If you're looking for a hardy, modern classic sportscar that comes with a full service history, low mileage and a few tasteful driver-focused tweaks, look no further than this 2013 Nissan 370Z, currently listed for sale.
Words and Images: Hannes Oosthuizen
- Year, Make and Model: 2013 Nissan 370Z
- Engine: 3.7 V6 petrol
- Power/Torque: 245kW/363Nm
- Transmission: 6-speed manual
- 0-100kph: 5.0 sec (claimed)
- Top speed: 250 kph (claimed)
- Fuel economy: 10.5L/100km (claimed)
- Mileage: 74 000 km (as tested)
- Service History: Complete
- Price: R335 000
Nissan's 350Z sportscar was one of the darlings of the tuning world in the early 2000s. With stonking performance, even in standard trim, fun handling and great looks, it was a hard act to follow. So, when Nissan designed the 370Z, the pressure to improve on an already successful recipe was certainly on.
Perhaps, then, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the 370Z represents a continuation of its predecessor's recipe, but just dialed up to the max. Lighter, and shorter than before, and also with a shorter wheelbase, the aim was to make a wieldier sportscar. Of course, going shorter potentially has some negatives as well, but Nissan countered those by going wider on the track and lowering the centre of gravity. It also added strut-bracing front and rear to stiffen up the "new" Z, and so the 370Z is actually a pretty serious sportscar that at the time rivalled the Porsche Cayman, more than the "softer" Audi TT and BMW Z4.
The engine is a 3.7L V6 (also used in various Infiniti models), and punches out 245kW and 363Nm of torque. Compared with its same-price rivals, the Nissan offered significantly more muscle and the performance figures are still impressive. A stock 370Z manual should do the 0-100kph blast in about 5 seconds, and top out at 250kph.
The previous owner of this particular car is a driving enthusiast himself, but also one that is very meticulous about his vehicles. So, while there are a few tweaks to this 370Z, they are all tasteful and not likely to impact the car's longevity. This car has been de-catted (resulting in what should be a little power bump), it has a Stage 1 clutch, and the brakes have been upgraded.
Many years ago, when I first drove the 370Z I was bowled over by the performance and pedigree it offered at the price. It was, in my view, the most "macho" car in its segment, and one which liked to be hustled hard. There were some things I didn't like at the time, though - particularly a crunchy gearshift action.
It therefore came as something of a surprise to me during my drive with this 2013 car to find the transmission so smooth and, in fact, this 370Z would easily be a comfy daily driver. This car has been very well-looked after and boasts a full service history. There are no blemishes on its exterior and inside the only sign of wear is on the bolster of the driver's seat where the leather shows some sign of use. Otherwise, this 370Z looks and feels like new!
I took the 370Z to one of my favourite pieces of road, a twisty, challenging uphill climb with hairpins and some bumps. It is a real test for a driver's car like this, and the 370Z didn't disappoint. The engine likes to be wound up - maximum power is delivered at 7 000rpm and when you drive it like this it emits a nice, throaty roar.
This particular car is a manual, and features automated throttle blips (a nice touch). Another positive attribute of the car's dynamic repertoire is that its stability control system isn't too over-eager to get involved, and allows for some slip to happen before stepping into action. This allows you to enjoy the rear-biased dynamics of the Z even more.
Admittedly, I did expect the 370Z (even a 9-year old one) to be fun to drive, but what I didn't expect was the comfort and the build quality. This car must have led a very privileged life thus far, because there is not a rattle or a squeak, and besides the scuffing on the driver seat's leather, there is simply no sign of any use at all!
It also is very comprehensively equipped, with an Infiniti-sourced infotainment system (including navigation) and there's even a USB port! The seats are heated and electrically adjustable. A minor criticism is that the steering column is only adjustable for rake and not reach, so taller drivers may struggle to find a spot-on driving position, but I ended up being pretty comfortable in the Z. It's also nice that there's a decent amount of space in the boot.
In many ways this 370Z surprised me. Cars like these are generally driven hard, and that usually means they're a bit "tired" when they're nearly ten years old. This car feels new. It looks new. It drives like new. I expected the strong performance, but I didn't expect the slickness of the transmission (and the easy clutch, even in traffic) and all the comfort features. If you're looking for something with a feisty character, but one which is comfortable enough to be driven daily, and which clearly has been very well-cared for... look no further.
If you are interested in arranging a viewing or test driving this car, go here.