This tiny two-seater sports coupe, which replaces the 350Z in Nissan's lineup, features the same 3.7-liter V6 engine as its costlier cousin, the Infiniti G37, at a much more reasonable price. Starting at under $30,000, the new Nissan Z delivers luxury car looks and sports car performance while still managing to keep the burden of bill paying to a minimum.
However, that isn't to say that there aren't sacrifices to be made should you desire a 370Z in your driveway. While this compact coupe, with its stubby rear and dramatic lines, is incredibly cute, its two-seat cockpit configuration doesn't make it the most practical of vehicles. Also, several creature comforts that we would expect to find standard on, say, an Infiniti are noticeably absent. The radio and interior electronics are fairly simple, and — sorry cell phone addicts — Bluetooth is not an available option on the base 370Z Sport model that we drove.
Although the Z's interior is somewhat lacking in terms of advanced technology, its high performance ethos is bolstered by several high-tech innovations unique to Nissan's sports coupe. Among the most exciting (and the most appreciated) is the SynchroRev Match manual transmission that is available as part of the optional Sport Package. This intelligent function allows drivers to experience professional-grade gear shift performance by automatically increasing target engine speed before the clutch is engaged when downshifting to create smooth, seamless transitions between gears.
While the 370Z is definitely not a daily driver, it is, nonetheless, the perfect companion for a weekend romp through winding country roads. The surprisingly decent cargo room in back means that an overnight trip for two is doable, although you may want to mention to your passenger beforehand that the Z's ample acceleration and SynchroRev Match transmission may cause you to unwittingly travel at unsafe speeds. However, with a car this fun — and this fast — who can blame you for feeling a little lead-footed at times?
a review of the 2011 Nissan 370Z Roadster Touring