Nissan doesn’t even know if it’s going to make another one, but does that mean that we should ignore the latest Nissan Z? It’s no secret that many car buyers have moved on from fun sports cars to more practical SUVs. Just look at every automaker’s lineups, they are filled with SUVs, while the enthusiast is left high and dry. We have to give credit to Nissan for keeping the Z alive, but it’s been seven years since the current Z was introduced. Is it still relevant? Sadly Yes and No.
The 370Z stays true to its roots
As the Nissan Z gets ready for its 50th birthday, it’s remained true to the original with a six-cylinder engine under the elongated hood, room for two passengers and a body that’s tightly wrapped around the wheels. The 2018 Nissan 370Z is powered by a naturally-aspirated 3.7L V6 that generates 332 horsepower and 270 lb-ft. of torque. In standard spec, the engine is a bit retro without direct injection or a turbocharger. If you want a bit more power, the 370Z Nismo Coupe’s 3.7L V6 generates 350 horsepower and 276 lb-ft. of torque. Sadly the Nismo version is only available as a coupe.
From a stop the 3.7L V6 generates linear acceleration, but its peak power doesn’t kick in until high in the rev range with peak torque coming online at 5,200 rpm and the last bit of horsepower at 7,000 rpm. That means in regular day to day driving, the 370Z can feel like it’s taking a nap below 2,000 rpm. The 3.7L V6 is mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission. Thankfully, the Z has not received a CVT like the rest of the Nissan lineup.
Under the hood the Nissan Z appeals to the purist without the latest trickery. Push it hard and your greeted with a nice growl and a rush of power over 2,500 rpm. Although the Z won’t be able to compete with the latest American metal, once you start to look at rivals, like the Camaro and Mustang, but can it hold its once the road gets a bit twisty? The 370Z’s suspension manages to keep body roll under control and continues the purist approach with its lack of technology. Throw it quick into a curve and the 370Z can be a bit playful. The only negative is that it’s steering is a bit too light.
Dated interior isn’t what you’d expect in this price range
The current Nissan Z arrived as a 2009 model, which is most evident once you’re inside. The interior feels dated with an archaic infotainment system that’s missing essential features, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The interior is also missing the latest safety tech, like a blind spot monitor or adaptive cruise control. While those technology features may seem pointless in a car that’s designed for enthusiasts, it only becomes annoying when the enthusiast’s car becomes a daily driver.
At the end of the day the Nissan 370Z takes its own road, similar to the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The 370Z is designed for the purist that doesn’t need the latest technology. Its interior layout is simple without the frills that you’ll get in a Mustang or Camaro, while on the road it also strives to have more of a personality than its German rivals.
The biggest issue facing the Nissan Z is that most buyers have ditched the segment and with a price tag starting at $29,990 for the coupe and $41,820 for the roadster, the latest Z is out of reach of most buyers. It would be great if Nissan figured out a way turn the Nissan Z into a more attainable, true purist sports car along the lines of the Toyota 86 and Mazda Miata MX-5, but as of right now Nissan doesn’t seem to interested in even talking about a new Z. So what does that mean for you now? The current Nissan Z may be the last one, so enjoy it while it lasts!