Hits the Spot, But I Want the Roadster - 2009 Nissan 370Z Long-Term Road Test

2009 Nissan 370Z Long-Term Road Test

2009 Nissan 370Z: Hits the Spot, But I Want the Roadster

January 04, 2010

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Our long-term Nissan 370Z was just what I needed over the long holiday weekend: fun. And it has four times the range of our Mini E. Literally. I got 360 miles on a tank.

If you have the time, energy and enthusiasm to appreciate the Z coupe, this is a neat car. Every drive is exciting in the 370Z. The steering is quick. The suspension is stiff. The car's responses to input feel immediate. And when the six-speed gearbox is in proper working order, it's fun to shift. I like the almost leaden weighting of the shifter through the gates, along with the precise clutch takeup. And honestly, the 3.7-liter V6 is fine, too, even with its strained character at high rpm. It has a lusty sound at startup and at low rpm. And I can't think of another V6 in this price range that matches its torque response.

But for myself I'd take the 370Z roadster. And I mean it. I'd like to own a Z roadster. Because (1) the handling is 98 percent as sharp; and (2) the ride is quieter because there's a full bulkhead. Yes, this a backdoor slam on hatchbacks, because, well, with that open cargo area, they can be noisy.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 18,002 miles

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