A big capacity, normally aspirated V6 up front, rear wheel drive and the choice of coupe or roadster bodies should have made the Nissan 370Z a huge hit. Yet the 370 never found the same popularity as the 350Z enjoyed, which makes it a decent option now for those looking for some trad-sports car fun with added reliability.
Where many of the Nissan's contemporary rivals have begun to suffer from faults, the Z has earned a reputation for carrying on without fuss. You will have to put up with an official combined economy figure of 26.6mpg that drops below 20mpg around town, however, and servicing that's needed every 9,000 miles to keep the car in rude health.
The upside to this is a car that feels more special than many of the saloon-derived coupes that make up a great swathe of the market. For starters, the 370Z looks good in Coupe or Roadster forms thanks to a shorter wheelbase and overall length compared to its predecessor, the 350Z. It's also 33mm wider overall with a 55mm wider rear track when sat next to the 350.
However, Nissan managed to free up more cabin space and the boot has greater practicality than the 350's as the strut brace of the earlier car was done away with. In its place arrived a parcel shelf with retractable load cover.
That's all well and good, but key to the 370Z's appeal is that 3.7-litre V6 motor. With variable valve timing, it offered 331hp at launch, which helped the Nissan from rest to 62mph in 5.5 seconds when you chose the six-speed manual gearbox. This transmission was the first in a road car to come with rev matching, which Nissan called Synchro Rev Control, to mimic heel-and-toeing. There was also a seven-speed automatic gearbox on offer from the start that added £1,400 to the bill.
A year after launching the Coupe, Nissan added the Roadster with its electrically folding fabric roof. There was a £1,900 premium over the hard-top model and the hood took 20 seconds to be folded or raised. As with the Coupe, the Roadster was offered in standard or GT trims, with the latter including suede and leather seats, Bose stereo, cruise control and 19-inch alloy wheels. With the arrival of the Roadster, GT models gained air-conditioned seats to keep occupants cool in hot weather.
In mid-2011, the GT Edition version was launched and offered in Pearl White, Black Rose or Kuro Black, and all with grey GT stripes and 19-inch RAYS alloy wheels. A mild facelift for the whole range was introduced in late 2012 and Nissan added the 344hp Nismo in August 2014 that covered 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds. It also had improved aerodynamics and Recaro seats. Another update was carried out in mid-2017 with small changes to the styling and the addition of an Exedy performance clutch for the manual gearbox.
Early 370Z Coupes with high mileages can be bought from £9,000 or you can spend from £11,000 to have your pick from lower mileage Coupes and Roadsters. Prices for newer cars go all the way up to the £29,805 needed to buy a brand new 370Z.
Bodywork and interior
Roadster's roof mechanism can fail and need new motors. Make sure the windows drop and rise back up to meet the hood when it's being lowered or raised.
Paintwork on bonnet and front bumper is prone to stone chips and damage. Also look for discolouration or signs of overspray from where a previous owner has addressed problems here.
Boot struts weaken and need replacing to keep the hatch up when you open it.
Engine and transmission
Routine servicing is required every 9,000 miles or 12 months. Expect to pay around £200 for a minor service and £350 for a larger one. Beware cars that are temptingly priced with around 54,000 miles on the clock as this may be because the car is due its major service where all consumables including spark plugs will be replaced.
Chain-driven V6 is reliable and tough. Responds well to a remap to give a sharper throttle response, though power gains are minimal at around 10hp.
Improved breathing can help the engine make around 345hp, but for more power most 370Z owners go down the super- or turbocharging routes.
Standard exhaust is quite muted and corrodes quickly, so many owners have fitted an aftermarket item to get a better noise and improve longevity. A full system is around £1000.
If you're planning on using the 370Z for track use, fit an oil cooler to avoid potential engine overheating issues. This was fitted as standard from the factory from 2012-on.
Make sure the manual gearbox's Synchro Rev Control function works on both up and down shifts.
Suspension and steering
Front droplinks can wear and cause a clonking noise over bumps.
Aftermarket anti-roll bars, such as an Eibach item, improve suspension control.
Wheels, tyres and brakes
New brake fluid needed every two years at a cost of around £60.
Optional 19-inch alloy wheels make ride very stiff, so try before you buy.
SPECIFICATION - NISSAN 370Z COUPE
Engine: 3,696cc V6
Transmission: 6-speed manual/7-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 331@7000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 269@5200rpm
Price new: £26,895
Price now: £9,000 upwards
Search for Nissan 370Zs in the PH classifieds here.