Old-School Fun!

We were intrigued by the looks of this particular Nissan 370Z when we saw it at Monticello Motor Club, so we decided to learn more about it and take it for a quick drive around Monticello, NY.

Nissan is celebrating 50 years of making “Z” cars so they added a $2,600 50th anniversary option package to the 370Z for 2020. This is basically an appearance package that includes a two-tone exterior, side decals, unique wheel color, 50th anniversary labeling and decals, ancantara wrapped steering wheel and 4-way leather appointed power seats with unique stitch.

After a very short time with it though, we learned that people either get it or they don’t. We’ve always been a fan of “Z” cars, and like their quirky styling. But there are definitely some lovers and some haters for this car.

The interior of the 370z is attractive, although dated, and has barely changed since 2009. The good things are the gauges are simple, straight forward and easy to read. There’s no modern infotainment system. Instead, there’s a Bose audio system with 8 speakers, Bluetooth hands-free phone and USB connectivity. At 6’1” tall, I was not able to adjust the driving position as well as I would have liked since the steering wheel tilts, but does not telescope. The steering wheel is too far away when I slide the seat back to the proper position for my legs. I did find the seats comfortable though.

On the road, the 370Z drives like a brand new 10 years old car. The acceleration feels slower than its 332 hp rating. Acceleration feels linear, but shifts are slow and can’t be rushed from one gear to the next. Handling is acceptable for a sports car, but doesn’t feel very sharp or as responsive as most of its competitors. Our car was equipped with the independent aluminum double wishbone front, multi-link rear, sport tuned suspension. It communicates its limits to the driver pretty well. The ride is relatively soft and comfortably for a sports car. Noise levels are on the higher side as there doesn’t seem to be much insulation from road noise. The engine doesn’t sound bad, but it doesn’t sing a beautiful tone either. The bright side of the 370Z is its old-school mechanical driving feel as opposed to many newer cars where electronics numb the driving feel or completely take over if you push it too hard.

The fact that this car has not evolved much over time has taken its toll on the appeal of the 370Z, but ironically, it’s also what helps it retain its undeniable charm and why we really like it. In a world where cars are becoming an appliance and controlled by electronics that numb the driving feel, and have frustrating infotainment systems, the 370 Z Sport M/T 50th Anniversary retains that old-school pure mechanical driving feel that cars had a decade ago. Like many classics, it might take 10 or 15 years after Nissan stops producing the 370Z for the haters to really appreciate this car though.

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Specifications:
MSRP: $33,830
Price as teste: $37,605
Engine: 3.7L DOHC 24-Valve V6
HP:332
Torque: 270 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-Speed Manual with SynchroRev Match
Drive: Rear Wheel
Fuel Economy: 17/26/20 (City/Highway/Combined)