thing after playing Grand Turisimo on PS3. Getting gas at a busy station is quite the adventure too. This is certainly not the car for you if you're shy. All eyes will be on you...including the cops. Lol!
Another option purchased with the Sports Package was the Navigation system. I'm a techie so this was something that I felt was necessary. After all... this is my commuter car. The Navigation system is touch screen, uses XM's satellite/radio/traffic/weather service, plays DVD movies, connects with Blue Tooth devices, has USB port for music and video media; and connects almost perfectly with my iPhone (also other Blue Tooth phones). In short...amazing. It is a techie's dream and allows you to access functions without scrolling through endless menus. It's interface is straightforward and simple. There are even audio, video jacks. I think it’s intended for game systems, but some of the systems that I would play aren’t recommended for the 12volt power connectors. Hmm?
A cool feature of the Navigation package is that you can find addresses, dial numbers etc. by using voice commands. Just press the speak button and the system will prompt you for a command. Speak the command and it will process and request you to confirm before performing the intended function. I've looked up addresses, dialed telephone numbers all by using voice. I'm amazed. Only gripe that I have is that the top down view on the Navigation system is a little too detailed and in my Epinion not friendly for driving. You'll have to choose the 3D view option for a clutter free view of the map. You won't have to glance at the map once you're used to the navigation system. The voice prompts are timely and pronounce the street names accurately. ZAGAT rated restaurants are listed with ratings and telephone numbers. Choose a category such as ATM, Hospital, Bank, Shopping etc. and nearby locations are listed.
The Navigation system also remembers the last route that you drove. So if you want to reverse course on a scenic drive, just pull up the menu and the Navigation system will route you back. Every drive is memorized. You can drop a virtual marker by a place so that you can have the Navigation system guide you there later.
A fun feature of the Nav system is that there are preprogrammed sounds that you can have played when you reach a destination such as your home. You can have a dog bark, church bells, sound of the ocean, etc, or even program a voice recorded sound to play upon your arrival. I had to dig through a menu to find that little Easter Egg, but wanted to share that feature for those who have the car or thinking about getting the car.
The 370Z sports a 3.7 liter, 332 hp, 270 lb torque V6 engine. It is a blast to drive and delivers. It is a tad noisy, but it moves. The exhaust note could be a little more aggressive, but it's nice and not intrusive. You'll really hear it during cold starts and hard acceleration on the highway. Nissan really hit the mark with their VQ engine series. Reliable, powerful and fuel efficient. I've averaged 21 mpg in city traffic while using the 6 speed manual. Very good for a sports cars. My Altima averaged 26 mpg city.
There are numerous safety features on the Z. Front, side and curtain airbags are standard. Traction control and electronic stability control (VDC Vehicle Dynamic Control) are features on my Z. A push of a button deactivates the traction control. Warning indicator for open doors, low fuel, engine oil, washer fluid etc. appear when issues arise. The seat are very comfortable and comparable to Nissan’s Altima. I have the power, leather heated seat option. Although... I don’t think I’ll drive it too much during the winter. The sports package offers bigger, badder, brakes. Sometimes just barely a tap and you’ll feel Nissan’s new brake system grab and hold. They feel solid.
One safety feature that is sorely missing is a back up camera. This car definitely needs it. The 370Z has very bad blind spots. The rear window is short which restricts rearward visibility and the side rear windows are purely for cometic looks. The head rest in the car cover those short side windows and even if they didn’t the window would be too small to view traffic. I mention this because you will have to adapt quickly to this. It’s very apparent in multiple lane heavy traffic. No matter how you adjust your mirrors there is a wide blind spot that exists on the extreme right and left side of the car. I almost have to look out of the side of the passenger window (thinking WWII fighter pilot style) to check my six. lol. A solution would be elongated mirrors for those blind spots. A back up camera for Navigation package should be optional for the rear.
This car is a cumulation current technology combined with proven race designs. The doors, hood and hatch back of the car are made of aluminum to save weight. Porsche also saved weight on their 928 model by using aluminum for the doors, hood, and hatchback. The 370Z is a Super car for the average Joe/Jane. It's truly a sports car that competes and wins on all levels, especially when you compare features and performance with cars such as the BMW Z4.
This car is designed for the track and suitable for everyday driving. The 370Z is my everyday car. It’s a lot of fun and brings a smile to my face at the beginning and end of my work day. It’s definitely a performer and a serious sports car.
Update!: 13000 miles later and the car performs even better after it's break in period. Vehicle Dynamic Control is a life/car saver. I made a turn and gave the Z too much gas. I broke traction because of tire shine over spray on the wheel surface and cause my Z to fishtail. The VDC automatically reduced power long enough for me to correct the intended path. It also senses the direction you are trying to steer the car and applies brakes to individual wheels to help keep you on your intended path. Simply amazing.