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  • 2018 Nissan 370Z Coupe Heritage Edition

    Posted on January 17th, 2018 ninarussin

    Affordable sports car stays true to its roots

    By Nina Russin

    2018 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition

    2018 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition

    The Z two-seat sports coupe is Nissan’s most iconic model, with roots dating back to the Fairlady and 240Z. The 2018 370Z sees some exterior styling refinements, a heritage edition (tested), and a new high-performance clutch on the six-speed manual gearbox.

    The Z has always been, and remains a niche car. But with pricing starting below $30,000, it’s possibly the best bargain on the market for buyers wanting a true, affordable sports car.

    Power for the test car comes from a 3.7-liter 332-horsepower V-6 engine and six-speed manual transmission. Standard convenience features include 18-inch alloy wheels, tilt steering column, keyless entry and start, automatic temperature control, bi-xenon headlamps, six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth interface, eight-way adjustable driver’s seat and tilt steering column.

    The heritage edition package adds $790 to the $29,900 base price. Final MSRP including carpeted floor mats and $885 destination is $31,795.

    Test drive in Southern Arizona

    2018 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition

    2018 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition

    This past week I drove the 370Z coupe on surface streets and highways throughout Phoenix, Arizona as well as rural roads through the Gila River Indian Community to the south. The Z is an extremely satisfying car to drive, not only because of its powerful engine but the engine’s front mid-ship location that creates an almost perfect front-to-rear weight balance.

    The new Exedy high-performance clutch takes a much lighter pedal effort than the unit it replaces, making the coupe a more willing partner in stop-and-go traffic.

    The engine reaches peak torque of 270 pound-feet at 5200 rpm, which might sound high, but don’t let the numbers fool you: the block is a high-compression and high-revving, and has no problems jumping off the line.

    2018 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition

    2018 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition

    Variable assist rack-and-pinion steering is standard across the line, providing plenty of low-end maneuverability with crisp, on-center response at speed. In an ocean-full of numb-feeling electric power assist steering cars, it’s a refreshing change.

    R-rated tires make some noise, especially on the highway, but that’s to be expected for a sports car. Members of the core audience will probably find that along with the coupe’s throaty exhaust belch music to their ears.

    The six-speed manual transmission shifts crisply, providing strong, linear acceleration throughout the power band. A rev-blipping feature enables drivers to maintain momentum through the corners.

    2018 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition

    2018 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition

    A four-wheel independent suspension consists of compact wishbone setup on the front axle and multilink in the rear. Aluminum components minimize unsprung weight for a nimble ride.

    Visibility around the perimeter is the 370Z’s one Achilles heel: specifically, the two extremely large blind spots created by the car’s rear pillars. Since there is no rearview camera, backing out of a parking spot with high profile vehicles to either side becomes an act of faith.

    Over-the-shoulder visibility is fine since the car has no B-pillar to block the view. I had no problems monitoring traffic on entrance ramps or vehicles to either side once on the highway.

    Driver-focused interior

    2018 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition

    2018 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition

    The current 370Z interior carries forward many features familiar to fans of the marque, particularly the three-pod cluster at the top of the center stack displaying oil temperature, voltmeter and time.

    The heritage package is really-attractive both on the exterior and inside the car. The two-tone leather wrapped steering wheel brought a smile to this writer’s eyes every time I entered the car.

    The driver’s seat is easy to adjust for height with ample lower lumbar support for longer drives. Keyless entry and start makes entering the car and firing the ignition easier after dark, adding a measure of safety in urban centers.

    The cargo area is surprisingly spacious for a vehicle of this type. Sometime back, engineers relocated a support strut that had formerly cut the cargo bay in two. Drivers can easily carry luggage, groceries and moderate-sized packages.

    Standard safety

    The Nissan 370Z comes with six airbags, active headrests, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control and tire pressure monitoring.

    The 2018 370Z is on display at Nissan dealerships nationwide.

    Like: An affordably priced sports car that car function as a daily driver while providing satisfying performance on weekends at the track.

    Dislike: Large blind spots in the rear corners.

    Quick facts:

    Make: Nissan
    Model: 370Z coupe
    Year: 2018
    Base price: $29,990
    As tested: $31,795
    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 premium, unleaded gasoline.

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