Nissan, Road Test Reviews, Vehicles

2010 Nissan 370Z Coupe – 40th Anniversary Edition – Road Test

Last time out we drove the 370Z Roadster. This week I’ve got the Coupe – the 40th Anniversary Edition no less!  So is it much different? To be honest – it’s the same but different. The two are so close that this is more of a “Point-Out-The-Differences” type of a review. Where the two cars differ though, they are significant – so read on…..

As the Z has gone through its various upgrades and changes, it got bigger and heavier, but the 2010 version is actually shorter and lighter than last year’s model. They look almost identical, but the new one saves weight by using aluminum instead of steel for the hood, roof and doors.

First Impressions
Climbing behind the wheel of the Coupe – it’s just like the Roadster, except instead of the cloth seats you get leather. Surprisingly they don’t have the wonderful cooling feature from the soft-top version, but they are heated and are otherwise identical when it comes to comfort and adjustments.

While I love driving manual vehicles, I would have loved to have had the opportunity to try the 7-speed automatic to see what it could do.  Oh well, another week with a wonderful 6-speed manual – my life is so tough. Firing up the engine and heading off into traffic it becomes apparent that the Coupe is not as well insulated as the Roadster! That’s quite surprising, but it just goes to show what a fantastic job Nissan did with the cloth top. Although the outside noises intrude, they aren’t overly annoying – just very noticeable after having spent the past week in the virtual silence of the Roadster., Iain Shankland

Entering the motorway in the Coupe is just as exhilarating as in the Roadster, but another key difference is that the

shifts are much smoother and engage quicker. Odd considering they are both identical, but the Coupe already seems to be a lot more fun to drive – this makes a huge difference. The razor-sharp power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering is vehicle-speed-sensitive and thanks to a solenoid valve that acts like a damper when there is a harsh impact, unwanted steering kickback and vibrations are reduced. Is it possible to love something even more than you loved it before?

Riding on a wheelbase identical to that of the Roadster (2550mm (100.4″) with a weight distribution of 54/46 (f/r)), oddly enough, the Coupe just feels better – it’s hard to describe. The chassis and suspension demands that you to just stomp on the gas pedal and blast through corners and bends with no fear of the consequences.

Although there are a number of differences between the Coupe and the Roadster – one thing they unfortunately shared was a humongous blind-spot. You basically only have a view out of the passenger-side window – everything else on that side of the car disappears in the B/C pillar.  That requires you to check and then double-check your mirrors before changing lanes. Reversing is just a matter of hit and miss – hoping you miss whatever might be there – including the entire U.S. President’s motorcade – yes, the blind spot is that big!

The 370Z Roadster comes with the following standard features: Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Auxiliary audio input jack; Heated and cooled leather seats, Driver 8-way (4 power, 4 manual), passenger 4-way power

Bi-functional Xenon HID Headlights and LED taillights, Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD), Nissan Intelligent Key, HomeLink Universal Transceiver, 40th Anniversary Car Cover.

More standard features include: 19″ Rays Super-lightweight alloy wheels with Bridgestone Potenza RE050A P245/40R19 front/P275/35R19 tires; Nissan Sport brakes (with large diameter 14″ front and 13.8″ rear rotors (versus 12.6″ front/rear standard rotors) with 4-piston front /2-piston rear aluminum calipers). The Coupe is blessed with the nicer looking bright red calipers and the body-coloured matching rims really set it apart.

Last week the Roadster had two Option Packages – Sport Package & Nissan Navigation System – but the 40th Anniversary Edition Coupe has them as standard equipment.

