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  • 2017 Nissan 370Z Coupe

    Posted on October 5th, 2017 ninarussin

    Iconic sports car for driving enthusiasts

    By Nina Russin

    2017 Nissan 370Z Coupe

    2017 Nissan 370Z Coupe

    With roots dating back to the 1970 240Z, Nissan’s Z series is one of the most enduring nameplates on the American highway. As with its predecessors, the current 370Z sport coupe is not a car for everyone, nor was it ever intended to be. The clutch is stiff, and because the driver sits deep inside the car’s frame, access and egress isn’t particularly easy. But for those whose love of driving eclipses such practical considerations, it is pure heaven.

    The 2017 model is essentially carry-over from prior years, powered by a 332-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6 engine and six-speed manual transmission. Base price is $29,990: a bargain for a car you can take names with at the track. The test car adds one option- carpeted floor mats. Final MSRP including the $835 destination charge is $30,955.

    Test drive in Phoenix

    2017 Nissan 370Z Coupe

    2017 Nissan 370Z Coupe

    Step inside the base model, and you’ll find a conspicuous lack of infotainment features. There is no center stack screen, no rearview camera, no heads-up display and no TFT information screen in the gauge cluster. Instead the driver will find a tachometer, speedometer and gauges at the top of the center stack showing oil temperature, voltmeter and clock: in keeping with the Z’s performance mission.

    Heavily bolstered seats are designed to hold the driver and passenger in place in the corners. Manual seat adjustments should work for most, although shorter drivers might have difficulty getting a high enough position for a clear view out front. A three-spoke steering wheel has large thumb grips and palm areas to prevent fatigue during longer drives.

    A short throw shift lever makes it easy to snap between the six forward close ratio gears. An internal lockout prevents the driver from accidentally shifting into reverse when the car is moving forward.

    2017 Nissan 370Z Coupe

    2017 Nissan 370Z Coupe

    The clutch is engineered more for the track than highly-trafficked roads. It’s stiff, especially getting out of first gear. That can take some getting used to in stop-and-go traffic. There is no blind spot monitoring feature, but over-the-shoulder visibility is pretty-good due to the coupe’s lack of B-pillars. Thick rear pillars create some rather large blind spots to the back, so drivers need to be careful backing out of parking slots.

    A speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering system delivers more assist at slower speeds with a heavier feel on the highway. On-center response is spot on.

    A four-wheel independent suspension system consists of a compact double wishbone setup in the front and multi-link in the rear. Beefy front and rear stabilizer bars keep the chassis flat in the corners. Ventilated disc brakes stop the 18-inch rims with R-rated tires in firm, linear fashion.

    2017 Nissan 370Z Coupe

    2017 Nissan 370Z Coupe

    Drivers who don’t have access to the track should make a point of finding some sparsely traveled two-lane roads to enjoy on the weekends. Twisty turns and pitchy hills are the 370Z’s meat-and-potatoes. With its low center of gravity, the high-revving Z stays glued to the road. Front-to-rear weight balance is 55/45: close to perfect. In other words, the Z will go as fast as its owner’s beating heart will let it, and remain in complete control.

    Driver-focused interior

    As two-seaters go, the 370Z’s interior works pretty-well in the 9-5 world. In-back-of the front seats is a storage area capable of stashing some moderate size pieces of luggage or the weekly groceries.

    While it would be possible to put a hitch-mounted rack on the back of the car, doing so would ruin its aerodynamics. Those who need to carry large cargo for weekends off the grid should consider one of Nissan’s crossovers and leave the Z as it is: a pure sports car.

    Standard safety

    The Nissan 370Z comes with Xenon headlamps, six airbags, active front head restraints, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control and tire pressure monitoring.

    The 370Z is on display at Nissan dealerships nationwide.

    Like: An affordable sports car with an abundance of power, excellent steering response and handling.

    Dislike: Stiff clutch spring makes the car more difficult to drive in stop-and-go traffic.

    Quick facts:

    Make: Nissan
    Model: 370Z
    Year: 2017
    Base price: $29,990
    As tested: $30,955
    Horsepower: 332 HP @ 7000 rpm
    Torque: 270 lbs.-ft. @ 5200 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: 5.2 seconds
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: N/A
    Bicycle friendly: No
    Off-road: No
    Towing: No
    Fuel economy: 18/26 mpg city/highway
    Comment: The manufacturer requires the use of 91 octane premium unleaded gasoline.

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