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Classic Sports Car: Nissan 370Z

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As my wife and I walk toward the parking lot after visiting a local restaurant, I notice a man hovering over my car, which happens to be the very attractive 2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO.

Seeing me approach, the man offers a quick smile, which eases my concern, then proceeds to invite me to the next gathering of Nissan 370Z car enthusiasts. I politely explain that while I love this sports car, I don't own the vehicle and wouldn't likely be interested in attending a meeting.

The conversation concludes with this engaging man offering a few thoughts on why he loves this brand so much. There's no argument here, I love Nissan 370Z as well.

The Nissan 370Z is the type of car you want to drive for no other reason than its fun. Commute to work, short errand to the store, or a day of simply cruising with no true destination in mind - it's all good in the Z. And with its large, 19-gallon tank and 18-26 mpg, one can seemingly drive all day with no pit stops for gas.

This is a classic two-seater with rear-wheel drive, light curb weight (just over 3,000 pounds) that is smooth, quick, powerful, and it looks great. It possesses a very high performing 3.7-liter, V-6 engine with 332 horsepower that produces 270 pound-feet of torque. The Z goes 0-60 mph in a very swift 5.1 seconds.

The base model 370Z is not all that expensive, with a starting price of approximately $30,000, which is actually about $3,000 less than the 2013 model. The 370Z comes in a coupe, roadster and high-performance NISMO form.

The NISMO features 3.7-liter, V-6 engine with 350 horsepower that produces 270 pound-feet of torque. The NISMO utilizes a high-flow exhaust system and optimized engine calibrations. It goes for just over $43,000.

2014 Nissan 370Z

  • Performance: 3.7-liter, V6, 332 horsepower; 3.7-liter, V6, 350 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate range: 18-26 mpg
  • Price: $29,990 to $44,170
  • Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited

Other than the NISMO, the 370Z remains unchanged from last year's model. The NISMO changes include a larger front spoiler and rear wing, and several interior alterations.

If the 370Z doesn't meet expectations, take a look at its competitors, which includes the Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang, Porsche Cayman, Audi TT, or the Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

The 370Z is definitely quick and fast, and also handles scary good. It's scary in the fact that it gives the driver the confidence that one can maneuver proficiently in any situation, whether it is a tight turn or wiggling in and out of traffic. Not so cool is the sizable blind spots due to thick rear roof pillars that can make passing a tentative act at times.

Like most sports cars, this one is made for driving, not hauling around stuff. Still, it's roomy for two passengers and the trunk space can be accommodating on a small grocery store run or a trip that doesn't include much luggage.

With any sports cars, one has to make the ultimate decision: Is this a vehicle you want to utilize on a daily basis? Since the Z has been around for more than 40 years, it's apparent that enough people are answering that question with a resounding yes.

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Weidel on Wheels author Jeffrey Weidel is an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region who has reviewed automobiles for more than two decades. He can be reached at skiweidel@gmail.com
Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.



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