If you didn’t read my review on the 370Z Roadster, here are the details on the two option packages: The “SynchroRev Match”, which allows drivers of any skill level to experience professional-like gear shift performance. The SynchroRev Match automatically controls and adjusts engine speed when shifting to the exact speed of the next gear position – essentially “blipping” the throttle to smooth out any up/down shifts – you just depress the clutch and shift. It improves vehicle balance and smoothness by reducing the typical “shock” when the clutch is engaged., Iain Shankland

The Hard Drive Navigation System includes a wonderful sounding Bose AM/FM/XM/single-disc CD/MP3/WMA player with 6 speakers plus 2 subwoofers, a 7-inch LCD full-colour touch screen monitor, XM NavTraffic with Real-Time Traffic Information, on-board Zagat restaurant ratings database, 9.3 GB Music Box Hard Drive and USB plug, iPod interface, Auxiliary Audio/Video input jacks, and the 6-disc CD changer is tossed out and a single-disc unit installed. Using Bluetooth® audio streaming, it can be used as a wireless music player. Additionally, you get a 9.3GB Music Box Hard Drive and a USB input plug. Adding songs to the hard drive was painful – it will only rip songs – at a lame-ass 132kb, from an actually purchased CD. Contrary to the owner’s manual, the player doesn’t play CD-RW or DVD discs. We’re all downloading and paying for songs via the internet now – who buys actual CD’s now? If you transfer your songs onto jump drives or even burn them to CD -you can’t load them onto this cars hard drive. The only way to play songs would be to connect an mp3 player/iPod and worry about the electricity spikes as I start/stop the vehicle – read the owner’s manual.. you should always unplug the device before starting or stopping the vehicle or you’ll fry the mp3 player/iPod/USB. It plays CD’s that you’ve created, but does not show the track names/titles and it won’t rip them.

The trunk is completely unacceptable for a sports car – even one that looks this good. Last week we got an entire week’s worth of groceries into the trunk – it was a tight fit – but we did it. The week we had the Coupe, we only had a small amount of groceries to pick up – just two bags and four 6-packs of 700ml Coke’s. We could barely get the rear hatch closed!! After a lot of shifting stuff around, my wife finally made enough space for me to shut the hatch, but it was close to being left open for our trip home. We found this very surprising since we’d done a Roadster/Coupe comparison with Audi TT and we found the Coupe version to be far more accommodating., Iain Shankland

Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA); 4-wheel, 4-channel ABS; Driver and front passenger side-impact and door-mounted curtain side-impact airbags, seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, Active Head Restraints, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Nissan Vehicle Immobilizer System, Vehicle Security System, High-Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-functional xenon headlights with auto on/off feature.

The Conclusion
Just like last week – WOW is the word! To be honest, as much as I loved the Roadster – I love the Coupe even more. I think it’s a lot better looking, and by the number of gaping mouths we saw over the course of a week – the general population seems to agree. I’m not a huge fan of a charcoal-colored car, but the Z looks stunning in it – especially with the matching rims. It looks a bit like the Batmobile from some angles.

Gorgeous from all angles
Awesome power
Comfy seats that keep you well planted
A suspension that insists you push it farther and farther to its limit

Useless 9.3 GB Hard Drive
No rear back-up camera – it needs one because of the huge C pillar
Seats aren’t cooled – just heated
You’ll have to eat in restaurants all the time – don’t go shopping with this car!

Immediate Competition:
Audi TT, Chevy Corvette, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Infiniti G37, Mazda RX-8, Porsche Cayman

By The Numbers…
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Powertrain:        3.7L 24-Valve DOHC V-6 Engine; 6-speed manual transmission; RWD;
Horsepower:        332 @ 7,000 rpm
Torque:            270 @ 5,200 rpm
0-100 kph:         5.8 seconds
Curb Weight:       1,586 kg (3,497 lbs)
Cargo Capacity:    195 litres (6.9 cu.ft)
Towing capacity:   N/A

Fuel Consumption: (Premium / 91 Octane)
City: 11.6 L/100 kms  //  Highway: 7.7 L/100 kms
I averaged 11.0 L/100 kms during aggressive combined driving.

Pricing for the 2010 Nissan 370Z Coupe – 40th Anniversary Edition ($ Cdn)
Base Price / As Tested: $48,498
Destination & Delivery: $1,550

The warranty is a basic 3 years/60,000 kms and a 5 year/100,000 kms Powertrain warranty., Iain Shankland

Copyright © 2011 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text / Images: Iain Shankland

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