2018 Nissan 370Z NISMO Launch Review

NISMO tweaked Nissan 370Z Road Test, Review

The Nissan ‘Z’ car history goes back to the legendary Datsun 240Z, in 2017 the original ethos of an affordable sports car continues with the new NISMO-tweaked Nissan 370Z.

The 370Z is certainly not the freshest thing on the shelf, this body shape dates back almost a decade, and for many people the Nissan 370Z was a car that was simply no longer on sports car buyer’s radars.

In recent years we’ve seen other sporty options come along, primarily the wildly successful Ford Mustang.

But the 370Z is set to jump back onto the test-drive list with sharper pricing across the standard coupe/roadster variants (as covered here) and this new NISMO-tweaked variant.

I got along to the Australian launch of the 2018 Nissan 370Z NISMO and came away a fan of the offering, particularly taking pricing into account.

Available only in coupe form, Nissan is going to be asking you for an amount starting from $61,490 for the manual, $63,990 auto.

I drove both variants and while Nissan reckons 65% of the NISMO cars will leave dealerships with an auto transmission, there is no way that would be the one I would buy.

The six-speed manual with a delightful short/tight shift feel finishes this sporty offering off so much nicer.

So, what sets a NISMO 370Z apart from a ‘standard’ 370Z?

There’s a twin exhaust - this helps boost power and torque up 8kW/8Nm to 253kW/371Nm.

You also get 19″ NISMO alloy wheels, a reasonably subtle body-kit, beefed-up brakes, some red stripes on the mirrors, stiffened up suspension, and Recaro sports seats.

The end result is a genuine fun machine, it isn’t perfect, but it’s a great value offering.

On the road, the suspension is certainly firm, but nowhere near as jarring as something like the Volkswagen Golf R.

You could live with the suspension in this car everyday.

The steering is heavy at low speeds, and quite direct, while the handling and grip allow you to feel like a much better driver in the bends than you might actually be.

A downside is the amount of tyre noise that permeates through to the cabin, especially on course surfaces.

There’s also some wind noise, though this is generally drowned out by the tyres!

Thankfully Nissan’s 3.7 litre V6 naturally-aspirated engine (not a turbo to be seen) can still be heard, and exacerbated by the twin exhaust.

There’s some blind spots from the driver’s seat, the gauges and controls are more 2010 than 2018, it’s a bit of a hard thing to get in and out of, and cabin storage areas/luggage space are minimal too.

The bolstering, especially on the seat base of the Recaros is also a better fit for those who are more on the petite side, rather than the average middle-aged male!

There’s no back-seat whatsoever, the 370Z is purely a two-seat fun machine…oh and don’t go looking for mod-cons like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto or digital radio.

Summing it up; the Nissan 370Z isn’t perfection on wheels, however these NISMO enhancements have helped breathe new life into the old girl.

It delivers a lot more performance and dare I say cabin space than cheaper rivals like the Toyota 86/Mazda MX-5, and is a more enjoyable car in the bends than then portly Mustang.

If you’re in the market for a genuine sports coupe, and want to keep your outlay below sixty-five grand, you’d be mad to not to take the NISMO-tweaked 370Z for a spin.

NUTS and BOLTS - 2018 Nissan 370Z NISMO

  • Engine: 3.7 litre V6 producing 253kW/371Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual or seven-speed auto
  • Safety: Not tested
  • Warranty: 3yrs/100,000km
  • Origin: Japan
  • Price: from $61,490 (manual), $63,990 (auto)

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